Monday, August 26, 2013

It's not about Me

It is raining outside.  It sounds so lovely.  The pitter patter on the roof, the deck, the driveway.  On one had it makes me nervous because so much has gone wrong with this house that I find myself walking around staring up at my ceiling, praying I don't find any new water marks.  But I should not worry.  I'm fairly certain we have a good roof. 

Rain is also so soothing.  It kind of melts my insides when I sit back and just listen.  Everything slows down and there is only me and the rain and dark. 

It hasn't really rained since we've lived here.  A sign of God's faithfulness and love to me.  Since we've moved in, we've had building materials, carpeting, old drywall pieces, and all kinds of construction trash piling up all around our house and under our deck.  And I was concerned that if it rained, it would make a colossal mess and everything would be a million times harder to dispose.  And it didn't rain.  And weeks went by and it was hot and sunny, but cool at night.  And dry.  Always dry.  And then the dumpster came.  And we spent three days filling it to the brim.  And the day it was taken away, it rained.  Maybe it seems like a coincidence to you.  Maybe you'd like to say we just got lucky.  Or tell me it's just how an Oregon summer goes.  But I know better.  It was a gift in reply to a prayer. 

And now it is raining.  And I feel my soul melting down and relaxing into this blessing.  This rain is washing away all that is left of the cat pee and drywall dust and the memories of it all will fade away. 

I love the rain.

As I sit here at the computer, waiting for Hubs to call for a ride home on this dark and rainy night, I'm trying to figure out where to go from here.  It has been a trying week in some ways.  Emotionally and spiritually I've been challenged in powerful ways to think better, speak better, be better. 

These moments of reflection and challenge are so interesting in the way they can rock your world without a single other soul noticing.  It's kinda funny that way. 

I've been angry and sad for little while now.  All the time angry and sad.  And I can still smile and have a nice day, but deep down in my core, there are black clouds that need to go.  And the snippy replies and the yelling and unyielding darkness need to go too.  After talking with a very smart and trusted friend, I've come to the realization that my grief has made me angry and bitter and sad.  But I don't want to be angry or bitter or sad.  I want live.  I want to be happy.  I want to do right by J's life and do right by mine. 

And so I spent more time thinking and writing and speaking with another good friend about it.  And I realized that in this whole grieving and blogging and talking process, I've become so fixated on trying to figure out who I am now and what I am feeling now and how I fit into the world that I've failed to grasp that it isn't really about me at all.  And perhaps in my search to navigate the world I've been spending so much time focusing on myself that I've become a self absorbed, angry, bitter woman. 

And maybe, just maybe, instead of spending so much time trying to see how I fit, how I feel, how it all works for me, I need to stop thinking about myself all the time.

Because it's not really about me at all.

Or at least it shouldn't be.  Don't get me wrong, self reflection can be a good thing.  Clearly this post involves quite a bit of it.  But one thing that I've learned more than once and seem to keep forgetting is that unhappiness follows when it's all about me.  This whole self serving mindset that our world touts is nothing but a lie. 

Joy doesn't come from looking in the mirror.  Joy comes from looking at God.  From seeking Him.  From searching for His gifts and His challenges just for you.  Yeah, challenges.  Who doesn't like adventures that make you grow?  Sure, climbing a mountain is hard work.  But once you reach the summit, you are stronger and can appreciate the beauty and accomplishment of that moment.  That moment of joy doesn't come when you take the gondola up.  It's the challenge and the overcoming and growth that make it make it worthwhile. 

It's a very humbling experience to write out a fault.  And then to publish it for the world to read.  But accountability is a good thing.  And I don't want to be like this any more.  I've been working very hard to look out instead of in.  I've been working very hard to speak love.  I've been biting my tongue a lot and trying to stop and just not be angry all of the time. It takes a lot of patience.  I used to be really good at patience.

The one thing that helps the most when I'm angry and bitter and sad is to find something, anything to be thankful for.  And I've read the book and followed the blog, but I've never really wrote out my 1000 gifts before.  So I'm going do it here.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, look up Ann Voskamp and her best-selling book One Thousand Gifts. 

1. Cleansing Rain
2. New beginnings
3. Kilz paint
4. morning cuddles with sleepy babies.
5. doggy deep breathing at my feet

My perspective and life are going to change.  Would you join me? 

1 comment:

  1. A great perspective. Thanks for sharing your heart! Let's keep looking up!