Wednesday, December 01, 2010


I'm walking out this crazy season of aiming towards healing, and these words on a blog a friend sent me a link to a while back, hit home.

Read her post here, first.

Seriously.  Read it.  This woman has a way with words.  Since I started reading, at least one post a week has stopped me in my tracks.  This one I even printed out and carried around for a chunk of time.

Okay.  Have you read it?  Good.

Because I read it the other day, I'm asking the question, "What do I use to bandage up wounds instead of finding real joy and healing?"

It's a weird question for someone who has been counting daily joys for the last year and 107 days to ask.

These words in particular, caught me:

I’m realizing that so much of what we do in life is simply medicate our hurts.

We eat. We shop. We blog. We open up Twitter or troll Facebook. We look around for something, ANYTHING that will help dull the pain. We even consume things that were never meant to affect real pain {like children’s ibuprofen syrup}. We volunteer. We exercise. We watch television. We drink. We buy a four-dollar Starbucks. We eat some more. We do things that both distract us from dealing with the real problems and offer us a little, tiny piece of what we think might help us. It promises real joy, but all it really offers is rescue from feeling really horrible to a level of functionality.
We medicate ourselves.

So many of the things we truly count as a JOY really are, in fact, just bandages for the pain. It’s hard not to confuse them though. A good peppermint mocha when it’s chilly outside does bring a smile to my face. But if I’m trying to distract myself from something or if it becomes an addiction then it isn’t beneficial.

But it's one that I think bears pondering this week.  What things are ineffective stop gaps, that mask pain?  What things facilitate avoidance rather than healing?  Are there things where this is a line to be crossed, where they help for a season, until suddenly they hurt?

And, I'm more committed than ever to Daily 5 lists.  To counting the things in the day that made me smile.  The things that brought a giggle.  The things I'm pausing to be thankful for.  Because counting joys for the last year and one hundred plus days has made me more aware of being joyful.  It's taught me to look for the joy, instead of the sorrow.  And it's helping me patch a life together.  Not just cover over and hide the wounds, but knit the pieces back into wholeness.  And that's worth working on.

You?  Do you bandage things over with false joy?


Jenny said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing. I'm going over there now to read, and will ponder. I've been thinking a similar thing - realising the things I use to try to make myself feel better... but I could never have said it so eloquently.

Thanks, Lisa


ZabethMarsh said...

Powerful post. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

Jenny - glad you appreciated it. I hope you do read some of Sarah Markley's stuff. Particularly the one I linked to in this post where I said I carried it around for a while.

ZabethMarsh - welcome here! It is a pretty powerful set of thoughts, and ones I'm still pondering hours and hours after writing them down :)