"Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Even though you want to run. Even though it is heavy and difficult. Even though you're not quite sure of the way through. Healing happens by feeling." -Dr. Rebecca Ray
Fight or flight is a human defense mechanism. We are programmed for that instant response. Still, we have a choice. We can even choose a third option. Sit with it.
The pause. The comma. Sit with it.
We tend to have a particular method of operation when stressed. Some go to bed. Some buy things they can't afford. Some eat too much. Some get mean. Some cry. We forget that the best defense against any stress is to pray until your heart is free (for some that is a few minutes and for others a few hours) and then "sit with it".
It is good advice, sometimes, to learn to "sit with it". Sometimes we are burdened unnecessarily by the fear of an emotion we are afraid to experience. In fact... the anxiety of fearing a feeling causes longer lasting distress for some than the actual feeling. It is emotional procrastination. Healing comes with time and through feeling the feeling. Press on. Pray on. Push through.
Grief, for example, can be destructive when we bury it or hide from it. God gave us shock to get us through the initial days of loss, but eventually we have to feel the pain to heal. You don't "get over it", you get through it. Learning to live in the pain means learning to live again. Exercise hope and feel your lungs feel again. To taste great grief, we must first know great love. Most agree that love is worth the price. Sit with it.
Some live with chronic pain. You don't get over it, you get through it every day. Pain is not always the enemy. It often protects us from further injury by making us stop an activity that could lead to further damage. Culture focuses on a quick fix, but it isn't always that simple. There is real power in the overcoming during seasons when circumstances are less than ideal. Breathe in. Breathe out. Endure. Sit with it.
The night Jesus was taken, he took some of his closest friends with him to the Garden of Gethsemane. That night, he would pray for God to "take the cup" from him, if there was another way. He knew there was suffering ahead, but His love was bigger than his fears. He was able to "sit with it" until he prayed his way to the "Thy will be done."
"He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood. -Luke 22:41-44
Jesus sat with it. It was hard. It hurt. The pain would be excruciating... but temporary. The victory over sin, Satan and death... well... that was permanent and priceless!
Whatever struggle you face today, know that you can have hope. Trials are temporary. His love is constant... even with life hurts.
Today, I am grateful for the chance to "sit with it".