This Race Called Life

We all have times in life when we feel inadequate.  Times where, no matter what we do, no matter how many accolades we receive from others, we just don’t feel like we are worthy.  The timing of our heartbeat is off, our soul is wounded and there’s an empty black space inside of us. It’s like you’re fighting your way through a thick fog. When you’re walking in your cloud of darkness and despair, there seems to be no end in sight.  Every step you take saps your energy, daily tasks are a burden, and finding something to smile about in life just seems to be impossible.  I can vouch that I’ve been there, where the trouble that isn’t supposed to last always seems to be a never-ending barrage of tumultuous rain. You pray for relief, but all you get is another deafening blow.  Your hope is hanging on by one hand on a ledge and screaming for your help.  Your mind has taken over and, instead of being a source of encouragement and now you can’t even bring yourself to face the person reflecting back in the mirror.  

Depression and constant sadness are topics that are continuously swept under the rug or hidden from those around us.  Those of us who are clever enough to hide it; paint on a smile, silently swallow the tears, will our heart not to bleed, and drown out our pain in the noise of others. But then, we go home and the mask we wore must be removed. The feelings of inadequacy, disgust, irrelevance, and unworthiness stalk in and cloud our psyche with shadows.  The feelings inside cannot be explained and all you know is there’s a dull ache inside that no form of medication can pacify.  You feel broken and unable to be repaired. You feel like no one around you could ever comprehend or understand.  I’m here to tell you that, we all have suffered from the same thing.  We’ve all taken massive blows.  We’ve all suffered loss.  We’ve all felt undeserving, not good enough, and unable to get a handle or a grip on the sadness within.  And yet, there is hope. 

When you look around, take a step back and allow yourself to not wallow in your own despair, the sadness you feel inside can be washed away.  How? First and foremost, by casting all your cares at the feet of our Creator.  Through prayer and faith in God, there is no sorrow that can’t be turned to joy, no wound that can’t be healed, and no sea of tears that cannot be washed away.  In Him, we can find joy, peace, and a renewed love for ourselves and our lives.  Second, we can take the focus off of ourselves and think about those around us who deeply love and care for us.  How would their lives be altered if we continue to allow despair and sorrow to have it’s way? If nothing else, we must find joy and happiness in the role we play in the lives of others and, if we can’t find the strength to do it for our own sake, we must find the strength to endure for those we love.  Next, we must take a step back and look at those around.  Place ourselves in someone else’s shoes and, see that our situation often pales in comparison to that of others.  Our sorrows, our hardships, our pains are but a small portion when compared to those who are truly going through.  Selflessness can bring you out of each and every situation and reveal to us just how blessed and fortunate we truly are.  Lastly, when all else fails, talk to someone. Let them know how you’re feeling inside and be sure to allow them the opportunity to assist you on your journey to healing.  

In closing, I tell you this.  I am strong, determined, driven, educated, loved, revered, trusted, and a true believer in Christ but, I too have my moments.  Times when I feel less than blessed. Moments when I feel inadequate and worthless.  Periods when I just want to escape this life of mine and become someone or something else.  Life is hard and no doubt trials will come but I’ve learned to talk about how I feel.  Let my insecurities be known so that I can get the reassurance and encouragement that I need.  I get down on my knees and pray; allow God to work.  I make it my mission to encourage others in the midst of my storm and suddenly, when I look around, the storm has passed over, the clouds have moved on and the sun is shining, brighter than any star in the heavens.  Strength comes from lifting weights, endurance and training.  The tests and trials that we go through is our training. It prepares us to run in this marathon called life.  There are times when we shall grow weary, times when we will thirst, and times when we may want to give up but, the prize at the end of our journey, must be enough to keep us putting one foot in front of the other. Just know, that in order to break the ribbon at the end, you first have to approach the starting line at the beginning.  Stay in the race. Never give up and never give in for life is not a sprint, but a slow and steady jog.  Hope this helps someone. Be blessed.