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These are terribly pressure filled times. The pressure builds on so many fronts. From the distant thought of, “Is this the end of the world?” to the day to day, “how am I going to fill my day?” and everything in between, there are pressures all around us. There are concerns about money, health, relationships, loved ones, food supply, cabin fever, real fever, and so many more. Of course we are all a bit on edge.

However, that’s not all that there is. You see, you’ve had a lifetime of both little and big hurts that are increasing the pressure you are now facing. All of those pressures, both from now and then, don’t really change us. They push us closer and closer to the results of those hurts. They reveal what we’ve become due to the hurts we’ve experienced.

I use the phrase, “Money, Drugs/alcohol/fame don’t change you, they just make you more of what you are.” as an example. Why do most people who win the lottery end up broke? They weren’t good at money in the first place, more money made them reveal that they were…not good at finances. An angry person when they drink a lot ends up with guess what? Explosions. A person is arrogant and manipulative, then gets famous. Guess what? Insufferable. These are obvious examples of what happens in a very subtle way everyday due to a lifetime of hurts (big and small) that are amplified by pressure.

I was speaking with an anonymous friend. Their brother-in-law was not handling this current crisis very well. They were really nervous/concerned/even scared. It was, as far as they knew, a combination of all that has been going on and just a general concern for their loved ones. However, his concern seemed to be overboard, even for these times. We talked for a bit and we came across the fact that this guy’s father died suddenly years ago. It rocked his world. His dad not only meant the world to him but wasn’t sick in any way. It came out of nowhere. It made no sense. It was completely out of his control. Does this sound familiar?

He had come to “peace’ in regards to his dad’s death. However, the ramifications of the way in which his dad died lingered, even buried themselves deep into his heart. He had his need for security damaged in such a way that he would always have a certain amount of fear in his life what was normally manageable. Then, when these new circumstances presented themselves, the pressure revealed so much more.

This is true on all different levels. Imagine a young girl who’s mother left her family when she was young. She has always yearned for the close relationship of a nurturing woman. She now has that in a woman from church. They meet every Tuesday for coffee at a local restaurant. Now, the woman from church cannot as she is in a “high risk” age group and is confined to her facility. The woman who’s mom left her is now experiencing so much anger, rage even. All the pain of her mom leaving years ago is leaking into today. Further, she (and the guy above) are not even aware of why it’s happening. They know, deep down, that things aren’t right but aren’t even sure that they are “overreacting.”

It’s all because of the pressure of today revealing the pains of yesterday. This happens all of the time but it is heightened during these extreme times because there’s so much pressure. So, what can we do?

  1. Be even more aware of what is happening within ourselves and our own story.
  2. Really try to have someone that we can talk to about our story.
  3. Be cautious in not over reacting to those around us whose story we know.
  4. Extend grace to those whose story we don’t know.
  5. Take every opportunity to listen to others’ story and be the comfort they’ve never received.
  6. Survive and advance, make no relationship ending snap decisions/reactions.

Let’s all continue to do our best in these unprecedented times. I love you all.

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