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Posts Tagged ‘Sadness’

“Depression is an ink that stains everything it touches
A black hole that swallows all that comes near”
-The Beaver (movie)

I do not personally know the truth or fallacy in the quote above. I do know that as I look back at times when I was sad, when I was feeling downcast those words are so true. Looking back on those periods in my life, I can see the stains that were left on those around me, even today.

It is easy to forget, or not even be aware, that we are part of a bigger world than just ourselves, and that things that happen to us, affect those around us. It is the relational evidence of the scientific fact that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So when we are overwhelmed with pain or sorrow or frustrations, we are not the only ones to feel the effects … all those closest to us feel our reactions, and then they, in turn, also respond.

As a mom (I cannot speak for dads) I am naturally predisposed to guilt. I can look over the well-intended mothering that I have done, and see errors that I made that will surely result in therapy for my kids in years to come. Yes, I have forced them to clean their plates, at times. Yes, I yelled at them more than once (a day). Yes, I sent them to their rooms to await discipline … and forgot them. Yes, I made them clean their rooms. Yes, they are all aware that that their not at all skinny parents have skinny dipped (that one may send them to therapy for longer and sooner than any other, if their faces turning green when they discovered this is any indicator).

There are certain periods in our life together, when I thought I was hiding my own disappointments and sadness with life’s circumstances so well, and as I look back, and look at changes in their lives, I am aware that too were stained by my sadness. It is such a guilt-ridden thing when I see those stains that they wear, because of me. My inability, at times, to manage and deal with events in my life better, have permanently stained my children …

I am coming full circle now, though. And I am looking to see purpose in suffering, I am looking to see good from bad. I am looking to see that something positive, not just negative, can come from those stains. And I am beginning to see it.

I see a daughter’s sensitivity to a friend who is being stained by sadness and illness in her home. I see a son’s expression of his friends need of God. I see a daughter’s desire to go to those in desperate pain and need, in a place I would not want to go, to show love and mercy. Those times of sorrow for me, that were permanently etched into the beings of my children, have altered their hearts. They have been able to take the stains that I have caused, and are wearing them as certificates of accomplishment and experience. And these stains are being used to reach out to others, more desperate than their mother ever was.

The redemptive way that God can take our pain, and mold it into something beautiful for others is something I do not expect to ever understand this side of heaven. But, I am thankful that the stains I may have caused, have not swallowed the futures of my children.

“God Himself will be among them,  and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes;

and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;

the first things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.

He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son (daughter).

Revelation 21:4-7

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In the early morning quiet I am the only one under our roof who is awake.

I sit with the laptop warming my knees and hear the various songs of the dawns chorus by the early birds that says good morning to me. This is my favorite time of day.

The sky lightens with every minutes passing, the shadows appear and become more distinct, then fade as the light takes over the places of shadows.

My beast greats me each morning at the door of my bedroom with one joyous, hope-filled open eye staring up, communicating, “can I pee now?” When I open the door for her, I am greeted with the gift of fresh, crisp, clean air. My lungs inhale it’s newness with no conscious thought from me.

As I take in that first breath of morning air I sense that now I am awake, now I am alive from the inside out.

I smell the dampness in the air that the morning dew creates, I smell the creation that is green and purple, and blue and red and yellow… the flowers of my garden. I see the creation that is green and purple and blue and red and yellow … the flowers of His garden.

It is here, each and every morning that I step out onto the deck that I am confronted with His garden, His creation, His abilities, His greatness. It is here, each and every morning that all that He has created reminds me that He also created me. That He is bigger than me. That He can make beauty from dirt from nothing. It is here that I am reminded that, if I hand my problems, my struggles, my heartaches and my to do list over to Him, He will make beauty from my dirt, from nothing. He reminds me that if I take the whole of my life, even my body, and there in the alter of His garden, lay it all out for Him to do as He wills, as an act of sacrifice, He will take it, He will redeem the life I have, and make it something better than I ever could … something new.

Then I inhale a new scent, and I look down to see my beast, content that her ‘job’ is done, ready to move on to the intake of food. And I am reminded that signs of life are not always sweet. Sometimes signs of life are truly crappy. Sometimes signs of life are downright shitty.

Death can be one of those sour signs of life. Or illness, or pain, or stress, or struggle, or disappointment, or bills, or divorce, or a failed test, or broken trust. We feel the weight that those signs of life, through no conscious choice of our own to feel them. As we take in those sour signs of life we sense that we are awake, that we are alive from the inside out. Sometimes these more sour events and seasons in our lives make us feel alive … and wish it were not so.

They are indeed signs of life. And they remind us that life is not just the life we have here, now, today, but that there is a life beyond all time and space. A life where every breath is like that first morning uncontrolled inhaling of fresh created air. A life where we will not just have the created to woo us awake, and to marvel at with all of our sense, but also the Creator who will turn our mourning into dancing.

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As I watch the dark push away the light,

The sun is being swallowed by the horizon

Gone forever

My soul longs for the it’s final small slivers still in the sky,

The remnants of what is passing,

Of what will also soon be gone forever,

Never to be exactly the same as in this present moment.

My head lays down at night with the hope of light arising again in morning,

When darkness falls upon this world it is a reflection of my heart,

My heart whose life evidence was in it’s soundless beat in my ears,

But whose rhythm I felt in the whole of my body,

Now, it too is gone.

The ache settles in my soul, filling every part, forcing the last rays of light away,

Until there is nothing but darkness,

There is no light in view,

There is only nothingness,

In the dark there is no light to keep me warm,

To make me feel alive.

In the dark there is no growth

There is an absence of all things that light allow to grow,

And more dire than a severed vein,

There is only the stagnancy from the absence of anything,

Nothingness is all that is left,

The light is gone,

The dark has come,

The ache is all that remains,

To torture my soul,

Forced into believing

I am still alive.

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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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