Looking Up

Something is either breaking with your car, your home, or your body.

photo credit: Tomas Sobek via creative commons

photo credit: Tomas Sobek via creative commons

There is never a moment when you catch up. I jump from one problem to the next and it’s never ending. This used to bother me but I have come to accept it. There isn’t another choice. You can live in fear of the next problem or you can handle situations as they come.

Most of life is spent in the valley. Valley is the perfect word to describe bad times in life. When we are looking up at high elevation. It’s the looking up which bothers me more than where I’m at. I love to play the comparison game. I look at what someone else has and want them to get knocked down to my level. It doesn’t make sense because I’m not in need right now. I’m extremely blessed and I’m scared to death I’m going to screw it up. In late 2013 and early 2014 there was a three to four month stretch which absolutely crushed me. I was unhappy at work and I was fearful about what the future held. Morgan and I were engaged during this time and it bothers me I wasn’t able to enjoy it because I let anxiety and stress rob me. Things got better, but those days have never left me. Each one of them feels like it was yesterday.

I know others are like me and have gone through the same situation. Perhaps it has gone from a situation to the status quo. I don’t want people to continue down the path because it’s dark and it’s unhealthy and it’s not anyway to live. A valley should be something we pass through. It is something which is a means to get to where we want to go, but often we decide to live permanently there. No matter how much we dislike it we feel safe and feel as though we belong there and it’s what we deserve. This is what bothered me so much. When my anxiety was the worst I felt as though I deserved it. I didn’t think it was punishment for mistakes rather it was a consequence. I expected perfection from myself even though I knew it wasn’t feasible. I set the bar way too high for myself. It’s great to push yourself to achieve big goals but it’s not great to expect to live mistake free. I set the bar for myself to live mistake free and I was miserable. It poisoned my thought process. I didn’t want to make a mistake and it was the driving force behind all decisions I made.

So what do you do in order to fix this? For me it took time. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide I wanted to live a certain way and suddenly everything changed. It took me believing in myself. I decided I didn’t want to be someone who went through life scared. Life will knock you down sometimes. You don’t get a chance to think about what’s happening you get cold-cocked. You must prepare for it.

Even when things are going well you can still feel certain stress and anxiety. It’s an internal issue not an external issue.

I have worked on the foundation of my life. My core values help the valley become a place I pass through not a place I stay.

These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain pured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit – but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.” Matthew 7: 24-25 (The Message)

A valley is a temporary point in life. It’s not somewhere which is meant to dwell permanently. However, getting up a mountain is hard. It’s difficult and it takes a lot of courage to drive yourself up to the peak. The view from the peak is much better than hurting your neck looking from below like you are sitting on the first row at a movie theater. You have to decide what way you want to live. Do you want to live life looking up wondering what could have been or do you want to do something? Start ascending today. The longer you wait the harder it is to take the first step.