Between classes, work, parents’ expectations, dating, instagram likes, and discerning what to do with the rest of your life, our lives can become a seemingly list of burdens and pressures.
Many people struggle with anxiety, depression, loneliness, and insecurities. Individually we all carry personal crosses that can feel too heavy to bare. When we hit the brink of potential despair with any of the trials we face, Christ is longing to carry our crosses with us and never abandons us in our suffering. Christ gives us hope and the grace to heal and grow. God is longing to give you real concrete tools to carry and manage your anxieties and burdens. So how do we let Christ into our messes and struggles? How do we recognize the tools He has placed before us and begin to use them?
In striving towards a more fulfilling life of peace and healing we must ask ourselves a terrifying question. ‘Do I actually desire to live a more fulfilling life?’. This question might sound simple but requires some honesty. Do we want anxiety to go away? Yes, of course. Do we no longer want to be depressed or lonely? Absolutely, who wouldn’t? But often times we need to ask what steps are we taking to actually live a better life? The question requires a possibly terrifying honesty with ourselves. It’s not a question of shame, but an honesty check. Are we waiting for God to zap us into our best life or are you practically striving to live life to its fullest? Have you settled, become comfortable in your struggles?
To honestly answer the question ‘Do I actually desire to live a more fulfilling life?’ might reveal a lot about ourselves that we didn’t even know. It’s scary to give an answer because if our answer is ‘yes’ to a fulfilling life than we might have some work to do. That ‘yes’ might mean being vulnerable with others and asking for help. For many the answer is I am already striving to live life to its fullest and you are doing an amazing job at it! The answer might wake us up to the fact that we have settled in some areas of our lives. For some, it might show us the progress we have made in taking real steps in our lives for the better. For others, it might reveal that we have become too comfortable and stopped growing in some ways.
The Way of the Cross
Following Christ and living life to the fullest may not always be a walk in the park but is filled with hope in Christ. He gives us the grace to carry our own crosses and this grace comes with concrete and practical steps in our lives.
Taking real steps to a more fulfilling life means first accepting your answer to the question of ‘do I want to live a more fulfilling life?’ It requires an honest look at ourselves because we need to understand where we are coming from to move forward. Secondly, it means taking real concrete steps to live our lives to the fullest. We can’t just say yes and wait for God to zap us and not do the work. Christ is calling us to follow Him. This might mean first talking to someone and asking for help from your parents, friends, your priest, and a professional therapist or psychologist. Third, it means building a relationship with yourself. Living a fulfilling life requires us to understand who we are and what we are made for. This requires giving ourselves the time, patience, and understanding that we would give a friend as you strive, fail, fall, and get back up in the process of growing and healing.
Real change requires real action. To grow and heal, we must first ask that terrifying question and examine if we are really striving to live life to the fullest. If the answer is already ‘yes’ then keep going! You are not alone! Christ is laying the tools before us for real healing. Are you willing to pick them up? Be not afraid. Ask the question and get to work.