I have learned many things about grief in the past two months but among the top is every one grieves differently, but it is exhausting to all of us.
I was just telling Charlie how my next blog I wanted to write about something more joyous. I was tired of feeling the weight of grief. I wanted to shed this grief coat and dance in the rain.
Not a day later I sobbed in a group Bible Study and spent the next two days in a head fog. I found myself getting lost in my piles of responsibilities: so many tasks to do and not enough time. I saw a meme for hyper vigilance, “I’m so stressed that relaxing makes me more stressed because I’m not working on what’s making me stressed.” I smirked and thought.. “is that not normal?”
I left the hospital two months ago committed to making self-care a majority priority in my life. I made a plan to drink water, work out, prepare a healthy mental diet and give myself space in the week to have strong emotions in a safe place. Ironically, I can even stress about my lack of self-care (insert eye roll).
This past week I found myself in a frenzy worn out from my lack of self-care and worries bouncing around in my head. I was frustrated that I was frustrated. I felt guilty for letting these worries get out of hand. After all, I had planned to be extra kind to myself. Suddenly, I felt like I was failing at everything. I was exhausted. I went to bed.
The next morning, I sat in silence for a few moments and I heard heart whispers from God, “who told you that you are drowning?” “Who told you that you aren’t doing things right?” “Who told you that you aren’t enough?” I felt rest.
You see a few days before in that bible study, the one I sobbed in right after saying, “hi my name is Olivia and I have 4 kids(?)”, we watched Lysa TerKeurst on video. She told the story of the Garden of Eden. She spoke of the two things God asked Adam and Eve when they were hiding after eating the forbidden fruit: where are you and who told you, you were naked? She elaborated on our need to get our knowledge and truth from God. “Where are you” leads us to come to Him and “who told you” leads us to listen to Him.
Friday morning I heard the questions rephrased in my situation. Who said you are drowning? God switched my perspective. I remembered He walks on water. He split the seas. “Who told you, you aren’t doing things right?” I knew I was wearing the wrong lenses. I knew I had slipped into viewing things near sided. I had slipped into tunnel vision and perfectionism was rearing its ugly head. Big Sigh. Grief is exhausting and exhaustion is a vulnerable place where my fears can sprout faster than weeds in the spring.
Thankfully, there is something beautiful about how a little sleep and a fresh perspective can restore a soul. I got up and placed my new glasses on; my focus changed. I suddenly could see all the ways we were conquering. I could see our victories. Although, my to-do list was still the same length the worries were less. Self-doubt and guilt were no longer in view, which lightened my load. I rose for the day knowing who and where to look.