It’s Hard Not to Look Back-When Your World is Rocked

You know that feeling, when you wake up after a terrible dream, and feel so relieved when you realize it was just. a. dream.  Today when I woke up, it wasn’t just a bad dream.   It’s real.  This week has been a really tough week, professionally.  (Steve and the kids are all okay. We all had our first day of school and all was well.  The kids were happy but stressed about pleasing their teachers.)  There was a whole other under layer in the events of this week that brought me to my knees and made me question the reality we live in as educators. The field of education can chew you up and spit you out.   The words that come to mind are– blindsided, anxiety-ridden, depressed, hopeless, & helpless.   I can’t speak any more specifically to this event. (I did ask for consent to post this.)  However, sometimes living our lives in education is a lot like the rock cycle, you are pressed and pressed and eventually you become sedimentary rock.  Rocks can be a metaphor for strength, but the process of being pressed is excruciating.

In 1996, when I worked at Charter Oak Hospital (now Aurora Behavioral Health) I was in the psychiatric unit as a psych aide with severe emotionally disturbed children.  A nine-year-old boy, bit me hard.  It was his way of exerting some control in his out-of-control world.  This was all because I’d asked him to give his passive mother back her sunglasses as she was leaving the psych unit on her daily visit. He refused, and when I verbally challenged him to give her back the sunglasses, he bit me with all the force a nine-year-old mouth can give.  (I still have the scar as a reminder.)  Shocked, I promptly forgot all the training I’d received on how to handle human bites (obviously this is a frequent occurrence, if there’s a training on it) and proceeded to pull my wrist away in my best attempt to escape from the bite.  I had to call a ‘Strong Arm’ alert (because I was alone on the unit) and all the psych aides from other units converged and put this young boy in a straight jacket as was protocol.  ‘Pulling away from the bite’ was not what I’d been taught.  When someone bites you, your instinct is to pull away. Instead, pushing in to the bite is the best way to release the hold.

Situations that we aren’t prepared for, often make us want to pull away.  This bite incident has become a lifelong metaphor for struggle and hardship. I often want to pull away and isolate.  This recent professional incident has made me angry, frustrated, helpless and withdrawn.   In my heart,  I do know there’s only one solution: compassion.  This is my way of pushing into the bite, having compassion.

We can choose to blame and hypothesize about another’s pain, but until we’ve walked a mile in their shoes, we cannot and should not speak as experts.  What we should do is listen, remain calm, and love deeply.

Where do I get these wild ideas?  Turns out, it goes back to scripture.  Back to the biblical text I grew up reading. The teachings of Jesus are not common.  They are not easily understood.  When your world is rocked you have to revisit your compass and try to understand why.  The set north of my compass is “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I think my world has been rocked, but the world of another has been rocked even more. What do I do with this?  How do I help?  We’re all going to experience hardship. We’re all going to experience a low point in life.  What do we do with that?  How do we help someone in crisis?  I don’t attempt to know the answers to these questions, so I just feel my way through it.  I know God has given me a special sense of the pain of others because I’ve felt pain deeply.  Deeply. The upside to this deep pain, is consequently a deep love.  So as I sit here writing, tears flow. Tears flow for the pain of another.  It’s okay to cry, grieve, and feel the loss.   This is where the love flows in.  You have to feel the pain.

When your world is rocked to the core by separation, divorce, loss, injustice, and misunderstanding what do you do?   I do know that no love is as random as God’s love…

Have a listen to Wilco’s, I Can’t Stand It…  This song makes me want to scream along.  I believe my prayers will be answered, unlike Jeff Tweedy’s mantra here.

Obviously, this wasn’t a funny post, as was my post last week.  I did tell 2016-17 to Bring It!  It certainly did… like a raging tornado on a hot summer day.

This is my life.  I’ve lived with Joy for a long time and she ain’t always joyful, but she hangs in.  I’m going to keep hanging in with you through the heartache, tears, and joy.

Innocence Mission’s God is Love has been a source of comfort to me today, as music has been throughout my life.  I hope it comforts you too.

Rain or shine
This street of mine is golden
Rain or shine
This street of mine is golden

With the gold of hickory leaves
I can walk under these clouds
Rain or shine
This street of mine is golden

God is love
And love will never fail me
God is love
And love will never fail me

If I’m driving there today
And I really am this afraid
God is love
And love will never fail me

Some birds I know are moving on this weekend
Some birds I know are moving on this weekend
And I’m under the sky, I am on the ground, with my coat
Some birds I know are moving on this weekend

God is love
And love will never fail me
God is love
And love will never fail me

And some days I will decide
To let everything else go by
God is love
And love will never fail me
Love will never fail me

The picture attached to this post is me, at age 4 or so.  I’m hopeful today, just like the the face of little gap-toothed four-year-old Joy is in this photo.  I am looking back a bit and reflecting this week, but I’m still hopeful.

Until next week.  Love you loves.

_________________________________________________________________

Gastric Bypass Update:

I’ve made it to 70 pounds of weight, lost.  That doesn’t feel all that important in light of this week’s events.

3 thoughts on “It’s Hard Not to Look Back-When Your World is Rocked

  1. Interesting what you said about our highly sensitive and unusually intuitive personality type. We can love others so deeply, but we also want to be loved that deeply as well…and that’s a tall order. Hence the reason our personality is prone to depression. We also share people’s pain. It’s almost a 6th sense for us. And of course, that’s where the gift comes in. You get to be there for a person in a much deeper way because you can get your brain around their situation. Keep using your gift. It’s for times like these.

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    1. Thanks C. This is why we understand each other so well. We’ve both got the same type. I’m so glad we’ve been able to connect over the years and commiserate/share about the good and the bad. Love you dearly.

      Like

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