Ebbs and Flows

Ebbs and Flows

I’ve been reflecting on the 2021 resolutions I made earlier this year and something from what I wrote at the time really stood out to me. “As there are are always ebbs and flows throughout different weeks and months of the year, I’m going to commit to persevering through those seasons, instead of forgetting about my goals when it gets hard.” Even though we’re only a bit over 2 months into the year, I can definitely attest to having felt the weight of that sentence. I have had both my good and bad days in 2021, but instead of trying to forget the bad ones and only celebrate the good, I’ve been trying to simply embrace them all for what they are.

It’s amazing what you discover once you start paying attention to your habits. Even more interesting though, is figuring out what triggers your habits. I’ve recently been scrutinising my relationship with social media, which has ultimately led me on a journey of self-discovery that has only just begun. In addition to this, I’ve also been keeping an inconsistent journal of sorts, documenting my feelings and writing down small details about my days. It’s been therapeutic to write these things down, but it’s also been a great way to reflect and recognise the ebbs and flows that have already transpired this year.

With some personal struggles that I am still working through, I have been trying to focus on healthy ways to deal with my emotions, instead of  relying on the bad habits I seemingly fall into when things feel hard. Food and exercise are the big ones for me, when I’m feeling blue they are the first things to go out of the window. I know this is something I’ll probably struggle with for the rest of my life, but I am so desperate to break this cycle and maintain the consistency that I know I can achieve, because I’ve done it in the past.

Another go-to move for me is to isolate myself socially and become somewhat disconnected emotionally. As an introvert at heart, sometimes I really struggle with making an effort with people and I really have to push myself to get out of my comfort zone. As someone who opposes the modern day “self-care” philosophy, I am ashamed to admit that by doing these things, I am truly feeding into those ideas. Whats most poignant for me though, is that my version of “self-care” is usually detrimental to both my physical and mental health.

As someone currently experiencing an “ebb” in my life this week, the best thing I have found has been through the comfort of a phone call with a close friend, going to my weekly play group and Bible study and exercising and eating well. Have I still tucked into the ice cream? Absolutely. But I’m slowly starting to change my habits and at the very least, have become a little more aware of what triggers them, which is a huge step.

Over the paw few weeks at Bible study, we have been looking at the book of Philippians. The apostle Paul writes a lot about what it means to humble ourselves before others and to humble ourselves before God. It’s been really eye-opening to recognise how much of a priority it should be for me to put others needs before my own. Especially as I spend so much time in self-reflection – I can only imagine what could be achieved if I spent even just some of that energy on reaching out to others with real, genuine needs. Humbling myself is something I hope to work on this year, although it must be stated that this will not simply be through any works of my own but through the strength that Jesus Christ gives me.

So while I know this little season I’m in won’t last forever, I take comfort in being able to write about it here. Most of the time that I have spoken about the challenging circumstances of my life, it’s been in hindsight, when things are better and the past is far, far away. Things always look better in the rearview mirror after-all, but I thought this time around I’d acknowledge things as they are. It’s just the season I’m in right now. The ebbs and flows of my life. And hopefully, it will pass quickly, although for now I’m going to try and remember that the timing of it all is in God’s hands. There’s something very comforting about that.