I was in Austin Texas learning all about emotional needs and emotionally focused therapy. You can’t do that without looking inward. I was told that my self-condemnation was “alarming” (thank you very much, I’m quite remarkable). Self-condemnation is a by product of emotional hurts (along with anger, fear, and guilt). I was told that the “antidote” for that was appreciation. My instructor assigned me with the task of listing everything that I was thankful for. I told him that it wouldn’t work. I would just look at all of my blessings and feel guilty (self-condemned) that I was still such a sinner/screw up. He marveled at my ability to turn positive into negative.
As I began to go through a lot of my life and heal a lot of the hurts I began to have some clarity. Believe it or not, one thing that helped me was watching “The Biggest Loser” on tv. It is/was (is it done?) a show that helped morbidly obese people lose weight, heal, and gain self esteem. I was also a big fan of the show “Intervention.” Seeing people mired in heavy addiction broke my heart. It was in those moments that I became ever so glad that I didn’t struggle with those maladies. No, I wasn’t better than them, far from it. However, my struggles were different…and I was glad I didn’t have those problems.
Rather than appreciating what I had, I was appreciating what I didn’t struggle with. That was a start at least…I guess. Then I was told that I was potentially going to lose something I had, something very special/dear/vital/precious. I lost Trey.
Two and a half years later I am reminded of him so very often. A picture, a toy, a memory, he is on my mind often and at the most random of times. There is a tinge of sadness, occasionally a vacuous thud. To try to leave it out of my mind is pointless and damaging. However, something has helped me greatly.
I am so glad for the time that I was blessed to have had with Trey. Granted, 4 of his 6 years were spent battling an horrific disease but that was what made for amazing memories, victories and challenges. It was through those times that I was able to dig deeper into a faith that I never knew was possible. I was blessed by the generosity of thousands. I was comforted by floods of tears from family, friends, and strangers. I was given a platform to share my thoughts, feelings, fears, failures, and faith. I was given the challenge of parenting 3 beautiful gifts from God through many landmines of life. I was blessed with the greatest partner to battle through the greatest of challenges.
I am so thankful.
My setbacks and challenges were not buried with Trey. They have continued. In some ways, the fact that they are not nearly as daunting as the loss of a child makes them harder at times. They’re sneaky that way. That’s ok. I have much to do. I have many challenges. I have a lifetime (whatever that is) of them waiting for me. But I have so much.
I am thankful for that which I have. I am thankful for what I have gone through. I am thankful for where God has placed me. I am thankful that I get to love and serve a God that would even consider using me to love others.
What have you lost? I am so sorry. What are you struggling with right now? It comes with a blessing, believe it or not. I hope and pray that you are able to grieve, cry, and receive comfort from someone close to you. I also hope that you can sit back and realize how much you were blessed to have whoever or whatever that was in the first place. I pray that your sadness turns to joy.