I thought seriously about coming up with a nicer title for this post, but that would be a lie and totally defeat my point. A few weeks ago, I found myself really struggling, but unsure why I was. I became ridiculously frustrated and annoyingly cranky, for no reason that I could pinpoint. I felt as though I had built myself a nice
little giant façade. I go around in my days and on the blog as if life is always hearts and rainbows and love and happiness. The truth is that life isn’t always like that. People who say they never have a bad day or are perpetually happy (and in your face about it) tend to really annoy me. How can you witness or hear about something so tragic as the shooting in Newtown, or Aurora, or Columbine, and still be perky and super happy all the time? Not me.
So, cut the crap.
For a long time I believed that if I was going to be a good Christian or a good Catholic I had to be that perky and annoyingly happy person all the time. I believed that I had to take up my cross, smiling and singing joyful songs all the while. I thought that if I showed I was having a bad day or I was cranky that I was failing as a Catholic and as a daughter of God. I still think that way from time to time, which is why it is important to remember that we don’t have to have it together all the time. Being strong all of the time is overrated. There is nothing wrong with not having yourself all put together. It is okay to have a bad day, it is even okay to be cranky sometimes (just don’t take it out on the people who love and care about you…or anyone else, for that matter). I can easily get mad at myself for being cranky or feeling down. Then, I’m anything but charitable towards myself.
A few weeks ago, when I was really struggling I kept focusing on how lonely I felt. It wasn’t pretty, and I refused to let anyone else in on it. I didn’t want to talk about it, but I spent most of my alone time complaining to myself about it. Then, another voice inside my head would say something along the lines of, “Wah, wah, wah, just shut up. Seriously, stop complaining you big wuss. You are so stupid and weak for complaining like this all the time.” Writing that out, I can see how ridiculous it sounds, but in my head it sounded like my own voice, and it sounded like truth (with a small “t”, clearly). I didn’t even want to ask for prayers because, in my head, that was even more weak. Finally, one night, in the midst of a HUGE cranky-fest I asked my lovely Catholic Sorority sisters to pray for me and this nasty mood I was in. Slowly but surely the fog lifted. Over the next few days I began to feel better and less cranky, happy even.
Maybe I’m saying/writing this more for me than I am for you, my dearest readers, but it is okay to have bad days. It is okay to not be ridiculously happy and perky all of the time. It doesn’t make you a failure as a Christian, a Catholic, or a child of God. It makes you human, which is exactly how God created you. Do I think Jesus had His cranky moments? Perhaps. Do you think He cleansed the Temple while singing, “Whistle While We Work”? Probably not. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with asking for prayers. Satan would love nothing more than for you to sit in your cranky-pants mood and wallow, digging yourself deeper into cranky-pants-ville. Take up your cross, but don’t be afraid to ask for help, even Jesus had help from Simon the Cyrene. So ask, ask me, shoot me an e-mail, ask your friends, your parents, ask people to pray for you. It helps. Ask them to pray with you, over you, and for you. And don’t be afraid to pray for yourself, ask God to walk you through your mood and show you what you need to see. Ask Him to increase His love in your heart. Ask Him to show you how much He loves you. He will answer.