Wounds & Scars
Just because something helps fix and mend a wound doesn't mean it's healed. In fact when there are scars left, it's easy for all the pain to come back when it's nicked by even the smallest reminder.
It's easy to still be hurt over things that to some people you shouldn't “still” be upset about.
For instance, this week on the podcast I talked about how I felt when we were trying to conceive and struggling with miscarriages, when women would tell me that they got pregnant on their first or second try. What I didn't really mention is that even still, it kinda stings when I hear that. According to most, it shouldn't because I have my earth-side baby now, but it still does. Because it reminds me that I didn't get that experience. It reminds me of all the pain we had to experience to get to where we are now. It's not pleasant. But because we're “past” that, we're just supposed to forget about it, according to those who don't want to deal with the uncomfiness of my pain. (Yes I made that word up.)
I don't think that it's fair to put limits on pain or a timeline on healing because it's just not that linear. Our experiences vary so much, it would be impossible to define that and set expectations for one another as to how and when we need to be healed by.
Now I'm not saying you shouldn't celebrate with your friends even when it's hard on you, but rather there should be shared understanding of what you're both experiencing and how that can co-exist. As I explained in the podcast, you can celebrate your friends while hurting, without taking away from their joy and bringing them down. But as the person experiencing the joy, when you choose sensitivity and discernment about how, when and with whom you share, you can make it easier on those people you love.
What it comes down to is a shared respect and love for one another. Sometimes that means distance, sometimes it means over-sharing, but what it always requires is communication. If you're in the stance of needing some space, communicate that you need space- either to celebrate without hurting the person you love, or on the opposite side of things, communicate that you need space so that you can grieve in your own way and not take the joy from their celebration. When you can celebrate with them, do so, and when you need to grieve, you can quietly take a step back. If you need them to grieve with you, let them know and allow them the opportunity to love on you. But if you'd rather grieve alone, you can let them know that you're struggling without bringing them down with you.
For instance, in the pregnancy example, you can take a step back to grieve without making broad statements that you can't stand people who are pregnant, you are unfollowing people, you can't stand when people “brag” about getting pregnant quickly or when people complain about pregnancy. All of these statements and feelings, while totally valid when you're in those seasons, and like I said, even outside of them, are only going to hurt those people you love. It's important that you communicate your feelings with someone close to you who will hear your heart, but it doesn't mean you need to put it out there for the whole world to see or push it in the face of those who are experiencing seasons of joy.
You can kindly and gently explain to someone who you love, who is probably conscious of how they could be hurting you or feeling guilty for sharing their joy with you, that you need to take a step back because it's just too hard. Even if they haven't been directly in your shoes, it's likely that they will completely understand or at least they'll do their best.
I say all of this very carefully because I know how hard it is and I know how much it can hurt. I know how much it can hurt to even hear that you, the one experiencing so much pain, needs to be sensitive to those who are in seasons of joy. Trust me, I know, but what I can now only understand because I've walked through it, is the importance because one day you'll get to the other side, in one way or another and you'll want people to celebrate with you. You'll want sensitivity and you'll want joy- even when it's intermingled with heartache and mourning of possibilities.
This isn't an easy road to tread in any capacity, but what I can tell you is that it's a road that we're all on, one side or the other.
In order to walk it we need to strive to have grace, love, understanding, and patience with one another.
Having come out from the other side of this- what I can tell you is that you will get through this. And if you stumbled across this I hope that you can start to see both sides of things and attempt to be consciously sensitive, understanding and empathetic no matter where you stand.