Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Feeling the Pain

I am a parent of kids, thus I hear complaints.  Life is not fair.  This is too hard.  But I don't like this.  I am constantly reminding my kids that discomfort is part of the process of life.  Deal with it.  Feel it.  I modified this popular saying with my kids in mind:

"Life is rough; life is tough;
then you grow up and get whiny kids of your own.
Then you die"
 

Whiny kids really aren't that tough.  But learning to feel, embrace and cope with feelings is something I am still learning.   I have learned more about pain than I ever wanted to know.  I have learned what pain feels like; and the extent to which I have worked to avoid feeling pain.

Allow me this random, rambling story.  It has a point, I promise.  I have an awesome mom-- the type of mom that invited me to sit on her lap and rock in the rocking chair as I cried on her shoulder about classic teen tragadies.  I sat on her lap when I came home from college and cried about missing my friends.  I would cry; she would listen.  Then we'd go to the kitchen for milk and cookies (I always took my cookies minus the milk, thank you.)

I grew up and moved away and the situtions changed, but the cookies stayed the same.  Cookies help me feel better.  Stress, anxiety, deep sorrow.  Cookies, brownies, oh and ice cream fix it.  That became my modus operandi.  Emotions that were too big to feel, or maybe it was just that the feelings felt bigger than me, either way, I would ignore the feelings and hide in my sweets.  I sought escape in something that could only mask the problem and make it bigger.  (Sound familiar-- it is the same situation addicts find themselves in--porn, sugar whatever- escape is escape.)

I gave up sweets around Christmas time last year but I have watched and wondered and thought about my new escapes.  Facebook.  TV.  Books. Facebook. Someone else's problems.  I turn to these "friends" when I can't seem to deal with my own reality.  It doesn't work.  I can tell you that right now.

Allowing myself to feel pain has be a hard, but necessary part of my healing.  The feelings of deep sorrow, sadness, hurt all wash over me.  I am helpless, buffeted by a storm I did not seek.  But in my deepest sorrows I have not been left alone.  My Savior sends me comfort; He speaks peace to my heart.  The waves come and go.  Some waves feel strong enough to knock me off my feet.  My Savior lets me feel that.  At other times He calms the storm around me; a respite before heading back into the storm.  I am grateful for a loving Savior who knows and feels my pain with me. He continues to lead me and help me.