I ran across this window while on vacation, and I had this knee jerk reaction where I thought, “well, that’s the quickest way to be depressed”. I know because I lived this way for awhile. It was all about me. I think it was a response to having zero time to myself when my kids were young. Or maybe it was what I thought would make me happy because that’s what I saw on social media and advertisements- everyone happy, living their best lives by traveling, eating and wearing amazing outfits. Or maybe I’m just coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs- ha!
This was how I was- I don’t feel happy today, I don’t feel fulfilled, why am I always in the long line, I shouldn’t have said that, I made a mistake …again, did I say the right thing, did I do the right thing, is this what I should be doing with my life, why am I so anxious, why am I so worried, why am I not happy…etc.
For awhile, I thought I was just being self-aware and conscientious of others, but then I learned this thinking can actually be a form of pride. After all, being a martyr and being a victim (both of which I was obviously caught up in) are focused on self, even if it isn’t about how great I am. Instead, it was about how everything and everyone was affecting me (gosh, I sound like a brat. Ha!) Anyway, that self-absorbed thinking led me on a downward spiral, and I wish I could say that it doesn’t happen to me anymore, but I’d be lying.
But, here’s what I’ve learned:
1. I try to remember that God is in control of everything. Every single word, gesture and mistake made can be used for His good. My little ol’ mistakes in what I say or do can still be used in His plan. After all, he is the ultimate perfecter of all things. Plus, we are not perfect people, and when you think about yourself and your imperfections all the time, it is pretty depressing.
2. Self-care and thinking about one’s self are very different. The former isn’t focusing on myself as much as it is taking care of myself so I can get beyond myself! If I haven’t slept, there is no way I can stop my brain from spinning -ha!
3. It’s ok to not be happy all the time. This world is hard, and this life is hard. I was made with a range of emotions for a reason. Even though I may see people look constantly happy on social media, I remind myself that these are just the highlights… just like my Instagram is just the highlights! I mean, does anyone really want to see my son’s throw up all over his bedroom? Ha! Oh, and Jesus wept! He wasn’t happy constantly, and he was perfect!
4. I remind myself that this life in not about me (DUH! – Oh gosh, did I really just admit that I have to tell myself this sometimes?!). It’s about loving God and loving others. The quickest way to happiness is to serve and love others. Get busy loving or doing something good for others.
So all that to say, in the end, it is…NOT all about me.
God is big and mighty, and he’s in control… not me! I can move past me and let him be GOD! The faster I can remember this and wholly own this, the better off I’ll be!