Acknowledge The Valleys

Do you pay attention to the valleys and peaks of life? The peaks are those special moments we hold onto in our hearts, our wedding day, the birth of our children perhaps, or even paying off your debt, graduation, or a vacation you dreamed of. There can also be little peaks, like winning something, getting mail that isn’t a bill, or being told how valued that you are to someone.

Those peaks carry us through the valleys.  The valleys are the moments where we feel as though we could stay in bed hibernating all day, when we question our worth, when we deny our ability to shine, or when life seems to be unbearable. The times where perhaps we are more sensitive to things that may not bother us otherwise. When we know we’re just in a rut. The circumstances around us just seem to overpower us, as the expression goes, “when it rains, it pours.”

This time of year tends to be a valley for me. There seems to always be reminders of past events that caused great pain, fading daylight hours, and gloomy skies both outside and in my heart. The Hallowe’en season with death and decay all around me, depicting violence and gore. The morning being dark, the cool weather setting in, the busyness of routine beginning again. Fall is just hard for me. I often find myself in a valley at his time.

Can you relate? Perhaps it isn’t fall for you, but its the anniversary of a great tragedy you’ve experienced? Its the reminder that there was once better days. And time moves on, and suddenly a new season occurs, and you reach a new peak again. Oh, how the valleys make us appreciate the peaks so much more.

Sometimes we spend so much time filling others that we forget to fill ourselves up. We have jobs or roles that call for us to constantly put other’s needs above our own and that is an amazing thing, but sometimes it can also be very heavy. Sometimes we just don’t get enough sleep and begin to feel so overwhelmed and exhausted. Sometimes we just don’t reach out to our support system, or even worse, we convince ourselves we aren’t worth bothering our support system. Sometimes we just swim in our own self pity, forgetting we can choose to reach for a life vest, a friend, a counselor, a loved one.

We think we are the only one in our valley.

Sometimes situations are bigger than some cheery encouragement. Some things are just so much more complicated and bigger than a bumper sticker style phrase that is intended to help. Sometimes we just need to acknowledge that we are in a valley, and that is okay because we won’t be here forever.

An other peak will someday arrive.

But to you in a valley, know that I am right there with you.

Acknowledge your valley. Grieve if you need to. Let it out.  Strong people do cry, and in those tears we release the toxins overtaking our bodies. Seek help. Know the power that comes from being vulnerable with those you trust will help set you free. Don’t dig your hole deeper by thinking you’re in this alone. You’re not. Reach out and take control.

Though you may now be in a valley, you’ve overcome them before. And you have the power to do that again resting in your very soul.

Sometimes just simply acknowledging the existence of the valley gives you enough determination to start climbing up out of it.

“When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.”
Isaiah 43:2

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