Community Magazine

Beautiful

By Nina
Wow - so it's been awhile. Sorry, y'all! The good news is, I have been thinking about y'all!
Mostly, I've been wishing that y'all could be in the happy, healthy, healing place I find myself in lately. In spite of the turmoil of a grandparent having a stroke (and recovering nicely), a friend's unexpected death, a grandparent's death, beginning the process of splitting from an abusive spouse, and a huge maintenance bill for my car (I hate when it's time to replace tires), I'm doing well. I'm happy, I'm hyper, I'm more me than I've been in nearly nine years. At one point, I became afraid that I'd alienate some of my old friends because, well, hyper people often annoy me. However, my dear friend Sam simply replied by saying "I'd take you healthy and hyper any day."
So, since I've been experiencing a great, happy, healthy time, I've been praying that y'all would get to this place, too. I am happy to talk to you about steps to get here, or about anything that's on your mind. Really, anything. One thing I want to share with you, regardless of where you're at, is a song. The video is a touch eccentric, but really listen to the lyrics, because I think you're beautiful.

Alright, now, some practical things that have helped me get and stay in this happy place:
1. Regular time with God. It helped when a friend told me that he dedicates the entirety of Sunday to the Lord (in addition to time throughout the week, of course).
2. Hugs. I heard somewhere once that the average person needs eight positive touches a day just to survive. Get them, if at all possible.
3. Crying. Sometimes, I get so focused on being happy that I forget that allowing myself to feel and express emotion is also healthy and necessary to being joyful/happy. Let yourself feel, just don't dwell in the bad feelings. Feel them, express them, and move on.
4. Letting go of what's bad for me. For me, this means reducing my drinking, taking steps to escape an abusive relationship that doesn't appear to be getting any better, and trying my darndest not to worry.
5. Intentionally seeking out community. In other words, instead of caving into my introvert tendencies, I force myself to go out and associate with people. It's hard. It doesn't always work out so well. But when it does, it's incredible!
6. Helping others. There's nothing like an impromptu diaper drive for a homeless shelter to make you more grateful for what you have.

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