When we are willing to share our woundedness it allows us to connect on a deep level with others.
This is a poem I wrote about that.
The pain is near
Close inside my soul
It holds my essence
The past that is me
It holds the secrets
Things not always shared
But given freely
To ease distress
The pain others fear to share
Pouring out over the torn
And bleeding hearts
Joining our souls
Connecting our depths
We are together
Melded by God
The place of suffering
The place chosen to connect
Suffering and pain
With no restraint
Feeling the aloneness
Ever after to pour over
The oil of compassion
Life can be miserable. It can be painful. The thing is it’s what we have been given. No one’s life is free from trouble. That sounds like everything is awful but it’s not. Without the pain and the bad days how would we recognize the good when it comes. Life is lived in opposites. Good/bad, up/down, here/gone. We always have these things to deal with.
It is a quirk of human nature that we often spend time remembering the bad more than the good. The late song writer, Johnny Mercer, said it all: “we need to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.” It is so easy to remember ourselves and our emotions from the bad time. It is harder to remember the feelings of joy and euphoria. I don’t know why that is.
I can tell you stories of bad things that have happened in my past. They are vivid and come into my mind bringing sounds, smells and feeling. There are many more of those than of the wonderful moments. I have had many wonderful moments. Why are they less vivid?
I am beginning a journey of writing down the good memories when they come to me. It may be that they are vivid but I am not paying attention. That is why I know we need to log the good things that happen each day. There is a rule in nursing that if it isn’t written it isn’t done. I think the same thing is true of the good. Writing things down helps memory and I will be logging at least one each day.
Today it is: My husband is healing well.
Remember the good!
I am tired, sad and struggling. I can’t seem to shake the tiredness left over from my cold and the stress of traveling and my husband’s surgery. I have a strange habit of not reacting physically to something when it is happening but it always hits when things are getting better. I guess I should have expected this.
I have mentioned before that I am blessed to have four dear friends. I know that it is rare to have four and thank God for it. They hold me up when I am down. At the moment two of them are having problems to deal with. Things that maybe can be solved and maybe not. I feel so much grief for what they have been and are going through. If only I could help more or take away some of the pain. Sometimes the only thing we can do is be present but it doesn’t feel like enough.
For the last month I have had to cope with the things in my own life and it has taken me away from being present more than I wanted. I hope that things shift soon and become more manageable.
I don’t know that any of us could possibly have coped without having a deep faith in a loving God. When things seem impossible leaning on God is my only recourse. Somehow I can sense his presence in the midst of all the chaos. My friends feel the same and we all have the prayers of many to uphold us. At times is is possible to actually feel that support and love.
I know there are people who don’t have this belief and that is their decision. I wold find it lonely and fearful without it. I hope that everyone has something that they can hold on to in the midst of life’s trials. May you find that thing that gives you peace and strength to hold on.
Someone said recently “old wounds never heal.” I so disagree with that statement. In medicine, there are wounds that are difficult to heal. Some may take a great deal of time and attention. With work they will heal.
I think that the wounds we encounter in life do heal. At least if we let them. It is possible to keep picking at a wound and re-opening it. We may not want to turn loose of that hurt. It is possible to keep it going forever. However, what good does this do us? Just having the wound is painful and offers the possibility of infection. Infection is when the hurt digs down inside of us and causes, not only mental pain, but also physical symptoms. Deliberately holding on to wounds hurts no one but ourselves.
So what happens to wounds? They heal. There may be a scar to show that something happened to us but it may not even be noticeable. It may stay there forever but most of the time we will not even notice it. The healed scar may also help us to see the things that we have overcome. It can give us courage to face the next thing that appears. We can also use our scars to prove to others that healing is possible and give them hope.
Don’t keep wounds open. Let them heal and move on.
Today I am really sad. My mother gave me a ring of hers on my 16th birthday. It is beautiful. It’s monetary value is of no consequence to me. It’s sentimental value is enormous. Today I went to get it and put it in the jeweler cleaner and it wasn’t there. I have looked everywhere although I am sure it should have been in its normal place. One of two things has happened…either it was taken by someone who was in the house and there have been some…or I have put it somewhere unknowing and now will have to find it. I am devastated. I have only lost two pieces of real jewelry in my life and both of them were connected with my mother.
After the first loss I did mandalas (drawings done to with prayer and meditation) about it for months and the thought still hurts. Now I have another to get past. I keep reminding myself that it is just things and that people are what matter but at the moment it only helps a little. I know that this too shall pass but for now it hurts.
I can’t seem to stop my tears from falling. This is not anxiety or depression but sorrow and grief. I pray that the ring is here and will be found but I have real doubts. Life can certainly put us to the test about what is important. I promise that my faith and the people I love will get me past this but I think it is ok for the moment to grieve.
This morning the minister in our church began her sermon by saying “truth said in love hurts before it heals.” I agree with this statement but would like to add the word “uncomfortable or painful” before truth. Some truth is good to hear and is uplifting. Sometimes we need to hear things that we didn’t really want to hear. It is important that we hear them but it can really hurt.
In a small example I can remember my younger daughter saying to me “you should change your hairstyle. You are funkier than this…it doesn’t suit you.” Mildly painful to hear but of course it was absolutely true and I did what she said.
There are much more painful examples. I am sure that each of us have some. The truth, if it is said in love, can hurt. It may take time but I do believe that it will finally heal. We must take care with when and how we speak that truth. Sometimes the hearing would be too painful and would destroy a fragile ego. Discerning when to say something is critical. Hopefully only when it will actually help.
Our sense of self can be fragile and those who love us are the ones who mirror our value to us. Therefore it is important t continue to mirror goodness when we can and pain only when necessary.
Eventually we all lose the people we love (or they lose us). We cannot live forever. Life for each us does have an end. Is this a bad thing? Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s not.
At one time in my life I was angry about a child losing her life in an automobile accident. I railed against her losing her life so young. Her life was cut short. I resented that and was angry at God.
I visited a minister friend to talk about this feeling and I frequently bring to mind what he said. “Each of us has a life span. It is ours and ours alone. It may be long or it may be short. But it is ours. Each life is not cut short. That is the length of their life.”
Whether you agree with this or not it gave me much to think about. I have decided that the idea contains much wisdom. It helps when I can’t understand why someone’s life has ended.
There are some things that are harder to deal with than death. It is so difficult to watch someone we love disappear one piece at a time. This is what Alzheimer’s patients do. Little bits of them fall away. Memories are gone, friends are unknown, family is not recognized. I see this slow fading as worse than death. It is called “the long goodbye.”
There are other times that death comes as a blessing. Agonizing chronic illness can make the person long for death. Having a loved one become weak, disabled with no recovery and slip away day by day is another.
For those who suffer with mental illness especially anxiety and depression there are times when death can feel like an escape from the pain of living. I hope that each of us can find some help, some relief that moves us away from that decision. Life is worth living and things can be better. Never give up life. We only have so much time and each moment, each day is a gift.
I did not intend to write such a sad post but these things do happen. Losing someone is painful no matter how it happens. Losing ourselves also brings grief. When that happens we have to find a new way to be. Find ourselves as a new and different person. One who can move forward each day.