It seems like we are in an unrelenting season. Things just keep piling up. When you think it can’t get worse, you open up the news to a story that breaks your heart or you see something on your social media feed that saddens your soul. People are imperfect, I know, but sometimes it feels like we’ve hit a new low. It can be hard to find the energy to rise back up.
I often ask people in my life how they are taking care of themselves during this uncertain season. Anne Lamott would call it practicing radical self-care. Digging deeper and spending time pouring back into yourself to fuel your mental, physical, or even spiritual health. I always ask people the self-care question because it’s so different for each of us.
For instance, I have one friend who is re-energized by creative pursuits, including painting a room or learning how to make pottery. It’s her inner artist that needs attention. For others, it is time away from the constant barrage of noise and demands. It’s their inner spirit that needs a quiet place to think. I also know someone who brings back nostalgic moments from her childhood, such as riding a bike or jumping into a swimming pool, to feel alive again. She always seems happier when her inner child comes out to play. When I get really low, especially feeling like the world is full of more hate than love, I immediately dive into my radical self-care option that works almost every single time.
Singing competition shows.
You heard me right. I binge watch videos from “The X Factor,” “America’s Got Talent,” or “The Voice” where regular people, like you and me, share their talent with the world. The shows always do a great job of digging into their personal story and how they’ve gotten here today, including showcasing their talent in front of judges and a huge audience. I get chills just thinking about it.
The best part of the show, and where it really becomes self care for me, is when the singing is done and the judges begin their part. They use their words to encourage. They show when they’ve been touched by the talent. They use the golden buzzer to help people get closer to their dream.
When the buzzer is hit by the judge, all this golden confetti comes down from the ceiling and inspirational music starts playing to signal they are taking the next positive step in this journey — with support, with encouragement, with love. Everyone cries, including me.
When I see people helping others become their best selves, it restores my faith in humanity. It’s my inner heart needing to be reminded that people are good. People are kind. People are worth investing in because they matter.
The Bible teaches us to love God and love others, which seems so simple and straightforward, but it can get buried quickly in all the negativity. You can stop seeing the bright light in the darkness. You can grow weary and quit hearing God’s promises. You can forget your role in loving and lifting up others.
When we forget or lose our way, I wish golden confetti would rain down, inspirational music would start playing, and we would hear, above all things, the encouraging words of our Father. He would say, “You are worthy. You are breathtaking. You are marvelously and wonderfully made. You are so loved.” We would cry and celebrate because it’s exactly what our heart needed to hear in the moment.
Heather Feeler has no desire to be a singing star on stage, but she would love to cheer loudly in the audience. Maybe she’ll even come home with some confetti in her hair. A girl can hope!