I was not raised in a religious family. My father was and wanted nothing more to do with religion once he grew up and left home. My mother tried when my brother and I were little to take us to church, but we hated it. She finally gave up. She was also not raised in a religious family. I think she only tried taking us because as a mother she felt it was some kind of duty. So religion was never a part of my life.
I think my mom and I both had some belief in God, but it was accompanied by questions that neither of us could find answers to. So it was there, but blurry and buried deep.
In the past nine years I have lost my dad, my mom, my brother (which is all of my immediate family), beloved pets (yes, they are my children), friends and relatives. There have been over a dozen losses in that time and it has left me struggling to cope.
I have had an anxiety/panic disorder on and off my entire life and am now suffering from depression. When my brother died suddenly and unexpectedly last year, I fell into an anxiety ridden hell that I am still fighting my way through. And I am basically alone with this struggle. The title of this blog says it all.
I have read many books and blogs about anxiety, hoping for some new “cure” they might have found to get over it. Through this search for answers I came upon a book called “Help, Thanks, Wow, The Three Essential Prayers” by Anne Lamott. I bought the book and read it in one night. It touched me deeply and I was very surprised. It made me finally believe in God.
It has helped me to have some faith that I will get over my anxiety eventually and that God has a plan for me, which I just have to wait out. It has made me realize the many blessings I’ve been given over my lifetime and prayers that were answered, even when I didn’t actually pray.
However, being the person that I am, and that being a bit over zealous about things, I realized I was suddenly trying to turn into an angel…never doing or saying anything wrong. I had to be a perfect person so God would continue to help me. Now, I like to think I’m basically a good person, but an angel I’m not. For one thing, I swear like a sailor…not sure why, but I do. I’ve done things that weren’t horrible, but questionably not the noblest. I’ve gossiped and been jealous, tried to get even with people who hurt me…human things. And that’s just what I finally had to realize. I’m human.
When I reread the book, it reminded me that God forgives us these weaknesses and it’s ok. One day I got very angry at something someone said to me. Instead of confronting them about it, I kept “angelically” silent and let it pass. Later, I got even angrier at myself for doing that. It was totally called for to let that person know they had crossed a line with me. That’s when it hit me that I was being too nice and it was not healthy or necessary.
I am now comfortable being more like my real self and not trying so darn hard to be “nice.” I still try to be the nicest person I can, but now if I get mad, I let it out. If I swear, it’s ok. I was holding in so many emotions that it was making my anxiety worse. I don’t think God expects us to be perfect, so I’m banking on that and allowing myself to be me.
What do you think about this? Please leave a comment and let me know your views…I always love to hear them! Below is the book I was talking about and it is an Amazon link, which is an affiliate of mine. All this means is that if you click on it and happen to buy the book, I get a small commission for it. If so, thanks in advance.
Remember, keep being your wonderful self!