Tuesday, July 24, 2012

i wanna be really, really real today.


i am a movie freak. i get excited when the newest trailers preview on this ginormous screens or when my favorite actors or actresses make announcements about their upcoming projects. DVDs line my bedroom wall, and you know my netflix que is full of my movie favorites. i love being one of the first to purchase tickets ahead of time and tweet it out because i am that fan. so like many summer blockbuster movie fans, The Dark Knight Rises was on the top of my top to-see movies of the summer. 


however, as we all know and as the news headlines screamed on repeat to us all weekend long, was a weekend predicted to be of celebration and hype, turned out to be the most tragic shooting of U.S. History. instead of a giddy movie-goer, i found myself solemnly cautious to rejoice over the movie tickets we had for the Friday showing. and the looming feeling clouded over me as the lights dimmed and the previews began - and instead of finding myself getting sucked into the film as i usual do once the movie begins, i found myself thinking about the victims of the Colorado movie theater shooting. and how they too were just watching the movie, allowing themselves to forget about reality - the bills piling up at home, the unfinished project nagging for attention, or the broken relationship needed to be mended - for the next couple of hours, and the last thing they suspected was that the very violence they were viewing was the very violence about to change or end their lives that night. 


my heart broke again and again, hearing the names and the stories of those killed in the massacre. i fought back those tears when i heard about the heroic boyfriends who protected their girlfriends from those bullets. i thanked God for the lives that were spared and the testimony and inspiration they are being for the world to see.


the timing of this event in my own life brought it's own reality check for me. last week was one of the roughest weeks i have had in a long time. i found myself struggling with being content for where i am at in my life. if you read through my journal, you'll find me questioning and wrestling and complaining. i lost focus on my relationship with Jesus and allowed bitterness, frustration and even anger to take root in my heart. i tried to hide my struggle but found that it was finding it's way out of my heart, from my mouth with words and emotions hurting those people closest to me. my struggle was affecting my work and my day to day life. 


i know, i know. i was in one big self-pity pit and i wasn't even trying to get out of it. sure, we all go through self-pity parties but i was so tired that i didn't even feel like getting out of it.  


until Friday. when i was slapped in the face with reality: get out of the self-pity pit RIGHT NOW.


and those images ingrained in my mind - of those running out of the theater for dear life. people hugging onto their families like they would never let them go. mothers kissing their sons, and sons not caring that their mothers were kissing them in public. the sympathetic tweets from tweeters around the globe. the eerie first photo released of the killer. all of these various components of the weekend ran through my mind all long - because none of those victims would care what season of life they were in if they knew they were about to lose their lives. all they and their families and friends care about is to be able to hold each other one last time. 


life is precious and we are never promised tomorrow. there isn't time to sit and mope in the pit. we aren't promised that time. it's a harsh reality - but it's reality nonetheless.


and with that reality, i found myself climbing out of that pit. i hugged my family a little tighter that night. i told my fiance over the phone that i loved him and miss him. i savored that McDonald's vanilla cone more than usual, licking my lips to get every bit of vanilla. i breathed a prayer of thanks for the roof over my head, a warm comforter, and a ceiling fan spinning above me.


life is so fragile, and today is a gift none the less from a gracious, loving God. may we live that truth out - hate less and love more. learn to let go of the stress and the fears, and hold tighter to the people we love the most.

much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

35 comments:

  1. So true. I self-pity *way* too much, and it's a horrible habbit.

    Oh my goodness, the shooting made me cry. I seriously had to just sit down and weep before I could see that God had a plan with this. :(

    {{hugs}}
    ~bree

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  2. Perfectly said. My heart breaks at those who were killed trying to protect their loved ones. I cannot imagine the horror they suffered. Self-pity is a horrible cycle, isn't it?

    I'm so sorry about your family friend. Prayers to you.

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  3. You're so right - it really does give us a(nother) reason to give thanks for what we have and thank God for his love and mercy. And that we can find comfort in knowing that even though we may not know what He's planning to use this event for, He DOES. xoxo

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  4. Thank you for posting this. I'm not religious, but I see your message and appreciate it just the same. Life really is so, so short and so, so precious, and we must take advantage of and appreciate every moment we have. Such a terrible tragedy.

    - Samantha

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  5. Amen...
    Wonderful reminder post...
    And the boyfriends taking bullets for their girlfriends? I am tearing up just thinking about it...
    Ky
    www.thebirdssay.blogspot.com

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  6. OH, and your header!
    I WANT IT, but in yellow.
    Seriously.
    How'd you do it?
    hehe.
    Ky
    www.thebirdssay.blogspot.com

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  7. Beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't help thinking the same thing when the movie started. I even leaned over to tell my husband I loved him, just in case. Not something I ever thought I'd need to do watching a movie :(

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  8. *hugs* Very well put. Thank you for sharing these thoughts... they brought tears to my eyes.

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  9. This is such a beautiful post. My boyfriend and I have been discussing the tragic events that have occurred and it has greatly affected the way that we think and live our lives. Anyone can be a hero - even those who didn't think they had it in them. Life's extremely too short to ever feel negativity so we have to make sure to surround ourselves with those who emit positivity every single second of our day. Love more and smile more, friend.

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  10. i can't believe what happened in colorado. my best friend and i went to a 330 am showing and he knew what had happened but didn't tell me so i wouldn't freak out. i definitely appreciated that.

    http://romanticallychallenged.net

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  11. wow....really beautiful post. i got teared up reading it. its so interesting how those kinds of things can shake us up and how God uses them to show us how blessed we really are.

    <3

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  12. so, so true. these things always help our perspective if we let them. nothing seems quite so bad as it did when we realize what a gift life really is. thanks for this post!

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  13. So touching! A valuable lesson in how tragedy truly does give us a reality check into what is most important in life.

    My heart goes out to all the victims

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  14. wow...You spoke what was on my heart exactly!
    I totally agree with you.
    I went today to see the film with my mom and for the first half of the film, I couldn't get my mind off what had happened. That lead me to thinking about how lucky I am, that I have this day to enjoy without fear. You never know when your time will come, so live everyday without fear.
    I also agree about the self pitying and losing the focus on Jesus. I have felt that as of late as well, and this post helped me to realize that. Thank you so much for sharing!

    xoxo, jamie brooke

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  15. love you, ilene. thanks for sharing your heart and being really, really real. :)

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  16. Amen. This is the day the Lord has made - let us rejoice and be glad. And thankful. Praying for you!

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  17. the shooting incident definitely opened my eyes too. everyday i go on the internet and i see articles over articles about it and i can't even explain how it makes me feel. it breaks my heart when i read about heroic boyfriends who risked their lives to save their girlfriends. i mourn for the women because i can only imagine how much pain they are going through only to know that the love of their lives are gone forever all because of a senseless event. i definitely appreciate life more now. and i'm thankful to God for every single breath that i'm still taking.

    my heart goes out to the families of the victims of the shooting. i pray for them every night.

    Look cute at the beach this summer! Enter to win a £50 gift card to Simply Beach.
    Win a $50 giftcard to Shappy Apple! Come and join. :]

    :)
    Carrie
    http://readmylifeascarrie.blogspot.com/

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  18. So true! thanks for the reminder girl (getting myself out of the pity-party right now!). xo

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  19. Loved this post! Thanks for opening up.

    I was so distraught over what happened in Aurora. My hubs went to the triple feature that night, and I couldn't help but think that it could've happened anywhere. I don't know what I would do if anything ever happened to him.

    It's crazy because even before that tragedy occurred, I've said to my husband while sitting in a movie theater, "What if some crazy person just came in here and starting shooting people? What would we do?" I'm weird like that, always thinking up the most random, bizarre things that I never actually think would happen, but would want to have some sort of game plan if it did. It's scary to think that my bizarre thoughts are not so out there after all.

    It really put things in perspective for me. All the arguing, stressing, and negativity just seems even more incredibly petty in the big scope of things.

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  20. Amen, Irene. This tragedy hit very close to home, the city I grew up in, a high school classmate robbed of his life... but I've been so proud of how Aurora, the media, and the nation has responded to this. Our mayor said, "it's amazing to see how much good has come out of something so bad."

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  21. Seriously LOVE your new blog design!! It's so perfectly you and so classy. Love this post, too. Miss you friend!

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  22. this is such a beautifully written post.

    and you are so right.

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  23. Great post. I'm glad you have wonderful things to be thankful for :)

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  24. i love when you open your heart on this space. :)

    and i, too, cried when i got back from camping-- away from the news of it all-- and figured out the horror of what had happened. life is too fragile, too precious to waste it on not loving others.

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  25. you really put things into perspective here girl. i love the way you write and open your heart. i definitely gave my little A extra kissys over the weekend and will remember to do so every day!!

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  26. You are so sweet to share these feelings. I think a private journal is a good idea. I have a lot of thoughts that need to be uttered ... or written down ... but probably not shared. Even family and close friends often "really" don't get it or are busy with their own stuff. But ... I think maybe to write down your thoughts ... selfish or pity party... whatever is a good way to get it out. You can be as stupid or ridiculous as need be and hopefully once written there's some bit of ease. I agree that certain things always put our lives in better perspective... although ... to be honest ... sometimes I still feel sad about some things but then also guilty. Silly huh. Great post.

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  27. thank you, ilene, for sharing your heart so beautifully. i appreciate the way you gave voice to your feelings over the colorado shooting and your personal response to them... i identify... thank you for putting thoughts to words.
    love from colorado- sarah

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  28. Thank you for posting this. I've been having a hard time understanding the events in Colorado and you summed up the things I think I needed to hear. My boyfriend moved to Indiana from Colorado the night of the shooting and it terrified me because that could have been him in that theater. It could have been us there that night. He moved because of a new job opprotunity and I'm so grateful he is safe and sound. Makes me really appreciate life and not take my loved ones for granted. Thank you for sharing your feelings. :)

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  29. this post reminded me just why i miss having you as a "hangout anytime" friend in my life so much. you are so genuine and honestly encourage me to grow closer in my own relationship with Christ....every single time. I know we mostly talk about the latest Beaufort happenings, blog stuff or celebrity gossip but you should know that your own faith really challenges me and helps me grow. loved this post friend.

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  30. Wow friend, this is so perfect.

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  31. Thanks for being so honest about your own issues too Illy. Like you said, too often we have ourselves a little self-pity party and forget what matters.

    Even though I'm on the other side of the planet, the Colorado shootings really shook me. The people who lost their lives will be remembered, and the people who survived will be forever changed. I hope, in time, after the mourning time is over that they heal and try to lead normal lives again.

    Thanks for posting about this, Illy.

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