I promise I’m not gonna just write about cancer all the time now. Really, I’m not.
No doubt about it though…the content here at Mother Freaking has gone a slightly different direction than what I originally intended.
I believe in my introductory post, as I was describing the point of Mother Freaking was, I said something along the lines of, “….because if you are going to live in constant tension, wondering what sorts of embarrassing things your child will do next, or what outrageous thing your husband will say, you may as well write about it all”.
And yet..since launching the blog in February, I’ve written about death, affairs, addiction, fear, “nights that made me rethink my life”, and cancer.
Turns out, life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine.
Turns out, life is Mother-Freaking WEIRD. That’s probably a whole post in itself. Life is mother-freaking weird, because sometimes it IS all rainbows and sunshine. Other times its affairs and addiction and fear and death and cancer. Sometimes it’s rainbows and sunshine in the MIDST of affairs and addiction and fear and death and cancer. I’m serious, it’s freaking weird.
God tends to teach me a lot of things, though, during hard times, and what He’s teaching me right now, in the midst of my mom’s cancer diagnosis, is the concept of just “sitting in it”.
What the heck does THAT mean?
Sitting In It: The realization that it’s actually OKAY to feel negative emotions. Emotions such as…Sadness. Grief. Disappointment. Fear. Anger. Recognizing that you don’t have to be AFRAID to feel those emotions. Most importantly, understanding that you don’t need to try to ESCAPE those emotions.
You can just…sit in them, for a time.
Have I ever told you about Hayley’s Happy Bubble? Hayley’s Happy Bubble is where I live most of the time. It’s kind of located at the crossroads of “Blissfully Unaware” and “Denial” and “Not Going Down THAT Road” and “Too Busy and Distracted to Let Myself Feel That”. It’s in the vicinity of “La La Land”, and neighbors with “I’m a Bit of a Ditz”.
I hate to feel sad and I hate to feel worried, and so I go to great lengths to NOT feel those ways. Purely by luck, or Divine Intervention, I don’t really have the wiring to be an addict, so I’ve never resorted to things like drugs or alcohol to keep me in Hayley’s Happy Bubble. (I mean, I’ve PARTAKEN in them…I just don’t RESORT to them). Instead, I resort to things such as:
small comforts (last night, while watching a J-Lo movie, I curled up on the couch with not one, but TWO pints of Ben and Jerry’s).
Books that teach you “How To Not Feel The Way That You Are Feeling”
It works for me. Kind of. Sometimes. To a certain extent.
The last two weeks have been amongst the hardest I’ve ever lived through.
Have you ever found out your mom has cancer? I don’t really recommend it.
It’s hard, for a million reasons. It sucks, for a million reasons.
I’m doing ok though..I’m pulling out ALL the stops…positive thinking, and distraction, and TONS of busyness. Controlling some of the parts of this ordeal that I can control. All my favorite “small comforts” are in full efffect…I bought new bubble bath and a new candle this week. Rented my fair share of girly movies. I got a new coffee mug with some words that are inspirational AF, and I drink my hot coffee out of it every morning, while I read through a book called “You Will Get Through This”.
It helps. I go through portions of the day…sometimes LARGE portions, other times just a few minutes….feeling almost totally fine. Normal. But it feels kind of artificial in a way. This frantic need to have all these things in place…all these things JUST SO….in order to keep me from feeling sad, or worried, or anxious.
What’s so bad about just calling it what it is? Being authentic. Raw. Feeling what I actually feel?
That’s when I felt God telling me…just sit in it.
“Just let yourself feel sad….but know that I (God) am capable of bringing you true joy.”
“Just admit that you feel worried…and then remember that I am God, and I am good, and I am in control.”
“Be angry if you feel like being angry…and know that I, God, can handle it. “
See, there are three problems with trying to escape your feelings:
1) “Escape” sometimes leads people towards behaviors and habits that aren’t good. I thinks its safe to say that most addictions…be they alcohol, drugs, pornography, food….are just inadequate attempts to escape something you don’t want to have to feel.
2) “Escape” by means of anything other than God Himself, is going to fall short. Whatever your escape mechanism is, it’s only going to hold up for so long. It’s not going to hold up for the long haul. Eventually you will sober up, or come off your high, or…..finish your pint(s) of ice cream. Then what? It just leaves you wanting more.
3) “Escape” shortchanges God, and it shortchanges you. I don’t totally understand how it all works…how God’s sovereign plan can be reconciled with all the sad and bad and evil things that we witness on this earth…Did God CAUSE it, or did God ALLOW it?…I don’t freaking know. I am convinced though that God truly is working all things for good, and that He makes beauty from ashes, and that nothing is without purpose, and that in the midst of even our deepest and darkest trials, there are things He wants to do in us..and those things are really really really GOOD. When we try to “escape” instead of surrender we hold up the process. We resist the change that ultimately is in our best interest, and I think by doing so, make the process all that much more painful.
I’m not suggesting that we “wallow”. This concept of “sitting in it” isn’t about wallowing. I’m not suggesting that, when faced with something painful or difficult , you ought to lay down and die. Curl up in a fetal position and don’t bathe or comb your hair for days on end. Give up on life.
I’m also not knocking things like positivity and productivity and keeping a positive mindset. Surrounding yourself with friends and encouragement and Ben and Jerry’s (Cherry Garcia AND some sort of peanut butter conglomeration if anyone was wondering).
I’m just saying…sit in it a little bit.
Feel what you feel.
Trust that God is big enough to handle it.