I worked myself into a tizzy on Tuesday. The paperwork for our apartment sublet was officially signed which I’ve been anticipating for weeks now. But for some reason, it tossed me into a downward spiral. I like plans and clarity. Definites and stability. And now, suddenly, come hell or high water, we have to be out of our apartment, our home, by February 1st.
You guys, I did this. I started this. I prayed for this. But without my permission, the fear crept in and before I could step in to intervene the anxiety gripped hold of my heart, and I found myself in full-blown panic mode. I spent the whole day unproductive, obsessively searching for a house for rent by owner.
I got it in my head that I hated every property management company in Charlotte. Their reviews are awful and they have too many hoops to jump through. Whatever happened to just checking to see that we aren’t criminals, checking our credit, taking our money and handing us keys? Also—what’s with all the hidden/surprise fees? And whatever happened to a security deposit just being the equivalent to one month’s rent (which is a heck of a lot of money if you’re not familiar with the Charlotte housing market)? Apparently it’s “policy” in Charlotte for a security deposit to be AT MINIMUM 1.25X one month’s rent. GULP.
See? I have a special talent for going from OMG EVERYTHING IS GREAT to FULL. BLOWN. PANIC. in .2 seconds flat.
Our minds are the most important and powerful tool we’ve got. But when used incorrectly, just like a gun or a car or medication, it can be totally destructive. Our minds have an impressive capability to jump to the worse case scenario.
If I collected all the moments I’ve spent worrying about something in anticipation that turned out to be just fine, I’d probably get a few years of my life back.
I’m a professional worrier.
My husband got home and I downloaded all the information about the day. He gave me a sheepish grin.
HIM: I can’t drive my car.
ME: What? Why?
HIM: The brakes have gone bad.
Great. Just what we need. Another problem. Another expensive problem. Another wrench in the plan.
At the end of the day, I was stressed, anxious, and completely exhausted. I hadn’t accomplished anything productive. Defeated, I prayed before drifting to sleep.
Lord, I pray for clarity. Please relieve my anxious heart and change my perspective to gratefulness.
I woke up on Wednesday completely at peace. I knew which house to apply for. Jonathan was able to take my car, and I thankful that my company affords me the flexibility to work remotely and take meetings virtually. We ordered the parts for his car, grateful he’s mechanically inclined.
You guys, it’s all about the story you tell yourself about your circumstances. Are things kind of shit right now? Of course they are. We’re staring at the great unknown. Car troubles are annoying and expensive. And we’re recognizing the one year anniversary of my father’s death (1/11). Things. Are. Hard.
But when I shifted my perspective, my attitude changed to gratitude (sorry, I had to). The truth is, it is what it is. And it will be what it will be. And will will be fine. We’re always fine. My anxiety and worry will not change our circumstances. It’s all in God’s hands, and I trust his plan for our life.
He’s never let us down before. And though my trust in Him wavers from time to time (I’m human), that trust is what allows for me to find happiness and gratefulness in times of trial.
Changing your perspective, changing the story you tell yourself, has the power to transform your life. It’s easy to slip into the downward spiral. It happens. The next time it happens to you, stop. Breathe. Refocus. And Trust.
Take five minutes and try to see the good in your situation. I know this sounds cliche, but there is good in everything. If you’re experiencing a downward spiral, actually stop what you’re doing and physically write down the good.
And suddenly, everything will change.