Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The sun will come out tomorrow~

Pain, sorrow, disappointment, worry: these can be squashed into a tiny dense lump and hidden beneath the heart, covered with light, airy emotions: anticipation, excitement, hope, pleasure. You can smile, laugh even, with a core of pain secreted away.

Sometimes things around you contrive to awaken the buried feelings . . . an article someone writes, a book you read, a conversation, a phone call, and when they all happen at the same time, there is no choice but to reexamine the pain you've hidden. Time to get it out into the light and look at it long and hard. To feel it, experience it again. To rise above it.

When my kids were little and fell and skinned a knee, I'd hold them tight on my lap and rock them and say, "It's only pain. It hurts I know, but this is as bad as it gets." I'd blow on the cut and say, "See it hurts a little less, now. You can stand it. You'll be fine."

And they were.

They didn't need me to blow on their cuts after a while. They knew they were stronger than the hurt.

"I'm fine, Mom," they'd say.

And they were.

I did the same for their emotional pain as they grew older. Hurt feelings are worse than skinned knees. "It hurts, but you'll live. This part is the worst. It gets better. It doesn't last forever. You'll see."

And they did.

I believe in facing down hurt. Looking it squarely in the face and letting it wash over me. Feeling it. It isn't bigger than I am. I am stronger.

It has been said that when tears flow they take with them some of the chemicals that arise in sorrow. Experiments have been done. Tiny vials held beneath lachrymal glands collect the drops. Scientists in a laboratory examine emotions under a microscope. I don't know what they've discovered. I don't know if crying helps.

I think shedding tears is like a rainstorm that washes the dust and pollutants from the air so that when the sun comes out again-- and it will-- things look brighter.

I tell myself this as I hang up the phone. My oldest. I said no. Again. Tough love is an exquisite pain. But I can handle it. I've seen how bad it can get, and I'm stronger.

And for each of you with your own private pain, I can't blow on it and make it better, but I can be with you as you rise above it. That's all we can do for each other.
The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain.
~Lord Byron


magiceye said...

that is one of the most beautiful posts i've read today. thank you. may you be blessed and grow stronger always.

RiverPoet said...

I don't know what your private pain is with your oldest, but I know that I have intense pain with my oldest. I have to say no to her, too, or risk losing everything. You might want to read my post from yesterday for a little background.

I wish you well, Ruth - D

Lisa said...

Sending you a big hug, Ruth.

I've been thinking of you a lot, and I hope all is well. I am here for you anytime you need a friend.

It is difficult taking pictures of rain, and yours is SO beautiful. I love the mum one, too.

Tim Elhajj said...

I can make a pretty good guess as to the problem. Hang in there, Ruth. You can only do your little part. The rest is up to God and others.

Barbara said...

Nobody ever said parenting was easy. Most of us parents have ongoing issues that raise their ugly heads from time to time. Our children must hear the message that we love them unconditionally, but we can't always do what they want us to do.

Pauline said...

My favorite saying has long been, "This too shall pass," and it does. Your way is similar and equally reassuring. To know you are stronger than the pain makes you stronger than the pain.

As for tough love - you said it so well in your last paragraph. You can be with your oldest as you both rise above the pain.

leslie said...

My stomache has been hurting these past several days because the tears still haven't come. Hopefully they will soon - but it'll probably be at the most inopportune moment. Ah well, this too shall pass. Thanks for your kind comments re my friend - I'm sure you've done the right thing with your oldest. We've all been there, for sure. Sending hugs your way.

Greg C said...

I am going through that tough love thing with my daughter now. She will make it through. Lovely words.

Ruth D~ said...

We all have something going on that hurts. No one escapes . . . for long. Thanks for the kind thoughts; I return them.

sc morgan said...

Ah, Ruth. This makes me want to "fix it," even though I know I can't. But then I'm the one who bit our family dentist when I thought he was hurting my older sister. (Back in those days they didn't use any Novocain.) All I can do is tell you that I feel your pain. Lo siento, as they say it here in Costa Rica. I'd like it to all go away and for the sun to come up tomorrow marking a fresh beginning. I'll settle for the sun rising for another day and with it the possibility of change. Stay well and stay strong, my friend.

Wanda said...

Yes, we all have personal pain, and I recall a similar conversation with one of mine about 20 years ago.... She turned out good....Tough love is hard, but it works.

You are such a lovey person, I come here for insight and inspiration.

The photographs are wonderful too, and I love your philosophy with your children when they were young!

Love and Hugs

Tere said...

Your words are full of emotion and I feel your pain. I hope you and your oldest find peace soon.

Janice Thomson said...

What a a beautiful post Ruth. Although we are close to the same age I wish you had been my mother. You have so much wisdom and compassion and yet a firmness too when needed. I hope it works out soon for you and your son. A hug for you my friend.

My son and I have battled things out for a couple years now - tough love is indeed hard but a much needed process in some situations. At the moment he chooses not to keep in touch. In the beginning it did get me down but now life goes on and I with it.

cindy said...

What a wonderful blog. I read this post and then went back, and back further...and lost all track of time!

Jo said...

Ah, yes, I can relate. Today is my daughter's birthday and for the first time in her life I could not bring myself to send her a card or a gift. Sometimes we have to make our own pain go away; there is no one to do it for us.

Abuse is a horrible thing to endure, and it has to end, just like the pain.

Bob Sanchez said...

Those are beautifully expressed thoughts, Ruth. Thank you.