I learned a valuable life lesson this summer.
The past four months have looked like this: Trying to sell a house, rent a house, find a house, then not moving. Giving up my job, then working. Kids homeschooling, then going to school, then a mix of both. Packing up the house, then unpacking into the same house. Saying goodbye, then reconnecting.
With life turning upside down so much I have definitely not been myself. I have been more emotional, more prone to moodiness and less steady than I normally am. In circumstances where I usually have a well of patience, I have found myself running dry. In moments where I should be thankful and experiencing joy, I have found myself less touched. And while I am coming out of the fog as life is settling down I am realizing that the experience of upheaval has taught me a few things about myself.
There have been many causes or stimulus prodding my feelings. And they have at times taken me over. I have felt surrounded and covered over at those times, unable to crawl out from the feelings that have been created by circumstance. Or at least it felt that way.
What I have learned though, is that I have a choice. While it is important not to deny feelings or bury them in an unhealthy way, I also have the choice on how I respond to them. I can choose to let them sweep me away or I can choose to acknowledge them and be proactive in how I deal with them. For feelings almost always lead to action. And action affects other people in my life.
So, between the stimulus, which spurns my feelings, and the action I take, there is a space. The space where I need to stop. To remind myself that it is just a feeling and feelings pass. That if I wait an hour, or even a day, I may feel differently.
I have been working on living in the space. Not staying stuck in the feeling nor jumping into action. Just staying in the space in between for awhile.
And I will admit that there are times where living in the space is not enough and I need to be deliberate about pulling myself out. This is where I will use something concrete like music. Here is the music I have gone to lately when I’ve needed a boost out of the darkness, and a reminder that I really do have a good, good life.