Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tangled but not Trapped - Dealing with Adversity

Why do some people seem to be able to get temporarily tangled up in the snare of tragedy and adversity and some people find themselves infinitely trapped and immobilized?

Photo from Mittens to the Max

There have been several events in the past few weeks that have caused me to reflect, not only on myself but on humanity and the very question of what fibers make up the fabric of our lives. Why we each deal with events and circumstances differently and how some people just seem to find the strength to carry on. We as outsiders don't understand but I truly believe that God gives us grace when we need it and not before - in other words, He doesn't waste it, He portions it when needed. So that is why we as outsiders look in we don't understand things like how a grieving mother can come to terms with her baby being ripped from her arms in the midst of a violent tornado, how a family can celebrate the life instead of the impending passing of a parent with cancer, how a friend whose marriage unexpectedly collapses in a heap around them can pick up the pieces, or how a child beaten and mistreated can be loving and giving when the very preciousness of innocence has been taken from them. These are the ugly things in life, things we do not understand, but we all learn that we can't let these circumstances rule us. I am not a big fan of the phrase, "Just get over it" to me that reduces our emotions and deems them unjustified. A saying I use alot is, "It is what it is." To me that means, I can't change it so how am I going to deal with it, and what can I learn from it. We need to learn to deal with the events in our lives and let them mold us into better people.

Photo by Marc Arsenault on Flick
I think we see ourselves as a finished product and when undesirable events happen we view that break as creating unusable junk, when in reality it is sometimes necessary to break something to get it into a state that is moldable.......everything from play-doh to melted metal to jello, goes from one pliable state to become a completed, molded form. But even after coming out of the mold, refining needs to happen, smoothing of the burrs, polishing, or drying. So, we are never really "finished" we are - or should be- in a constant state of refining. And sometimes that takes an act of completely breaking us and being cast again to bring take us closer to the person we were meant to be. We want to be able to comb through the tangles and not let them become walls in which we become trapped.

This is a poem I wrote: (and I know there are no capital letters, I did it on purpose......just get over it.....-wink-)

tangled but not trapped

why does tragedy trap us within walls unseen?
tangled up and cut from invisible barbed wire.
unseen traps causing us to stumble without notice.
emotions coming to surface and constricting our hearts.

each person their own identity, formed by events unique to them
given to make us better, stronger, wiser,
but often times causing us to
feel used, weaker, feeble minded.

we allow the evil and negative to rob us of our
accomplishments and our progress and pull us back down
to wallow in our self-pity and loathing.

we allow demons from our past to separate us
from the joys of our present
focusing our thought and energy on things that cannot change
and taking away from the choices we can make today.

allowing the past to hurt us again and again,
ripping the scabs from the wounds and
slowing the healing process, yet again.

trying to cover the scars, instead of using them.
making them visible to alert others,
telling them victory is attainable.

i will not let my past be my master, i am slave to nothing
when pain comes to knock, i will not answer,
i will turn it away knowing it will return again some day.

i have been given this albatross to bear and  know triumph
is not a single event but a series of small victories.
as in war i will fight each battle with strength and determination.
eventually hoping to arrive on the other side of this wilderness.

i have been given another day, i will not squander it, i will relish in
the beauty around me, the blessings i have been given and
the joy that is mine for the taking.
I will not be defeated by that which i cannot control.

1 comment:

Pat Willems said...

I can't wait to show this to my daughter!