|Gorgeous lions living "outside my door" in Chicagoland|
Each week of March was full of activity, not all activity immediately "productive," the worst kind of activity for an enterprise like mine. Personal and professional ups and downs. So much so that time to post in this venue never arrived until now. I never stopped creating but my consistent creating here was horribly interrupted. What do you do when life roars as a lion directly in your face for consecutive days, weeks, months as it has for me the last seven months? These three actions kept and keep me going.
Know You Are Your Story, Not Your Circumstances
I am in a shitty season of life right now. No way around it. There are so many very good things going on for me and my family but there are also some really rough things we are working through at the same time. And it is not easy. However, I know my story. My story of triumph over tragedy. My story of character in the face of disgrace. My story of doing what's right regardless the cost. I also know my family's story and it is very similar to my personal one. We have experienced tough times before. We have seen plenty and scarcity. We know and experience joy and love. We are supportive of others and have received support. We have fun in spite of what we "see." We focus on what's important and let go of what's not. Knowing our story has helped us not focus on the circumstances we are currently facing. We are bigger than what's going on right now - good or bad. Our ability to "be" during trying times are what make us who we are - not what is happening around us.
Remember, Life Is Seasonal
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. - Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT
When life is good, I often forget to enjoy it fully because I just keep pushing. I have made it an intention to focus and enjoy life more in the last 18 months or so and I am glad. For fully enjoying life when it is good helps bolster you when it is challenging. Savoring life's blessings big and small gives you good practice when facing rough waters. The ability to see it all as fleeting and seasonal is wonderful perspective that builds resilience. Resilience makes storms appear as the temporal challenges they really are. Keeping a seasonal outlook to life is good business.
Share Your Heartache
Perhaps the most challenging for people like me (and I imagine many others) is opening up about your pain. One human reaction to pain is resistance and another is shame. We hate being in pain and will often deny it but even worse is our tendency to hide it from those with whom we share our lives. Thankfully, the last two years have seen me sharing my pain and letting others assist me in carrying the burden. This one action has trumped the other two because it gets me outside my own head. It allows for added perspective on my trouble and enables others to help me with solutions. Further, people want to help. We deny them the opportunity when we hold our challenges in secret. Allowing others to share your heartache breaks your heartache into smaller parts and thus makes it easier to endure.
So, while I am looking forward to a new month that will hopefully give way to a new season, I am prepared either way.