22 August 2013

Life is Pain

You know that movie line from "The Princess Bride" where Westley {the man in black} snaps at Buttercup, "Life is pain, highness!  Anyone who says differently is selling something."  We laugh as we watch the scene {mostly because she goes tumbling down that hill after him} but that statement is true.

Life is pain.

What pain are you given? What do you do with it? Who do you share it with? How does it transform you?  All of these questions matter.  How we walk through pain matters.

A few years ago, after offering up a whole pint of blood, a cold doctor gave me a label.  He informed me that I'm completely healthy except that there was this one thing about my genes and how they duplicate.  Not life-threatening, but it does carry at least one heavy implication.  One that has caused much pain.  A wound that has been re-opened recently.

I thought that all this pain was finished.  I had completely closed the door on every appointment and test and tissue from that dark time.  I has found my spring and walked out of that winter never looking back.  But then, earlier this week, I found myself in a new office, with a different doctor, talking about the same issues and the trouble it causes. 

Hear that creaking sound?  That door that I slammed shut, locked, saved the key, and promptly ran away from....THAT DOOR...well, it seems to have been re-opened.

Interestingly, this room smells oddly familiar...oddly clinical.  Old pain really is never completely forgotten, I guess.  Defensive habits aren't replaced as quickly as I'd like to believe. Fitting back into the emotional-basket-case, the world-is-trying-to-hurt-my-feelings, and this life-is-too-hard mold is easier than I anticipated.

But here's the deal, I don't want to be there this time.  I don't want to walk with a bleeding heart hidden under a fake smile.  I don't want to be in the trenches of depression, fear, and anxiety for months on end.  I don't want to be constantly on the verge of tears.  I don't want to be a victim of life-pain.

Life-pain is what I have.  I can make the choices.  Although my path isn't new, I've walked here before, I believe my journey on it can look different than last time.  I believe there are healthier ways to manage and grow in difficult seasons than Frosty's and grudges.  Today, I'm looking for some of those ways to begin to walk new through old pain.