i woke up this morning agitated. if i am taking off the mask of perfection for moment, i’ll tell you this — last night was a little rough. not the “i drank too much and made god awful life decisions” rough or “my heart is shattered” kind of rough — but the “gosh, my soul is a little tired” rough.
i tossed and turned in bed all night (literally) frustrated. the frustration i felt before bed followed me into my slumber and let me tell you — it was not sweet sleep. the worst.
i feel silly telling you this — but heck! we’re all human, we’re all susceptible to this, and if we’re being truthful with one another — we’ve all be there. (don’t judge me! k? pinky promise.) it all started because of social media. ugh. i know, so lame. i was on it, which btw can we just talk about how that is a terrible way to wind down for the day? (gotta stop that!) okay, back to the point — i was on social media and my feed was plastered (practically, literally) with a few things that brought a little sadness to my soul. you know, the things that remind you of your past, remind you of your fears, remind you of your insecurities, and remind you of your dark days — yeah, that. that’s what i saw. to anybody else — the variating posts that i saw filling up my feed probably wouldn’t mean much or even stick out to anyone else, but to me — they did.
all that to say, i went to bed tired, exhausted, sad, and struggling to keep a good mindset.
this morning, when i woke up — it was as if in the eight of hours of sleep i got i had no rest from my mind. (whoever said the mind is a battlefield wasn’t kidding — it’s a freaking war zone, people!)
i let out a deep sigh hoping that fairy dust would fall from the sky and fix everything — whether that was fixing the circumstances of life or fixing me to stop caring. alas, magic fairy dust did not come.
i lingered in bed — just thinking and festering on the thoughts that began to flood my mind. all the feelings of insecurity, fear, doubt, that i have worked so hard to overcome in the past couple years began to once again overwhelm me.
in a flash of moment, i had this thought — “lindsey, don’t cry. you’re past this. you’ve already dealt with this.”
i breathed in deep and decided i was not going to let my emotions overtake me. i was not going to move backwards, i was not going to stay where i was, i was going to continue moving forward and praise god.
in that moment — i felt empowered. really, truly, honestly. i didn’t have to spend a whole day “getting over it” or spend a whole day fighting a flood of tears or an overwhelming amount of emotions. i made a choice that i wasn’t going to victimize myself, and that’s it. i was done. the would have been epic tsunami of tears disappeared into oblivion.
okay, brace yourself — cause i’m going to bring this straight into your life… (and i hope you’re okay with that… if not, stop reading. jk. don’t do that.)
we are all human. what i experienced today, you’ve probably gone through too — in your own way. you have situations in your life that scare you, overwhelm you, leave you feeling like you just want to linger in bed and play the “woe is me” card.
maybe you’re going through something this week, maybe you’ve been struggling with something for the past couple months, or maybe you’ve been dealing with something for the majority of your life — whatever it is, know this: you are not a victim. i know, it may feel like you are the victim — it may feel like you’ve been cheated out of a good thing, that you’ve been dealt the wrong cards, that life is unfair, and that no one else has experienced what you are going through. and while, perhaps, all those things may be true — that does not make you the victim.
i looked it up in the dictionary — “victim” — it means: a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action. a victim is a casualty. casualties do not get back up. they stay down. they never come back from the battlefield.
sometimes, life sucks. sometimes, bad things happen. sometimes, people leave. sometimes, people hurt you. sometimes, things don’t work out the way you planned.
that’s real. that happens. it happens to all of us — it just looks different for everyone. no one is exempt from disappointment, insecurities, fear, and doubt. it comes in all different shapes and sizes.
while disappoint / fear / insecurities / hurt may come at us and attack our minds (after we thought we’ve “moved past it”) — we do not have to sit by and just take the proverbial punches. we can refute it. we have a choice. you have a choice. you have authority over your heart.
so the question is — how do you fight back the emotions that seemingly overwhelm you? how do you overcome the victim mentalities that attempt to hold you down?
1. acknowledge the truth, but don’t let it rule you. it’s okay to acknowledge the pain, the hurt, the disappointment. it’s okay to acknowledge the ugly truths of your circumstances. we don’t live in a perfect world and no one expects your life to be perfect (at least, i don’t expect it out of you.) sometimes bad things happen. sometimes your heart hurts. don’t brush the events of your life under the rug and pretend like they never happened. acknowledge them. acknowledge what happened to you, but do not let it rule you.
you’re human — you’re going to feel things, you need to feel things. it’s not defeat to acknowledge and feel the pain of events that have happened in your life — it’s just being human. but never allow the fact to rule you or define you. they are facts or rather, life events — that’s it. nothing more.
2. your thoughts are thoughts — not truth. it is easy to confuse our thoughts with what is truth. but reality check — not all your thoughts are truth. our mind likes to play tricks on us. they like to take our past experiences, our fears, our insecurities and fill in the blank with thoughts that appear to be true. key word: appear. we tell ourselves that because someone left us, we’re not good enough. we tell ourselves that we because we failed at a business endeavor, we’re not smart enough. we tell ourselves that because we got our heart broken, that we’ll never be happy or worthy of love. we tell ourselves that because we didn’t get the job we wanted, that we have no future.
don’t let your mind go there. don’t allow your mind to distract you from the life you were created to live. don’t get on the wrong train of thought. just because you had a thought does not mean that you need to ride the train of thought. your thoughts are just thoughts — not truths.
for the moments you cannot decipher what truth is — here it is: you are loved. you are valued. you are important. you have purpose. you are meant for something great. you have an entire future waiting for you that is filled with beautiful unexpected surprises that are going to take your breath away. you are enough. you are likeable. your personality is just the right combination of cool and quirky. you are intriguing in every sense of the meaning. you are worthy. you are royal — kings and queens.
3. don’t lose heart, take heart. “guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (proverbs 4:23) you have a authority over your heart. you want a good life, you want a beautiful life — keep guarding your heart. speak goodness over your life, speak truth over your life, and don’t allow the lies that your mind tries to throw at you to infiltrate your heart. keep your heart safe. don’t listen to the negative ideas you have about yourself, the destructive words that people have spoken to you, or what society says about you. take heart, a beautiful life is waiting for you.
4. you are not a victim. it’s easy to victimize ourselves — to look at our situation, our current circumstances, or how our life is playing out and feel like you wish things were different. it’s easy to role play in our heads a different story line and devise a list of reasons why life isn’t fair and how life’s events have done you wrong. you are not a victim, you are not a casualty. yes, you may have experienced some pretty brutal stuff. your heart may have gone through the ringer, but that doesn’t mean you’re done. i don’t know about you — but i refuse to be a casualty of life, love, and dreams. casualties do not recover. you were born to be a fighter — so fight. fight for the good life, fight for the beautiful life.
get back up, stare life in the face, and make the choice that life is going to be extraordinary. the bad stuff that happened, the ugly stuff that you lived through, the dark days that you endured — allow them to make you stronger. use them as the stepping stones to get to your future. you are fighter, don’t ever forget that. if you made it to day one of life and were able to find your first breath of life — you can get through the struggles life throws at you. you were made to endure.
5. laus deo. it’s latin for praise be to god. can i be honest? what got me out of bed this morning was this — praise. you may not understand what is going on with life — that’s okay. what is important, what is vital — is that you choose to praise even in the uncertainty. the beautiful truth is that your praise is the invitation for god to move in your life, to show up on the scenes of your life, and weave your life together like a beautiful tapestry. when life doesn’t make sense, when life is hard — pause long enough to praise. god will move on your behalf, he’ll heal the broken pieces of your life, he’ll bring redemption, he’ll restore hope — it’s his promise.
this morning, i laid in bed listening to “what a savior” by hillsong. i soaked in the moment. in the midst of so many emotions, i found peace, grace to take heart, and the strength to endure.
oh what grace i’ve found in you my jesus
that my soul should entertain your greatness
should this life hold nothing but my saviour
i will praise you
oh what grace i’ve found in you my jesus
and my head held high
my every breath will sing again
so to you, to the weary soul who is reading this who feels beaten down by the circumstances of life who is struggling and feels like your mind is an absolute war zone of emotions and thoughts — know this: you have authority over your mind and heart.
you don’t have to listen to every thought that floats by in your mind. take control, i dare you. choose to believe beautiful things are coming your way. choose to stay confident in the promises of god. choose to hope. choose to celebrate people. choose to rise up as a fighter.
it’s going to be a good day.