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Posts Tagged ‘heartbreak’

Within twenty-four hours I had been deeply moved, deeply honored, deeply grieved.

The source of my experience were my three children, and each had communicated the same desire of me … to spend more time with me.

I felt one main feeling … guilt. Guilt that they felt that they had been lacking in time with me, guilt that I had not made more effort. Guilt that there simply are no more hours in my day. This one heavily weighted me down as a mom, as I laid my head on my pillow that night.

For all three to actually come to me meant that this feeling of not having time together has been percolating in their minds for more than a few days, more than a few weeks. I felt awful.

The worst of this whole thing was that I knew they were right in saying so. For weeks, I have been thinking to myself, I feel like I need to be more intentional at spending time with my kids. The problem is, I only thought it, and, although good intentions are good, they are not good enough.

My mother heart was torn.

When, as a mother, you have failed, and you know it, it hurts. When you know others know it, it hurts even more. When your own kids know it, and express it … sigh … it feels as though you have failed at your most important reason for being.

Now that it has been a number of days since my three communicated this to me, and I feel a bit better able to see things in a more balanced, less pained way. My kids messages to me were not all bad, they were an … announcement, a wake up call, and it was one I plan to answer!

The first realization was one of success … my kids TOLD me what they were missing. How many times I have asked them to tell me their thoughts, their needs, and they did this.

The next was one of wake up. When our first daughter was born, I wondered, as I looked around at families, how a parent could evolve from the newness of baby love to not talking with their teen. I had made it a goal way back then, to not lose the baby love phase with my kids, and this goal needed to be revived … now!

The final realization was that I am human. This is something I know, but not something that my expectations of myself allow when it comes to my kids. But, I get caught up in the immediate of life. I get tired. I say yes to too many things. All that to say, I need my kids help in meeting the expectations that they have of me, and I have of myself in regards to how I love them. So, I have asked each of them to help me find a way to meet this mutual need. This is still in progress, but I expect that they will each send me a note, leave a post it on my mirror, send me a text, email or a FaceBook message to let me know when they need my time. And, I will make time for them.

In the meantime, I awoke on Mother’s Day with the iron in my soul that they would not go to bed feeling that they were lacking in time with me. So, after church, I informed them that they would be having lunch with me. We left church, and headed to the grocery store deli where we chose sandwiches and snacks. Then we four (no dad, and no one else … not even the beast) drove to a beautifully shaded park, ate our lunch, took pictures and laughed together.

It was so good to spend this time together, just us four. My heart felt full!

I am so glad that they each told me what they were missing, and that I had the unusual wisdom to hear their hearts with my own. Perhaps their outward cries, came from what my own heart was missing too.

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It was a beautiful painting. As I stood before the gorgeous combination of colors. The vision of mountains and sky. The strokes of the painters brush … the strokes of a painter of passion, a painter of purpose.

It is a pictorial representation of that familiar description of the aura one having a migraine is often known to speak of. So, in the midst of her beautiful painting, is something like a hole. This ‘hole’ makes the painting look flawed to the point of being painful to view.

One of her purposes in creating this painting was to create a visual for her doctor, to show him what it is she experiences. It could be said that her painting is the picture of the pain no one sees, except for her.

Another picture of pain could be an x-ray, to confirm a broken bone. Or an ultrasound to confirm an ectopic pregnancy.

Sometimes the picture of pain can also be vicarious. Just the other morning a friend was telling me of a sports injury that her husband had suffered. He had thought he had broken a bone, but now it looks more like the muscle was torn from the bone. Just hearing about it caused a shiver down my spine, as I vicariously imagined the pain that must cause.

These are pictures that are bright with the colors of pain.

There is other pain that is more difficult to see, more difficult to experience. It is the pain of the emotion, of the heart. This kind of pain is not visible, like fall colors, but it is hidden in the shadows of our heart.

For people to know that you are suffering with this kind of pain, the one in pain needs to share their experience. I refer to his as bleeding publicly. This unseen pain can be the most mentally, spiritually and even physically altering pain.

The only visual that one suffering the ravages of hidden pains, is one of a hand gripped around ones heart, squeezing tighter and tighter, just to the point that would end it’s pulsing, and the relief of final death.

A broken heart rarely does stop beating. It keeps going, and the pain continues. Gradually it subsides, and the pain lessens. But the scar tissue is permanent, and the person carries their scars, like an amputee carries their scars. We may go to our grave concealing our greatest pains, our greatest injuries.

These scars recreate us. Others may never see our heartaches, but they will see the picture that the pain has created in our re-created self.

“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain,
but it is more common and also more hard to bear.
The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden:
it is easier to say
“My tooth is aching”
than to say
“My heart is broken.””
C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain 

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