Lessons I Learned From The Fault in Our Stars

It is not often that a story touches the hearts of so many people in such a profound way I believe the Fault in Our Stars is one of those stories. I have read the book and seen the movie, and I have felt my heart utterly envelop the characters. I feel their pain. I burst with laughter right along side them. I swell with love as their story unfolds. Even though it is heart-wrenching, it teaches us so much about life and death. About finding acceptance with the life we have been given and being able to find love in the most unlikely places.

There are so many lessons from the story that I can apply to my life. For instance, even though I do not have cancer, I have other demons in my life that plague me and I wish, more than anything, I could be free of them. I wish for a life without plagues. A life where I could just be happy instead of wasting so much energy on working to win internal battles. However, when I step outside of my self, I see the beautiful life that surrounds me. I see the love that my husband gives me everyday. I see my parents and my brother showering me with affection. I see my students and co-workers enjoying my humor and passion. When I close off the fear of my own mind, I see the beauty that God has placed in my life. Seeing these things lessens the weight of the plague I bare and strengthens my resolve to never give up.

I have been learning that we all have internal battles. We all face challenges in our lives that wear us down. I am not alone. You are not alone. Together we are strong and and conquer anything. As John Green says, “that’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.” Without feeling pain, the feeling of joy cannot be understood. Without anxiety, there is no peace. The burdens I carry were given to me for a reason, and I choose to accept its weight. I was created to be strong and it will never win.

that's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt

Anxiety, you ain’t got nothin’ on me!

Over the summer (before I started by journey towards healing) I spent a lot of time worrying about all of the trainings I would have to partake in during the upcoming school year. My panic attacks where not under contro. yet , not to mention they had NEVER been a part of my life previously, and I was worried they would strike during presentations or when I was meeting new people. However, I am proud to report that I have been to three training this year, each 2 days long, and I have not had a single attack, or even anxiousness. It is an incredible feelings to know that I am able to get outside my comfort zone and be able to stay calm and excited about what I am learning.

I still struggle with the frustration of knowing that almost an entire year of my life was lost to anxiety. Especially since I had already dealt with anxiety when I was in college and I thought I had it under control. I did not have the panic attacks, I had the feelings of dread for no reason (which is always annoying. Gotta love GAD.) I wasted a year of growing as a wife, teacher, a leader and a woman. However, I am learning that I cannot keep that mind set. I have to find learning opportunities from this situation. If it had not happened, I would never of discovered the healing tools that are available to me 🙂 This can really help me in the future if I ever get trapped in the cycle again.

As always, if you are in the darkest fight with anxiety, don’t give up! Open up and you will be surprised by how many people are understanding and supportive! 🙂

It’s Not About What You Don’t Have, It’s About What You Do With What You Have

This morning my bible study, Everyday A Friday by Joel Osteen, was about not allowing our disadvantages stunt the progression of our lives.  I really felt that this message speak to me. For years I had prayed for my anxiety to go away so that I could live fully. There has been apart of me that has been frustrated and annoyed because I still suffer from it. I always felt that I could never be happy unless my anxiety was cured. In other words, for years I have been stuck in my own private pity party. However, over the last few months I have been learning that my happiness and fulfillment of my life is not dependent on whether I have anxiety or not. It is all about the perspective I choose. I could view my anxiety of something that holds me back from my potential OR I could see it as a blessing I can utilize to help others who struggle with the same thing. Isaac Asimov said, “It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.” I choose to face my anxiety boldly and  realize that I may always have it, and that is ok. It doesn’t mean that I will miss out on a great life. It means that my struggle can be used to help out others.