This past Sunday our church welcomed a guest Pastor who was so bad-ass that for the first time in my life I felt the urge to stand up and shout “AMEN” mid-sermon. Although I usually find myself in my reserved cushioned pew seeking comfort and security, this time I left leaving altogether inspired.
The theme of the service was “The Persistence of Prayer,” although I couldn’t help but mentally re-name it “The Beauty of Soul Searching,” because it seemed to me that what we were really talking about was that raw, vulnerable moment when we find ourselves praying so fiercely that we are pouring out the inner most layers of our being. I started thinking of all the people who I pray for; how there are so many in this world who face daily battles, whether they’re small, big, emotional, or physical—so many of us qualify for that “pre-existing condition” just in waking up each morning.
This post isn’t meant to push my personal beliefs on you, because quite honestly, whoever it is you speak to you when you pray is none of my business. But if you’ve had one of those moments of desperation recently, then you know what it’s like to reach the end of your rope—and this something I’m seeking to overcome, so it may be worth sharing some tips with you. What else can we do other than persistently pray? (….and tie a knot to hang on for dear life).
5. Helping someone else.
Did you ever read the quote—“The best way to cheer yourself up is by cheering someone else up.”? Well, it’s true. If you don’t believe me, then try it. Often times when I’m having a rough day, I reach out to someone who’s hurting. Sometimes I’ll even be creative and write a mini haiku, make them a sign, buy them their favorite candy—you get the picture. The creative juices almost always bring a smile to my face, and distract me from whatever it is that’s causing the bummin’. Plus, you’re helping a friend, and we can all agree in the beauty of that.
4. Get nostalgic.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent an hour just watching videos saved on my phone from two years ago. Some people disagree with reminiscing in the “good old days,” but if you’re careful about which season of your life you choose to re-live, it will validate the fact that there were happy times prior to whatever it is you’re going through—and alas, there is hope.
I don’t mean to be cliché, but seriously; go to Target and buy yourself a new pair of shoes. Go right now.
2. Speaking of cliché, be it.
You know all of those tawdry, exasperating things people tell you to do when they are trying to cheer you up? Ie. sign up for a daily motivational text, eat ice cream, watch your favorite movie, write it out, go to the gym, have a glass of wine (or three); the list goes on. I know it’s sometimes the last thing you want to hear, but this has become the go-to list of suggestions for a reason. And hey, if you’re already at the end of your rope—what have you got to lose? Sometimes my morning e-mail from the universe marks my very first smile of the day.
1. Surround yourself with the up-lifters.
You know who I mean. Whoever it is that never fails to make you smile, to point out the obvious (that you’re still alive), to listen, to simply be there—whatever it is they do for you, whoever they are, don’t allow the heaviness of your heart to outweigh the blessing that you have in them. They’re in your life for a reason. Confide in them, let them be there for you, and never underestimate the power of good girlfriends.
I hope you find a reason to smile today, we’re all climbing up this mountain together.