Nana Holds from Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart

It’s a new day and His mercies are new! I’m so glad you could join me for more of this series of Nana Holds, and all that He is teaching me, and hopefully you, through this season! Grab your coffee and let’s get to the second symptom of that impaired identity development.

The next symptom is one that I could definitely answer no to, but not necessarily for all the right reasons, again! Ugh, infection be gone! The question to determine if you have this symptom is: “Do you feel pain right along with another person who is in pain?”

Now, when I first read that, I thought, “What’s wrong with that? Isn’t that the gift of compassion?” But then, as I am still, a couple of people come to mind who I know experience great pain when someone they know is in pain, and it keeps them down for days. That is the key that reveals the problem; our well-being should not be dependent upon the well-being of others. While He is the giver of the gifts, including compassion, I think this is an extreme. But isn’t it one of the most frustrating things, when you know someone is hurting and you can’t do anything about it? I was struggling for an example of this but He just gave me one.

I lost several years with my son due to his addiction to drugs, and for most of those years, I was a hot mess. If he was sober and learning to thrive, I was thriving; if he relapsed, so did I, emotionally, that is. In other words, my well-being was wrapped up in my son’s. That cycle has been broken but it’s not to say my mother’s heart doesn’t hurt when I know he’s hurting and/or struggling.

The key word for me in this symptom is “feel.” That requires your head and heart! See, though I’ve been journaling my “feelings” for years, what I have not stopped and taken the time to explore with my heart is the “why.” Why do I feel what I feel when I feel it? That is now, finally, in the process of changing but let me tell you, change does not happen without productive pain. I mean, who in the world wants to feel pain? I’m not a sadist by any means; however, I am a realist and I know in my heart that in order to disown it, you have to own it first. Pain needs an escape in order to avoid the transition to bitterness and anger.

Our relationship event 2-23-13

Our relationship event 2-23-13

See, He’s allowed me to share my unpacking process with many, but from a distance. It wasn’t until recently that He led me into the trenches with many wounded to work on this relationship infection. Now I am learning to explore why I feel what I feel when I feel it and it is helping me to do two things: To not run away emotionally from others’ pain and to empathize on a deeper level without getting stuck in their pain.

So when I had to answer this question back in February, it was an absolute no, but it was because I have this internal blockage, if you will, that He is unclogging one lesson at a time so I will not be so inclined to shut down when someone is sharing their pain. How can I empathize on a deeper level with someone else’s pain if I don’t recognize the why of mine?

Think about this statement: Feelings aren’t wrong or right; they just are. The “key” is not letting them drive your emotional car!

Have an accident-free day!




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