The most important part of a painful conversation is the conclusion that comes from it.
Allow me to briefly explain.
Recently I was told that I was no longer jovial, or fun; that I was different than I was before.
How that exchange came up, or the pain it caused me is not important. At least not here.
The most important parts of any conversation, are both perception, and and process.
- Who said it?
- Why did they said it?
- What did they really mean?
- True motivation of the speaker. Period.
- Is what they said true?
- Do I need to take it literally?
- If it’s false; how do I handle it?
- If it’s true; how do I handle that?
Through childhood trauma, and the passing of my mother in 2001, I spent much of my time recovering from a form of PTSD/depression.
God’s Word, the Holy Bible was instrumental as a foundation for my healing.
It taught me to seek out solitude, and gave me steps to begin changing my thought patterns , and learn to avoid the pitfalls of a too painful life.
Reading Susan Cain’s book, Quiet; The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, (https://amzn.to/33esZWt) gave me an inside look on the real me.
I found that enjoying being alone, was actually quite normal for some folks; and that for me it can actually be revitalizing.
Through reading her material, I was free of the guilt brought on by withdrawing, and began to embrace the quietness, and thus thrust my healing light years ahead of where I was.
Then about two years ago, we had to put our little Cairn Terrier to sleep.
He was to be our forever dog, and at age four, became to ill to be fixed.
I swore off ever having another dog.
The pain of his passing, brought back memories of the pain from my mom’s passing, and without my really noticing it – I was again enveloped in depression.
Withdrawing further and further into my own bubble, using my new knowledge of “Quietude” as an excuse.
Well, a mentor of mine says that even a GOOD thing carried to excess, can become a BAD thing; a burden.
So it was with solitude.
So back to present day, and that PERCEPTION thing;
- Was what I was being told true? Probably yes.
- Why did they say it? Most likely because now MY pain, was causing THEM pain.
- What did they really mean? PLEASE figure this thing out so you can stop being so miserable.
- True motivation? No matter how rough their comments came out, they really only have my best interest at heart.
So how about that PROCESS part?
The evening of that fight was difficult; my heart was dark with pain.
But the following morning, I got up and in solitude, prayed my favorite prayer of all; “God, please tell me the truth.”
- Was what they said true? Unfortunately, yes. I had been increasingly sullen over the past several months.
- Should I take their pleas literally? Yes of course. Even though I was not seeing any issues, they were; and it was causing them much inner turmoil.
- Was it false? No. Since it was not false, it could not be ignored, unless of course change was not something I wanted. (To be clear – I NEVER want to cause someone pain!)
- So is it true? Yes. Oh God. Tell me what to do. Tell me the truth, and help me to hear it.
Almost immediately, a random thought, of a random conversation with a random friend came to mind.
A conversation about her dog.
She lives alone, and has a large dog that not only keeps her company, but keeps her safe in her ever changing neighborhood.
I of course balked at this random idea, but as I considered her story (boy did she have some stories!) it became clear that perhaps a new dog may be helpful.
It would REQUIRE me to get out of my bubble a bit, and also keep me company.
Always a fan of the “bully breeds”, I began a search for Pit Bulls.
The day we went to see, and maybe pick up the one I wanted at a shelter a couple of towns away, he was sent away to a different home.
Sad, but no harm, no foul.
That night, a friend I’ve known for forty years, placed a video of a dog she knew of who needed to be re-homed – his owner was just too busy to care for him, and he was tied in the yard to a tree most of the time.
His owner was agreeable to us taking him off her hands.
We picked him up the very next day.
All of the problems we could have had with another dog or puppy, are non existent.
He is however making me get up, move about, and TALK.
I don’t know how it will all end, but I’m feeling a bit happier, a little lighter, and glad to have been able to help out a pup in need in the process.
So. All that to say this; Ask God to tell you the truth.
Listen even when it seems random.
He’s here to help.
Oh, and just a note, the pit bull I wanted? Through no fault of his own brought back to the shelter this a.m. Imagine that.
See you next time!