I have four phrases of hope. I’ve collected them over the last five years since I went through burnout and subsequent recovery. They carry me through the tough moments when I feel like life is too relentless and I can’t catch a break. They help me regain perspective and keep me from hyperventilating. I guess I would call them my life-lines.
Here are my four life-saving phrases:
I often live in the future. I’m a planner by nature and I tend to think ahead for all my projects and engagements. This often gets me into trouble though because I can easily feel overwhelmed. I tell myself I just have to make it through today in the moments when I feel like there is way too much going on and I want to run away. I need this reminder to bring me back into the present. It tells me I don’t have to live the next 30 days all at once – I can just focus on today. Tomorrow is a fresh start.
“It’s Not a Race”
Being a Highly Sensitive Person and an Introvert, I require a lot of energy to process my experiences and this often means I live at a slower pace of life than the average person. I sleep earlier, take more naps and attend less events than most people I know. I’m often tempted to compare myself to others who seem to get around more and be more productive. Reminding myself that it’s not a race helps me to stop the comparison game and releases me to be who I am more fully. This phrase also applies to life stages, possessions or relationships that other people have that I want. Getting to that next level or achievement in life will happen in due time. I don’t need to rush the process or lament that it hasn’t happened yet.
“All Is Grace”
My understanding of the concept of the grace of God has changed pretty radically over the recent years. I used to think of it solely as God’s saving grace – that we were given a chance at life when we deserved death. Now I see that there is a much broader application of grace. That even the hard times, dark days and confusing situations are part of God’s work of grace in our lives. I see grace in moments of beauty. I also see that the simple fact that I am able to breathe is also grace. So when I find myself uptight with worry, I sing the words to the old hymn, “‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.” I remind myself that all is grace and I can rest into the grace that carries me.
“I Am Loved”
This one truth grounds me more than anything else. Regardless of how I feel about myself, how my day is going, what my surrounding circumstances are or what changes I might be grappling with, reminding myself that I am loved brings me back to the truth of my identity. I can fail, struggle and lose but in the end, I am still loved. This phrase frees me from my need to be perfect or for life to be perfect. It helps me let go of the need to perform. The interesting thing is this: I usually need Tim to remind me of this truth. On my own, I forget to say this to myself.
These four truths have been anchors for my soul that so often drifts away in the waters of worry and fear. What words give you strength to carry on? Please share in the comments below!