Monday, September 27, 2010

What doesn't kill us...

This morning I babysat a friend's little boy while she went to the doctor. Her little boy and my youngest son played together just fine and it was easy breezy.
 My son asked "Where's Lisa?" 
 Usually she's here with her son and we all hang out. I answered that we were babysitting her little guy while she was at the doctor.
 My son, said, "Oh." His face looked worried.
"What does a doctor do?" I asked, hoping for an answer like, they help you or make you better.
"They hurt my mouth," he answered with a quiet voice--staring into the the space in front of him.
My son has had so much surgery. His most recent one closed his cleft palate. It was rough.
I told him that the doctor had fixed the hole in the roof of his mouth and had helped him. My little boy looked unconvinced. He hates hospitals--they are torture chambers to him.

It made me think.
There are so many things in my life that have been painful or difficult. Things that broke my heart or challenged me beyond what I thought I could handle. But as I look back with new perspective I can see a purpose to it. I have seen good come of it.
The hardest things I have gone through have made me stronger. If nothing else they have given me more understanding and compassion for others who struggle with similar trials. And even more, they increase my confidence as I overcome them--less fear of small things because I survived bigger ones.It makes me more aware of when things are good. Gratitude.
As I center myself and look back on things I honestly would not change what I have gained. Even if it meant sparing myself grief. I think one of my deepest concerns is that I will become complacent, or shallow or --perish the thought--clueless. So I would rather go through hard things than float, pass through the refiner's fire to make me stronger.

The operation on my boy gave him speech. Now he has words. Much like my struggles have given me words... understanding. Some day, I know my little boy will look back and realize that some of the things that hurt him most, did him the best good. And that's great to know.

* Have you ever suffered through something that made you a better person? Share!


Candyland said...

Oh, have I...the miscarriage...I'd like to think I'm stronger/better, but who knows.

Kathleen and Stephan Seable said...

Thanks for your insights, baby. The key, of course, is humility. Many people suffer and learn nothing but bitterness and resentment towards God and/or others. Humility softens our hearts so they can change, enlightens our minds so we can see better. We appreciate the fact that you have chosen the better part and, because of this, you are growing spiritually rather than shriveling. Your gratitude is helping you to reach out to others. We love you. (Dad says to tell you that you made him cry.)

Hart Johnson said...

It's so true. I remember reading that Buddhists believe before each life we pick our lessons, and I argued that I have learned things I'd never wish on ANYBODY, but out of wisdom is compassion. I look at the world differently. The biggie was my hubby going insane (relatively literally) when I was pregnant the first time. It was a long ugly road back, but we are all stronger for it.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A wonderful post, and a pleasure to read.
I lost my mother, three days later was told my husband had terminal brain cancer, within 2 months he too had left me, I can't describe how I felt my children had all flown the nest and apart from my cat I had no-one. felt totally alone for the first time in my life.
It took many years of reading self help books but I can honestly say I feel a better person, I don't grieve my losses but celelbrate their lives.

Take care.

Jo Schaffer said...

* You could talk to anyone and find these gems of pain. Thanks for sharing...we're all in this thing, aren't we?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Your son will probably one day amaze you - and all because he endured now.

Angie said...

That's so sweet and sad. You are right. I think we have all suffered in some way. It can make us stronger if we let it. I know I feel the same about my trials. I wouldn't change a thing that has happened. I have gained so much in return.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Pain can either make us bitter or better : we choose which by deciding to equate our pain to the pains of those who walk in our midsts.

Your post, as always, is filled with wisdom and compassion, Roland

Perri said...

Wonderful post. Thank you!

I think it takes a while to find the good in some of the most terrible things. About 14 years ago, my father died suddenly and I got divorced and, though terribly painful, I learned a lot about myself and about life and went off in a whole new direction because of it.

I can't say I am glad any of that happened, but I did my best to take what I could from it.

NaTahsha Ford said...

oh. HIs comment made my heart break. Tough little guy.

Melanie said...

Love you. Love Jack-Jack. Sam has the same responses about Doctors. I asked, "But aren't you glad you can hear now?" He replied,"I would have rather been able to go swimming." Ahhh... the perspective. I am so thankful for challenges. Never would ask for them; but I am a more aware, less judgmental, stronger person because of them. They help me appreciate a rich, wonderful life, as does my treasured friendship with you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

It always amazes me to hear stories of trials, and the people that fight through them. Normal people going through extremely difficult things, learning humility, and becoming super heroes along the way. The thought of so many people striving to become better is such a bright light in what seems like an ever dimming world.

Thanks Jo

Lois D. Brown said...

Your little boy reminds me so much of the son of another friend of mine. He's now in college (after about 40-50 surgeries growing up) and he is as tough as nails. It's remarkable, really. Your son is building character few of us will ever have.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't go back in time and change anything. Whatever I suffered through made me what I am today.

angie said...

This is beautiful!

I feel the same way about my struggles. I hope that they make me better......if nothing else, more compassionate. I'm so glad that the operation gave him words, but how heartbreaking that he still remembers all the pain.