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I know that, at some point in your life, you have felt stuck, unproductive, not needed, sick and tired of being sick and tired and (insert many more adjectives). Having been there many, many times in my life I have oscillated between complete despair and moments of extreme hope. I have been at places where the light at the end of the tunnel makes all the difference. At other times, it got pitch dark after the dark spell.
It could be in any area of your life, maybe even all areas of your life. I know that I have been in ‘places’ where I would feel completely immobile. Paralysed by fear, unmet expectations, people’s expectations of me, my perceived failures, uncertainty of what God thought of me…. The list could go on and on.
So, how do we get ourselves out of these unhealthy spaces? How do we get back onto the hopeful side of life? People, as much as they can be annoying and overbearing, are our main ticket out of the hole of despair. To begin with, God works through people; so even spiritually we are covered.
I had dug myself into a pit of sorts. It kept getting deeper. The further in I went, the worse it got for me. I was mad at myself and at God. The only way into my heart and mind was through people. It took four types of people for me to stop drowning: a friend, a mentor, a counsellor and a coach. You may need to look out for these people in your life, where you are.
I learnt a few things from my ‘state of being lost’ to the state of finding me:
- Take Time Out: It really does help to have a certain amount of positive human contact in our days. Irrespective of whom you are and where you are, there are people that could benefit from you. Your story, your skills, your life counts. Take time and change a life. Even if all it takes is a smile.
- There’s a Bigger Picture: Your life counts for more than the here and now. If you are tired of what you are currently doing, or of your marriage, maybe even your career, you need to remember the number of people that look forward to the little you do everyday. If all you do is make tea for a hundred people everyday, think of the satisfied sighs and smiles they get from every cup of tea.
- God’s Approval Counts: Yes, God. My journey in life has taught me that there is a higher power around Whom, everything revolves. I call Him God. Since I am because HE IS, the first approval I must get is from Him. How do I get that approval? I have cultivated a relationship with Him. Not based on religion or the world’s expectations of me as a Christian. Everything I do must first auger well with Him. Ps. God is not policing you with a big stick. He loves us 100% irrespective of where we are, or what we have done.
- Life is a Learning Curve: Try not to look at life as if it were a cage or a fixed form in which we must fit. Feel free to fly from where you are. Do not look at life as a restriction, but as an opportunity to learn at all levels. Before you get to the top, you may need to learn from the bottom.
- Change Your Perspective: Look for creative, fresher ways of doing the things that seem so drab. If a responsibility has got to the point where it drains you, then look for exciting ways of doing it. Your perspective will either limit or grow you.
- Sink Your Roots Deeper: Difficult situations help us to sink our roots deeper, thereby making us healthier, more stable and fruitful. Think of your difficult season as an opportunity to grow.
Mostly remember that life consists of seasons. No situation is permanent. Look up, look forward to change. Better days are coming.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.