Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Choose to be victorious

My list of ways to survive unwanted separation has been sitting there begging to be taken up again, so here we go, I'm jumping right to one of my favorites.

Coping Strategy #4:
Choose joy. Choose victory. Choose to believe the miracle.

This one actually took me a really long time to figure out, unfortunately. But apparently if you live every day feeling that life is awful, the world is out to get you, God has forgotten you, and things will never improve, you really start to believe it, and you get even more miserable! A friend of mine recently updated her Facebook status to say, "Choose joy." I thought that was remarkable because it's simple but so true. When everything around seems bleak, you really have to be intentional about living positively. Some days, this means pushing out thoughts of: "My husband's having a horrible day, I'm a whole country away, my son is sick, the Skype connection is too choppy to talk, and I had an awful day at work." Instead you choose to be grateful. "I have an incredible family and friends supporting me, we have computers and internet that we can usually rely on, we have jobs that are meeting our needs." And when you start processing all the blessings, the awful stuff starts to lose its hold on the day.  Having a toddler certainly helps here. He definitely goes about his day spreading joy and it's contagious!

Besides believing that life is good, it helps to believe that you are attacking it head-on. Vogue fashion editor Giovanna Battaglia says, "The lower I feel, the higher the heel." I definitely agree. When I feel completely awful and like the world is totally against me, that is a good sign that I need to wear my best jeans or a fabulous H&M dress or my favorite shoes from ZARA. When I try to present myself at my best to the world, it feels like I'm saying, "Hey, bring it on, I can take it." And even if this is far from the truth initially, the act alone goes a long way to making it come true. The point is, if you want to make it through and come out OK, you sometimes have to play dress-up and look your best before you start to feel your best.

Finally, PuertoVallartaGirl, another sister in separation commented the following on a previous post:
Don't forget ... the overall one for all of us who are separated. The belief in the miracle - that our government who we have believed in our whole lives up until the separation - will enact a law that reunites families. And see that the belief in families is more important than some fear monger mentality which is separating us based on red tape. I believe in that miracle. I am just waiting. In fact I can imagine my husband doing the US Citizen oath.
When all else fails, we have to believe that this can't be how it ends. We will have victory stories to tell at the end of this. We will have put in a lot of pain and hard work while getting to that happy ending, but in order to endure lengthy separation, we have to believe that there will be an end. We have to believe that God has a plan (albeit a very difficult to comprehend one) and that this is part of it.

So I choose not to be defeated by this separation. Our marriage has only become stronger through 2.5 years living in separate countries. Our ability to tackle challenges has increased immensely. Our creativity, resolve, and endurance has increased. Our faith has been challenged, but we will hold on to the knowledge that this is the darker stage of a great success story!

Here are Strategies #1 and 2
Here is Strategy #3: Staying Busy


Laura said...

I needed to read this today. Thank you.

Go Amy!

Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration! I needed that right now! Thank you! :)

Kyle said...

Beautiful words. I once read a book, I can't even remember the name now, but there was a part that said, "I can wake up every day and choose to be happy."

So that's what I do :) Or at least try to!

Good for you for making it through!

Kelsey Tepas said...

Thanks Amy! This is a much needed reminder!! I definitely need to see more of the beauty in my life even if the ones closest to me can't see it yet.

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