I think we live in a world that tells us we need to be happy all the time.
Actually, I don’t think that, I know that.
I’m not going to draw this post out, because I think it’s actually very simple. We can portray a happy life with our highlight reels on social media…we can hide behind screens and put on fake smiles at family functions. We can show the world that we are happy because that’s what the world wants to see.
But…(don’t miss this)
IT’S OK TO NOT ALWAYS BE OK.
I’ve been struggling with a lot of things for over a year now. My highlight reel hasn’t necessarily shown that and that’s on me. I get caught in that “but the world wants to see happy” thing and I’m working on being more real with y’all.
Between moving, having a baby, building a house, bunking with my parents, not having my husband around every day, losing my auntie, losing closeness with friends, having cabin fever, experiencing conflicts with people dear to my heart, and having to do life without my best friend in the same country…my body has responded in a lot of crazy ways.
Anxiety, chest pain, numbness, shutting down, feeling like I don’t have a purpose, complete sadness…lots of crying. Those are just a few of the responses that come to mind.
And I’ve realized that it’s all ok.
It’s ok to feel those things. It’s actually good to feel them! Feeling them promotes the ability to work through them, to grow through them. It also gives you the opportunity to let them go, to not let them control you. Because life and motherhood is hard enough, ain’t nobody got time for things consuming our minds.
Feeling grief is good.
Losing somone is unbelievably hard, and it’s okay to feel it all. And eventually you’ll get to the point (this took me over six months) where you can look at a photo without crying. Where you can think of memories and smile instead of losing your mind. It’s ok to be sad and it’s ok to cry, but eventually you let go of the grief, and you hold on to the memory. You’re not letting go of the person, just the pain.
That took me awhile. And sometimes I still fall back and have rough moments, and that’s ok, too. It’s a constant journey. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t give up.
Missing someone is so painful, distance and longing is hard, and change usually ends up changing you. So hold on tight. Keep going. Take every day as it comes. Embrace your emotions. You can be happy, by all means, but don’t forget that you can be sad, too. (Despite my letterboard making light of being sad…please know that sadness is OK!)
Through this whole process of feeling and growing through things, I’ve realized it’s important to find people that will walk with you through it all. That will show up every single day and say “hey, it’s ok that you’re sad, let’s talk about it and work through the pain.” Find people that will ask you “how’s your heart?” and actually care what your answer is. When you find that, don’t let that go. Those people are treasures.
And most importantly, don’t forget that you’re not alone. God is always there, He will give you peace and comfort if you seek Him. You don’t have to do it on your own, you don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders…God’s got you. Let Him take it from you.
We are all human, we are allowed to feel. We’re allowed to have bad days, we are allowed to be sad. We are allowed to be real with each other, grow with each other, and hopefully walk with each other on these journies, and through these seasons.
One final thought being this: because of the highlight reels, and because we are all on a journey…be KIND to everywhere. You never know what someone is going through.
It’s ok to not always be ok. May you find peace in that.