As I visited with my grandma at the hospital, she laughingly told us about the medicine they put her on today. She said the room suddenly got very small, the ceiling got really close to her nose and she kept feeling like she was going to fall out of the bed. The nurses kept telling her the bed was exactly where it had always been, her railings were up beside her and there was nothing to be afraid of. She said she lived in a tiny sized hospital room for hours until the medicine finally wore off. She couldn’t make this reality go away. She couldn’t ignore it. She couldn’t undo any of it. All she could do was hold on and wait until she got through to the other side.
I also ran into an old friend today. We spent a lot of time catching up and she shared that life doesn’t look like she wants it to right now. Hardship has hit her world and for a season, things are going to be different and harder than she hoped. No matter what she does right now, she can’t make this reality go away. She can’t ignore it. She can’t undo it. All she can do is hold on and wait until she gets through to the other side.
As I look at these two folks I realize that no matter what season of life we are in, we are where we are. Sometimes it’s a situation of our own making. Other times it’s an issue thrown at us by someone else. There are even times where life just gets hard because of outside, uncontrollable factors. But the truth remains, we are where we are. We can’t ignore it. We can’t undo it. All we can do is hold on and wait until we get through to the other side.
So often we get in situations and we beat ourselves up for even being there We hold onto past mistakes and painful memories, letting those be the lenses that we view our present circumstances with. And if we don’t hold onto the past, we hold onto the present and get so bogged down in our current emotional turmoil and pain that we can’t even see the ones around us who are standing by, trying to hold our hands and support us along the way. But then sometimes we get lost in the future, wishing away the season, hoping so much for better days that we sweep it all under the rug. The hurts just grow and pile, ready to explode at any point on anybody.
Instead of these responses, when tough times hit, we need to just “be” for a moment. Live there. Express the emotions. Acknowledge the hurt. Stop comparing our circumstances to everyone else’s and saying we shouldn’t feel this way or that way. Feel it. If we don’t feel it, we won’t heal it. Be sad. Be mad. Be happy. Be joyful. Be exhausted. Be overwhelmed. Be tired. Be lonely. Be broken. Be loving. Be tender. Be whatever it is that we are at that moment, because where we are is where we are.
It doesn’t mean we stay there. Once we realize we are sad, we can figure out ways to deal with it. Once we acknowledge we are mad, we can try to search out why. If we are happy or joyful, discover what it is that brought us there and add more of it to our life. If we are exhausted and overwhelmed, we can now try to identify what the source is and begin eliminating factors from our life. Get the idea?
This week, embrace your reality and then move forward with opened eyes. Choose wisely what you hold on to and be aware in the moment. You are where you are. You can’t ignore it. You can’t undo it. All you can do is hold on and wait until you get through to the other side. And don’t forget, if you don’t feel it, you can’t heal it.