Self Care Challenge: The Importance of Being Alive

I am ALIVE. I will not forget how important that is.

Even before I tried to kill myself, I wasn’t living. I had hurts and fears and bitterness and resentment and mess that nearly killed me. I have said it countless times: there is no medical reason for me to be here.  But I am. And it is only because of the goodness of God.

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His grace is so much greater than our wildest imaginations. He let me find a life I didn’t even know I could have. A wholehearted life is so much deeper than just inhaling and exhaling. This extraordinary God shows up in a thousand ordinary moments and shows me what that life looks like.

Growing up, I heard people say, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” Before my suicide attempt, my eyes weren’t empty. They were just forgetful. I’d forgotten to look for the good things in life. But now, I am finding joy in the most mundane places: at the kitchen table with my wife, working through deep-seated fears; in every intentional moment I spend with my children, cultivating their innocence and self-worth; and even on the couch at the counselor’s office. I am happy now. That did not seem possible before.

Remembering to look for good in people and situations is hard, but it helps. Celebrate the gracious people God brought alongside you in the journey. For me, the nurse who cared for me while I was in ICU sticks out as a real guardian angel. Plus there are friends I never expected to support me in my recovery, but do. Life sucks at times, but when we find things to celebrate, we shouldn’t just gloss over them.

I’m alive.

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate, but the fact that I didn’t die is reason enough for me. I don’t want to forget that.

Join the 7-day self care challenge!

Self-Care Reflections:

  1. What do you enjoy? Is it the smell of fresh cut grass? The taste of soda through a straw? Notice the details of your life that are pleasant, even fun. Make a note to notice something every day. Write them down when you can and give yourself something to look back on.
  2. Do you have a person you’re especially thankful for? Tell them today. And tell them why.
  3. According to Kate Pieper, LMFT, studies show the brains of depressed people often do not even see the bright colors of the world they live in. All of life is shrouded in the darkness of depression. So today’s challenge is to get outside and notice bright and vibrant color. Write them down. Is it the richness of a wildflower? The blue of the sky? The green of the grass underneath your feet? Or the stark white of the clouds, contrasting behind the trees?  Whatever it is, take time to notice and really see the world we live in.

Messy Grace Mantra: I am grateful for my breath and grateful I am ALIVE!

Want more? Join my 7-Day Self Care Challenge

Challenge Starts 2/27!

Self-Care for the Wounded Soul: 21 Days of Messy Grace, by Steve Austin

*This post is an excerpt from my book, Self Care for the Wounded Soul: 21 Days of Messy Grace. Get your copy today!

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