Thursday, December 19, 2013

Through a Different Lens

We all have those days.  The days where, even though moments before we felt the breeze blowing through our hair at the top of the highest mountain peak, we suddenly seem to have sunk to the lowest, darkest, coldest valley of our lives.  Where we can still see the sun shining on the mountain tops, but no matter our efforts, we just can't seem to get back there.  We try; we kick and scream; we claw; we cry; but we're stuck in the valley with no way out thinking there isn't one; there never will be.

Monday, I was truly having a good day.  Writing about good things tends to cheer me up, so the list of little lovelies that could have gone on much longer than it did made me start to feel the sun on my face and wind in my hair.  But then, yesterday, nothing seemed to go right.  I couldn't find any little lovelies to bolster me against the small, menacing problems of the day.  It's as simple as Christmas shopping; I only had/have a few things to finish up and every single one of them fell through.  And so the valley mentality kicked in.  I felt the weight and the shadows of the peaks I cannot get to darkening my spirit.  And all around me, all I could see was the darkness of unmet expectations.

We all have them.  Those small (or big) obstacles in our lives that make the grass look perpetually greener on the other side.  Maybe you thought that by now, you'd have a house and a couple of dogs.  Maybe you thought that your financial struggles would be a thing of the past.  Maybe you thought that you'd both have careers you enjoyed.  Maybe you thought that, finally, your own grass would be looking pretty green.

But it's not.  The expectations you had for your life, though seemingly not out of reach, have not come to fruition.  And at this point, when you pile up all the things in your life that just didn't pan out the way you thought, there really seems to be no way out of this dark and depressing valley.

But that's when you need to stop and look at your life through a different lens.

As hard as it may seem, you have to think about all of the other things that didn't go the way you'd thought they would.  The things that worked out as you'd never dared to hope.  That you never thought that God would actually show you your husband in high school... but it happened.  That life-long, completely (you thought) unattainable dream of living near the beach... that has come true.  That sweet little creature that wormed her way into your heart causing you to pack up and move just to keep her.  That happiness you feel when you and your husband say the exact same thing at the exact same time and you both just know that what you have is right.

And then I think, well, maybe this valley isn't so bad.  I've still got the salt-smelling wind, the sun, and the waves to keep me company.  Maybe the mountains have beauty, but the valleys theirs too.

So maybe, if your valley is looking a little dark and hopeless, you need to try looking through a different lens.

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