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How To Fall In Love With The Life You Have

February 15, 2016 | Posted in: Chronic illness and relationships, Chronic Life, Grief

We all need those things that anchor us on the bad days that bring us back to what matters. The problem with the bad days is that they’re rather foggy. The bad has its mystical way of crowding out the good. It’s like playing hide-and-go-seek with a toddler at nap time. You go searching for the good but it’s fallen asleep in its hiding place, nowhere to be found. “Good, oh good, are you there? Where are you?”

 

If you’re anything like me, the bad days leave you wondering if good days were ever really even a thing. Did they actually exist at one point or was that a figment of your imagination? Will you feel halfway human again one day? Do you dare to hope?

 

So how do we, those that battle chronic illness (and anyone else who’s just having some plain ole’ bad days), clear the fog?

 

Here are five things I’ve found helpful in remembering that life is good.

 

  • Remember. I’m not talking about in a Nike “just do it” sense, but in an intentional looking back. I like to keep some of my favorite pictures on my phone for this reason. It could be a collection of encouraging text messages that remind you how loved you are, a photo album from college, whatever. The point is intentional remembering reminds you life is good.

 

  • Keep a gratitude journal. There’s something about the intentional act of writing down what we’re thankful for that somehow jars the memory to the very existence of good. It signals to the eyes and heart to be searching for these things throughout the day. The way the sunlight goes through the window, the kiddos laugh, the husband’s lame joke, the pants that miraculously now fit. There is so much to be thankful for.

 

  • Grieve. While I realize this sounds counterproductive, there are simply times that I cannot see the good in the moment until I’ve grieved the bad. Sometimes this can be as simple as writing out your losses, or talking (okay, maybe crying) through them with a friend.

 

  • Help Others. In whatever way your body allows. One of the most effective ways of becoming more aware of the good in our lives is by stepping back from them and seeing them from a fresh set of grateful eyes.

 

  • Hang out with some kids. Have you ever noticed how kids break out into spontaneous song, find everything hilarious and exciting, and each day as the best day ever? There’s nothing like some quality bonding time with a preschooler to remind you of how fun life can be.

 

What about you? What things have you found helpful in your game of hide-and-go-seek with good?

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