When we are too close, its hard to see. Other times, because of the way our brains interpret data, we are unable to see what others can see. Have you ever had one of those “haha” moments when something that was previously “hidden” to you became revealed? I have been locked in a mind-set for a couple of years and my perspective on where I am at in relation to the grief process has held me captive. My friend Chris, who lost his wife 24 years ago wrote a couple of lines that illuminated a perspective I had not seen. As I read his words, a door was flung open and I walked out of that “prison” and into liberty. Nothing externally changed, but internally I am jumping for joy at my new-found freedom! I see again how we can be imprisoned by irrational or wrong thinking. I have a choice, either to stay in that “prison” or walk away and with time put distance between it and my new liberty. “The wide open spaces of God” are freely available to us all. Whilst our external circumstances can be utterly awful and may be with us for the rest of our lives, God can bring a liberating hope to our minds that changes the lenses of how we see life. That can bring a peace and a joy that comes from the inside out not the outside in.
When will the passion return? When will meaning in the ordinary come back? When will excitement for next steps be evident? Kathy and I wondered the other day whether or not we should have a chat with some sort of counsellor. On the one hand, I have read much, have a pretty good understanding of my personality type and on the other often say “we do not know what we do not know”! I am also a little guarded about chatting to someone who has read much but experienced little!
I’m enjoying a book of speeches written by a gentleman in 1870. He used a phrase that struck out to me; “healing from the inside out”. I remembered a girl on one of our ships who developed lots of boils. The doctor lanced them and kept a piece of gauze in them so that they did not heal from the outside, thus forming a block to let the puss out. The boils had to heal from the inside out.
On the surface and externally, Kathy, Akila, Laura and I are doing well. On the other hand we are very aware of “transition”. We aren’t who were or where we want to be. We havent a clue where we are going or how to get there. I’m very relaxed about it and have seen this “desert” or “quiet place” to be good in our lives. Although we have wondered if by now we should not of already arrived at the next place. It’s now 3 1/2 years since Mike died.
When the air is allowed to come in contact with an external wound, it speeds up the repairing of the skin process. There is no external damage to the emotion of grief. Healing is a slow and unseen process. It’s more than the ingredient of time. It’s a journey of obstacles to face, the confrontation of unwanted intrusions that bring emotions to the surface, the transition of holding on to letting go, looking back and allowing a tear and a smile, focusing on what we have not what we lost, decoding what is important from the stuff of life, engaging in the process not denying it and I suppose importantly excepting not fighting the healing process and thats where time comes in. These processes take time to do their work. If it takes a baby 9 months from conception to delivery then there is no point fighting that time line.