The latest tag line for Care By Air is "Care packages designed to help ease life's struggles". Struggles. Strange word - yes? Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue (which, I guess, points to the fact the word embodies the meaning). With 2020 in the books and 2021 slowly emerging from the ashes, it's not hard to forget the struggle that has been life amid a pandemic. In previous posts, I've written about giving pause in our daily lives. I'm fairly confident that the carnage 2020 left behind has given us all pause in so many ways. The experience that was last year has brought us all (proverbially, not literally, I guess) closer. Some might go so far as to say more unified. Still, illness, disease, and division continue, even if Covid-19 is losing steam. Isolation and depression have skyrocketed due to those things, and we have to fight back. (I'll get you references, if you need.) We've got to be proactive with our mental health, most emphatically post-COVID. Be introspective, be inquisitive, and learn to recognize WHY you have these feelings. What, then? SHARE your concerns with others. Make your fears known.
On a personal level, 2021 has brought truth and revelation sandwiched between some feelings of loss and depression. I sought counseling again. (Note: Everyone can benefit from some good old CBT or "cognitive behavioral therapy"!) Through the process, I discovered a few special hand-me-downs I received from my heritage -- anxiety, depression, perfectionism, giftedness, and ADD. All rolled up into a ball. I joke, because that's my nature. But, learning to recognize those connections with my family and parallels in our behavior are exactly what caused me to see that things were just "not right".
I've struggled with depression and anxiety all my life, and am aware of the perfectionist in me. But I've also struggled with focus, memory, follow-through, and overwhelm that I could never explain, until just recently. I'll spare you the boring details. But, I will share that life is so much more freeing now, and I am discovering a certain grace that is not unlike the sun shining through years of storm clouds. It feels amazing and freeing to not admonish myself Every. Damn. Day.
The lesson in this? Grace. Grace. And still, more GRACE. Grace is what I've been shown and taught by my faith to bestow upon myself and others. And, yet, remembering to live graciously is a daily fight. But the moment you're able to discern the difference between life without grace and life with it is a moment of sweet relief. And here's what I hope you take from this post: Give yourself grace = love and mercy and compassion to forgive your mistakes and flaws. (Ok, hold yourself accountable for your actions...fine. But, then let it go!) Be gracious to yourself. Be KIND to yourself. Realize the impact that living in today's world can have and has had on you. You are one person, and God has given you a combination of talents, gifts, personality traits, and other stuff that are an incredible recipe of goodness. I truly believe that. No lies. No nonsense. Just a big yummy bowl of sweet grace...with a cherry on top. Serve it up, People. xo. -Teri-