I want to apologize ahead of time, just in case you run across me at the store today and I snap at you.
I’m sorry for being crabby.
I’m kind of crash-diving emotionally after a great weekend full of happy events.
Has that ever happened to you?
You know, one of those times when life is fantastic, things are coming together, lots to celebrate and be grateful for, and then, just when you think you couldn’t fly any higher ….
The air goes out of your balloon.
Years ago, Barney Wiget, a former pastor of mine who blogs at Musing the Mysteries, put it this way:
“High highs don’t stabilize.”
Human beings are a fragile lot. We can only handle so much change before we come unglued. Even positive events and transition times can leave us feeling stressed, exhausted and depressed.
This is especially true of major life events like weddings and graduations.
There’s lots of anticipation for those times of joy and pride in great accomplishments.
And lots of emotion.
There’s an inevitable sense of loss which accompanies important changes in your family’s life.
Let’s say your little girl starts Kindergarten. Or your son graduates from high school and prepares to leave for college. Or your daughter says “I do” and changes her last name.
In each case, there are losses to reckon with. Things are changing.
Your little girl isn’t at home all day anymore.
Your son lives out of town. You might not see him for months.
Your daughter’s primary concern is now for her husband.
Sure, you are thrilled for their happiness … but your heart aches, too.
Perhaps your year looks something like one we had a while back.
Our youngest son turned eighteen. He graduated from our home school, closing that chapter of our lives. My husband and I both turned fifty. I went back to work after years out of the workforce.
Oh, yeah, and our oldest son got married.
All within 5 months!
It’s no wonder my health went downhill for a time.
Don’t worry; you’re not crazy if you break down in tears or get easily irritated during a season when it seems like you should be happy.
Based on what I’ve learned, may I ask suggest you do yourself a favor?
Give yourself permission to process even the happiest of transitions.
A few suggestions as to how:
- Ask your soul, “What’s troubling you?” Listen for the answer. When you are quiet and centered, your heart will tell you about your losses. You’ll recognize the price you are paying for your joy, and you’ll understand why you might feel down in the middle of it.
- Be gentle and kind to yourself. Pamper yourself. Hang out with a good a friend. Don’t push too hard to do all the usual routines. Rebuilding emotional energy takes time.
- Embrace change. Speak blessing over yourself and others. Dwell on all the positive aspects of the things that are going on. Give thanks that God is in control, and that the changes are for your good.
Even the happiest lives and the best moments are shadowed with suffering. The key is to let our losses serve as a contrast, so that our joy pops out all the more.
What happy events have cast a shadow in your life lately?