LIVING IN THE LIGHT
People who are healed heal; people who hurt, hurt.
Am I a healer or a hurter? As with all of humanity, I have the potential to be either. Do I parent with love, or is my primary motivation to teach my children who is in control? Do I make marital decisions based on what is best for my marriage, or do I react to problems and attempt to even the score?
When my workload seems too much, when the laundry remains undone, when the dinner has yet to be made and I don’t have the energy to put a meal together, I “hurt.” So the revealing question is “How do I interact with those around me, on the days when the glass is half empty?”
If someone has criticized my children or me on those days, my old childhood scars resurface. I lash out in attempt to make the hurt go away instead of rise above it. I react to problems instead of solve them. I discipline with emotion, not reason. I focus on the negative and antagonize those around me. I am not proud of my behavior on these days. I crawl into bed exhausted and ridden with self loathing.
On a “good day,” when I am rested, when my children and I do not antagonize each other, this question is easier to answer. I can help my three-year-old understand that it is better to walk away when we are angry, I can talk with my nine-year-old about the power of words and how we need to choose them carefully, I can help my seven-year work through the rejection she felt on the playground. On these days, I feel that I am fulfilling the reason I was born: to parent. So the question remains: Am I a healer or a hurter? Do I want to spread light or darkness? To quote William Stafford: “Your life you live by the light you find//and follow it on as well as you can, carrying through the darkness wherever you go//your one little fire that will start again.” The choice is mine. With God’s grace, I will live by the light; I will heal. This I believe.
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