There's Always A But


Body image. Procrastination. Impatience.

We all jotted down what it was we disliked most about ourselves. What issues we struggled with the hardest. What self-loathing thoughts stood in our way the most.

Not being where I want to be. I wrote down as number 3 of 5. The activity was conducted over top the soft melody of Anthony Evans—the perfect soundtrack for this moment of reflection. Being lost in myself, I wrote as I recalled the many times I felt like I didn't know myself; and thought about how not knowing myself caused me to miss out on knowing others.

Part one of the activity ended ten minutes later. Had it continued there would've been a lot of damp eyes. We talked briefly about the effect of part one; how it brought up old feelings within us; how it forced us to deal with the very things we'd been pushing into the dark; how conjuring up those negative things we try to convince ourselves we don't care about, is both hurtful and therapeutic.

The facilitator instructed us to write a 'but' to the negatives we exposed on that sheet of Hilton Inn notebook paper. She reminded us that while bringing to light the darkness that lingers within, it's also important to shine a light directly on those dark places. To not just expose those things, but to reflect on the good parts of them too. That's where the but came in. That's where this post came in. 

Because there's always a but. There's always a positive that comes with every negative. There's always another reason, another answer and another way out. There's always a light to be shone into the dark nights. There's always another source of sunshine, somewhere. There's always a moment where you recognize that the bad is not what should be highlighted but that, instead, the good that comes in the midst of it is.

You may not be where you want to be, but you're not where you were.
You may be impatient, but you're effective, productive and efficient.
You may not be the weight you wish to be, but you're healthy.

You may not yet know exactly who you are, but you know what you're called to do.

but you know what you're good at. 

but you know to whom you belong. 
but you know that joy comes in the morning. 
but. but. but.

In all that we are and all that we endure, there's always a but that offers a ray of sunshine. Our task, while assessing where we can improve in our lives, is to also recognize the great things we offer. To appreciate the good that often couples with the bad; the good that's often outweighed by the bad. And, to acknowledge the but that boldly interrupts our self-defeating thoughts and brings us closer to self-love and hope.

There's always a but. Take time to find yours. 

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