“This is my depressed stance. When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you’ll start to feel better. If you’re going to get any joy out of being depressed, you’ve got to stand like this.” – Charlie Brown
Have you ever been stuck where you are because you actually become comfortable in the pain? Maybe it’s not so much “comfortable” or necessarily “pain”, but it’s something you know and understand well. You know how to be sad. You know how to eat a lot. You know how to be miserable. You know how to be alone. You know the feeling of pain. It’s comfortable. As Charlie Brown says, you’ve got to stand “like this”. See the difference good old Charlie makes in the below cartoon: head down, shoulders slacking and face drooped? If you want to stay where you are, you can. It’s your choice.
I was recently at home for six weeks recovering from a surgery. In that time, I didn’t really see many people, I obviously didn’t go to work, didn’t exercise, and did little house work. You get the picture. The closer I got to going back to work, the more anxious I became about returning. That was natural, of course. Part of my reluctance was jumping back into a leadership role, making decisions and being totally immersed in the ministry again. The part that many people don’t talk about was the longer I was at home, the more I didn’t want to go out, the more I wanted to eat unhealthy comfort foods and the more I really didn’t want to see people.
Sometimes when I go “down”, it actually feels good in a weird sort of way. (Can’t believe I just admitted that!) But I know how to be depressed. It is familiar and it used to be my norm. Being fully, truly happy was foreign and unknown to me. When I met Christ, He showed me true joy, love and grace. I realized I didn’t have to stay where I was. So over the last few years, I’ve been learning a new normal, that is filled with happiness. Of course, happiness is a choice. (Read my blog on that here:
I sometimes have to fight myself to make that choice, but I continue to work on that.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a time and place where you need to take a step back and allow yourself to heal, recover and “be” in the pain. But when you’re getting to the point that you’re comfortable in it and want to stay there, that’s when you need to move forward. You need to push past that feeling, and start living once again.
Have you ever sat in your misery because it seemed comfortable? How did you push yourself out of it and move forward?
Philippians 3:12 (NIV)
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.