Hope: I Am Enough

I don’t know if anyone else is like me, but I have problems.

Looking at Facebook, is sometimes seems like I’m the only one. But I don’t post every time I have a bad day, and I guess neither do you.

What I don’t post are days that I cry solely because my brain chemicals are imbalanced. I don’t Facebook that my husband and I already have recurring issues and arguments, something I don’t think people expect from newlyweds. You won’t find my internal battle on your home page, the “I feel fat fat FAT” versus the “I am beautiful no matter what!” All that and more, and you’ll never see a word of it (unless you read this blog, because yeah).

I have problems, and I am growing up. My birthday is coming up pretty soon, as well as the new year. Usually everyone’s gaze turns forward to anticipate the changes that the new year will bring. But right now, I’m looking inward.

Depression does this stupid thing where it robs me of energy plus any hope for the future. And I fall victim to this kind of thought pattern, letting it follow me into days when I would otherwise feel fine. I forget that I’m in my early twenties with most of my life ahead of me. I am a glowing starball of potential, but I forget, and I lose that hope.

So today I am most grateful for the desire to improve, albeit steadily. Although I still have problems and make mistakes it feels like every other minute, I hope I will not lose sight of my current infinite worth and my greater potential. Because remember, you do not decide your worth. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you and believe in you and you belong to them, so you are of infinite worth. At the same time, you can keep improving every day because everyone can learn to live and love better.

This is what hope is to me: Knowing I am good enough, and then trying to be better.

It’s hard, but I try when I can.

 

 

President Drumpf

I didn’t want Drumpf to win but he did.

That night it felt like someone had died. I have received that news late at night before, and it felt similar. About all I could do was get into bed and hope that it was a bad dream.

It wasn’t.

But I’ve been lucky. I’ve been able to hide in our apartment for the most part. Kinda readjusting to this world. Facebook has fifty thousand opinions on how I should be feeling or behaving, but none of them really fit my current internal reality. So I don’t listen to any of the advice.

God has blessed me with an illness for the past few days, so I’ve been distracted by feeling physically miserable and tired. It’s better than thinking hard about disappointment, acceptance, action. “Drink liquids, Maney,” I tell myself. “Get rest. The election results aren’t as immediate and critical as your physical health.”

So that’s been nice.

For those of you who are happy about the results, that is awesome. For those are you who are sad about the results, that sucks. I’m in the sad group. I was really excited to have a female president as cool as Hillary Clinton. :/

The most important thing is for you to take care of yourself. I feel like a lot of my readers are in the mental illness club. There are plus sides of course, like increased empathy, but the down sides can include terrible things like depression and suicide.

I love you all and I want all of you to be safe. Take care of yourself if you are having a hard time right now, whether or not it is related to the election. Talk to someone. Take a break from reality. Eat a PB&J sandwich. Whatever you need to do to feel safe and loved, do it. And if you don’t feel safe and loved, I’m so sorry. Just know that I love you.

Peace, love, etc.

Something Worth Waiting For

I didn’t cry when he proposed to me, but I’m crying now. Looking at the pictures of the proposal, his perfect face glowing with happiness, fills me with an emotion so deep I didn’t even know it existed. I don’t know if it has a name. It involves the knowledge of how unbearable life has been in the past, and seeing how far I have come–how far God has carried me. I am so overcome with gratitude and awe that he, the best, most kind, sincere, and loving human I know, not only loves me, but wants to spend eternity with me.

Depression can suffocate all hope of a happy future, as I know it has done for me. But I urge you to hold on. Please. After all these years, now my tears are of gratitude for my blessed life; of faith in a bright and beautiful future. The darkness, isolation, and hopelessness of my past are quieted by the joy I receive from my relationship with this man. I have felt like there was no more happiness possible for me in life, and now I am the happiest woman on earth.

* * *

“Photograph” by Ed Sheeran

Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul
And it’s the only thing that I know,
I swear it will get easier,
Remember that with every piece of you
And it’s the only thing we take with us when we die

We keep this love in this photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts were never broken
And time’s forever frozen still

My Capital-T Truth

Dear humans who read this,

I hope that the holidays treat you well. I hope they are filled with joy and love, and that all your dreams come true. I hope you look back on December 2015 as one of the best times of your life, and that you move forward into 2016 with renewed energy and hope.

But if you are struggling, if you feel alone or depressed or abandoned or empty, if darkness surrounds you and you don’t see a light ahead in your future, lift up your eyes.

There is always hope in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of Him, we never need lose faith in a better tomorrow. His Atonement will make up for every unfair thing in this life. It is with His light that I have survived some of the darkest nights of my life. I know that He loves me, and if He loves me, then He certainly loves you, too.

Don’t give up. There is always light ahead. I understand hopelessness, and the anger that can result from it. I have turned from God and lashed out at Him in prayer, blaming Him for struggles and pains that we all inevitably face in our earth life. I know that He knows me by name, and He is constantly aware of me, of my desires and my needs. He knows me better than I know myself, and still He loves me.

Hold on to that hope. Take whatever embers of light you have inside you and let His love make them brighter. I testify that good will triumph over evil. I feel it deep in my bones, an undeniable truth in my soul. He will come again, and He will bring peace and rest for His faithful children.

This is the greatest gift I can give to you, my readers: I give you my testimony of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, my Savior. He lives, He loves us, and we can choose every day to follow Him and let Him heal us.

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and an amazing new year!

Much much love,

Maney

Poetry Friday: The Old Oak Door

The Old Oak Door

They beat the old oak door with metal, hot
With orange flame, they cast a holy scene
Through windows of stained glass, an afterthought
Of sacred things that men have turned obscene.
The pastor in the chapel holds his face
And worships at the feet of Christ the Lord;
The mob is all enveloped in God’s grace,
Though fire and blood deface the old oak door.
The pastor cries, “How can these souls be starved?”
For long he has been faithful to the cause.
So many years have passed that God has carved
Lines on the pastor’s face with holy laws.
The pastor takes a passage through the floor;
And, shrouded, joins to burn the old oak door.

Poetry Friday: Our Cause

Our Cause

Believe me that I care for equality.
My life testifies to me again and again of its importance.
Believe me that I have words, more words than you know.
My tears testify to God and me and everyone
that I’m one part broken and one part healing,
the pieces fusing together into a makeshift heart.

I can’t lose what I’ve worked so hard to achieve.
I can’t say words I feel, for they’ll condemn me.

I pray for understanding, for release from my burdens.
I pray for mercy from my brothers and sisters.
I pray for strength to keep going, to hold onto hope.

I’m sorry I cannot light these pages of confusion in me,
wield them as a flag for your cause;
a flame that reaches the clouds and unites the masses.
My testimony douses my flames, my fiery passions.
I let heaven rain down on me, hiding my tears,
washing away the blackened novels I’ve written in my heart
about my sins, my variances, my questions.

I can’t be your spokesperson.
I won’t die a messenger of your—our—cause.

Moving On

There are a lot of words inside me lately, all swirling in my brain and confused about how to get out. The summer is winding down and I’m looking forward to starting Fall 2015 semester soon. This summer ends along with the hope of a new relationship: someone I love decided I wasn’t for him. It has been painful, and I feel the tugs of grief and frustration as I say goodbye to an era I inhabited, to the pieces of my heart I gave to him.

To quote David Foster Wallace, “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.”

In truth, though, opportunities have been opening up around me, just as other doors close. I feel a shift in the wind and I wonder where I’ll go in the future. Where my bones will travel until they turn to sleeping dust. There seems to be an infinite number of roads ahead of me, and I’m trying to figure out my dreams and goals as the winds of time push me on and on, as new pathways appear and others fade into darkness.

I wonder if I’ll ever really do my best; if my life is going as well as it could be. I wonder how me being alive affects the world around me, and I worry whether it’s for good or evil. Because this life is the only one I get, and someday I’ll look back on it in joy or sorrow. I can almost hear myself calling from the future, urging me to try harder now, to seek for wisdom and truth, to become whom I need to be.

Of course I can ramble on about these feelings, stringing words together that hopefully convey to you where my mind is, but I’ll curtail my post with these thoughts:

Readers, don’t live in the past. Accept yourself and strive to be better. Live for something greater than yourself. Trust God and know that He loves you.

Just keep moving forward.

A music video of Yael Naim singing New Soul.