Sunday, October 17, 2010

The habit of hurt

October 17, 2010

Dear friends,

This week has given me reason to think about habits of hurt.

The occasion arose out of a conversation with a friend about Sam, a promising young horse in her riding stable. Sam had been injured while excitedly exiting from the trailer at a horse show.

"Was he badly hurt?" I asked.

"No," my friend answered. "He acquired a nasty-looking scrape and a mild sprain, but he's fine now."

"Is he back to his old tricks again?" I asked. (Sam in his short life has already acquired a reputation for the escapades into which his curiosity and inquisitiveness frequently lead him.)

"Well, no," my friend said, then added with a smile, "He still favors that leg a bit. His leg's OK, but Sam doesn't believe yet that it's well."

Later, sitting peaceably at home in my 'thinking chair,' Sam came into my mind. In my mind's eye, I could see him standing at the corral fence, his bay coat shining in the autumn sunlight, his ears pricked forward alertly to take in the fascinating world that surrounded him. But in my mind, Sam, when he moved, now moved tentatively, bearing most of his weight on only three legs.

Watching this picture in my mind, I wondered if we humans do not at times behave more like Sam than we would care to admit. Without question, there are times when we experience some severe scrapes and sprains in life, injuries that are quite painful, but are not fatal--we do recover. Nevertheless, we humans, like Sam, can develop a chronic emotional limp not because of an old injury but because we do not recognize (or trust) healing when it comes.

Have made a note to myself this week (with copy to God) to check out any chronic emotional limping I may be doing. I have an uncomfortable sense that like Sam it is possible for me to remember a hurt that was then in a way that keeps me from enjoying and trusting the healing that is now.

How is the change from 'then' to 'now' being lived out in your life? Notice any habits rooted in hurt?

Thinking with you about embracing the challenge of change that healing brings.

See you next week.



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