It's like a mantra. I find myself repeating it inside my head, over and over, when things are hard.
"It's going to be ok. It's going to be ok. (deep breath) It's going to be ok." Like a constant drum beat behind everything I do.
Last night I noticed a subtle difference. It's not just going to be ok.
It is ok.
Sometimes that's not true. Sometimes, life is really, genuinely not ok.
Your husband's office has just been bombed and your friends are lying dead in the street.
The kidnapper slams his car door with you inside.
The guy in front of you pulls a gun and aims at your chest.
Your newborn daughter is blue and the doctors can't figure out why.
The smears on the wall are blood, painted by you five-year-old who cut herself with a toy she broke.
The doctors tell you to take lots of pictures of your nine-year-old's birthday, because it will be her last.
Your son huddles in a corner, shaking, as he tells you his dad sexually abused him, too.
No, sometimes things are really not ok.
But today is not one of those days.
As I realized this last night, part of my mind fought back. "Things are not ok!" my mind shouted. "Just look at all the things that are not ok."
No, I thought. Look at all the things that are ok.
I laid in bed and decided to count off on my fingers ten things that are good about my life right now. It was slow going at first, but after I came up with a few, things picked up.
My granddaughter was born and is healthy and happy.
I have a house and food.
I'm enrolled in a great university.
I'm employed, and at least some of the time, my work is interesting.
I have an agent who is working to find a publisher for my book.
My back is getting better.
My daughter gets to direct extreme choir this weekend.
My other daughter and I got to spend the evening watching White Collar and eating Oreo's together.
My other daughter was accepted to a prestigious writing conference.
My oldest son and his wife are doing well.
My youngest son is getting help and making progress in treatment.
I have A's in all my classes.
And hey! Guess what! That was more than 10 ten things!
Then I acknowledged the other half of my brain that was grumbling in the background. "Not everything is good. Some things stink. You do know that, don't you?"
Yes, it's true. Some things are not good right now. So I listed off things that are not going well. And guess what? I had to struggle to get to 10. =)
Then I listed more good things. Then a couple more bad things. And a few more good things.
And then I told myself to look at the whole picture. Good and bad. This is where my life is right now. It's a changing landscape, a work in progress. It's not perfect, but there are a heck of a lot of good things going on.