Sunday, June 15, 2014

temple parking lot ramblings



I really love driving in silence. It's one of my favorite times to just think. Sometimes I just need a little Elise time, you know? I also spend a fair amount of time hanging out in temple parking lots. That's actually my most favorite kind of Elise time. 

Lately, things have been pretty good. I've felt a little bit more like myself in the last couple weeks than I have in a long time. But I'm also feeling strangely apprehensive. 

I bought a new car in December. By Valentine's Day, I was towing it over to the mechanic. By Easter, I'd officially driven my mechanic's rental car more than I'd even driven my new car. I did get my car back for a few days in the middle of the process only to find out that it was actually still having the same problem. So, it went right back to the mechanic. 

By the time I really got my car back halfway through May, I wasn't really even excited. I was pretty apprehensive about the possibity of it breaking down again. After a few weeks, I decided I felt comfortable about my car really being fixed. And then I scraped the side of it on a pole. 

It's not so bad really. My car still works and I'll get the cosmetic damage fixed. But in that moment I felt so awful. I finally had my car back and now the "next problem" was because I'd done something stupid. After some serious tears and a good old Dad talk, I let it go. I didn't hurt anyone, I didn't damage any other cars, I wasn't injured. It really wasn't such a bad situation and all that was in my power at that point was to choose to move on. 

And then, a week later, I got two holes in my radiator. 

This post isn't really about convincing you that I have the worst car luck ever. It's actually not really about my car. I've been realizing lately that I'm holding myself back from a lot of happiness because somewhere along the line I started just waiting for the next "car problem" to happen. 

And I'm referring to all of my life. Somehow, I got stuck in this idea of "life is hard" in a way that had me just anticipating my next challenge. Sure, life is full of challenges. That's a big part of life. But living life from challenge to challenge is not what anyone actually wants us to do. And it's not at all who I am. 

It's actually quite possible that my life is really good right now. And I think I've realized that "really good" doesn't mean "without challenges". And "really good" doesn't depend on how long things feel like smooth sailing before that hole in the radiator comes along. 

I'm learning. But I actually am still kind of afraid to believe things might just actually be good. I know that much of that is simply choosing a perspective. But somehow it feels like a "scary" choice to just believe my life is great. Because, what if I'm wrong? What if I allow myself to feel happy and believe that things are good and then everything comes crashing down around me?

But maybe happiness isn't so dependent on the things happening (or crashing down) around me. 

It used to be easier for me to choose happiness. I don't know if I just lived in an "ignorance is bliss" state of mind for a long time or if I have just finally caved and let myself become jaded. Maybe it's a combination of both. 

Here's what I do know: happiness is the object and design of our existence. (https://www.lds.org/ensign/2000/10/our-search-for-happiness?lang=eng) Life actually IS really, consistently good. Because one thing I know for sure is that we all have a loving Father in Heaven who wants to bless us. Who sends tender mercies daily. Who is always always always there with open arms. And who, in His infinite wisdom, allows us to be tested and tried. Maybe I don't understand it all, but I guess I really do know that holes in radiators are actually a big part of why life IS good. 

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