07 June 2013

Missing Joy

 This photo is here because Angel takes millions of pictures of Narcan so I figure I might as well use one. 
I'm going to be blunt here. I've been a bit of an emotional basketcase lately. I've been sad. Simply, sad when I shouldn't be and when I have no good reason to be sad. I think it's related to that fact that I don't enjoy going to my school 40 hours a week, and also to the fact that I've been having some annoying health problems. However, neither of those facts are a good enough excuse to have such a bad attitude that I burst out in tears with unnecessary frequency and allow my sadness to affect my relationships with my husband and family.

I have an amazing life. I have many good things to look forward to. However, I haven't been paying as much attention to the good things because I've been too caught up in worrying about the not-so-good things. I've decided to start utilizing some new strategies to deal with this general sadness and anxiety--because this is not the way I want to live and it's not the way I should be living.

I was talking to my family on Skype and my little sister (she's 14) told me she had some good ideas for what I should do when I start to feel sad. These were the main items from her list:
1. Watch my favorite Youtube videos from NigaHiga or BoredShortsTV
2. Put a CD of my favorite songs into the stereo and play it loud.
3. Memorize the lyrics to my favorite songs and sing them when I'm at school.
4. Play a board game or a card game with Angel.

Her list made me smile. It may seem really simple, but it gets to the heart of the matter: reminding myself of what is good and true and happy about life when I start to get sucked into allowing my thoughts to dwell on the unpleasant things.

My Mom gave me another huge piece of advice when it comes to seeking joy: Serve others. A great deal of discontent comes from being too self-centered. It's when we stop being selfish and start giving to others that we are able to take joy in all the good things of life.

I'm not looking to find joy in my own person or in my own accomplishments any longer. I'm not going to look for joy in the way other people treat me--because other people will fail. I will seek joy in God. He never fails and He is the one Who has given me everything great in my life.

And smiling at a couple of really good songs and some funny Youtube videos along the way won't hurt a bit. I want to be able to relish all the goodness that is life again. I know it's a gift from God to be able to see that goodness.
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Kristin said...

I understand. I'm in the middle of this kind of conflict too. I agree that serving others makes you feel better, but when I don't know a whole lot of people here, it's hard to "serve". I don't really want to spend hours doing volunteer work, and the way I was accustomed to serving in Alaska was taking treats to work and helping co-workers out when they needed it.

And I totally agree that God wouldn't have given us funny Youtube videos if He didn't want us to laugh.

Pidg said...

You have a very wise family. Mama is right... when I feel that way, unfortunately often as of late, I try and get up and do things for my family. Your sister, I honestly do most of the things she had on her list. Often simplicity is the key to most large problems in life. (As my favorite playlist screams in the background) I smile. Have a great weekend Rachel and I hope you feel better.

Moonofsilver said...

I know how you feel! Your blog is one of the favorite things I read when I need a smile :) I love your outlook on life and you always challenge me to think positively!

Mrs. Bennett Has Class said...

The highs and lows of life, I can relate! Your family gave you some wise advise. You'll be back in action soon!

Vi said...

I like this. I started my gratitude list during a time like this, it's so easy to get caught up in the hard things and not notice the blessings. It's a daily struggle for me. I hope your health issues are better soon!

Angi said...

I love this, and I feel like I'm in the same boat. Some days, it is SO HARD to focus on the good things when all the negative is just suffocating you. You have to make a choice to dwell on positive things instead of negative things, and that can be really difficult. I love your little sister's list...sometimes it's the simple things that can brighten life up a bit. Praying for you, sista!

Unknown said...

I was feeling just like that about a month ago. I just couldn't shake the sad emotional funk I was in. I totally agree with your mom, it's amazing what serving others can do for your emotinal happiness. I didn't know you had a cat! You should probably then watch endless cat videos to help too.

Jessi said...

I feel like this too...a lot. But I'm on medication for depression/anxiety. Sometimes the way you view things can go a long way though! I hope you find happiness in the little things :)

Katie said...

i can definitely relate to being in a funk for awhile. those are good ways to get out of it! and your mom is a wise lady!

Deidre said...

I can totally relate to just getting sad for seemingly no reasons, and I love the suggestions that your mom and sister gave you. For me, it's often a reminder to slow down and take some time for myself.

Michelle said...

Your mom gives mighty good advice. I've really been fighting falling into funks lately, so I completely understand the bad attitude that's hard to fight off. I'm praying for you, and I hope you feel better soon!

Abigail Jasmine said...

Oh girl..oh I have been there. I pray you will continue to fight for joy! :) The joy of the Lord is our strength!

Anonymous said...

I can really relate to this. I've been in a similar place for the last couple of months. Working on getting out of it now. Love you sister's advice!