This past March I lost the love of my life to breast cancer, and for the last 8 months I’ve been trying to put the pieces of my life back together and make some sense of it all.
I have stopped asking my #1 question, “Why did this happen?”, because I realize from attending the 15-week GriefShare program that some questions will go unanswered, at least in this life. However, throughout the grieving process two other burning questions remained, “Who am I now?” and “What’s next?”
For months now I have asked (and prayed about) the two unresolved questions during my ‘5K Meditative Walks’ to no avail. Then something amazing happened last week during one of my walks. When I pressed for answers my ‘inner’ voice spoke to me. You know the one I’m talking about, right? That little voice you hear on those rare occasions when you are able to quiet the mind long enough to listen. The voice said …
“Stop over-thinking it and just live”.
Honestly, I had to stop for a moment to make sure that I was not hallucinating. You see, it had been a very long time since I had heard that voice speak to me so loud and clear. As I recovered from the initial shock and thought more about it, the response made a lot of sense. My inner voice was telling me, “I know what you are going through, I’ve got this, now go live your life.”
Up to that point I had been doing too much over-thinking and was getting nowhere in the process. When I did a little more research on the topic of how we can stop over-thinking and get peace of mind, several things were apparent to me. There are an abundance of recommended antidotes to stop over-thinking and get peace of mind. However, you can boil them down to a few common themes:
Spend more time in the present moment.
Realize you cannot control everything.
Be patient (this is a tough one for me).
Redirect your attention to others.
I believe that peace of mind begins when we are able to accept our circumstances, both good and bad, for what they are, a part of life’s journey, and trust in God to get us through them. Jesus’s message in Matthew 4:19 was clear when he spoke to Simon Peter and his brother Andrew on the bank of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus said to them, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”.
“Often when faced with adversity we tend to over-complicate things to the point that we lose perspective”.
Rather than seeking comfort through Christ, we turn inward and distance ourselves from our faith and from other people, making matters worse. What I took away from this Bible passage were two things. First, trust that God has a plan and follow Him. The second, I believe, was a call to action for all of us to help others who are suffering through difficult times to find hope and salvation through His Word.
The next time you are dealing with what appears to be an insurmountable challenge or a loss, I would encourage you to put your unwavering trust in God to get you through it and don’t overthink it. Instead be patient, listen to your inner voice, find ways to help others in need and … JUST LIVE!
Enjoy the journey!!!
COPYRIGHT © 2016 John Carroll