Monday, December 28, 2015

A Letter to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I have made this image for you. Just in case you needed some validation today.

I have a friend who, when suffering through a transition in her life, decided not to call me  or see me, saying "you are SO optimistic; sometimes I want someone I can whine to who I feel will let me be in the muck."

I was thinking about this in the shower, where all the best and most brilliant thoughts are born.

And as I was imagining my friend walking through the muck, a few memories came to mind:

1. My Life Coach telling me years ago that sometimes, when someone is suffering or complaining, the only right thing to say is: "Yep.  That sucks."  (I never used that expression before, and had feelings about using it at all.  But it turns out, there are times that is the only thing a person wants to hear.)

2. Liam walking on a muddy island in a stream even though I told him not to.  He was confronted by an angry goose and as he fled, the mud sucked his shoe off.  I had to go retrieve it because he was too dirty and scared to face the goose who was now holding the shoe hostage. It's a story we still tell today with great laughter, though at the time there was nothing funny about it. Except me confronting the goose. Caleb says that was pretty funny.

3. As a young girl walking in 2 feet of snow to our elementary school to go sledding, I came upon a gully so filled with snow it looked like flat ground.  I stepped into it up to my waist, and while climbing out lost my snow boot. John saved the day by crawling on his belly, digging into the wet, sucky snow and getting my boot out for me.

Analogies and all that, I'm thinking that for me, emotionally speaking, the boots are a protection or coping mechanism. They work for almost every unfortunate situation.  Rain, snow, dirt, we are covered.  But sometimes life combines in such a way - our choices converge in such a way - that we get thick, sticky mud. And life just sucks the boots right off of our feet.

I get that.  I've had the boots sucked off my feet, too.  It's dirty and messy and cold and wet and uncomfortable to the point of misery.

As a journal keeper, a life chronicler, a hind-sight recorder, I have learned about myself that wallowing only does good in small, short doses.  Somehow I guess that translated into me thinking that was the same cure for everyone. Maybe it's not even a "cure" for me, just simply how I do it, for better or worse.

So I've discovered through this self-exploration, that if and when you are looking for someone to help you heal with laughter, help you fight off the angry goose with comedic and compassionate flair, someone who will offer you a "ra-ra!"or walk you home barefoot, I'll be there.

But there is only one guy who can save our boots, if the boots are worth saving. You know the one I mean. He will even offer a piggy back ride to safety if we are too tired to go on, booted or barefoot.

I'm not saying or implying that any of you don't know about Jesus, only that perhaps I didn't know it about me.

Cheering and Comforting, that's my thing.

Sharing simple joys.

It's what I do still.  It's how I roll with it. So, yep, I'm optimistic. I can validate. I can acknowledge the muck. But I will, sooner rather than later, change the subject to lighter, brighter, warmer fare.

I hope this letter finds you well, because I always hope the best for you. May you always remember that I have a pair of rose-colored glasses you can borrow anytime you may need them.

All my love,

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