Reasons for living: looking for the beauty in a messy world

looking-for-the-beauty

 

I’ve been feeling haunted lately. Overwhelmed by the frequent visits of the ghosts of anxiety and depression.

 

I’ve unlatched the windows and left the doors wide open. I’ve welcomed them in and made them tea. We’ve curled up on the couch together and I’ve let them talk me into the same old habits.

 

The moping. The dreading. The hiding.


 

I have always liked the quote by Rumi…

 

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.

 

In this bittersweet world of heartbreak, delight, suffering and awe, finding this balance becomes a matter of survival.

 

I need to hold on to the sweet, the good, the lovely and the joyful. These things are like a life raft, the only barrier between me and the freezing waters below.

I must let go of the bitter, the sad, the unfair and the awful. Because holding them too long scorches my hands, blinds my sight and cripples my whole being.

 

It sometimes seems cruel to me that we were created with such inquisitive minds, yet left with so many unanswered and unanswerable questions.

 

I so often wonder why… but I am old enough to know now that there are somethings we don’t know.

Perhaps everything doesn’t happen for reason. Maybe some things just happen.

 

So as I’m wrestling with my confusion and trying to make sense of the mess I see around me, I have decided that I will refuse to let the darkness win. I won’t be overcome by sadness, emptiness or numbness.

 

Right now, I am choosing to live.  I am searching for beauty in the midst of this messy world, in the middle of my messy life and here’s why I think you should too…

 

Reasons to live:

 

One.

When you hold someone you love so much that you cannot help but squeeze them tightly. Willing them to never let you go. And that precious feeling of realising that they are squeezing you right back.

 

Two.

Sitting outside in the summer with clear, blue skies above you. The sun warming your back and penetrating its warmth deep down into your soul.

 

Three.

Going to the beach and feeling the salt cling to your skin. The way it leaves your hair matted and lingers on your tongue. The sand that squishes in between your toes, gathers in your towel and spreads absolutely everywhere.

 

Four.

Jumping into a bed covered with freshly washed sheets. So crisp and clean you feel like royalty.

 

Five.

Biting into a soft dinner roll that is still warm from being in the oven. Spreading butter lavishly across the bread and watching as it sinks in beautifully.

 

Six.

Staying outside to watch the dusk melt a glorious sunset into the dark night sky.

 

Seven.

Getting dressed up to go somewhere fancy. Feeling like a million dollars.

 

Seven.

Watching a delicate butterfly dancing lightly on the breeze.

 

Eight.

That fluttery, stomach-sinking feeling of talking to someone you like very much.

 

Nine.

When it’s cool in the winter and you can see your breath billow around you like smoke from a dragon.

 

Ten.

When you share a special smile with someone that only the two of you understand.

 

Eleven.

That floopy feeling you get when drinking cocktails on an empty stomach.

 

Twelve.

Bagels that are toasted, smeared with thick layers of cream cheese and boysenberry jam.

 

Thirteen.

Thawing out your fingers beside the fire after braving the icy wind outside.

 

Fourteen.

Napping in the afternoon and waking up feeling all cozy and yummy.

 

Fifteen.

Finding a cafe that makes a perfect cup of coffee. Inhaling the soothing scent and buzzing when the caffeine finally wakes you up.

 

Sixteen.

The satisfaction of eating something you grew all by yourself in your garden.

 

Seventeen.

Back rubs and side hugs.

 

Eighteen.

Coming home after a very long day and kicking your shoes off your tired feet. Putting on comfy slippers that melt beneath each step.

 

Nineteen.

Watching a thunderstorm roll in. Feeling the rumble of thunder echo in your chest. That violent terror that shakes you with every bolt of lightening.

 

Twenty.

Being out in the middle of nowhere on a crisp night and seeing millions of stars twinkling high above you.

 

Twenty one.

Finding that deliciously soft spot of fur behind a dog’s ears.

 

Twenty two.

Toasting marshmallows over a campfire so that they blister and crisp perfectly on the outside while remaining gooey through the centre.

 

Twenty three.

Fresh tomatoes that carry an earthy scent. Rosy-red cheeked and sweet to eat.

 

Twenty four.

Kisses that almost stop time. Making you forget where and who you are for a teensy tiny second.

 

Twenty five.

The fresh start of a new day, a new month and a new year. A blank page full of possibilities.

 

looking for beauty, life is beautiful, finding happiness, how to be happier, looking for the good, loving life, appreciating beauty, reasons for living, encouragement,

 

And on and on I go, counting my blessings and remembering the reasons for living. Remembering all the wonderful moments sprinkled throughout the mundane in my every day.

 

This world is vast.

 

It stretches on further than our minds can grasp.

There is so much to explore, so much to experience, so much to beauty we have yet to see.

 

I know that the bitter is very real. Burning our throats as it goes down. Pulling the curtains and blocking the sunlight. Turning our whole world upside down.

 

But let us not forget the sweet. Let us not become numb to its gentle caress. It is the sweet that makes life worth living.


 

There are so many resolutions we could make this year. So many promises to ourselves and to others.

But for me, there is only one resolution I will be making.

 

To search wholeheartedly for beauty in my everyday life.

 

To shut the door on anxiety and depression. To seek help when I need it and give myself grace in abundance.

To refuse to cling onto the bitter but instead, to remember the sweet.

 

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3 Comments

  • Ro

    I’m so sorry to hear the sadness and anxiety you’ve been feeling 🙁 I love your reasons for living and I know it will be an encouragement to many. It definitely was to me because sometimes it’s those little sometimes insignificant things that are so significant to us and our hearts. I call them reminders of God’s love and presence with us. I remember during an anxiety attack one day hearing God tell me to look up at the sky and immediately calmed me because of how beautiful the sky looked.

    January 8, 2019 at 1:50 am Reply
    • Megan Hallier

      That’s a lovely example of what I’m talking about! Those precious moments where we just stop and appreciate how wonderful life is. Thanks for sharing that with me.

      January 9, 2019 at 12:47 pm Reply
  • Emily Swanson

    That anxiety and depression was something that never confronted me till I got older, and I realized just how real and hard life can be, but that’s also when the goodness of God just became sooo much sweeter. Looking for His glory and His beauty and kindness in so many of the hard things. Philippians 4 helps me SO much especially when my head can only see the hard and the dark and the tears.

    Philippians 4:4-9, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.’

    January 10, 2019 at 5:27 pm Reply
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