A few days ago I found myself in an unusually procrastinatory (is that a word?) mood.
It wasn’t really that I was avoiding doing work. For me, in this particular case, I was just very sad. I was feeling unloved and unlovable, and that led me to being unable to focus on the work that needed to be done.
So I turned to the ultimate modern-day procrastination tool – my cell phone.
Rather than looking at all the wonderful lives of my friends on Facebook and Instagram, however, I found myself turning to my own personal photo albums.
Within a few minutes, I realized with a start that I was grinning from ear to ear.
This took me by surprise. I was not trying to feel particularly better. I simply wanted a distraction from the pain.
Yet I found myself so enveloped in the wonderful memories captured on my phone that I couldn’t help but be happier after seeing them.
There were pictures of exciting places, delicious food, sweet baby cheeks, and so much more. What I noticed the most, however, were the smiles.
In image after image, I saw happy faces staring back at me. Faces I loved very much, faces that I know loved me just as much. Faces I could turn to for almost anything.
How can one stay in a bad mood when faced with memories such as those?
Procrastination is usually frowned upon. This particular day, however, procrastination gave me a valuable reminder.
So often, our default reaction when we encounter troubles is to run away from them. We try to immerse ourselves in an imaginary utopian world – in video games, books, the internet, or social media. Yet by running away from our problems, we also run away from the very thing that can help us through our problems – relationships.
When I picked up my phone that day, I wasn’t looking for healing. I was looking for numbing. But I went to the wrong place for numbing. Looking at my photos may have been a terrible way to ignore my feelings, but it was a wonderful way to remind me of how very loved I truly was.
I had been seeking escape, but instead found something much better – acceptance.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling overwhelmed with life. I can guarantee you that every other person on the planet can relate. But next time you’re tempted to run away from pain, I implore you to instead run towards healing. Run towards the people who care about you, the people who can help you through your struggles better than anything else. Run towards vulnerability.