We must learn to stop
Healing is not something you do--it's something that is done to you.
That seems obvious, but in a culture where we never stop doing, we are experiencing a lack of healing. Not for lack of a source of healing, but for a lack of our own receptivity.
Healing requires stopping of all our doing.
If we're constantly "busy", we are not able to heal. "Busy" is external--our calendar is full--but it is also internal: anxiety, worry, distraction.
Our culture, our world, our selves are sick. We need healing.
We must learn to stop.
For me, 5 years ago stopping meant letting the expectations of church-work, and of the Christian events I was playing, catch up to me. Worse, it meant letting the discrepancy between what I was doing and who I was catch up to me. I didn't want to feel that, so stopping wasn't an option.
3 years ago stopping meant letting the likelihood of losing Olivia catch up to me. It meant letting the reality of being parents of a severely handicapped child catch up to me. It meant letting the reality of the death of my dreams catch up to me.
2 years ago stopping meant letting the physical memory of what it felt like to hold my lifeless daughter in my arms catch up to me. It meant letting the pictures of handing the basket to someone I didn't know, and of that basket leaving our house forever, catch up to me. It meant feeling those things again.
Today stopping means letting my weakness, my incompetence as a father, as a husband, as a writer, as an artist catch up to me. It means letting the feelings of inadequacy and helplessness catch up to me. I don't want to feel those things.
What I'm saying is that grief is not something limited to people who have lost someone. My personal examples here start before Olivia came into the picture.
A man who realizes his dreams have faded out of view somewhere along the lines has grieving to do.
A mother who at night promises herself she will be patient with her kids only to lose it with them a thousand times during the day has grieving to do.
Grieving is not an exclusive club. Grieving is something all humans have to do.
If any of us stop, our grief is waiting for us... our healing is waiting for us, because grief is healing.
Healing is waiting for us to stop.
We must learn to stop.
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