Navigating the Gray

I can handle tough stuff. I’m not afraid of navigating valleys or hard seasons. I’ve been thru enough to know that whatever it is, it won’t ever overtake me. So even if I’m not thrilled about an experience, it’s rare that I think I’m not strong enough to handle it.

Gray areas shake me up though. Uncertainty makes me feel vulnerable, more vulnerable than I let on. It’s something about not having a clear end to something that breeds insecurity in my heart. If you know me, then you know my natural disposition is pretty even keel. I’m not the person who walks in a party and makes a scene, I’m not the girl who is gonna pop off if the waiter messes up my order, you won’t catch me flipping somebody off in traffic because they cut me off. The older I get the more I tend to shy away from extremes (unlessssss were talking about wardrobe 😂) I try to find my center and stick with it. Sometimes my desire to maintain my peace keeps me from confronting volatile situations. If the price I will pay for that confrontation is my peace then it’s never really worth it to me. My peace is a gift, I haven’t always had it, so I hold it close like I hold my children. I’m aware enough to know that it’s not always a good trait. Some situations deserve a pop off and a pull up. I still work to find the balance between maintaining my “Ghandi” and exercising my “respect”.

I’ve studied behavior for many years so consequently, I’m very in touch with my own. Its rare that I act without thinking or considering it’s effects. Even when I make poor choices I own my stuff, even the ugly stuff. So I know my triggers very well…Gray areas trigger the hell out of me. I prefer black and white. I want to know what it is, even if it’s unpleasant. The space where you feel something changing but you have no idea what it’s changing into, how it will affect you, how long it will last, and what it looks like at the end….those spaces rattle me.

Covid-19 has swooped us all into a gray space in one way or another and for some of us way more than others. I am also navigating gray spaces in other areas of my life so I feel like I’m juggling a lot. The uncertainty of where this all lands me with work and providing for my family, where I land professionally and doing what I love, where I land as a mom, where I’ll land personally, where I’m gonna land health wise (I work in healthcare)…Whew, I could go on and on. So just like that everything changes and were all supposed to act like our whole world didn’t just get flipped upside down. Unfortunately I don’t flip the switch that easily. In all transparency, this whole thing hasn’t been the easiest for me. So I can imagine that people like me, who prefer a more predictable approach to life, are struggling as well. I’m gonna share the 3 ways I cope during gray spaces to manage my triggers and maintain my sanity. I hope they help you navigate this space as well.

Be honest: So many people walk around unable to even tell themselves the truth. My journal has been RAW the past few months. Being honest with where I am and how I feel really allows me to process things more clearly. When you’re not brutally honest with yourself it’s easy to misplace and project your emotions on things that they don’t belong. When you can’t admit that you’re scared or hurt it’s easy to lash out on your child or your spouse. Emotions will express themselves whether you like it or not, so directing them to the proper place is key for me in maintaining my emotional health.

Grace: Most times it’s easy for us to give grace to others. But make sure you’re giving grace to yourself in uncomfortable spaces. It’s ok to not be your best. You may not be the perfect mom everyday. The house may not look magazine ready. Some days Netflix and chilling all day is an accomplishment. Sometimes simply surviving is enough. That’s ok. Life is hard on its own. People will judge you harshly whether you like it or not, don’t join them. I have sticky note reminders in my closet. They’re my favorite quotes and scriptures about value and worth. When I’m getting dressed I read them and remind myself of who I am, whose I am. Make sure you have reminders so you don’t get clouded by temporary circumstances.

Don’t forget your lifeline: My big sister Robin May just did a virtual coaching video on it and it resonated with me on so many levels. We ALL have specific things that we need to feel balanced or afloat in life. Relationships and connection is one of my lifelines, so finding ways to still be connected with the people I care about has been a priority for me to stay afloat. Waking up and getting dressed up has a direct effect on my mood and outlook so still taking care of myself physically is important for me in maintaining myself during this time. My spiritual life is another one. Mine probably looks very different from yours but it’s important to identify what keeps your head above water and be intentional on still maintaining it in the gray space.

My heart is with everyone navigating a confusing time. Even if it’s not Covid-19 related. May we all remember and stay connected to our source and never forget what truly matters❤️

What’s keeping you afloat?

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