Worrying is so uncomfortable, right? I mean I honestly believe that anxiety has got to be one of the most uncomfortable feelings known to man. And yes, I’m partially talking about the physical sensations that anxiety can produce in us, but I’m also talking about the stream of thoughts that seem to bombard us when we are dealing with a particularly tense situation or circumstance.
I’ve written a lot about anxiety before, of course, and I even did an entire hour long class on techniques to deal with anxiety just this week (you can watch the full replay HERE or on the Self Care Bestie Facebook page – but only until May 31!). But in today’s post, I’m getting a bit more personal.
I’ve been struggling with anxiety these past few weeks more than I have in QUITE some time.
The reason? Due to an issue beyond our control, we weren’t able to close on our house on time (we were supposed to be moving in last Saturday). This wouldn’t be a huge deal at all, but our landlord has been extremely difficult to deal with and is not letting us stay past our closing date. UGH. SMH.
Totally thrown off and not sure what to do – how could we move twice in 2 weeks? How could we PAY to move twice in two weeks? How could we pay to store our stuff AND move twice in two weeks? How could our family of 5 live in a hotel for two weeks? I mean…from where my husband and I stood there was just a lack of viable options.
So we consulted our lawyer and he said we should just stay put.
But isn’t that breaking the LAW??? I wondered, incredulously. I can’t be a law breaker!
He informed us that as long as we still pay the rent, there’s nothing our landlord can do to us, and we’d be out by the time she would even try to evict us or engage in any legal proceedings. I never thought I would be saying this, but I’m thankful to live in a state that heavily protects squatters’ rights. What even is my life right now.
My anxiety is basically coming from a fear that my landlord is just going to show up at the house today and try to manipulate, scare, or threaten me. To be honest, I wouldn’t put it past her. It’s been THAT kind of difficult with her for the past 1.5 years.
My husband literally said to me before bed last night, “You’ll have friends here with you tomorrow, and you know if you need me you can call me.” He knows full well the kind of person we are dealing with.
So what am I going to do with this worry I’m experiencing? How can I handle the anxiety I’m having as I live amongst half-packed boxes and wonder what I’ll say or do if my landlord tries to confront me?
Well, I’m going to start by taking my own advice. I’m going to do every single thing I teach other people to do when they experience a time of extreme worry or stress. Here are a few of them – for my benefit, as well as possibly for yours.
First and foremost, I’m going to try to live as much of today (and all the days) in the present moment. I will return again and again and again (and again) to the moment I am in RIGHT NOW. I will try to notice when the worrying starts and stop it in its tracks ASAP. I will not berate myself for worrying when it sneaks in. I will stop it and breathe, and observe it non-judgmentally.
What if this was the last day I ever got? I’d want to live it joyfully, despite my circumstances. Joy is a choice, even when it doesn’t seem like it. It’s definitely not always easy to choose it – in fact, I would say most of the time it’s not. But just for today, I will choose it. I will intentionally engage with people and in activities that bring me joy. I will sit on the deck and enjoy the sunshine. I will put on my joyful playlist on Spotify and sing my heart out. I will go for a walk with my baby boy and praise God that for today, he is mine. I will have coffee and laugh and catch up with friends. I will pray. I will commit to joy over and over and over again (notice a pattern here?).
I have dealt with difficult situations and difficult people before. I have experienced other sleepless nights over other difficult people who have hurt or wronged me in some way. I have survived every difficult, anxiety-riddled day before this one. And so have you. Why is this so? Because we show up to each moment as it occurs with exactly what we need to handle it. The anxiety isn’t really about what’s happening, because in truth, it hasn’t happened yet. What if my landlord decides if she can’t move in yet she’ll just take a vacation until we move out? Or what if she comes to the door and gets in my face and yells at me for being a terrible person? The fact is, at this point, at the start of the day, both of those outcomes are equally likely. And since I don’t know the future, I can choose to be content with the knowledge that I’m a smart, capable, loving person who can, with God’s help, handle whatever comes my way today. And every day.
Well friends, I hope you can glean something useful from me openly admitting I’m a squatter to you. 😉
I’d sure appreciate your prayers today. Let me know if there’s anything I can be praying for you about, too! I’ve got your back.