I Am My Feelings

I spent most of Saturday in bed.  And I wasn’t even sick.  I’ve just been struggling with life.  Its not too busy, its not too stressful, its just me.  I once said that my struggle with depression is like a pit.  I have not fallen this deeply in a few years now.  But this weekend, I looked at that pit and decided to jump in.

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I gave the pit almost an entire day.  And many calories.  And many hours of tv.  And tears.  And the whole day I was wondering what I would write about this week.  How could I offer hope when I was sitting in the dark?

Then I picked up one of the notebooks I have laying around and found this phrase I had jotted down.  I am not my feelings.  That phrase kept going through my head.  Here I was, having the worst day I had had in a long time, but I remembered something.  This doesn’t define me.  

Having one bad day does not mean that I have to be that person now.  The truth is, I’ve been on the verge of the pit for weeks now, and I didn’t do all the things that I know to do.  I actually did pretty much the opposite.  What I should have done is call my homeopath, taken a lot of walks outside, watched less tv, ate only really healthy foods, talked to my husband and maybe a friend, spent more time with God.

But I did pretty much the opposite.

So I found myself in bed for a whole day.  I looked at that pit and jumped right in.  I failed at this whole thing.  Then Sunday morning, I got up, put on some pretty clothes and curled my hair and I took myself to church.  But I didn’t just go, I went and met with God.  I listened to the preaching, and I preached to myself.  We went for a walk in the beautiful spring weather.  We also ate ice cream, but baby steps, right?

This morning I’m eating strawberries and doing my writing beside my sunny window.  And this is the hope I have to offer today - You are not your feelings.  And we all fail sometimes, but we don’t have to be defined by a couple of weeks of terrible feelings and a day in bed.  We can get back up.  Try again.  We can ask God for help to get those feelings under control.

We can choose to sit in the sunlight even when we feel like hiding in the dark.  And that choice you make, in spite of your feelings, defines you far more than your feelings ever can.