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Saturday, November 10, 2012

From Mourning to Comfort

One of the many things I love about Wings Like Eagles is that the writers of this blog aren't sitting in a corner, wallowing in the despondency of our situations.  Instead, we come from a healthy place.  A place that is on the other side of their Crisis.  We reflect back on our own days of darkness, and we share our stories.  The story of what led us to darkness, the story of what life looked like in darkness, and the story of how we climbed out.

If we were sitting in a pit of mud, crying about how bad life is, we wouldn't be getting anywhere.  We wouldn't be reaching out to the people who are receiving our words and coming back to us with feedback that at times stops us in our tracks, leaving us shocked that there are so many who can relate.  Rather, we would be sharing our pity party, and we would quickly chase our readers away.  Because let's be real here--nobody has the time or energy to invest in a pity party.

Yet each of us has had periods of intense darkness.  Crisis infiltrating every fiber of our beings, leaving us battered and exhausted.  That horrible time when we saw how our life had turned out, and we wished so desperately that this life we were seeing wasn't ours.  We grieved what we had, and we grieved what we didn't have.

So, how do we go from a healthy and natural mourning period, without allowing ourselves to turn into a pathetic, and depressed soul stuck in a pool of self pity?

When we stop, and allow ourselves to say out loud that we are heartbroken, that our lives have gone every way but the way we would have wanted, when we seek people we can trust, and we tell them our disappointments, then we will get somewhere in our grief recovery.

When we say it out loud, we find ourselves naturally taking that critical step that leads us to a healthy place...we step out of denial.  We say out loud that we were hurt by our spouse.  Or that we were the one who hurt our family.  Or that our life is unmanageable.  Or that our kids' lives are on a fast track toward destruction.  Or that we don't see ourselves getting better.  That we want out.  That we need help.

Sometimes, just saying it out loud to a trusted friend or group of friends is enough.  It shocks us into a state of action, when we hear our own voice say the things we had kept hidden deeply within our spirits.  We see clearly the action we need to take to change, and we boldly take the steps needed to climb on out, from muck to freedom.

Sometimes, it isn't that easy, and we realize that we may need more.  Maybe we need to talk things out with a trained professional with an assortment of tools and plans to lead us to a better life.  

Sometimes we find that our situation accompanies the need for medical intervention.  So often, even if we aren't predisposed to clinical depression, Crisis affects us so aggressively that it prevents the ability of our brain to function properly, and it needs a little jump start by an antidepressant to get things moving again.  Sometimes Crisis was violent, and we suffer from PTSD so severely that we need medication to help us heal from the scars that were engraved in our brains. 

Sometimes our situation was so encompassing that we need help from many sources.  Our kids need tutoring, we need career counseling, we need financial counseling, we need a place to stay.  We know we are in a bad place, we have the desire to get out, but we just don't know how.

But by saying out loud that our life has spiraled out of control, and that we want our life to have meaning, it is then and only then that we can do what we need to do to move on and out, to a better life.

Mourning allows this.  Seriously mourning the losses that have devastated us.  And not mourning alone, but with others.  So that we can allow God to do His thing through other people, and give us the comfort He is longing to give.

Wasn't it Senator Hillary Clinton who said it takes a village?  What wisdom.  She was talking about simply raising a family, but it also applies to our life when we are in Crisis.  But to add to that wisdom, I'd have to say that it is critical that the village we seek be a group of people who are healthy, who are themselves seeking productive lives, and who encourage us to take steps to a better place.

This is what we are offering at Wings Like Eagles.  Our goal and purpose is to offer Hope that there is Life on the other side of Crisis.

I personally remember all too well that feeling of evaluating my life, feeling completely overwhelmed by it, and wishing with everything in me that I could trade places with people in my world who seemed to be in a far better place than my kids and me.  But, looking at my life now, I see how far we have come, and I can honestly say that I wouldn't want any other life than the one we have.  Even the lives I used to envy pale in comparison.  We have come through so much, yes, but we gained so much more along the way.

To me, this defines the possibility of mourning being a blessed time.  Because the comfort we receive is incredible, when we look from the other side, and see the good work made beautiful along the way.

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