31 Days Learning to Breathe: Breathing through pain
We all experience pain in our lives. Whether physical (injury, sickness, disease, chronic), emotional, mental anguish, etc. All to varying degrees. Each experience unique to each individual person. What one person might be able to breeze through, another suffers greatly, and yet we are so quick to judge and compare other's pain to our own. "Oh, I went through that and you'll be fine, just suck it up and hang in there", "it's not that big of a deal, you'll live", "I ran a marathon with a broken toe, you can go to work"...lol. You get the point. Why would we expect someone to experience pain the way we have? I know I've been guilty, especially with my hubby. "It's a cold, you're not going to die".
I lost my mom passed away 13 years ago at the age of 54. Way to young. It was heart breaking and probably the most painful thing I've had to go through. For weeks and months following her death, there were times when the emotion of loss was so great I felt like I couldn't breathe. I couldn't sit through a worship service without crying. A memory would bring things to the surface. Each passing year, it became easier, a memory wouldn't always bring tears, and even though I think of her daily, the pain isn't as raw. Others in my family might feel differently, and each of our experiences are just fine, because they are our own.
3 years ago my hubby and I experienced another very painful "loss". We left the church he had been a part of since day one, and I since we got married (so 20ish years at that time). Without going into details, it was hard, it was heartbreaking, it shouldn't have had to happen, but it did. Our girls are older and we let them choose what they wanted to do and they chose to stay. Weeks and months, emotions were so raw. They still are at times. Every now and then I feel like a scab has been ripped off. Ugghh. We weren't the only ones who felt they needed to, had to leave and we've all dealt with the pain differently. Other people in other churches experience the same thing, for various reasons. Sometimes the reasons have a lot to do with how pain is handled and/or healed.
Whether it's broken friendships, marriages, parent/child separation, death, sickness, injury, chronic pain, disease...it's vital we learn how to breathe through the pain, otherwise it will swallow us up, leading to more problems...greater sickness, disease, bitterness, anger, judgement, etc. That doesn't mean we don't acknowledge the pain, we don't grieve, but it means that there is hope beyond it all even if we can't quite see it yet. That we have to fight for healing, for joy, for peace, for restoration. We have to determine to NOT throw in the towel even if we want to.
Why? Because your world needs you. YOU need you! I don't necessarily go all in with the mantra of "fake it til you make it", but I believe that when I think positively, when I tell myself that I've got this, that things will get better, when I know that God is good no matter what, and that he is NOT the author of bad things happening, that even if the circumstances don't change, He is still good, I know I can make it through anything. We live in a world of free choice and sometimes those choices affect us adversely whether our own choices, or the choices of others around us or the environment. As a recent song I love by Danny Gokey says "oh what have we done, look at all the chaos we create". We often don't want to take responsibility for things in our lives (not that everything is our doing), BUT we like to pass the buck..."oh, it must not have been God's will", "God's trying to teach me something", "it's the enemy"...etc. Maybe you just weren't prepared, maybe you aren't taking care of your body, relationships, etc.
I love talking to God and sharing my heart and listening to what He might say to me.
I love to read positive quotes, books, etc.
I love listening to music. Music really speaks to me.
I enjoy getting out in nature, taking pictures, walking.
I love surrounding myself with positive people, who I know will build me up.
I push through and do a lot of positive self talking. Our words are powerful so I speak healing, and joy, and whatever else I need over myself.
I light candles, take baths, try to take care of me. (I'm not always good at self-care)
Take deep breaths, over and over if needed.
With Joy Unquenchable,