Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chapter 9: Tears

My constant companion sometimes. They are never far away, easily accessed, easily poured out. Sometimes I know why I'm crying other times I don't. Sometimes I think it's "Hallmark Syndrome"-crying at sappy commercials. Usually though, if it's not about my feelings, it's about my being sympathetic or empathetic toward someone else's situation. News story, tv show, novel, it doesn't matter.

So, from Experiencing Grief: Tears are a fitting response to sorrow. I've become ok with this. The next advice is to pour out your grief to a trusted friend or pour out your grief to God. I'm not so ok with the talking to a friend business-in person at any rate. That's why I'm here "talking" about this on a blog, aware that some are reading but in the beginning, middle, and end it's for me to pour out my grief, my thinking, my steps forward. I can't imagine all of these thoughts and conversations in person. I wonder if that's a part of how society has changed. Did we have these conversations when mourning was more visible, more allowed?

Tears are a part of our created self. That's how God made us. That's why we can so easily find comfort in the scriptures and in prayer. Yes, this makes sense to me as does the statement of if you follow your tears you will find your heart. A teacher at church pointed this out in a class about finding your place in the church that suits your talents and your passion. He would find that when someone became teary they were often near their passion and the place of service.

The author continues with, "If you find your heart, you will find what is dear to God." This is more of a loaded statement to me. It works if I am constant in prayer and in scripture, if I am living with a repentant heart. If I am not I find myself running down a path that doesn't lead to anything dear to God at all. The author finishes with, "And if you find what is dear to God you will find the answer to how you should live your life."

This last kind of sentence always bothers me. No, no I don't think I will find that answer that way. I think it makes it too hard for some of us. It seems as if how I feel and how God feels is more important than the sum of the journey we walk with Him. It becomes somehow mystical. It almost negates belief, the first gift of the Holy Spirit. Those who "get it" often appear to have a superior attitude as if I'm not doing something right. I think it's an odd statement to find in this book and I'm hoping it's either dropped or more context is developed later. So, go touch on a pet peeve of mine about "doing church": Some of us are thinkers first and feelers second. Please don't put me in that box of "feeling close to God".

Back to tears, there is other good stuff in this chapter. Here is one of the, to me, normalizing statements in the book, "Give yourself permission for them to exist, for in time they'll diminish. This process of ruminating is part of your healing and recovery. You feel especially needy at this time, almost impoverished.

Well, yes, see yesterday's post. I'm finding myself bothered by the "recovery" concept but I haven't been bothered by it long enough to think through why. I'm not sure it applies to grief and maybe that train of though will become more clear one of these days. As far as the exhaustion of yesterday I'm hoping that will pass eventually but it's not today.

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