A couple weeks ago, my friend asked me to participate in a project she is doing for “research/polling/social science-ing.” She asked, “Hey would you be willing to make a list of 10 things you live for? Things that keep you alive?” That’s a very intense question. To be asked for ten answers is a bit intimidating. I do want to answer though, so I will in the best way that I know how by writing this blog post. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of the phrase “what do you live for,” but I do love the question, “What keeps you alive?” As someone who has experienced what it’s like to be depressed, I know firsthand just how many things can drain the life out of a person. On the other hand, as someone who has overcome depression, I also know that many things can bring life to a person. in Basically, you can sum up my answer into three parts: 1) What keeps my spirit alive, what keeps my soul alive, and what keeps my heart alive. With no further ado, and in no particular order, these are the 10 things that keep me alive:
2. Going to church
5. Encouraging others
6. Learning other people’s stories
7. Listening to music
9. Playing Guitar/Singing
10. Reading books, poetry, and quotes
As a Believer of every word of the Bible, obviously I believe I am only alive because God wants me to be. I also believe though that being alive physically, does not mean I am alive in my soul, heart, and spirit. It’s a morbid though, but from the moment we are born, we’re already dying and that’s why we need things to keep us alive.
I know it seems cliché, but two things that keep me alive are prayer and going to church. These two keep me alive spiritually. I get really bad anxiety attacks sometimes and the only thing that keep me going in those moments is prayer. It can be as simple as just crying out Jesus’ name or as complex as having an all-out conversation with God, but no matter what it gives me life. Every Sunday, I go to church. Each week, without fail, I can feel in my body that I’ve been recharged with new life the moment I pull into the church parking lot. Just being there is enough, but more than being there, I get life from the people at church.
Most of the time, I’d rather be at home in my room by myself. Sometimes though, when I’m with the right people, being with people keeps my heart alive. One of the many ways going to church keeps me alive is by giving a place to see my best friend almost every week. I don’t exactly love my job, but I do love going to work because two of my closest friends are there and seeing them and talking to them adds to the quality of my life. Last year, I moved out of my childhood home and away from my family; now when I see them each week, I get to breathe the fresh air of life. Getting to write blog posts and having the knowledge that there is any chance I can encourage people with my posts and getting to have deep conversations with people gives me a special kind of life. Furthermore, it’s also life-giving for me to get to hear other people’s stories to learn from them and see how far they’ve come.
Finally, art keeps my soul alive. Listening to music keeps me alive. There was a time when I was so depressed that listening to an uplifting playlist saved to my phone really was the only thing keeping me alive. Since then, are has been the main thing God has used to keep me alive. He uses writing—this blog, another blog I have, journaling, music, poems, and two books. Reading books, poetry, and quotes breathes new life into me. Playing guitar and singing also keeps me alive.
So, Anna-Marie, now that you’ve read this, I hope I’ve answered it to your satisfactory. I hope it helps you with whatever it is you’re actually doing. I’m still not quite clear on what your project is. Anyway, if nothing else, it gave me a new blog post, so that’s always nice! It also gave me an idea for a blog series, so we’ll see where that leads.