Wednesday, June 18, 2014

don't let it

I saw a quote tonight that goes hand in hand with something that was brought to my attention recently. it says something akin to "don't let your struggle become your identity".
that's a very difficult thing to keep from happening. when struggles continually wash over you, when you become totally immersed and can seem to see nothing but the struggle, when you find yourself fighting to breathe from the sheer weight of it all and there seems to be nothing but struggle at every turn......that's a very difficult thing to keep from happening indeed.
but that quote is so very true. it is entirely too easy to become nothing but the struggle.  I had to ask myself "is that who I am?"  Sure enough, I have been through and am still going through struggles.....struggles of the worst kind. But do I want that to be who I am? do I want to be seen as or synonymous with "the one who struggles?" No. NO! I do not. So. there. don't let it. don't let it become who you are.
now. that said....separate from it enough to be able to see something else. not every aspect of life is a struggle, even if they seem to gang up on you and jump you all at once. and I must start with myself here.
what is good....right this moment? list many as you can think of.
planting a garden with my grandchildren.
homemade coconut pie
hospice angels
long talks
fresh herbs
friends I can rely on
lemon scented candles
sharing books with friends
getting caught up on the laundry
ice cold sweet tea with fresh lemon
homemade strawberry jam and hot biscuits
porch time
garlic and herb rotisserie chicken
fresh vegetables from the local farm
piling on the couch for a movie and popcorn day
I could list so much more. something even better? share these good things with someone else. you lighten your own load and theirs as well. you laugh. you cry. you breathe. and those are all good things.
don't be mistaken....I still struggle. every single day....some days more than a little. the past few months, it seems as if the struggles are intent on consuming me....and believe me when I say it would be very easy to let them.  and then I read these words......
don't let your struggle become your identity.
and I realize that little by little, minute by minute as the time has ticked away, without even really realizing it, that is precisely what I have been doing. and that is not who I am. I have struggles, struggles don't have me.
there are, to be sure, tough times ahead. I'm in the midst of some. I can do tough. there are tears and grief ahead. I can do tears and grief. there are days ahead when things will have to be broken open in order to be put back together. but.....there is also healing ahead. and I can do that, too.
don't let your struggle become your identity. don't let it.
I came scarily, dangerously close to making that mistake.

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