This whole long-winded blog post came from driving in the car with Scott last night and saying: "I feel like I'm better than I used to be." He agreed, and told me he noticed I was living by a whole new set of motto's. I asked what he thought those were and he said:
"Put God first and you will be happy,
Don't feel guilty about being sad, and
Try to come up with the most effective thing to say to get your point across."
I laughed at the last one because I am notorious for just saying what I think but Scott told me that I STILL say whatever I want, he just noticed it's a lot less emotionally driven and more to-the-point than it used to be. Some people call it "being assertive."
I sat back and thought a little about how these motto's have become such a part of my life when, just a few short months ago, they didn't seem to be there at all.
Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I went kicking and screaming in our move to Utah. And then, for two months, I just screamed. In fact, when Scott and I talk about that time period, we call it "when Carrie was still screaming." I was very unhappy, sad, depressed, anxious, what have you. But on top of all of it, I felt a huge, looming amount of GUILT for feeling all of those things.
Because when you're righteous, you're happy right? When you're healthy, you're happy. When you're SANE you're happy. So, because I did not feel happy, I assumed I must not be any of the other things either. And this made me feel bad. WORSE than bad. It made me feel like I did not deserve happiness ever again because I was such a horrible, sad person.
And a little voice in my head was all: "You should put God first in your life and see what happens" and I was all: "I don't have TIME to do EVERYTHING I'm supposed to to put God first!" And then, as if to prove to myself it wouldn't work, I slowly did a little bit to put God first. I would read my Bible first thing in the morning. Most of the time, it was really frustrating because I would expect to feel some grand amount of peace and happiness but I didn't feel much. At first, I would get up at noon, read a chapter in the scriptures and go back to bed. I thought it was pointless, but I kept doing it. I can not tell you the steps or moments that turned me around, but I can tell you that I am AMAZED how much my life and perspective have changed in the last 4 months.
One of the biggest changes came when, over time, I realized that it was the guilt that was holding me back. Guilt, and feeling like I had to be perfect right away instead of going through a process of making my life better. I felt bad that I felt bad! But here's the thing: feeling sad, angry, hurt, depressed, these are all feelings that come with this life. No one is exempt from them. If we do not know the sorrow, how can we know the joy? Sorrow is essential to our life on earth. Allowing myself to feel it and then reminding myself that I was STILL OKAY helped me so much.
Getting out of this rut with God's help has brought me closer to Him than I had thought possible. Like I said, life is a PROCESS so I'm not where I want to be, but my marriage is better. My mental health is better. I find that I am passionate about what path my family is on and take an active role in making sure we headed in the right direction. I find that while I still say pretty much whatever comes to mind, I am more patient with people and stop myself to think what the most effective thing to say will be. Not too long ago, I used to just shout out whatever I wanted and then threw my hands in the air and said: "I just say what I feel, and if they don't like it too bad for them!" Sick right? What am I? 13 years old? There is a level of tact that comes with being a grown-up. I am far from where I want to be with this, but at least now I'm getting there. At least now I'm realizing that feeling like the world should accept whatever you say whenever you say it just because you FELT it right then is not being a passionate person- but being a self-centered one. Like I said, I still have a long way to go because I am so emotionally charged, but with God's help, I know I'll be able to reach my goal.
So there you have it.
I do not write this post to pat myself on the back or try to "motivate" anyone to become like me. It might sound like I am oh-so-proud of myself but really, I am just in awe at how little I have changed and how the grace of God has blown up that change into blessings I highly doubted were possible. I am far from where I want to be, but for the first time in a long time I feel like I am PROGRESSING.
Maybe it took moving to the one place I told Scott not to move me to so I could be compelled to be humble and recognize the journey I'm on. I am no saint, no perfect example. But I write this so I can look back and remember that there was a time in my life that I was happy when I followed the motto's I'm following now. There was a time in my life when God showed me what I could become by being patient with the process and His timing.