I’m thankful today for this feeling, this not-sad-feeling. Even though I didn’t sleep very well, and even though I cried last night, today is a new day. God’s mercies ARE new every morning. It doesn’t hurt that the sun is out, bright and blazing today. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve had a whole morning of silence, of taking life slowly and drinking it all in. It helps that I had a good book to read and got to stay in my robe and sleep in most of the morning. It helps that I’m looking forward to the gym, if not the exercise, then at least the tanning bed. That’s how I bribe myself in order to make myself go. If you work out for 30 minutes, then you can tan. Ooh la, la. Luxury. But the funny thing is that I actually like the work, or maybe just the feeling of being one who works out. Perhaps there is something to be said for endorphins after all. All I know is that I feel light today, hearty – maybe even happy.
There are so many times that I get scared this feeling will never come back. Just about every time I get sad, in fact. Nipping on the heels of sadness is the thought that this is all there is: my life will be one long season of depression from here on out. But it’s not true. There are still wonderful feelings to be had, joy to be felt, love to be shared and peace and contentment. It’s not all fear and sadness. Yes, there is a lot wrong in the world, a lot that makes me want to crawl back under the covers and stay there, but there is still good in the land of the living and I must move toward it.
We watched a movie the other night and at one point, in a dire, hopeless circumstance, the main character gives a speech about how he will not be overcome by despair. It preached to me. So often I think my emotions are beyond my control. Good and bad, they threaten to overwhelm me as I am a person who’s so easily overwhelmed. But it’s not true. I have choices; I have a choice to make. And on this day, in this moment, I’m choosing life. I’m choosing to take care of myself, to do the work set before me – the good deeds God planned for me before I was born.
The choices will not always be easy, and I won’t always do the right thing. I’ll mess up a whole lot before it’s all over because life is tough and nobody makes a perfect score. But as Katherine Patterson said, “Nothing to make you happy like doing good on a tough job, now is there?”
Of course just putting this all down and thinking about sharing it with the world has brought tears to my eyes again. I believe they’re good ones though, the kind that rinse off the dirty edges of your soul.
Here’s to not eating the darkness today, friends. Instead let’s swallow lots and lots of light.