I’m not much of a party animal. I like to be in bed by 9 p.m., and nothing… food, events, even good company, can draw me out much past that.
But pity parties? I’m the queen bee of those. And never mind a self-imposed curfew. I can rock that party day OR night.
These past few weeks I’ve been particularly soulful. Feeling sorry for myself, more emotional than usual, and generally overwhelmed. Sometimes life just feels like a lot. More than I can handle, certainly. I get frustrated and edgy and my mind starts to stress. “Why me?” is a common thought. “It’s not fair,” comes a close second.
You see, it’s so easy to live in a vacuum, feeling all-consumed with everything around you and forgetting the depth of what’s around the corner. The stuff you cannot see, don’t hear, and conveniently forget. I’m talking about the homeless man who sits by the coffees hop you frequent, or your college friend whose daughter is sick. The family member dealing with fertility struggles. The colleague trying to quit smoking.
Everyone is dealing with life. Big, serious life. And the more I remember that, the better my perspective. I recognize my small stresses for precisely what they are — SMALL. I reevaluate my big stresses for the truth — OVERCOMABLE. And I remember the heartbreaking life challenges are IN GOD’S HANDS.
I was in a bible study this week and the beauty of perspective took over. Everyone looked relaxed, engaged and joyful. It was only when we cut through the surface that the realities of all our situations broke through. We are all overwhelmed with challenges. Some gut-wrenching, others overcomable. As I listened to stories of family loss, painful breakups and other tragedies, I gave thanks for my reality. My life and my truth. Not because my life is better, but because my truth was made for me.
As hard as some days get, I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone. I wouldn’t change my family, friends or situations. All of them help me be a better person. All of them are important in their own way. God is in control. He is running this show and he knows what I can handle. He also knows how much I’m capable.
We all love to play the Fake it Til You Make It game. And most of us are extremely good at it. It’s hard to look past a smile and pleasantries and realize there may be stress, grief or fear behind those eyes. It’s easy to skim Facebook and think there’s nothing going on behind the scenes. But there is. There always is.
Next time I throw myself a little pity party. Next time I feel a twinge of jealousy for the friend who has it all. Next time I agonize “Why me?”… I will consider perspective and remember just how good I’ve got it. Perspective is a beautiful thing.