A few months ago I was enjoying a weekend at Lake Okoboji with my family. It was a beautiful sunny, warm day and I was soaking up the sun out on the dock. Unfortunately, I took a misstep and ended up with a huge splinter in my left heel.
After several attempts to remove the splinter on my own, a trip to urgent care ensued. The doctor ended up making an incision and removing several splinters, as they were deeply embedded in my heel.
Whether physical or emotional, we ALL experience pain. The reality, however, is that we often unknowingly prolong our suffering.
That’s bad news because we can’t blame others for our suffering. However, it’s also good news because we have the ability to stop it.
The key is how we handle the pain in our lives. Many people try to look for the bright side. However, that’s the equivalent of having a bloody wound with gravel embedded in it and applying a smiley face Band-aid; we cover up our pain.
What a wound needs first, is to be examined and washed out. THEN, there will come time for a bandage. Unfortunately most of us were taught to ignore our wounds and consequently, they fester and cause even more pain.
So the next time you’re feeling sad, mad, disappointed or anything else, take time to identify your feelings – and to FEEL them. By doing so, you can greatly reduce your suffering and be equipped to move forward in a healthy and productive way. In other words, if like gives you lemons, acknowledge and validate your feelings before choosing how to make lemonade. (John 16:33)