I have been feeling a little under the weather.
And I don’t mean in a physical sense.
I have been fighting.
One day I’ll write more about this life-long struggle to keep my head above water.
But the bottom line is that I’ve learned and am still having to learn how to cope with my crazy.
Whatever you wanna call it.
Truth be told, I think that we all have a little bit of crazy in us but most of us have learned to live with our eccentricities, revealing some of our struggles but not all, keeping our deepest vulnerabilities undercover lest people see exactly how full of holes we really are.
But I have holes.
I think many of us do.
Our lives are like a field.
A mine field.
Our minds or our hearts can each be the kind of field where if you misstep or another person missteps on your territory, something might explode.
Some of the explosions are small.
Our hearts beat a bit faster. We feel anger, anxiety, sadness or some other kind of raw emotion but we have the power in the moment to minimize the damage and to keep going.
But sometimes the explosions are big.
They are disastrous.
We aren’t blown to pieces but we are left dismembered, dragging ourselves away from the combustive place, and possibly even the carnage left near the gaping hole in the field – in our lives.
Or worse, other people are left – those we love or those we don’t – and they are blown away because they happen to be on our territory.
And people are bleeding.
It might be you. It might be others.
I’ve written a Proverbs 31 devotional about how important it is that Real Love Bleeds and how we must consciously give of ourselves to others even when it hurts.
But I’m reminded that bleeding for love is not the only kind of bleeding that is going on.
Sometimes you are bleeding because you are in a battle with yourself.
You are injured because you are in a fight for your life.
You are in a fight not to fall victim to sabotaging thoughts, negative patterns of self-talk, or coping mechanisms that keep you from dealing with the real issues at hand.
I’ve been there.
And I don’t have the answers.
I don’t have a cute, wonderfully packaged solution that will give you the “five steps” to win the fight for your peaceful mind, happy heart, or a naturally positive outlook.
What I do have are some thoughts from me to you that I hope will be a bit of a bandage, a balm for hurting places, or at least a shoulder to lean on and learn from.
First of all, make no bones about it.
You are not imagining your heartache or your pain.
It is real.
Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s not.
Be honest with yourself and with others who are safe places.
It’s ok to admit that you are in a battle.
Second, there is probably not an easy answer or an easy way out.
You will have to fight.
And there is nothing wrong with being a fighter.
In fact, brave, courageous and strong people fight.
They fight because there is something worth fighting for.
You, my friend, are worth fighting for.
So don’t you give up.
If and when you find yourself in a dark, desolate place, don’t settle for staying there.
Now, there are times when you need time and space to heal. You may need a healthy distance from places or people to give yourself room to do essential self-repair. But then there are times when being in an independent place for too long is unhealthy and you need to reach down deep and find the strength to pull yourself up and move forward – even if it means limping forward or leaning on someone else’s shoulder when you can’t support yourself.
Fight. Even if that means asking someone else to help you do just that.
Lastly, talk to God and let Him talk to you.
He made you.
So He already knows about your crazy and He’s totally not intimated by it.
In fact, He’s utterly comfortable navigating your crazy, adept at managing your messy, and leading you through your landmines. He’s even quite qualified to treat your resulting injuries.
He and I have had some major “sessions” and at the end of the day, I’m always glad I’ve been honest with Him and relieved that I’ve been completely transparent with at least one other Person.
Then I’ve learned to let Him talk to me.
There is this principle in the Bible about renewing your mind.
You do this by replacing your thoughts (that may not always be the best) with His thoughts (which are always better than your own).
And bottom line?
Reading God’s Word works.
Again… I’m not trying to minimize your pain or give you easy, quick steps out of your difficult place.
But I am telling you that you can’t stay there forever.
You can attempt to cover it up. You can even try to dress it up. But if the struggle is real – and it can be very real – and you won’t be able to conceal it always.
At some point, you will have to deal.
Eventually you will need to get your wits about you and fight your way out.
You may not feel like you can.
But this is me… telling you…
That. You. Can.
Even if you have to do it one step, one minute, or one tear at a time.
I know that you think you don’t have one more of anything in you.
But you do.
Come on my friend, fight.
Just one more of whatever you’ve got left.
And know that you are not the only person out there learning to cope with your crazy.
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