Have you ever had times in your life, when you know you have it so good, yet you feel like something is missing, or something isn’t quite right? I have wondered too often in the past months why I’m feeling this way, despite the many blessings I’ve been given: my job, friends, family, home, health, and so much more. On top of that, this last period of life has been the quietest and calmest I’ve ever experienced. No longer is every day bursting at the seams. If I plan to meet someone for coffee, I can offer at least several mornings/evenings per week when I’m free. This is the calm I have craved and daydreamed about for the past 8+ years. So why the feelings of restlessness and even sometimes, if I’m honest, anxiousness?
I realize something about this is completely wrong. Have I become a selfish and ungrateful person? After trying to push these feelings away, and berating myself over them; I finally decided to start asking some questions, in order to draw some conclusions, find solutions, and create some resolutions. I think this formula has some value to it, which is why I would like to share it.
I. The Questions:
- Am I in my comfort-zone (The one Pinterest tells me IS NOT where the magic happens)? Am I taking myself too seriously to take a few risks?
- I am grateful and aware of my blessings, but am I taking full advantage of them? If my blessings are people, do they know how important they are to me? If the blessings are things, am I sharing them, and allowing them to multiply their reach? If the blessings are opportunities, am I putting in the effort to learn as much as I can from them, so I can share that too?
- Has my perspective become too narrow? Too self-focused? Am I lacking an eternal perspective? (Just to explain what I mean by “eternal perspective”, as a Christian, I believe that life on Earth is temporary, and that my actions and choices here should reflect my mission of sharing and telling of God’s love and what He has done for every single one of us.)
These are the questions that immediately popped into my head, however, I think the initial questions are different for everyone. This means, of course, that no one will have the same answers. Each of us is unique, after all.
II. The Conclusions:
- Yes, I am in my comfort-zone. I can’t remember the last time I took on a challenge, or tried something new.
- I appreciate the blessings in my life, but I internalize this appreciation when I should be externalizing it.
- I like to think that I am open-minded and do things based on an eternal perspective…. buuuut I can’t really point to many specific things I’ve done lately that showcase these things.
III. The Solutions:
- I need to try something new, and exciting, and even *gasp* a little bit scary!
- I need to be intentional about acting on my appreciation for the many blessings surrounding me.
- I need to turn my focus outward, and broaden it. There is (obviously) more to life than my life, so my actions need to reflect this knowledge.
IV. The Resolutions:
- Accept the opportunity that has been scaring me (I’ll DEFINITELY be talking more about this soon).
- Do little things that show the people I love, that I love them. Bring my sister coffee at work, make my mom’s lunch for her, etc. Make a conscious effort to do at least one thing like this per day.
- This is definitely the hardest solution for me to pin-point a specific resolution to. I’ve been sitting here for twenty minutes, because I can’t figure out how to put it into words. For now I can think of three main things (I know these are vague and resolutions should never be vague, it’s a work in progress): First, prioritize my relationship with God. Secondly, explore different options for my future that are based on purpose, and how I can serve others. Thirdly, diversify the content I am absorbing to learn more about the vast world I live in, and the many stories experienced by different people and cultures.
I am certain the solutions and subsequent resolutions are not the same for all of us. But I do believe the most important thing to do when feeling this way, is to ask yourself the hard questions you know you need to ask. Only then can you draw the conclusions, create solutions, and stick to new resolutions. Don’t brush off the way you feel. At first, I felt guilty about my feelings of “meh”, but now I realize, they are there for a reason. Consistent negative feelings are evidence of something in our lives that needs to be explored and solved. For some people the solution could be a change in mindset, for others it could mean a move to the other side of the world, and for other others it may mean signing up for tap dance lessons. Even if you can’t find an all-encompassing solution (which is likely, I don’t think life is usually that easy), start with small steps and they will gradually build on each other. Also, don’t be scared to try out a few different solutions.
The most important thing is: don’t keep the bad feelings inside and learn to live with them. Acknowledge them. Make changes. If you never try, you’ll never know. I believe in you!!!!!!!