Yesterday morning I was driving to church (for clarification it’s not a “church” as in a building with a steeple, but rather a “church” as in a community of people) and turned onto a road that had just been repaved. The road was nice and smooth, without the pot holes and bumps typical of so many roads where there’s both really hot and really cold weather. It was a quiet, beautiful morning made better, I’m sure, by this newly paved road.
When a road is new, or has just been repaved, it looks great. It’s not bumpy, you drive along without having to dodge those holes and ruts. Nice, right?
I’m definitely not an expert on road repair, but I imagine that in order to do the job correctly, you’d have to fix any major issues before you cover it up again.
I began thinking about how that applies to “life” and “home” and “relationships”. A lot of us often simply “cover up” what we don’t want to see or what we don’t want others to see.
We put a fresh coat of paint on our homes to hide the wear and tear that’s taken place or to get a fresh look. With our walls that’s one thing and (speaking from my designer brain) often a wonderful change, but if we simply cover up our personal stuff: our pain, our anger, our fear, our unhappiness, our rage, it doesn’t really go away. We’ve simply hidden it.
Of course, there are so many things that we can’t “fix”.
We can’t un-break a broken heart.
We can’t un-hear words that maimed our spirit.
We can’t un-speak a comment made out of anger.
We can’t un-feel the pain of loneliness or abandonment of betrayal.
What we DO have to know is that hiding those pains doesn’t make them go away.
When a child falls at a playground and cuts her knee, she might come running to you. You comfort her, you dry her tears, you clean out her wound and THEN you put a bandage on it. You don’t just pull something out of a pocket, slap it on the cut and send her on her way; you need to remove anything that could be problematic later on. Sure, she may end up with a scar, sure it may hurt for a little while, but it was dealt with appropriately, and she knew she was important and cared for.
Suppose you received a gift that was inside a beautiful box. The gift was thoughtful, but it was the box that really impressed you. You just knew that, one day, you’d find the right person to give a gift to in that box. When that time comes, you don’t just set the present on top of the box and hand it over. You take what was given to you out of the box. You make sure there’s nothing left in there. You may put in new tissue paper, then you put the gift to be given in the box and wrap it. You have to open the box to put something new in it.
I know plenty of people who enjoy “retail therapy”. For them, a new pair of earrings, a new dress, or a new set of golf clubs can cheer them up. It’s the “newness” of that thing. It makes them temporarily forget what they don’t want to think about. It somehow makes them feel the pain, or disappointment or sadness a bit less. Sure we can jam that new “thing” into a closet or garage or cabinet, but if we don’t deal with all the things that aren’t working, it’s just like that bandage covering a festering wound. Eventually you end up with a home full of “stuff” that reminds you of what you DIDN’T deal with.
On that road yesterday, there was a sign that said “no pavement markings”. That sign was intended to tell drivers to be careful; there are no lines on the road so you have to aware not to drive over to the wrong side. There’s nothing to guide you, they’ve covered it all up.
A fresh coat of paint on a wall, a shiny new pair of earrings, a newly repaved road, a bandage that covers a little girl’s cut, a beautiful box with new contents; all of these are wonderful.
Sometimes we’re better off without pavement markings.
Sometimes we need a fresh coat of a paint or a beautiful new dress.
Sometimes we have to bandage a wound.
We just have to be careful about what we’re NOT dealing with. We have to know what we’re covering up.
©2014 Peace Full Home