Ever think about the phrase, “Over time I’ll get it right”? Some lessons are harder learned than others.
The process of passing a kidney stone is excruciating. I know cuz I’ve been there. I’ve had babies. I’ve had eleven surgeries. Nothing comes close to this kind of pain.
The first time I had a stone, I was given a list of “No’s” from my doctor. It included three of my favorite things: Coke, Chocolate and strawberries. Are you kidding me? These are among my main food groups! I smiled a cheesey smile at the doctor and said, “No worries. I’ll avoid them like the plague because I NEVER want to have pain like this again.”
That was four years ago. Last week, guess who was passing another moon rock?
Lying in a bed at the ER, I began beating myself up. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I drink so much Coke that it could fill a large swimming pool? I take these things in, my body holds on to the “bad stuff” and it’s just a matter of time until the next visit to the ER. Why do I keep doing the things that will bring me more pain, and I KNOW this as I’m drinking it down or stuffing it in my mouth?
Maybe it was the pain, or maybe it was the medication, but my thoughts snowballed and I had an “Aha” moment. What other things am I holding onto that cause me pain, but of a different sort? My mother used to say, “Andrea, there is no need for me to worry anymore because you do enough of it for both of us.” True statement. So many times I’ve thought, “I will never see the light at the end of this tunnel.” “I will never get through this.” “This is to overwhelming, or too painful, or too – anything.” Yet there are little behaviors I Hold onto that, if I’d let them go, the pain would go away, too.
“Eating a few strawberries won’t hurt me.” “A little white lie [even to myself] doesn’t count as a lie.” “Trying to prove I’m right, by whatever means, is no big deal. WRONG! Lots of little choices can have dire consequences. Just like certain foods cause a hard rock in my kidneys, negative behaviors harden my heart. It is even harder to pass off those ugly habits than to pass a stone.
Tough times define us. We show our true colors. It’s always interesting for me to look back and ponder the difficult times in my life. Much heartache could have been avoided if I’d made better choices. Pain, too. I’m slowly but surely gaining wisdom, gaining more compassion, and getting rid of that ugly trait of being judgmental.
Last week in the ER, I thought I was gonna die. In short order the stone passed and so did the pain. The Life Lesson was clear:
If I eat certain things, I get sick. If I carry negative emotional baggage, I get sick. If I carry negatives, it gets too heavy and I become a wreck. So along with the “No’s” from the doctor, I’ve added a few To Do’s- forgiveness, honesty, gratitude, self-caring. The kind of things that will build a better me. Over time, I’ll get it right.