Thursday, June 30, 2011

Family: Sometimes They Hurt You

Recently I've discovered a truth that I've tried for years to keep from myself: family can sometimes hurt me.

Maybe it isn't so much that I've not known it, but I haven't wanted to admit it. Admitting it means I may have to take steps to do something about it and that's what I truly was trying to avoid admitting in the first place.

Family comes in many packages. There are the blood relatives, and then there are family groups that originate outside of genealogy, like church family and friends who are like family. Writing groups and play groups. Work groups and neighborhood groups. In all these examples of family, one thing is certain: one or more of the members of the family groups are going to do something that will hurt me.

My reaction to that hurt is what is important. Here are three ways I can see myself reacting:

1. I can curl up and try to stop breathing. Not very likely as my body will not let that happen. My autonomic nervous system will kick in and make me breathe. Whether I want to or not. Probably a good design on God's part.

2. I can lash out with the same kind of anger and retaliation which was directed at me. Somewhat likely...if I can remember the next day what caused such hurt. I have a tendency to forget things like that rather quickly anymore because my menopause brain just doesn't hang on as strongly as it once did to things that happened yesterday. But those little "forgotten" hurts tend to pile up and can come crashing down to cause damage through repressed resentment and anger.

3. I can freeze the hurter out of my life. Very likely. This is my nature. I have a weird little gauge inside me that tips the scales to the had-enough side of my brain, and once it is tipped, there is no going back. It is amazing how long it takes me to reach that point, but once I have, it is equally amazing how easily I can hit the eject button on a person and forget they ever lived.

I don't recommend any of the above reactions. None of them are healthy and none of them reflect Christ. So what does Christ say about those who hurt us? Simple. We must forgive them:

"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part.
Matthew 6:14"

I notice that He doesn't say we have to be with them all the time, especially if it's someone who habitually hurts us, but we do have to forgive.

I've discovered that if I try to view my offenders as they were as children or as hurting souls the way God sees them, it's easier for me to forgive them.

Now it is up to me to demonstrate what Christ asks of me the next time family hurts me. But I'll first have to get rid of the wish that an eject button was part of His plan!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Something's Perking

It's been awhile since the writing urge hit me. I've written newsletters and done some edits, but nothing new has come from my laptop in a long while. However, the last few days, something's perking.

I have a couple of storylines pinging around inside my head and that's exciting. Only trouble is I have little time right now to do anything about them. Knowing how elusive storylines can be, I hope to jot them down somewhere (preferably places I'll find them again) so when a couple of minutes are free, I can get cracking with real writing!

This past year has been a tough one for me and my writing. Not that I haven't written anything, but that I've had a lot of trouble thinking of myself as a writer. With the dearth of ideas came insecurity. Shouldn't a REAL writer have a great idea more than once or twice a year? If I were a REAL writer, wouldn't I be chomping at the bit to get something new in Word?

Well, I have had a lot of voices in my head telling me I must not be a real writer since I've been struggling for very long. So it came as a surprise--a pleasant one--to have those two little germs of ideas pop up out of nowhere.

I just hope they'll keep perking until I have time to put them into words!