I enjoyed the good news of my last post so much that I wanted to let it sit a while before writing a new post. I am currently chewing on the idea of ‘choice’. I would like to think that I choose a good attitude in life. But then I wonder, doesn’t everyone? I mean, why choose to be hurt? The very written implication of that last question makes it sound like a ridiculous notion…”choosing to be hurt”. Of course one doesn’t “choose” to be hurt; one “gets” hurt. The very word “gets” suggests hurt is imposed, not chosen. We don’t run to our mother and say, “Johnny hit me and I choose to hurt!” Of course not. We say, “Johnny hurt me!” So the idea that ‘hurt’ is thrust upon us is given to us early in our culture through our use of the English language. Now that is the obvious, and the obvious is usually NOT what compels me. Of course not, my nature forbids it (not true for I can override my nature should I choose).
Aaaaahhhh…it is the last statement, made in parenthesis, that furthers this discussion! Now catch this with me if you can, hopefully I can make it come across in a comprehensible manner. Consider that Johnny hit you. In that moment, it was he who inflicted that which hurt. However, consider that you tell the story of Johnny and his attack upon you several times. Of course you run and tell your mother instantly (or whoever is available to console you in that moment), and sure enough, by the end of the day the incident becomes a ‘has been’. But if you wake the next morning and retell the tale at breakfast, then again at lunch, then again at dinner, then again and again and again, does that mean that Johnny’s blow is continuous, therefore making his hurting you continuous also?
In my view individuals allow hurtful incidents to “hurt” them longer than should be allowed. I’m really not excluded in this, though I write as though that is the case. My being aware of it does help me to not live in constant pain, physical or emotional. Again to state the obvious, humans hold onto emotional hurt long, long after the pain of the physical has subsided. And in my deduction, it is the re-telling of the incident that keeps the emotional pain in its thriving state. Then the “state of the pain”, for some people, becomes a part of their identity. There is a trap that comes along with this practice. The trap is, that as the pain is the identity of a person, that person begins to expect the pain. For example (mind you I am being benign here so as none of you can read my writing and consider I am drawing from your personality), being the last person chosen for teams in grade school is hurtful. As an adolescent the fear of the pain reminds one to either ‘no-show’ on the team choosing day in P.E., or cop an excuse for why you should be chosen last. Thus the original experience from grade school is being allowed to direct the actions in adolescence. As an adult, those insecurities are in full bloom and thoughts of “no one ever calls me” or “I’m always the last resort with friends, family, co-workers, etc.” are allowed to flourish in the mature mind.
I bring this up because, bottom line, I want to. That is the stripped down truth. But the truth with clothes on is that I bring it up because I interact with people, whether strangers or not, who are bogged down by painful occurrences from their past. Maybe not on a daily basis but consistent enough to be recognized. It seems to me they are being robbed of the joy of today, and the potentiality that circumstances have changed, that they have become someone who is chosen first!
I remember exactly when and where the good Lord spoke to my heart and mind about this very thing. Where he illuminated within me the idea of choice. I will share it in my next post, for right now I would rather hear your opinion on “Chewing by Choise”; joyfully misspelled on purpose—take that ‘Auto Correct’!