How full is your glass? Are you a half empty or a half full kind of person? I have always been a glass half empty person. I used to joke that I was intended to be a pessimist. I was born on the Day of the Dead, I am a Wednesday’s child (full of woe), and my name means “dark”. My half empty view of life has led me to see what is wrong with every situation. It has led me to expect that the worst would always happen. It has prevented me from seeing the beauty in the mess.
I could say that it is my depression that causes me to see the bad in everything; I do believe that mental illness clouds my vision sometimes. But I also know that somewhere along life’s twisty path, I made the choice to stop looking for the good. I stopped seeing the good in situations that came my way and I stopped looking for the rainbow in the rain. I began to view myself as a victim of my life, rather than a victor in Jesus.
Choosing to see the bad in everything and everyone caused me to isolate myself and keep everyone at arms length. I thought that I was protecting myself from being hurt, when really I was only hurting myself. I thought that by sheltering my heart, I was keeping it safe. In reality, I was missing out on the joy and the sorrow and the ups and the downs of real relationships.
I am forty-one years old and I am only now learning how to be a friend and to have a friend. I am learning that people will hurt me and disappoint me and that is okay because I hurt people and disappoint them too. It is working through those hurts and disappointments that real friendship is formed. It is in choosing to see the good in people and situations that beauty is found in the mess. Joy can be felt in the moments of friction, knowing that you are still loved. I am done walking away in fear of being hurt. I choose to see the rainbow in the rain.
Does this mean that I will never be sad and that everything will always be perfect? Absolutely not! Life is messy. It hurts. It stings. But life is also precious and full of unexpected joy. It is the little arms wrapped around you at the end of a long and trying day. It is the whispered, “Mommy, I love you more than everyone except Jesus” when your patience is running low. It is the unexpected text when life threatens to be too much.
I have depression and that makes it easy to see the dark. The dark is where I am comfortable, but the dark is lonely. Walking forward, I will choose to look for the light shining like a beacon in the dark. I will look for the beauty in the mess. I serve a God who makes beauty from ashes, surely He is able to open my eyes to see the rainbows in the rain.
“…to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners… and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”
Isaiah 61: 1&3