I started watching Christmas movies yesterday. I know, I know, it’s early. Halloween just happened and the fall leaves are only now starting to fall. I typically wait until the Friday after Thanksgiving to start watching Christmas movies, but this year I needed the holiday joy a little early.
I’m a pretty reasonably happy girl. I love life. That is the narrative that I have been telling myself since I was a young girl.
“Valerie is a nice girl. She is so sweet and kind. And she always considers others. She’s so selfless and organized and has a beautiful smile. She is happy.”
When things go right, I say that about myself. When things go left, I say that about myself. And the statements aren’t entirely false, but lately I have been questioning this narrative. With the transition of natural seasons, I have been feeling really hard emotions: Anger. Stress. Frustration with Covid and what it’s doing to the world. Stuck. Annoyed with toxic people who used to be friends. Not feeling heard.. and a plethora of other emotions too long to list. I know this season of transformation is necessary, but I’m ready for it to let up!!! I asked God if He could speed this up, so we can get to the good part. After I prayed, this scripture fell in my spirit:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 116:33
The narrative that I have been telling myself has failed me. I kept trying to live a problem free life and it was taking its toll on me. It has kept me from truly embracing the human experience for what it is-- ever changing and non-static, hard and beautiful all at the same time. By reinforcing to myself that I am a “nice girl” I was essentially saying that experiencing pain, hurt, and betrayal were things I should never encounter in life. I was living in a bubble of unrealistic expectations with regards to life experiences.
This spiraled into depression. I often felt confused and sad when things didn't pan out or happen according to my plan. As I continued to grow and evolve, my joy diminished because I found it increasingly difficult to adapt to the ebbs and flows of life. I was on an emotional roller coaster of reality vs my expectations and I got sick of it.
It is only now that I am beginning to understand that life is filled with ups and downs and all arounds. It’s not about trying to escape it unscathed (because that is impossible), but rather about celebrating and living in the moment. I started the journey of being honest and true to myself - with regards to the narrative I tell myself and it has been life changing. Now I say:
“Valerie is work in progress. She works daily on maintaining boundaries that create a safe space for her all the while honoring her true desires and needs”
Yea. I like this narrative much better.
To connect with Valerie, follow the links below!