Friday, July 19, 2013

It is what it is

I'm not patient. Or slow to anger. Or someone who thinks things through. I’m rash. And I move quickly. But mostly, I freak out about things very far in advance so that I can maximize my concern. I’m not unstable; I'm just very concerned about everything. Everything that could happen. Might happen. May or may not occur. Also see: things that I believe will blow up in my face.
I spend a lot of time worrying about a lot of things. And most of the time, those things aren't nearly as bad as I thought. Which results in a lot of wasted energy and a good deal of unnecessary stress. But the icing on this cake of worries is my concern about things I cannot control. Oh, how I wish I just had more control.

If my problematic personality traits were train tracks, my ability to worry would be a steam engine. It’s the vehicle behind everything I concern myself with—in my life and the lives of those around me. The hypotheticals, they slay me. And on occasion, cause me to fly off the tracks a bit. It’s a problem.

So much so, that I saw a therapist. And she told me that I was too worried about how worried I was about everything. She gave me printouts about topics like “over-thinking” and “dangerous self-talk” and then told me, with brutal honesty, I didn't need therapy. Bless her clinical heart.

What I've gleaned from my life experience is this: worrying about the things you cannot control is useless, pointless, and harmful. The same can certainly be said for the frustrations felt over things being unfair.

It is what it is.

It's your life, the one given to you for a very specific reason---and it's up to you to find out what that reason is. I remember watching an episode of Oprah a few years ago and she was speaking to a woman who had cancer and knew she was dying.

"Do you ever say, 'Why me?' " Oprah asked.

"Why not me?" she responded with a knowing smile. "Why not you? Why not any of us?"

It hit me like a ton of bricks: trauma doesn't discriminate. It comes for the young, the wealthy, the happy, and the beautiful just the same. It just happens. And when something terrible happens to us, our first reaction is to choose to feel we are martyrs.

The fact is, you aren't the first person to go through it (it being whatever ails you, brings you down, makes you feel like your world has exploded) and there are plenty of other people who have had the same experience and lived to see another day. Who have allowed time to heal them and found happiness.

I still feel like I'm the center of the universe sometimes--like I'm an island of one, residing alongside all of my problems. But take the time to share your life and you'll quickly find you aren't alone. In fact, you are never alone. There are many, many people who have been there. Some who have done that. And still others who will tell you it gets better as time passes.

Time is a thief, but also one of the best healers that exists in your life. Let it happen. Stop trying to fight it and just let it wash over you, like waves on a sandy beach. Time really does heal. Time truly does teach. And time will give you the chance to start fresh.

I'm a work in progress. Most days, I understand that I always will be. I'd venture to say, without knowing much about you, that you are too. Sharing my story, along with my heartbreak, has healed me more than anything else I've ever done.

I have much more to be thankful for than I do to be miserable about. I seek out the love in this world, and choose joy over bitterness (which would, honestly, be a much easier choice). And in doing so, I've managed to heal my heart.

 Take off your armor. Let down your guard. Be honest with yourself and everyone else. Allow your faults to show in a way that makes you feel vulnerable. What happens next just might surprise you.

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