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This is a Test!

Neil

This is a test.  What would you do if you had to smile in the face of adversity?  Smile in the face of anger or aggravation?  Smile in the face of hurt or pain?  What would you do?  Could you handle it or would you want to punch the lights out of something or someone?  Would you want to ram your car into a brick wall?  Would that make you or anything in your life feel better?

True story!  Back before Christmas I was going through a hard time.  I was lonely.  Being single is not fun.  I don’t care what people tell you – they lie.  I was having medical issues.  Getting old hurts and it can be painful.  Old injuries flare up and cause things to happen you would never want to wish on anyone.  I was stressed out about my life – my job – and my financial situation.  I wasn’t in the best place with the relationship I had with my two children.  I was in a poor pitiful me state.  I think the only person I felt okay with was God.  I did a lot of praying and a lot of asking “Why is everything in my life such a mess?” “What did I do to deserve this?” “What can I do to change it?” I knew I could only control myself but “myself” was in a state of distress.  A state of not wanting to get out of bed.  I literally felt like I had no reason to get out of bed – why bother?  Right?  Everything I was going to do would be done by me alone.  If I don’t want to clean the house, no one cares and no one even knows.  I just felt terrible and I didn’t even like myself!

For about six (6) months previously, I had been hearing God say – you are going to hit the wall.  I heard this loud voice in my head every time I got into my SUV to drive.  I kept thinking why am I hearing this – you are going to hit the wall.  What did it mean?  Was it about my car or was it about me emotionally?  I thought that if it was about my car, that was crazy.  I was not going to hit a wall because I was careful about pulling out of parking spaces in my parking garage.  So I thought it had to be meant about me emotionally.  Of course, I paid it no attention.  It made no sense to me.

A Saturday came and I had been invited to go to Summerville to be a fill in Bunco player.  I don’t know much about the game but I have learned enough to be a fill in when they need someone because one of their regular gals is out.  As I got in my car to leave, I was thinking about how I didn’t want to go.  I was in a bad mood in my head.  I felt sorry for myself – you name it I was feeling it but I knew I needed to keep my promise of saying I would come.  I cranked my SUV,  Parked beside the garage wall, I attempted to pull out and guess what?  I hit the wall!  YES –  I actually hit the freaking wall.  I stopped the car and was in shock.  WOW – OMGosh!  God told me I was going to hit the wall and I did.  He had been telling me this for 6 months.  I can’t believe it happened. This was crazy!

As I sat in my SUV not moving, I decided I had come to my breaking point.  I backed up the SUV and rammed my pretty white SUV into the wall again myself.  I had just had enough.  Sort of like when you are so stressed you feel like running into a tree – but you would never do it.  It is just a thought in your head, but this time I felt I could not take it anymore.  I rammed it into the brick wall of my own free will.  As I pulled out of the garage I shouted out loud the words I could only hear – WELL – THAT DIDN’T GIVE ME ANY SELF SATISFACTION WORTH A DAMN!  I screamed.  I guess I thought by being able to ram my SUV into the wall myself the second time, it was supposed to be a release of everything I had been feeling and in some way be a cleansing to my soul.  This action only made me realize it did not calm the stress or anger or fear in my life.  It did not fix anything.  Believe it or not – I burst into laughter.  Maybe the laughter was an influx of emotion that was the opposite of crying so I was thankful I was not crying.  I really don’t know, but I drove to Summerville thinking about what I had done and feeling that I had no sense of peace or self satisfaction from doing it.  None whatsoever!

What I did learn is this.  Humility is not about thinking less of yourself.  It is about thinking of yourself less.  Get it?  I was so self consumed in myself that I could not see the blessings God has given me.  I am a good person.  I am blessed in so many ways.  I have a roof over my head and food on my table.  I have clean clothes to wear and I have family and friends.  God loves me all the time – even to the end of the earth.  Matthew 28:20 says “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” This comforts me.  When I feel alone, I know that God is there.  Funny how I could be mad at myself or other people but not be mad at God?  Most of the time people get mad at God first.  Let’s just blame ole God.  Nope I didn’t.  I have learned enough to know that all the negative things that happen to me or that I hear in my head – God would never do it or say it.  Sort of like asking yourself – “Who told you that, because God would never tell you that!” No – he would not.

I decided after having some time to come to my senses that I am the only one who can drag myself out of the pity party.  I need to be more in control of myself and how I feel and react to things.  I made a promise to be more thankful and be more kind to myself and everyone else.  Have more gratitude and to tell myself that although I can not control what other people do and say, I can control me.  Sort of like a “What would Jesus do?” thing.  When I approach someone who is not friendly, I make excuses for them.  Stuff like – ” Well, they must have had a bad day.” Or see someone doing something mean, I think “Well I will pray for them.” I know if you are reading this you are probably thinking she is one crazy woman, but I have to be able to justify it in my head that things could be worse and to know I am praying for someone who may need it in hopes that someone is also praying for me too.  I step back and try to think of how to be at peace.  To live in peace and to not worry so much.  I am still working on it but I know if I leave it in God’s hands he always works it out for my good – in his own timing.

What can you do to change your life for the better?  NASA astronaut, Neil Armstrong’s most famous line – “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Maybe we can relate this same message to our own life each day.  A simple smile to someone in the grocery store who looks at you – could be your one small step.  Maybe they can pay it forward to the next person and on and on it goes – then you have one giant leap for mankind.  We not only can change our attitude and our own world around us we can do this small act of helping to take the leap for mankind to make the world a better place.  Get out of your own head.  I am working on getting out of mine.  Then maybe – just maybe – no one has to hit the wall ever again.  Be Blessed!  Hugs.

 

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