Let’s be honest, I’m not happy with who I am. That’s become pretty obvious as of late. For several years actually. Putting appearances aside because that’s a whole other issue, I get in these moods where I hate who I am so much that I would rather stay inside all day, hiding, than have to face people and let anyone see me. Whatever version of myself I can’t seem to help but be in that moment. But I can’t do that. I have jobs to go to, errands to run, friends to keep up with, family to spend time with, fun to have in spite of my emotions, a life to live. I want to hide, I want to disappear completely, but I won’t because I will never allow myself to live in a downward spiral. And when I’m being totally honest, I don’t really want to shut myself away, I just think that that’s what I deserve.
I’ve grown to hate, and yes I mean totally unabashedly hate, my quiet nature; the way I shut down mentally at times. Or a lot of times. I haven’t felt like enough of anything for at least three years. I feel unfortunately incompetent, like no matter how hard I try I just can’t keep up. With anyone, with anything, with God. I expect everyone I meet to leave me, get tired of me, dislike me. I’ve gotten to the point where I am genuinely shocked when somebody continually pursues me and I start to wonder what their motive is. Is it pity? Do they actually enjoy my company? Oh, that’ll change, don’t worry. But I do worry. Constantly.
I wish my brain would shut up sometimes and leave room for thoughts that will make me actually interesting instead. I wish I didn’t think about myself and how I feel as much as I do. The irony, right?
I think about death way too much for someone who’s just dying to live.
I could say, “God, please fix me” but then I’d be missing the point. God isn’t a magical fairy that comes along to fix all our problems and turn us into His perfect little minion robots. At the end of the day, I’m still a human with human problems and emotions. I’m going to have good days and not-so-good days and I will inevitably fail as well as inevitably succeed. It’s human nature with or without the acceptance and acknowledgement of God in our lives.
But damn, I’m going to make things a whole lot easier on myself and choose the option where I get to talk to the actual creator of the world I’m trying to navigate. I’m going to admit that I need saving even if I know I don’t deserve it. If you think prayer doesn’t help, if you think it’s a flat-out sham, you have not been praying fervently enough my friend. Or you’ve been praying with a shitty attitude. Sorry, I’ll behave now.
My point is that I’ll take my chances with the Holy Spirit in me than without it any day. I’m not in a good place right now, but I’m not miserable. Before God, when I got in these funks, I was miserable pretty much 24/7. I didn’t know how to compartmentalize my problems, how to calm myself down and rationalize problems with prayer, how to push bad thoughts away and choose happiness, because I didn’t have much of a reason to. I once told my mom that I wouldn’t want to be alive if I wasn’t living for God because I would no longer have a purpose, and I mean that wholeheartedly.
So did all my problems disappear when I got saved? No. Duh. But my problems became manageable, controlled, and I have a meaningful reason to actually deal with them/face them head on.
I know this is temporary. Yes, this life, but these feelings too. I know I will have days where I don’t really want to be alive, I’ll be honest, but I’m going to have more days where being alive is so worth it because the idea that happiness isn’t a choice is utter bullshit. You want happiness? Talk to God about it and figure out how to get it. Just because it might be harder for some people than others, or it’s harder at certain points in our lives than others, or you don’t feel like you’re skipping and holding hands with Jesus on a rainbow 24/7, doesn’t mean that obtaining overall joy and contentment is impossible. It takes genuine effort. I don’t necessarily fault those who could never figure it out because of course it is more easily said than done; it’s just so sad to watch people fall that it makes me kind of angry.
At the same time, happiness is not everything. The fact of the matter is that there is so much more to life than one fleeting emotion. Does life become meaningless in the moments when you aren’t happy? I used to have that exact mentality until I realized how selfish it is. There are still people to care for, jobs to get done, pets to be looked after, art to be made, parents to be called, school to be attended, books to be read, poetry to be written, beaches to be visited, kids to be taught, cars to be fixed, marathons to be run, companies to be started, charities to be donated to, weddings to be planned, relationships to be formed, love to be given. None of that goes away, none of it becomes irrelevant, none of it becomes inaccessible.
Am I going to ignore the rest of life going on around me just because I don’t always feel up to the challenge? I don’t know, but I shouldn’t. And that’s what I’m trying to get at. Life doesn’t have to stop because you aren’t happy. Truly the only effective and permanent way to learn how navigate life is with God. Simple as that.
I usually only add songs that inspire me to my poetry, but this one is really appropriate so here you go: Scars – Colton Dixon