Live Now

May 26, 2013 by Mom the Muse  
Published in Beauty

Sometimes, when I go through difficulties, I find myself shutting down emotionally, living, but not really. This "self-preservation mode" may be effective at preventing constant emotional outbursts, but it is hardly a good solution.

Have you ever been so uncomfortable with an ongoing situation in your life that you cannot ignore it, you can’t resolve it, and making the best of it, although your only option, doesn’t seem like the best of anything?  I have, and my typical response is to shut down emotionally, sort of going into a holding pattern, hoping that as I hibernate inside myself, the outward situation will somehow work itself out, at which time I can “wake up” and start to feel again.  

Does it work?  Yes, and no.  Yes, I can keep myself from fretting and hurting by not allowing myself to feel, but only for a time, and when all of those ignored emotions come out, believe me, it isn’t pretty!  No, the situation does not usually resolve itself in the manner in which I hope it will, either, so I find that I must either continue to live in this “half dead” manner, or take the pain as it comes, day by day, processing each wave individually.  In process of grieving, I have found that even the most remotely unrelated thing can trigger a memory of the most powerful nature, and usually at the most inopportune time, too.  A song on the radio as I am on my way to work, a single word that was once part of an inside joke, a random photo accidentally stumbled upon or any manner of things can set of the tears.  

Be that as it may, I think it is preferable to live and to feel, even during the painful times than to shut everything off, so to speak.  For one thing, if I am unavailable to myself emotionally, that also means that I am unavailable to those I love.  I can tell when I am not fully engaging in life by the way I relate to others.  When I stop looking people in the eye or when I would rather just be alone than to be with my favorite people, I know that I am in an unhealthy state of mind.  

Thankfully, I do not have to bear my burdens alone, and even when I do not feel like disclosing my heart to anyone else, I can always bare my soul to God in prayer.  I have heard it said that “tears are a language God understands,” and often, those tears are all that I can communicate, but it’s enough. God is the one who heals me, although he does often use the kindness of friends and family, too.  Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” How beautiful to fully realize this!  

So, as I suffer, I know that I can also find hope, keep living, and if I will look around, I can always find someone else who needs encouragement even more than I.  As I work my way out of my emotional shell, I find that a new and better person eventually emerges, and that makes everything worthwhile.

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