Have you ever felt that indescribable feeling where complete and utter calm flows through your entire body and everything in life – even though it is pretty chaotic – settles? It is that moment where even if the grass is greener on the other side, even if the rain is pelting you and the clouds are dark, you know that everything works out together for good.
I love that feeling.
There has been a heaviness weighing me down these past few weeks. I’ve mostly been able to battle through it, but oft times the fighting has left me drained. It’s probably the real reason I wasn’t able to kick the proverbial Portland Plague that has continued to attack me since the beginning of the year.
I’ve seemed to have thrown myself into another bout. I’m blessed though, because even if I struggle I have an amazing support system that knows even without knowing. Like my amazing husband who tells me that we need to go on an adventure to find me happy. Or my best friend who sends me pictures of snow. Or the kiddos from church who jump on me and give me hugs because I’m Ms. Pearls. My support team that keeps me fighting, reminding me it is worth the fight.
Sometimes though there are times when I just need to find my own peace, especially when it seems like the ground beneath me is shaking uncontrollably. I wouldn’t consider myself a religious person, but I am a God-fearing one and I know that going to Him during the dark times helps find that peace. But, to be honest, sometimes my human brain doesn’t go to Him first. So, here are a few things I do that help me find peace when I’m too stubborn to accept God’s grace.
- Fall forward. I try to not allow myself to be controlled by what happened in the past. No one can choose what has happened to them. Instead of giving myself a hard time for making a mistake (which, if you haven’t noticed is human AND ok), I understand that it happened and I fall forward. I learn from what happened and kick myself in the bum to keep going.
- Remember no pain, no gain. I hated this saying growing up. My dad used to say it to us all the time during kenpo practice. I wanted to take that saying and shove it. But, he was right. Pain is an incredibly good thing to have because without it there is no growth. While I don’t want pain in my life I do appreciate it because if it wasn’t for pain I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
- Surround yourself with the right people. You become the company you keep. I smoked pakalolo because of the people I surrounded myself with. I became a basketball player because of my friends. I found an incredibly personal relationship with God because of the company I kept. If my nerves are shot and I need to be around people I will surround myself with people who will come into agreement with me in prayer for peace and calmness.
- Eliminate distractions. This is adjacent to #3 and #5. Eliminate distractions like video or talk news and social media. There is this one talk radio host that Jeremy loves to listen to that I cannot stand. When my nerves are bad, when I am battling depression my dislike of him is even worse. When I’m going through stuff Jeremy knows no Savage.
- Find a silver lining. I remember back at my previous employer whenever I needed a silver lining I’d reach out to my friend Curley. He was always so happy-go-lucky. I never understood it. But, when things got tough, I’d shoot him a message and tell him to send my silver linings for the day. It never failed. He always found a way to get me to think positive.
- Go to your happy place. Seriously. Even if it’s your closet. Go there. When we lived in Boise my happy place was my closet/bathroom. I’d hook up some music, draw me a bath, and write in the closet. Now days it’s in the arms of my husband or with the sand in my toes listening to the waves crash.
- Accept change. There really is no use in fighting change. It’ll happen whether you like it or not. Like falling forward, take the change by the proverbial balls and run with it.
- Accept yourself. This is probably the hardest for me. But, when I accept who I am in the here and now, when I forgive myself for my mistakes the rhino that sits on my chest finds a new home.
- Write or draw. I do both. Mainly I write in my journal to get the words out. Sometimes, like last night words didn’t make sense. So I drew. Whatever was on my heart I drew because I needed to get it out there. To essentially be free of that thought.
All of this helps me gain inner peace and I can finally fall on my knees and pray. And even then, sometimes I am so stinking stubborn that the only thing that I can utter is, God. And you know what? That’s enough. God hears your heart. He knows the thoughts running through your head. He knows when you feel like you are losing yourself. He knows when you are happy, sad, tired, crazy. He knows.
I’m telling you this because peace isn’t an abstract thing. It is attainable and everyone deserves it. Sometimes that’s something I need to sorely remember. xoxo