Thursday, May 28, 2015

Blankets and Fire

I've discovered that there are blanket days, and fire days.

Tuesday was a blanket day.

Not necessarily the kind where you pull the blanket over your head instead of getting out of bed. (Though that might be nice on those days!)

When we've experienced traumatic events in our lives (you can read about ours in my Sept 2011 and following entries), and even after a lot of healing, we still live with a blanket over us. It suffocates us, closes us off, slows us down, and just muffles life. We can't feel joy like we did before. And when we do, it doesn't last. We're numbed, and not fully present. Life feels very gray or beige. Shadows.

But if we allow it, the trauma also creates fire. We now understand what's important, we scream with delight at the good things and those moments of joy, and at times find ourselves living more fully than ever. As I write, there's the smell of lilacs wafting over the deck and thru the screen door that is intoxicating. We hug, hard! We love deeply, and allow others to love us. We know that life is short and difficult, so a holy fire comes that drives us to make a difference, in the world, ourselves, and others. So at times, we discover that we're more alert and alive than ever.

Until the next blanket day comes.

So we alternate between living with the blanket over our heads and breathing fire from the rooftops. You never know which one is coming. I have discovered that I need to be aware of which one I'm living at the moment, and try to respond accordingly, or even what helps cause it.

Stupid and truly unimportant things can lead to blanket days. Your team loses. Something breaks or doesn't work, like plumbing or your internet. Your spouse does the eye roll thing or says something that cuts deeply, unintentionally. The toast burns. Or the toaster is too slow. It doesn't take much to discourage us. I find on those days that I have to enter in, intentionally. I have to enter into others' lives, and dig into God. Isolation only makes it worse. I've got to get 'out there'.

On the fire days, I just let it burn! (And ask God to keep me from doing or saying something stupid!)

Mostly what I'm trying to learn is that all this just is. There will be blanket days. And fire days. And it's ok.