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In my community we just got terrible financial news about the district.  Our town and the alumni from our school are in an uproar over the audit report that said the district in over 150 million dollars in debt.  The report lists several not only negligent but criminal actions that have taken place.

Obviously this is horrible news.  People are reacting in many different ways, all of them legitimate.  There is anger, disappointment, sorrow, disbelief, vengeance, faithfulness, resolve, etc.  I say that they are legitimate as they are the feelings of those involved.  Now, whether or not they should be communicated on social media is a different question but feelings are always ok.

HOW someone reacts is very individual to each person.  There as many different reactions as there are people.  You could probably lump “x” amount of people in different categories but each person reacts specifically and uniquely.

This is true for all news in our life, both good and bad.  However, let’s for now just look at the bad.  When something bad comes our way we have a general pattern in how we receive and react to it.  It may be more or less of a response but it most likely falls into the same category.  We hear it in the words people use, “This always happen to me”, “Just my luck”, Why wouldn’t this happen to me”, “I’m going to blow up if one more thing”, “Someone is going to pay for this”, “I told you nothing good was going to”, etc.,

Very often this is partially attributed to a string of recent events that have had a similar negative impact on our lives.  We get caught in a spiral that seems to be very hard to break out of.  We feel beaten down, or increasingly angry, and despite our attempts to control it, the reverse occurs.  Our days, weeks, months, seasons, even lives are controlled by the events that come our way.

What is needed is shared emotions and comfort.  Social media is so popular as it connects a world of people who wonder if not know that they are incredibly alone.  We/they share our thoughts, beliefs, lives with one another in hopes of people joining us…emotionally.  We want them to be happy with us, sad for us, and even angry alongside us.  What is lacking is personal contact and attention.  When things don’t go our way we need someone to hear us, to listen, to join us in our emotion, to not allow us to be alone.  We don’t need someone to tell us how to feel, what to do, or how to think.  It’s called comfort, and many people have none of it.

However, HOW we react is rooted not so much in what has happened recently.  No, our typical response to bad news is grounded in the life events that came our way long before we were even 12 years old.   Hurts typically go into a, or a combination of, 4 places.  After you’ve been hurt you may experience anger, fear, guilt, or self condemnation.  This is true from the get go of life.  As your years go on, each hurt rings a reminding bell of previous hurts that you’ve endured.

We spend our lives, “moving on”, “getting past”, and even “forgetting” our past troubles.  The reality is, they don’t go away.  The are fueling the fire for future reactions to hurtful life events.  Besides the emotional toll it takes on us is the mistakes we make it in reacting to said future hurts.  We either give someone or someones way more than they deserve as we are actually angry with much more than them (we are still hurt by the previous life events) or we beat ourselves up figuring that we “deserve” bad things or don’t deserve good ones.  Then when someone comes in and tells us that we are over reacting…well, God help and protect those poor souls.

No, this isn’t something that has just happened.  This is something that keeps rearing its ugly head and spitting in our face.  Ugly hurts from the past continue to taunt and impact us in our present day.  It started long ago.  That, is where the solution lies.

Just as you need someone to comfort you through your day to day hurts and pains, you also need someone to listen to you tell your stories from long ago.  One needs to attach comfort to those painful experiences and then the painful reminders will be joined by the tears, sad faces, nodding heads of the ones comforting you.  Let it be clear, you don’t need many words.  You don’t need to be told “how to look at it.”  You don’t need to memorize cute phrases or scripture.  You need someone to love you by joining you…years ago, in your hurt.  It will help you now even though it started long ago.

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