“Some day we’ll look back and laugh about this.”
Have you ever heard this phrase? I used to hate it. Mostly because when my mother used it growing up, it meant we were going through something awful.
At the time, I just wanted to sit in my pain and self-pity and have that awful moment mean something. My pain was significant. Surely, it needed to be recognized and honored. Right?
And here is where our thinking about pain can get muddled. Our human instinct is either to sit in it, or avoid it all together. I don’t know about you, but I’ve done both.
Dealing with painful emotions in a healthy way is like walking a balance beam on an airplane flying through turbulence. It ain’t easy. It requires focus and strength with agility and practice.
Yes, we need to recognize there is pain and feel it in order to process it and let it go. But a little too far to the left or right and we’re falling off the beam.
By trying to ignore the pain, we’re it’s likely to lash out at someone – down on the mats we go. On the other side, we can be tempted to idolize the pain as if it makes us unique and valuable – landing us face down on the other side of the beam. Of course wallowing in the pain, refusing to move forward at all, means we never even attempted to walk the beam at all.
Even when we are focused and feeling like we have a good footing on the process, the outside turbulence hits, the situation changes, and the beam is moved out from under us.
Falling off is part of the process. It doesn’t make us failures or broken.
Think about babies. Before they learn to run, they learn to walk. And in the process of learning to walk, they learn that falling down is ok. It’s part of the learning curve. The process of learning to handle emotions well looks much the same. Falling is part of the process.
The reason we walked so early was because it was modeled by the adults around us every day, all day long. We were exposed to it. Unfortunately, the healthy handling of painful emotions is not modeled as well. And where your parents and family fell along beam, you were likely to follow.
Thankfully, humor was a coping skill modeled exceptionally well in my family growing up. It is one of the reasons I never quit on the mat after a fall into self-pity or a harmful coping mechanism.
That small phrase, “Some day we’ll look back and laugh about this” became a reminder that this moment, this fall off the beam, does not define my life as a greek tragedy where my story ends face down on the mat.
Instead, I can look up to my Savior and ask Him to lift me back up on the beam. Because of grace, I know my story continues. It may be messy. It may mean I have to get back up on the beam 20x per day. But there’s always hope.
And that promise of laughter reminds me of that hope. It helps me see the mat that catches me is really the hands of my Heavenly Father.
My current circumstances will change. Healing will happen. Laughter will ensue, eventually.
God will always catch me. Jesus makes it possible of me to get back up. The Holy Spirit is cheering me on and reminding me of all the mourning that has since turned to laughter!
“A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22
“The Lord has anointed me to [bestow]…the oil of joy for mourning.” – Isaiah 61:1-3b
|Ginny Priz is a Christian television show host, coach, author and speaker. Ginny has overcome her own drama with a prosthetic arm, alcohol, panic disorder, and codependency. She has a passion for guiding others toward the same peace and freedom she has come to experience. Ditching drama is possible for anyone “armed” with God and the Serenity Prayer! It’s never too late to start your own Serenity Journey.
Check out her book Ditch The Drama.
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