A long walk beside a graveyard [photo journal]

I took a long walk a couple of days ago. I’d been contemplating working on my ability to capture the beauty of nature, the way that I see it, and with the way my week had gone… I said screw it!

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I knew that beside this walking trail was a graveyard and I felt like I needed to be somewhere that would force me to think very hard about life. My life.

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There were hundreds of gravestones, if not thousands, and beneath them all lay the remains of people. People… just like me. They breathed the same air that I breathe now, they had thoughts, relatives, pet peeves… And now they’ve been reduced to soil. They’re recognized by a gravestone. And some day, that will be me. A gravestone with flowers on it. Not a woman with friends or enemies, not the research scientist, not the woman within a certain pay grade or holding a certain degree. And what will matter then?

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Why do I worry so much and allow fear to control my decision making? Why do I care so much about what people think? If I have a passion, why don’t I just go after it? Why do I allow society’s “expectations” rule my life? I don’t even really like “society”!

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By this point, my legs were beginning to cramp a little and hurt from walking for so long. I’d never spent this much time alone with God before and I felt like the dark cloud that was above me had been removed. As if I could suddenly breathe again. And then I saw something. Pretty yellow flowers, my favorite color flowers, were growing-wrapped around barbed-wire.

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As hostile and (still) dangerous barbed-wire is, the flowers still grew. Because that’s what beautiful flowers do, right? They continue to grow and bloom. They didn’t even droop or grow a less vibrant yellow color. And they didn’t grow around the barbed-wire to avoid it. How is it that a flower can do everything that I feel that I can not? How is a flower more brave and bold than me? And how can I become more brave and bolder?

Paranoia and fear has a death grip on me and if I don’t get out of it soon… it’ll lead me to my end

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I’m taking my life back.

 

 

 

 

Giving away my happiness

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They say that happiness is something that you choose to have. And that nobody can take it away from you if you don’t let them. Yet, how is it that today at 12pm I found myself with red, puffy, swollen eyes again? This time, I was actually at work.

You can just make the decision that you’re going to be happy… or at least that’s what I’ve heard thus far. Well, I can’t recall waking up one day and saying I DIDN’T want to be happy, but here I am. Or sometimes, perhaps my issue is that I’m failing to acknowledge that I’m sad. Could it be that? Because at this point, I must be listing my happiness for free somewhere on the internet. I’ve obviously allowed someone or something to take it from me because happy is not something I know these days.

I recognize that this change is not one that I can make on my own. I know that only God can do it through me. So maybe I’m focusing my energy on the wrong issue? Perhaps the true problem is that I’m doing something to prevent him from truly working in and through me?

The job I have now has been my dream job since I was a child and it’s frightening to me to think that I can be miserable while fulfilling a life dream. Of course I know that things will get better and I know that there’s no way to prevent the roller coaster of life from going up and down. But whatever the lifehack is that allows some people to just be happy under any circumstances is, I wanna have it too. And I’m sure it’s as available to me as it is to anyone else.

Taking a few steps back

IMG_0926 So I made a decision. Sort of…

I mean, I did make a decision for now. I decided that I am going to take a break from work. I had been contemplating this for a while, but I had told myself that I wouldn’t do it until I had gone through my budget for the rest of the year. For whatever reason… I just never got around to that. It seemed like little bits of my life were falling off and crumbling to pieces… but recently, I’ve found that God is stripping away things that hold me back from fulfilling my purpose.

So in a moment of pure anxiety, on the edge of my seat, the beginning of an anxiety attack… I asked for a few months off. My request was granted, which was bitter sweet. The pros are that I will have more time to rest, to grow as a person, figure some things out, spend time with God, and clean my home. And penny pinching is what I NEED right now because I’ve somewhat doubled back on my minimalism and it shows in my home.

I’m excited though. Thank you Jesus.

On taking my own advice…

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A photo of fuji in the background from Misakiguchi station

I’m always looking to comfort a loved one and remind them that everything will be alright. It’s something that I believe is one of my spiritual gifts from God and a part of His ultimate plan for me. Yet, lately I’ve had to take a serious look in the mirror. It’s great that I like to go to those who need me and encourage them and remind them that it’s in God’s hands. However, I should be doing more than just saying these things, I need to believe them, and I need to show my belief through my own actions.

I’m a woman who panics. There, I said it. I panic all of the time and 20 out of 24 hours of the day, I am in a constant state of anxiety and paranoia. I worry about just about any and everything and it’s been impossible for me to ever really relax. Why? Because over time, I’ve managed to convince myself that any and every bad thing that’s ever happened to me and hurt me was my fault and I believe that if I have more control over what’s going on around me, I can not be hurt again. No, it doesn’t always work out for me. In fact, sometimes I get myself into some deep waters. But this way of thinking and acting has been the way that I’ve operated and it’s given me enough results that I stuck with it til it became habit.

Now that I’ve begun to swim deeper into my faith, I’m realizing that it’s time that I stop trying to control my life out of fear, and give it over to God. Not only for my own happiness and peace, but so that I am in a better position for Him to use me. Maybe I won’t even have to speak so much to those around me because I will become a walking example of what I preach. I just don’t really know how to give Him more control. I don’t know how to live without believing I’m in control. And I’m almost afraid of what that feels like. I endured these feelings for about a month before and it was nightmarish for me. I will say, though, that towards the end of it all, I did have a small amount of peace. That’s probably the only time in my life that I was able to allow myself to be happy, despite what was happening around me. Even then, my anxiety was higher than ever and whenever my happy-high would wear off, I’d remember that I was living in a bad dream and I’d have small panic attacks.

I don’t even believe, or want to believe, that that’s what life is like when you give it over to God. At the same time, I just don’t really know what to do. I’ve been trying to retrace my steps back to the last word I got from Him because maybe if I pick up where we left off, I’ll be back on track. I also realize that perhaps I need to just ask him to help me to submit and turn over my life to Him.

Wish me luck~