Accepting the Painful Ordinary

This is a bit of a “Drop the Thought” post. This is me living Saturday night that leads to Sunday night that leads to going to work Monday morning. Most weeks a rising curve of anxiety.

So, soothing self-talk starts: it’ll be alright. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Accept where you are. There is no running from it. No avoiding. Accept the anxiety. It’s the only way to move through it.

anxiety breathing

I’ve done my job searching today, I’ve done it most days for the last months, if not years. God knows this. It will be alright. I don’t know the way yet. God has the map, though. It will be alright. This is me praying. This is me calming myself. Again. Again. Accepting that there is no sudden solution, no special moment of grace (yet), nothing but the painful ordinary to live through.

I am told God is in the ordinary. Maybe this will work better for me than mindfulness practice has. Noticing God in the ordinary. Being present to God and myself while I’m working myself through the mountain range of ordinariness on Monday, the Everest of urgent and stifling ordinariness that will have built up while I was on retreat and sick at home. I will work my way through it in a place that feels like Trafalgar Square, the middle of the junction, double decker buses rushing past me, missing me by millimetres. Little of the work seems life-giving, even at the best of times.

God will be there with me. And it’s okay that I feel anxious. It’s even okay that I feel overwhelmed by the prospect. Deep breath in, deep breath out. This is a normal thing to feel – because this is me, as I am, in this place, as it is. It’s okay that it’s hard. It’s okay that I struggle.

It doesn’t make me weak or incompetent or superfluous. I am none of those thing. I am the Beloved. Right in the middle of what feels like such a messy, unwelcoming place to me. And for as long as I need to be there, God will give me the strength to be there, and to do what I need to do – including looking after myself.

I pray that God will create a way forward, and that I will experience having light a few steps ahead to keep moving.

I’ve been told last week, in no uncertain terms, that I would be much missed if I left where I am at the moment. Which was lovely. It meant a lot to hear that, from someone whose sincerity and kindness I have never had reason to doubt. No hidden agenda.

I don’t think this will make me stay – I need to leave to protect my wellbeing, health and happiness. But it can help me to leave without bitterness, with goodness to take away with me. And I know God will be with me in all that lies ahead, wherever I go from here.

For the moment, I am still here. And here is the ordinary pain of living, all around me, often within me.

I am not alone in this. I am the Beloved in the midst of this.

God is here, God is here, God is here.


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2 Responses to Accepting the Painful Ordinary

  1. I understand your struggle. God is there with you, always. He is carrying you through. Proverbs 3:5-6. I’ve had to remind myself many times of this verse lately. Hope it helps to encourage you today.

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