These past two weeks have been especially difficult. All the traveling we did during the holidays threw off my normal diet and sleep, which brought rougher edges to my emotions. The grief of the loss of my daughters felt worse than previous years. I dealt with more depression and anxiety.
I felt attacked by the darkness. I started comparing myself to others, questioning my own worth and value, having my “George Bailey” moments (shout out to my friend Lori for giving me that phrase). I wasn’t suicidal, just felt like I was in the way of other people’s happiness.
As the last week progressed, I began to pray that God would lead me out of the pit I was in, and these words started to form in my head. Grow. Learn. Curious. Slowly these words evolved into a mantra that I now tell myself every day. It has helped me gain perspective, so I thought I would share it with you.
Yes, I make mistakes. I fall and I fail. But that means I have something left to learn. That means that I get to be curious about myself and others. That means I am still growing. Life isn’t over. It’s beginning again every day. Each day is just a little bit different, and each day I will learn new things about myself, my husband, my marriage, my dogs, my home, my community, my friends, my family, my life. They may come in the form of happy experiences, funny situations, mistakes, arguments, or tragedy. But each moment is there for the taking. There to discover, embrace, and learn.
Each interaction is an opportunity to learn something new or learn more about something I know. And if there is room left to learn, there is room left to grow. I’m still growing, still changing, and still becoming the person I was created to be. Today I will learn what to let go of and what to cling to. Today I will ask questions without speculating. I will acknowledge my own limitations without condemnation. I will give others the room to learn this life for themselves, and encourage an environment of openness and curiosity.
The Great Teacher, the God of love and patience is willing to walk beside me while I’m learning these truths. Each moment is a practice in following the footsteps of Jesus. I may falter in my steps, but never beyond His reach. And when I fall, when I mess up, when I make mistakes, I won’t focus on the failure. I will get curious about the lesson. Curious about what God wants me to do next. With this mantra, I will live life as something to discover, something to explore, something to learn. Not something to survive or endure or get through. My eyes will stay open this time. So let’s get to learning, growing, and staying curious.
Do you have a mantra, or idea that you live by? What helps you out of the low points?