“Your ability to find your heart and reinvent love after all you have been through is an inspiration to me to open up and love myself.” –Luna Bar package
This quote just showed up on my package today and it totally fit my current mood and thoughts from yesterday’s dilemma – God always send things your way when you need them the most.
So for this dilemma: I’m having a hard time finding balance in my life, or maybe I just think that I am. Because of the transformation my life has gone through over the past few months I’m learning to balance my life and all the things that I find as priorities.
When I was in high school I lived with my mom and sisters, being the oldest and knowing that my mom was working so hard I found myself feeling responsible for my sisters and putting so much time and effort into my grades and working. I never let myself relax; I felt like I had to set the best example possible for my sisters and felt like I had to be perfect. I went to college and even though I relaxed some and made good friends and was on my own I still felt like I was supposed to be setting an example and do things right the first time. Despite the pressure I put on myself, the two years I spent at Oklahoma Christian were some of the best and most beneficial years I have spent. I made great friends, had great professors, experienced many new things and was close to God. The decision I made to leave after two years is still a decision that haunts me today and provides many “what if” moments. Fast forward several years and many, many, many bad mistakes, I ended up in August of 2010. I was given a choice at that moment in my life – make things right or continue down the path I was on. Thankfully with the help of God and my family I chose to make things right. Over the past 9 months that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, which brings me here, to today.
I like to look at my life as a box that needs to be filled and my base is the 4 things that I need to focus on to help fulfill those needs: Emotional needs, Spiritual needs, Physical needs and Mental needs. These 4 areas in my life are not at all independent of one another but rather they are all intertwined and come together. Yet, they do need to be fed individually at times. So that’s where my dilemma comes in. Initially in my healing process, my mental and emotional needs really needed lots of work, along with my spiritual needs. So right away I found a great church home with a wonderful group of individuals that I knew I would need in my life to help me fight the battles I knew I had ahead of me. Thankfully God answered my prayers and gave me that. Secondly, I found a therapist who I trusted and who I knew had my best interest in mind and began my “head-healing”, as I liked to call it. Finally, after all of that I found my physical needs fulfilled by joining a running class at RunOn! I’ve been nurturing and feeding all of those things and have tried very hard to make them all balance and listen to God and my own needs for once in my life. My priority became, ironically to: Be Still (Psalm 46:10).
Fast forward again to now; I have been diligently feeding my physical needs and emotional needs by running and having fun with friends, but have I been neglecting other needs? My focus over the past few months has really been learning to let go and take advantage of the opportunities I’ve been given. That was something I didn’t do in my younger years. College was not a time for fun and adventure for me - I never drank, never went to parties, never went to concerts or took advantage of events in the area, I found a few friends and let myself be ok with just that and I kept myself guarded in a lot of ways, NOT THAT THIS IS ALL BAD! But now that I’ve been given this time of healing I’m trying to enjoy life to its fullest, but am I doing it well? I have also spent a majority of my time focusing on working out – self acceptance is something that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember, and I can remember things from when I was 4, so that’s a long time! The success I have found in running has provided a love for myself that I have never experienced and so mentally this is a good thing for me. To feel good about my body and how I look and feel is so huge for me in my metal healing.
So the question still remains, am I focusing on the areas in my life in proportion or am I out of balance somewhere? In a conversation with one of my church friends I brought up the subject that I haven’t gotten to hang out with them as much and I feel bad for that. I asked her if she thought I was being immature about things and if I had my priorities right, she told me that I seem to manage my time and activities well…. But can I believe her? (Of course I believe her, I trust this person almost as much as my own family) I know that this spring was very busy and so I didn’t go to church and spend as much time with those friends like I wanted to, so maybe I need to rework a few things in my life. I have a very full fall schedule of races and I want to give that my all, but I can always make time for God and the people that build me up spiritually and emotionally.
Maybe it’s just the inevitable perfectionist in me, or the negative self-talk that I’m out of line or maybe I just needed to be able to write it all out, I’m not sure (and if I still have readers at this point in my post- thank you!), but I do know that my intentions are always to be the most well-rounded and fulfilled person I can be. I am enjoying life just the way it is, I have overwhelming joy that I haven’t had since my days at Oklahoma Christian, and even most of these days surpass those, so maybe that’s my answer-joy. Where do I find my joy? It’s right here. It’s where I am today, making sure I’m in balance and a whole human being the way I was made to be. So I’m still here being still, and that’s good, it’s very good.