We are all a part of each other, and it deeply saddens me to see people struggle. It's horrifying to know that right now other human beings in different parts of the world are being tortured and taken from their families, or they are dying from diseases that could be preventable, given the right medicine. I hate injustice and corruption. I hate fear. I hate that depression or addiction can overwhelm people to the point that they feel their only way out of the hole is to take themselves out.
Having gone through different levels of depression and anxiety myself over time, I know (even in a small way) that feeling of hopelessness--as though there is no light at the end of the tunnel and there will be no one to help me. Seeing others struggle unsuccessfully with that same feeling hurts my heart. I wouldn't wish that emptiness on anyone.
But, in the middle of all the world's chaos, my anchor "within the veil" is God and my gratitude for all He is doing that I can't always see. I can keep my eyes up and find God's hope in the world's darkness by being REAL with Him, with myself and with other people, and being truly grateful, knowing I always have Someone to thank.
Hiding behind any mask is harmful, especially the masks of religion and pride. Masks separate people from each other, and they separate us from the joy God has for us. Over time, He's taught me that there really is nothing to hide, and there is no fear when I step into the light and just BE who I am, flaws and all.
You are loved completely, just as you are, and there is no fear in Love. People will either judge you or they won't, they'll either accept you or they won't...but who cares? Take off your mask. Life is too short to hide. Let it all hang out, baby!
Simple gratitude strips away the "protective" layers we've put up around ourselves, revealing who we are at our core. I've learned that the best thing I can be is me--real and true, for better or worse. Years ago, God helped me learn to differentiate between trustworthy and untrustworthy people, and when I am listening to Him I can easily separate the two. The trustworthy ones will accept me as I am, build me up and encourage me. Learning simplicity has allowed me to love myself and to receive love from other people, but also to not accept less than authenticity from others.
Be your real, true self. There is no reason not to be. Don't be ashamed of your flaws or afraid to show when you're struggling. The act of sharing yourself may help someone without you even knowing it.
1. I'm grateful for the fact that I got help. The struggle of depression and anxiety is real, and every day we see the sad effects of shame or self-medication. If you are struggling, there is help out there. My life made a 180 when I reached out. Go get help now if you need it.
2. I'm grateful for the breath in my lungs and the power in my legs that I never knew I had. Running has saved my life. I truly believe it.
3. I'm grateful for laughter and the gift of truly funny people. Laughter has been medicine for me all my life, and I so appreciate "sparkly" or funny people. They are a gift to the world, whether they feel that or not.