When I was in my early teens there was so much chaos happening in my life. My family had been through the wringer. We had felt rejection, shame, physical abuse, mental and emotional abuse and it is only by the power of Jesus we are still standing. I was angry, I had shed so many tears and I remember thinking to myself I’m done. I’m done being angry and sad, I’m done with feeling. I made a pact with myself to never cry or feel again.
This pact I made with myself set the stage for the next twenty years of my life. What I had unconsciously told myself was to look at tomorrow and never look at today. Today was too painful, out of control and nothing could be done about today. I did not want to live in the moment. The moment was hell, it was a fiery furnace with no end in sight. Who wants to live in hell? Certainly not me!
I lived for tomorrow. Tomorrow was much more hopeful than today. The problem with ignoring today was it becomes years, years turn into centuries and before I know it, I’d be dead. This is where I find myself right now. In my journey to learn to chose contentment I have had to face looking at today. I had allowed how others have sinned against me to determine how I react to the world. I kept myself from deep relationships and taking risks. I prevented myself from feeling the hurt and anger, not allowing myself to cry set me back rather than catapult me forward. I wasn’t able to go through the grief process to come out on the other side.
Learning to live in today made me look at my life cycle of decision making. It’s hard to look at it, because I wish it had been different. I wish I knew then what I know now, but I can’t go forward and I can’t ignore the grief of wishing it were different. I need to go through the grief process, because if I don’t it will be another thing put off until tomorrow. The line “live your life without regrets” is bologna. To me it seems like it gives me another reason to stuff pain of my choices way down deep and keeps me from taking responsibility. I do not want to get stuck in my past choices, but I do want to look at them, learn from them and go forward wiser, more confident and ready to help others.
Yesterday my cousin shared an article with me about people who are Empath. People who deeply feel the world around them. We literally feel everything going on in the world. From the reactions I read, everyone on this planet is an empath. Those that say they are not, I believe are ones that have said to hell with it, I’m not feeling the pain of this world anymore. It becomes too much, we run from it, because we don’t know how to process it. The times I have said, nope no more are the times when I have not been able to step back and see what is mine to do and let the rest go.
The more I am able to step back, pray through the hell going on around me (there is not a lack of it) and take it to the throne of Jesus, the more I am able to live in the now. The way I decide if something is mine to do is if it lines up with my gifts and talents. Is it something I can physically do or is it something I need to pray through. Blogging has given me a huge network of people to connect others to. If my gifts and talents do not match up with a need, I have other contacts who are amazingly able to step in. Also being able to recognize if the problems around me are gravity, unmoving issues or are they anchor problems that with time can be picked up and moved.
Do you feel like you have run out of tomorrows? Do you wonder if faith, hope and love are really achievable? I found myself asking the same question. The answers usually do not seem easy and it takes a lot of willingness to take baby steps to go forward. Any time I have taken giant leaps I missed steps along the way, baby steps helped me gain traction and forward momentum. It has also been extremely important to find my tribe. The ones who saw my abilities, skills, passion, gifts and talents. The ones who are already doing well what I want to do. God has given me a tribe and I am moved to tears of the sweet encouragement, wisdom, love and support they flood me with. The Lord will whisper in their ear to call me or send me a note of encouragement. Every time I have wanted to throw in the towel in the living in the today mode, they throw me a rope and pull me up. They speak of the ways I have made a difference and continue to make a difference.
Also, be willing to listen to the loving advice they give you, especially the hard ones you don’t want to hear about yourself. If we are unwilling to change, we cannot successfully tackle today. Only when we are able to look at painful truth can we get to the heart of our lives. Ugly pain, is where brilliant, beautiful living begins.
Today is hard, it’s painful and tomorrow looks so much better. If we do not even look at our garden it will be brown and dying tomorrow too. Today we must look at the garden, we must grieve its death. We must grieve the garden turned out nothing like we had visioned and dreamed. We must grieve the death of our dreams. Only then can we figure out where the hell our hose is or ask a neighbor if we can borrow their hose. Then we can begin watering our garden, before we know it flowers, green grass and fruit trees are budding all on their own. Your garden had everything it needed in the first place, it simply needed weeding, tending and some time spent loving on it. The garden is you! You matter and the world needs you.
If you are too tired to even think about today, please let me know. Please let me know how I can pray for you. If there is someone I can connect you to that may have the gardening equipment your specific life/garden needs, I would love to connect you.
Will you join me in choosing today to begin working on tomorrow.