“Health is not valued until sickness comes.” Thomas Fuller
For all of you Web MD “what’s wrong with me” google search hounds out there… here’s a pill for you to swallow…. you need to stop writing your own scripts. Perhaps you don’t feel the pain quite enough to entertain the thought of surrendering to an authority on the subject of love just yet. I am really trying to make your search for love less of a pain, not the opposite, but some of us can be real gluttons for punishment. It seems the gloves will have to go back on. Don’t worry, if you’re allergic to latex, I have vinyl.
My friend that suffered with the loss of her father came to a point where she realized death was standing on her doorstep. Not a physical death but the pain of what she lost was causing her to take herself out of the race, so to speak. “I literally felt like I lost a part of my life.” is how she describes it. Ironically, when we suddenly find ourselves without, the very pain we have or are experiencing from our loss in love or life is exactly what keeps us from getting it checked out. It’s a sick thought but we’d rather keep the pain we have to prevent the pain we fear is coming.
The diagnosis: You’re Love-sick
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick….” Proverbs 13:12
Where hope for love without pain seems lost we can become ill-mannered. You are love-sick when you are so in love, or missing the one you love so much that you forget how to act normally. Who is this person I speak of… the one you are so in love with? It’s yourself. Rather, the former version of yourself, prior to the loss you suffered. To put it lightly, in the words of Roy Orbison, “You’ve lost that loving feeling” for yourself and you want it back so bad you forget how to act appropriately in response to the pain.
When we refuse to surrender and let go of what hurts…there are three unhealthy ways we respond to our self-diagnosed condition:
- Preservation – Self-preservation or the “survival of the fittest” mentality causes us to keep everything to ourselves. No bueno! It means your just stacking pain pills in your mental medicine cabinet to give yourself another dose later. Crazy much?
- Pride – Being too proud to seek or take help or advice from another means you think you know better. Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction”. That sounds pretty dangerous to me.
- Pleasure – Pleasing yourself to appease the pain means you’re just pushing the issue of your heart to the side for later. Pleasure dulls the pain just enough for you function temporarily… but the high wears off. When what pleases you ceases, that’s when you reach back into the mental medicine cabinet for that self-preservation script. That’s painfully crazy.
The pain of letting go
Going through the motions of the first year after the loss of her father, my friend struggled to find a healthy outcome to her hurt. She was used to being the one there for others but with the one she longed to be there gone, she battled daily over letting it go. There were a lot of days where she threw in the towel emotionally and the ups and downs brought on bouts of illness. So how do you bounce back and get your healthy love of life to return while dealing with the pain of loss? What she did was surrender it.
To most of us surrender means we lose the control, which is scary for pretty much every one I know. We would all rather stick to what is familiar, even if it hurts us. Letting go means you might lose it all and it’s natural for us to fight to preserve what little we have. However, when you are at a loss, believing in yourself only goes so far. My friend was familiar with the only one that is the authority on all of life and love. It hurt to let go but…. because of Him…