A Messy Life Doesn't Mean It's Not Beautiful

A Messy Life Doesn't Mean It's Not Beautiful

Stress is real and overwhelming, but days like these only last as long as you allow them to.
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This week was just one of those weeks.

The kind of week when you only have coffee for breakfast and lunch, donuts to last you till dinner.

The kind of week when you’re late to important meetings because you can’t find the conference room -- two days in a row.

The kind of week when you just look at yourself and go, “I’m such a mess.

Even today, I had an appointment to be at by 7 a.m., but didn’t hear any of the three alarms that I had set for this morning! Great! Another reminder that I’m overworked, overwhelmed, and so over this week.

And I’m going to be incredibly honest here: I’m actually writing this piece as I sit, on the floor, in the middle of a car wash convenience store because there aren’t any seats left outside, and my dad insists on getting a car wash right now even though I don't have time.

When weeks like this happen to me, I’m so tempted to just give up on all my responsibilities, feel sorry for myself, and dwell on how incredibly messy the past week was, and compare myself to every other person I see who seems to have the perfect life.

In reality, a lot of great things happened in the last 5 days. It’s just that I became so overwhelmed looking at how overcommitted I was that I overlooked all the incredible people who brought me so much life and laughter in the past few days.

I allowed my imperfect circumstances to steal my joy. Yes, I’m tired and overcommitted, but at the same time, I realized that it was my mindset that was giving me so much grief, and not my less-than-perfect circumstances.

But yesterday, I realized that I was wearing the wrong pair of glasses -- meaning that my outlook on life was completely wrong. So I decided to take that pair off, and I chose to wear a new pair, and now I see the world differently. Despite the fact not everything went the way I wanted to this week, I have no realized there is so much beauty in an imperfect life.

Allow me to give an example:

Yesterday, I had to work an orientation event, but I really didn’t feel like it. It was an all day event, I was so tired from the day before, there was so much for me to get done, and to top it off, the parking situation was horrible so I had to walk across campus multiple times in heels that made my feet ache in all the worst places.

While working the event, we realized that there were some students missing, so we called them up to find out if they would be arriving late. One girl said she was lost, so it was my job to find her and bring her to the event. After finding her and guiding her to the orientation event, she told me she was flustered and late because she had just left the hospital where her grandma was having an extensive surgery. I did my best to console her, and after the event, she came up to me and thanked me for being so helpful and for calling her at the precise moment she had arrived on campus and was so stressed out because she couldn’t find the event. What’s more, she found out the surgery would be successful and her grandmother would be alright.

Driving home that day, I did a lot of thinking. I realized that having the opportunity to help someone who was having a stressful day as well was an incredible blessing in itself. In that moment, I was able to take my eyes off of my own problems and see that first of all, I’m not the only one going through stress, and second of all, in every stressful circumstance, we are able to make the most of it if we take the focus off of our problems and instead, focus on how we can be a blessing to others. In the end, I was so glad I went to the orientation event!

So, if you’re in a situation right now where you’re feeling tired and overwhelmed, just remember that days like these don’t last forever -- they only last as long as you allow them to. When your mindset becomes clouded by the a huge “TO-DO” list that seems impossible to complete, by the fact that you feel like a failure, by the fact that you feel overwhelmed by all the responsibilities you have to juggle, by the fact that life just isn’t going your way, take a step back.

Stop whatever you’re doing; in fact, stop trying altogether. Focus on the present moment. You’re living, you’re breathing. You have an amazing life ahead of you. The fact is there are always going to be stressful moments, but those moments don’t have to stressful if you stop and realize that this life is too short to be worrying about something that may never happen, too short to be concerned with what others may think of you, and too short to condemn yourself about all the mistakes you’ve made in the past.

Sometimes, we focus too much on where we want to be or what we want to do, instead of where we are at right now. There’s so much beauty in knowing that this is where I am right now, and I am going to make the most of this moment, trusting that God will work out everything for everyone's good if we obey Him.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Working On My Emotional Health Is At The Top Of My To-Do List

I'm finally realizing the importance of my mental and emotional health.

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The month of April has been so eye-opening for me. For the first bit of the year, I felt like I was in a slump; like I was just going through the motions and not fully living my life.

I was letting boy drama, school stress, and my poor actions to deal with those issues take over my life. I was allowing the anger and shame from those mistakes bubble up inside me until I was just about ready to explode.

I was allowing myself to go back to old ways of coping with problems that I knew weren't healthy, but I knew would be a short-term fix.

I simply wasn't living.

Then, one day I woke up and told myself I needed to change, and that if I didn't, I'd be on this same path ten years from now... or worse. I told myself I needed to get my life back on track with the Lord and with who I want to be as a rising senior in college.

After meeting with one of the leaders at my church (btw, everyone needs a Mrs. Jenny in their life!) and with my therapist, I'm starting to realize how important my emotional health is. My way of dealing with problems hasn't been working all that well, so I know it's time to try something else.

It's all going to be a huge learning process (and at times, an uphill battle), but I know working on my emotional health now will build me to be the best I can in the future.

By learning to become more open to healthier ways of dealing with issues as they come up (like not avoiding problems and actually facing them head-on), I know I can become my best self, and that is something I'm willing to work on with my whole heart.

So, I'm learning to let go of needing to control everything in my life because honestly, wanting to control everything puts me more out of control than when I first started.

And, I encourage you to do the same.

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