Sometimes the waters around you are smooth, and the sun is shining on your face, and the birds are singing their sweet-not-annoying birdsong. Maybe you are dreaming, I don’t know.
Those are the times when it’s easy to choose — on purpose — to say yes and say no and to practice living out your values and to be yourself. (Be myself? Sure, I can be myself! My self is all sunshiny and warm.)
Other times the currents are choppy and the waves crash over you, and it takes all your energy just to stay afloat. But you still have choices.
You choose to show up.
You choose to pay attention.
You choose whether to speak love or fear, curiosity or judgment, connection or isolation.
You know what determines which one you choose? It’s the answer to this question.
What do you believe?
What do you really believe?
What do you believe about good days and hard days?
About grief and joy?
About easy hours and anxious ones?
About yourself, in those times?
About how God will meet you, in those places?
Answering that is how you figure out who will you be, and how will you be, in this moment.
Do you know what I mean by “show up”?
I mean be yourself. I mean make the choices that are right for you.
No masks, no fake smiles, no pretending to have it all together. Right now, “show up” means you ask yourself the questions.
And do you know what I mean by “pay attention?” Right now, it means you listen for your own answers.
Do you believe the things you’re saying? Or are you telling yourself the things you think you’re supposed to believe?
Hold on to what you really-truly-I’m-not-kidding-really believe, and let go of the voices that are trying to shout you down. If they aren’t lifting you up, they aren’t helping.
Then double-check with yourself: is this what you want to believe?
Is this your best, biggest, most compassionate self talking, the self that you want to listen to? If not, ask again. Listen again.
Ask real questions. Answer real answers. You’ve got this.