the PROBLEM with PROBLEMS

Problems. We all have them, and in one way or another, we all handle them. Some of us avoid them, some of us tackle them head on, and some of us go about it at more of a leisurely pace, thinking “it will all work out in the end.” Whatever your technique, problems are inevitable and we must deal with them in order to move on with our lives. However, there is one big problem about problems (hahahah) and that is this:

It’s important to look at the problem in your life, but your problem shouldn’t BE your life

Let me elaborate: Dealing with your problems is a GOOD thing, a HEALTHY thing. But it can turn into a not-so-good, not-so-healthy thing if your whole entire life is about solving your problem. Life is not one big math equation and there is not one perfect solution. Bummer, I know :/ If we spend our whole entire life trying to solve that problem or find that solution, we will waste our life. One problem is not worth one life, regardless of how big it is.

Let me explain even more: Most of you know I’m recovering from anorexia. The past seven years of my life have been dedicated to recovery. I’ve spent years and years in all sorts of treatments, from inpatient to outpatient to IOP’s to groups to individual therapy and on and on and on. I’ve had to focus a lot on my eating disorder because my life actually depended on it. Had I not spent so long fighting for recovery, I would not be here today. Eating disorders are exhausting, soul-sucking, and ultimately life-threatening. And that was my problem.

However, a few weeks ago, I realized an awful truth: My eating disorder had become my life. It was no longer a problem IN my life, but my life ITSELF. When people asked me who I was and what I did, my first thought was “Well I count calories and exercise obsessively and cry about food and *insert more eating disorder behaviors here). I no longer had a life anymore. ED had stolen it.

As much as this realization sucked, it made me really think about the life I want to live vs the life I’m living. I don’t want my life to be my eating disorder; I want my life to be free and happy and balanced and fun. I want my life to be full of people and places and traveling and yes…even food. I want to take back my life, the life that was never ED’s in the first place.

Maybe you don’t have an eating disorder. Maybe this isn’t making sense to you at all. But my guess is, you probably have some type of problem in your life right now. What I want to do is encourage you to take a step back and honestly look at how much of that problem is taking up your life. Do you feel like you’re living life and this is just a problem in it? Or do you feel like you’re living in your problem and life is just what happens in the meantime? It’s a weird concept to wrap your head around, but definitely something to think about.

Because when it comes down to it, life is short. So so unbelievably short. And I don’t want to spend my life going from problem to problem or in my case, being stuck on the same problem forever. Life isn’t about solving problems; life is about living. So I urge you to really let that sink in and do some introspection about the problems you have in your own life. Just remember, we’re all in this together (cue High School Musical). But really, I’m in the same boat. We all are. Let’s tackle our problems together, tell them to shut the eff up and LEAVE, and get on with LIVING our LIFE, shall we?

xoxooxxoxo

Tate

Keeping a Heavenly Perspective

I needed today. I needed fresh air and trees and adventure. Sunshine, leaves, and a mountaintop perspective. There’s something to be said for leaving the city behind and spending a day with no phone, no worries, no obligations. Just me and the trees. And my boyfriend lugging along complaining how long we were hiking. Ahhh perfection.

Towards the end of the day, Chris and I went to my favorite place IN THE WORLD (yes, more than Disneyland) and as always, it filled my soul to the brim. It was surprisingly vacant for a Saturday, which me and Chris were thrilled about. It’s always a good thing when you see more trees than people. We spent the afternoon exploring and laughing and admiring the beauty around us.

While we were hiking, I had this huge epiphany moment. Actually here’s the exact place where this moment happened so ya’ll can get a clearer picture:

FullSizeRender (5).jpg

Beautiful, isn’t it? The water, the trees, the way the sky is reflecting off the lake. It was one of those moments that you’ll remember the rest of your life. One of those moments when you feel like everything is right in the world. One of those moments where you can’t help but thank God for what He has made.

And THIS is when my epiphany started. I was just sitting there soaking everything in when I had this thought: I don’t think anything could ever be prettier than this. Like I was fully convinced I could check “VISIT PRETTIEST PLACE EVER” off my bucket list. But then…God hit me with this thought: If you think this is pretty, just wait until Heaven. And then my head started spinning and I started thinking about Heaven and Earth and Jesus and nature and everything in between. And here’s what I came up with:

This place is not our home. Earth is just sort of a pit stop before we get to our final destination. A nice pit stop, none the less – none of that motel 1 crap. We’re lucky that we get to stay here for awhile and experience moments like the one above. We have sunshine and mountains and flowers and rivers, oceans and animals and forests and canyons. We live on a beautiful planet full of people and places that will never fail to take our breath away. But this is not our home. And if we think the things HERE will take our breath away, I cannot even IMAGINE what Heaven will be like.

I wish I could describe what I think Heaven will be like, but I know it’s above and beyond my wildest dreams (raise your hand if you just started singing Tswift). I have some ideas of what I hope is there, some requests I may ask God if He could have arranged. I hope it’s one big party with all of us Christ followers, a reunion where I will finally get to see my dear loved ones who have already passed. I hope there’s some type of movie theater where we can watch undercover footage of events in the bible as they actually happened. Can you imagine being able to see Jesus walk on water? Or being nailed to the cross? Or sitting down and breaking bread with His disciples? I hope heaven is full of people and animals and creatures we may not even know exist. But like I said, this is just a guess, just something I think about from time to time. Quite honestly, I have no idea what God has in store for us up there. I mean, does anyone really?

And that’s the most beautiful part of it all, the most wondrous part of it all. Heaven is one big mystery and I’ll have no idea what it’s actually like until I’m up there one day. Oh, what a glorious day that will be! The day I will finally fall on my knees and meet my savior and discover the magical mystery of the world above. I think it will be overwhelming and exciting and all of those things, but I also think it will feel like coming home. After all, that’s where we really belong.

On the dashboard of my car, I have a little note that says, “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.” Cancer, heartbreak, addiction, road rage. There is no pain too big for God. Let me repeat that: THERE IS NO PAIN TOO BIG FOR GOD. He heals our pain in all different ways: sometimes it’s time or meeting the right people or losing everything until all we have is Him. And sometimes, it’s being sent home to our real home, Heaven. Death is not something to be afraid of when you know it’s followed by more life. Can it even be considered death if it’s just our physical bodies that die? Our souls, the REAL part of us, will always be alive. Our last breath on Earth will be followed by our first breath in Heaven. And that is something to be excited for, not fearful of.

I hope you soak that in and really think about what we have in store for us. We’re here for now, but we’re not here for long. Keeping a heavenly perspective will allow us to enjoy the time we have left on Earth, but be excited and expectant for the life we have after that. Heaven, here we come!

XOXO your happy little camper,

Tate