But he who dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.
- Anne Brontë
Trails are difficult when we are going through them. I would not ask from mine back, but I am grateful I have had all of them. I never thought I would say that. There were times when I walked just one day at a time, unable to think of tomorrow.
One of my low points was when I was recovering from pneumonia. All six of our children were still at home, and I was so sick I could hardly get out of bed.One of the girls brought home lice from school. I felt ashamed and embarrassed that my kids had lice! The doctor gave us a prescription for the special shampoo, and we got the special comb.
I was already feeling overwhelmed by my illness, and now I had to wash everything, all the clothes, bedding, and stuffed animals. We threw away a lot of things, including all the dress-up clothes that were played with daily.
Several of our girls had curly hair. Have you ever tried to comb curls with that tiny-toothed ‘nit’ comb? It took hours to get through their thick hair, and it was painful for them.
I felt so overwhelmed I could hardly get out of bed to face the day. I lay there frozen, staring at the ceiling, unable to begin. I listened to the baby cry in the other room and pulled the covers over my head, wishing myself elsewhere. I had to get out of bed. But how was I going to do it?
“One small step at a time,” I said to myself. I rolled out of bed and grabbed a diaper. “I can do this. I can do this,” I repeated. Family prayer. I felt a little better. Kiss the kids as they left for school. Feed the baby.
My day had begun. I turned on some of my favorite music and repeated several scriptures I had memorized—no time to stop and read right now. Prayer. I prayed while I worked.
As the days went by I improved. My pneumonia got better, and I de-liced the house.
How did I pull myself out of my funk?
1. Positive self talk. Our thinking determines our feeling. We have the mistaken belief that it’s the other way around—that our feelings cause our thinking. But if we want to modify our lives, we must change out thinking first.
2. Focus on a small immediate task. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I try not to look at the big picture because it discourages me. I can accomplish one little step at a time—eat the elephant one bite at a time.
3. Music soothes my soul. It can lift my mood when nothing else can. Choose the kind of music that works for you, and let its healing balm engulf you.
4. Prayer is the most powerful tool I have. The AA mantra “Let go and let God,” is a universal principle. Rely on Heavenly Father. He will always get you through. God is my constant companion—my constant strength.
5. I also rely on my scriptures. When I feel like my life is in shambles, reading the scriptures soothes me and fills me with the spirit of peace—even when I’m in turmoil. Sup daily from it and enjoy its curative relief.
What do you do to center yourself and find peace?