Well, let me share something I learned yesterday. First of all, let me share where I learned it.
I learned it in therapy.
Hey, at least now the title of my blog makes sense again. I haven't been in therapy since before Al's stroke. So, it was about time that I sought some kind of counseling again since I've been through just a little bit of trial and trauma in the past four years.
Without even mentioning the stroke and the myriad of appointments and interventions and therapies for my husband, I can compile quite a list of stressors that have invaded my life: depression, anxiety, PTSD, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, sleep deprivation, a nervous breakdown, multiple changes in jobs and insurance, and now, for the first time since the stroke, both my husband and I are unemployed, which means we're living just above the federal poverty level.
Oh, and did I mention that three of our children have been violently plunged into puberty, and one of them is currently learning to operate a motor vehicle?
You would think I'd have a therapist on speed dial.
But no, sadly, I haven't made time for therapy since the onset of these tremendous changes in our life almost four years ago.
This will be a story for another time, but I was unexpectedly thrust back into therapy yesterday. And I've already learned a lot.
You might think I should have known this already since I'm very well acquainted with depression and anxiety. But here's the wonderful little nugget of wisdom I learned today and I want to remember this, putting it into practice as much as I can:
Depression is dwelling on the past;
Anxiety is dwelling on the future;
Contentment is living in the moment.
Well, that seems easy, doesn't it? I suspect it will be harder to put a plan into practice according to this truth than simply absorbing the profound realization of that statement.
But it makes so much sense, doesn't it? When I get depressed about my life, it's almost always about my mistakes and seeming lack of ability to deal with all that life has thrown at me. However, Scripture tells me:
Forget the former things;
God is always, always doing something new. And He is never surprised about our situations, our reactions, or our disobedience. He is always one step ahead of us (or maybe a thousand steps?), working it all together for our good and for His glory.
And if anxiety is worrying about the future, then what is my problem, exactly? Really? Okay, so I really do want some things in our life to change. And it is really scary to think about the lack of definition for our future when neither Al nor I have jobs.
So now, as I accumulate the proper tools, I will work on cultivating contentment.
Living in the Moment.