I feel a little like I’ve begun crawling out from under a rock, or making my way out of a deep pit. It’s a process, and it will take a long time, I’m sure. But I think I’ve begun to emerge.
In the last week or so, I’ve found myself looking around. Noticing the world and my fellow humans in it – far more than I have been able to over the past few months. I find myself gazing out the window at the buds that are bursting on the trees. Or people watching as I sit in my car at a red light. I’ve been having long conversations and renewing connections that went a little cold during the last two years.
And as I look around me, I see two things: first, there is so much beauty to be found when we choose to pay attention (or when we have the energy to pay attention); and two, everyone is weary. In terms of the pandemic, we are in a season of hopefulness, living with fewer restrictions than anytime during the past two years, but we are also aware that Covid isn’t done with us yet.
Add to that the rising cost of – well – EVERYTHING, the ongoing brutality in Ukraine, the worsening realities of climate change, and the polarization of the political landscape….
We are just tired. Tired of things be difficult, tired of uncertainty, tired of things getting worse rather than better.
And I guess in all of this I simply want to encourage you a bit – if you’re feeling that way, you’re not alone. It’s ok to feel not ok – because our world hasn’t been ok for a very long time. But it’s also possible to find a way forward. To change what you are feeling. It’s hard, and I know that exhaustion of our times makes it even more difficult to put the effort in.
If all you can do is hang on, that’s ok, too. Hanging on is a very good thing, because your circumstances WILL change. Hold yourself gently and give yourself credit for making it through each day.
But if you think you are able to make changes, DO. Do not wait. Figure out one thing you can do today – spend time in meditation/breathing exercises/prayer; start making a regular bedtime routine; eat a vegetable or fruit at each meal; make a list of gratitudes; go for a walk and take pictures of the Spring flowers (then look at them when you are down or struggling).
If you need to, make bigger changes: career, relationship, where you live – make those changes, too. (Make sure you talk this over with trusted inner-circle people, and aren’t making huge decisions based on a bad day or a whim. Make a plan to put larger changes into place gradually, don’t just up and quit your job or move across the country. Running away from what you are struggling with will only make life more difficult in the long run.)
May we continue to press on – making it through the day, making the changes that will draw us closer to the life we have in Christ, and remembering that we are never alone.