“You’re spending all your energy trying to get what you can’t have – you’re missing out on something very cool!”
I said this with exasperation to my cat, Zooey, who was too busy pacing, anxious and crying incessantly to go outside, to notice that right outside the window was her favorite thing to watch – a chipmunk gnawing away at sunflower seeds. As soon as the words came out of me, I felt my words go into my own heart.
For years, I thought that if only I got healthy and dealt with my depression, then my relationships would be great – everything I dreamed they would be. I got healthy and my relationships were pretty much the same. So, I thought, once the people and circumstances around me change, then I’ll be happy and life will be “good”. After being frustrated and trying to make people change, my counselor finally told me, “You need to face reality. Your relationships and circumstances won’t suddenly become your perfect scenarios if your list of change ‘to dos’ get done.” Ouch. I didn’t even realize that I was counting on that. But, if I was honest with myself, I really did believe that if the list of changes that I had for others actually happened, THEN I’d be satisfied and happy. But, while I was putting off happiness and wishing away the people and circumstances around me, I was missing out on so many great things about the life I’ve been given. Instead of picking at the negatives in my marriage, job, friendships – I want to enjoy the good about those things in my life.
This doesn’t mean I won’t fight for healthy relationships. I want to be “God’s Good Woman” (Dr. Jennifer Degler, “Christian Nice Girl”) and live in wisdom and contentment – not manipulative codependency. I don’t want to spend my life crying for what I can’t have and miss out on something really cool that’s right in front of me.