“I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward. — Charlotte Bronte

14563418_10210944911564740_4799217850738766938_nFor the past month, I’ve been giving myself weekly mantras. This week, I’m reminding myself to live in the present moment more. If I dwelled in the past less, letting nostalgia lie to me, I’d truly be happier. If I stopped worrying so much about my future, I’d be less anxious. In this case, upward means expecting more out of life and out of myself and trying to see what God wants for me. This is what people call mindfulness. That’s my goal this week. Onward and upward.

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Knitting Needles

Slip knot. First row. Bind off. Draw yarn through stitch.

I see seasons of mental health like an endless skein of yarn and a knitting pattern. This time it’s a scarf. It seems pretty basic from the outside- first row, bind off, cast off. But even those basic steps are second-guessed and shaky. Sometimes, I get so anxious that I knot everything up, and then I have to spend painstaking hours trying to undo it. Or depression kicks in and I put the whole mess down because I can’t handle it. I don’t have the energy to hold the needles anymore.
skeins-of-yarn
And I get so frustrated because I’ve been working on the same scarf for months. I knit away and think things are ok, but I look back and see how uneven it all is. Time to undo. Time to use an easier pattern, even though normally I’m capable of so much more. I can’t move on to more complex patterns or start a shawl because getting the hang of the basics right now is too tough. And in some seasons of life I have made shawls and colorful blankets and cozy hats. But this season, I’m focusing on the basic scarf.