Tuesday, 20 October 2015

One of the complex reasons behind my feeling a bit bummed out at the moment is how overwhelmed I feel at life's problems. And not just my own. My family and friends are, obviously, very important to me, and when they are troubled my heart kind of sinks with them. But it's also the general state of the world. Another day, another news story, another war, another mass shooting, another case of women being treated as nothing but objects to sell, the gap between rich and poor growing wider and wider. I want to know that these things go on: in fact, I think one of the biggest reasons why there is so much inequality and injustice in the world is that we who are fortunate and powerful enough to protest against it simply aren't paying attention. We bury our heads in the sand. I don't want to be that person that doesn't care enough to give these things space in my head.

But when you are feeling a bit low it's hard to see these things and not to allow them to totally overtake your life and your mood.

Because here's the thing: I have a happy life.

I want to enjoy it.

I want to embrace it.

I want to be positive.

When you're feeling low, you can get drawn into negative things. It's kind of like a virus seeking to grow by finding something to feed on. And so I click on the news stories I know will make me angry and I get sucked into conversations that I shouldn't and then suddenly I feel like

And rather than try and fix it I just moan about it because it's easier.

But everything doesn't suck! A lot of things are amazing and beautiful and good and they deserve to be celebrated.

Sometimes we need to get angry in order to get motivated to make changes. We should be furious at inequality and the rich/poor divide and human trafficking and the growing number of children in poverty. But it is rarely my job to fix those things. It is my job to care about these things, and help out where I can, and to pray for people. But not to get angry and ruminate and get pointlessly stressed about things I can't change.

I want to be more positive. I want to create positive things, or at least, point people in the direction of them. I want to be one of those people that celebrates. 'Look how great all these things are!' Because it's so easy to forget, to let the small joys of life slip through your fingers, unseen, unheard.

I found this the other day:

Which is kind of true actually. The most radiant people I know are positive: they laugh a lot, they talk about positive things, they find joy in everyday life. It does seem to shine out of them, that positivity. It's not fake or forced: these people have problems and heart aches like everyone else. They don't shut themselves off from the wider world. They just have the ability to see the good things in life too.

It's a skill: trying to live in a world of joy and happiness mixed with sadness and heartbreak. Trying to find your way in it can feel uncomfortable sometimes. And I don't always get the balance right. I don't feel bad about that. Sometimes, it's just the way things are. And when you feel low, sometimes the hardest thing is to deliberately force your mind onto something good.

I will carry on enjoying things in my life. I will enjoy

Tickle fights

And unexpected gifts

And kitchen dancing

And important meetings over tea and cake with teddy bears

And laughing helplessly over a deliberately mispronounced word ('bray-voww.')

And that feeling of sinking into bed at the end of a long day

And being in the company of the two people in the world that I love so much that it almost hurts.

And an undeserved love from a wonderful God.

I am privileged to have those things and I don't want to waste them.

For every moment that sees me sinking into darkness, there are many more that bring light.

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