How many times have you personally been told that perspective brings clarity and, dare I say it, happiness? That advice isn’t always true. I believe that perspective also includes pain. A lot of times, perspective spotlights pain in a way that can unexpectedly knock you on your butt.
Perhaps you are alone for the holidays for the first time this year (or for the 6th year)? Maybe you have been happy with the way your life is going but when you catch a Hallmark Christmas movie or see the Christmas family photos on FB or Insta (or coming in the mail), you start to feel that your life is not as great as you thought. Slowly your smile begins to slip, your memory begins to betray, and your heart begins to pull in all the places that you thought were so tightly sewn back together. It’s not that you are seeking to feel sad, sometimes it’s a bus that unexpectedly plows into you!
For example, just the other day I was so excited to catch the new season of The Crown. I knew that Princess Diana would enter this season and I braced myself for some difficult scenes. How in the world could I have imagined that some surprising scenes would rip open a couple of the well-placed stitches? If I would have known, I would NOT have watched. Now I’m attempting to be very very still and allow God to re-stitch. It frustrates me and truthfully gets on my last ever-lovin’ nerve that my healing is further than it was five years ago, but not as far as it (apparently) needs to go.
Did Elvis have it right?
I’ve heard this time of year sadness called “a funk” or “holiday depression”. Elvis even sang about it – “I’ll have a blue, blue, blue, blue Christmas!”
So, what about you? Are you a grass is always greener on the other side type of person? Do you seek out new things or opportunities when you become sad or bored and then quickly lose interest? Honestly, I am not of that mind. Contentment is crazy easy for me and I can acclimate into my circumstances pretty dang quick. I suppose this comes from my childhood where I had different guardians and homes every couple of years. I never knew what was coming next until I was in middle school. My marriage was filled with constantly changing careers, cars, and new obsessions which caused me to be in constant alert and then acclimate to the new.
Truth and Light
Today I have stability, my dream job, an amazing family, and I have hope. But that’s when that devil sneaks in and starts accusing. “If you truly believed like you said…” “if you only had (husband, money, etc.) …” “if…if…if”. But those are lies and the script I’m hearing in my mind and heart must be flipped. Someone that is dear to my heart often says, “Truth and light.” Truth and light must be shined on the emotions we feel during this time of year. Feelings can become drivers if we aren’t careful. And we are so careful about so many things, why not our feelings and the reaction to them also?
Here’s the truth. My perspective is that I had lots of dreams about what I wanted my life to look like and those dreams did not happen. I had plans for career and family and many of those plans did not happen. I had a life going predictably one direction and without my permission, it took off in a completely different path. Out of those changed realities, came a lot of pain. And friend, pain is okay.
An analogy that consistently resonates with me is the concept of cleaning a deep wound and applying medication. When my son was in elementary, he avoided being run over by laying down on its side his Honda 50. The engine laid on his leg and gave him a third-degree burn. Over the next several weeks he and I would sit in the bathroom while I scrubbed the fresh scab layer off and apply medication to ensure he didn’t scar. It was horrible for both of us! Praise the Lord, today he has no scarring because of the torture that we both went through to scrape all the bad stuff away. If we would have left the first several layers of scabs, the wound would not have healed properly. What this means for us is that deep wounds need to be scrubbed and reopened many times to allow for true healing.
Does it hurt like hell? Absolutely. Is it essential? 100%
Keeping the feelings moving
So here I am today with hands open and my heart laid vulnerable while another healing moment takes place. My pain is that I will probably be single for the remainder of my life. It hurts, but most days I’m okay with it. My pain is that I will most likely not retire or have a traditional grandma type of old age, but I have to be okay with that. We are allowed to be disappointed every once in a while. We just shouldn’t park our feelings there. Like mobile homes are meant to travel and never stay in one spot, so are our troubles and heartaches. And for me, it’s time to get moving again.