Life Lessons (Part 1)

Hey everyone!! I hope you’re all well. We are coming towards the end of another holiday season and we are watching another year come to a close. If you know me, you know I LOVE this time of year. I definitely dig Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. However, I love this season because it gives you an opportunity to reflect and assess. We all seem to take stock of the year that was and move into the new year with optimism and well wishes. Well, I’m going to continue that tradition with perhaps a slight twist. Here’s hoping you can relate.

While I am a fan of the atmosphere of the holidays, the reality of the holidays for me have been less than ideal for the last five years of so. I’m a big family guy and love all of the closeness that family brings. My sense of family has undergone a great deal of change during that time. It was five years ago during the holidays where my marital separation began. So naturally, there’s been a bit of a sting coming into the holidays. I’ve regularly tried to be positive and save face every year while hurting rather significantly, thinking about what was compared to what is. Compound it with a career change or two and the holidays have turned into a time that I’d actually prefer to skip.

Fast forward to 2011. This Thanksgiving was shaping up to be pretty different. I had determined that I was going to start some new traditions and really choose to be good with whatever happened. No more BLUE holidays for me. Well, my travel plans were changed at the last minute and the Princess was going to be traveling. So, it looked like a rather lonely Thanksgiving. Well, some family from in-state came to the rescue and so, I headed there. While I traveled alone, there was plenty of family love there and I didn’t hurt for the first time in a long time. Then there is Christmas. This Christmas was going to be a little different, as I had the Princess with me Christmas weekend. Again, potential to be slightly painful because of a new environment and the like. However, it was an AMAZING Christmas. I spent some of it with her, some with friends, and a good deal alone. Again, I wasn’t hurting.

Then the epiphany happened. For years, I’d been hurting. The pain became so regular that I just expected its arrival. However, this time, the pain was gone. Low and behold, the scars of past relational changes were gone. Time, space, wisdom, and God have done a great work and now the pain of the past seems to be gone. Here’s the best part. The heart has mended and it is free from bitterness and resentment.

See, you have to learn to allow healing to happen. Too often, we look for healing to show up in some dramatic way. As a church kid, we look for someone to speak it, shake it, quake it, blab it, or grab it. However, true healing doesn’t happen by spinning around three times and uttering a great catch phrase. Healing of the heart takes time. Look at our natural bodies. Wounds heal. Broken bones mend. But they do so as time and the body does its work. I believe that our hearts were meant to be whole. Yet we must understand that heart healing can NOT be rushed. Just like any other natural healing, emotional healing requires rest, time off, and tender care. If you break your leg, you can’t begin rehab the next day. You must allow the healing process to begin before attempting to resume normal activities. With the return to normal activities, that is done in stages and gradually. You can’t go all in when healing hasn’t happened or you stand the chance to further damage the injury.

Our hearts are the same way. Some are guilty of trying to have rebound relationships after a major injury. Friend, do you and the world a favor. Take some time off, sit down, and heal. It is true that hurting people hurt people. Don’t be guilty of injuring someone else because your desire to be healed exceeds the reality of your healing. Learn to gauge yourself properly and allow full and complete healing to happen. Many of us have walked around managing emotional limps just to get by. Well, if it’s been a while, it might be time to revisit something that once seemed painful and just see how you do. You might find out that you are further along than when you last checked.

So, it’s taken a while but I feel like I’m coming along nicely on my road to emotional recovery. It’s one of the great life lessons for me from 2011. If you’re game for it, I’ll share some more later.

I hope this helps someone. If it does, leave a comment here and let me know.

Until then, be blessed and don’t rush your healing. It WILL happen in due time.

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