This week we lost our beloved family dog ZaZa, a man's best friend, of 13 years. She was an amazing ball of energy. She taught me a lot about life and responsibility. I brought her home in my 20s, before the wife and kids. I almost felt like with every new kid, she just looked at me and shook her head (SMH). I definitely want to shift to celebrating her life, but the grief is a bit much at this moment for the family. It got me to start thinking about how I manage grief, and also how we all manage tough emotions, like anxiety, anger or fear, to name a few. This is especially critical this year, as it's been an emotionally draining year for sure.
2020 is the year I get all of the emotions I have been avoiding confronted, finally. Is this year a curse or a blessing? Real talk, I ain’t sure yet. Sometimes the conspiracy theorist side of me thinks that this is the end of times that the Bible speaks about. The surge of the Anti-Christ, 5G, Mark of the Beast, vaccine and COVID-19. Not gone lie, I’m perplexed. I do see a lot of my “End of the World” check-boxes being checked. However, I have also had a lot of blessings this year, like meeting you virtually. That’s cool. Either I am a stranger to you, or I have been really guarded so this is the unusual opportunity where I am more transparent to you than other times. God has been so good to me every year, even in the midst of a pandemic so I have to share, even when it's uncomfortable. He is truly the great I am. Not like when the Pastor on the pulpit says it, and you are wondering if he believes what he is saying. This is different. I have seen Him make a way out of no way. I have seen what He can do with very little. Will you give Him your “very little”? That’s another blog post. But for this one, I want to know:
Will you give him your hurt?
That needs to stand alone. Because for years I underestimated how my hurt would impact ALL of my relationships going forward. I would just tuck them to the back, or find a way to move on despite the pain I felt inside. After all, it was the “MANLY” thing to do. I am very grateful for this moment because not only can I reflect on the pain I have experienced, but also the pain I have caused. I do not think I have ever processed pain correctly, EVER.
My Mother-in-Law shared a book with me last week she had just wrapped up reading. The book is a quick read, and very effective. It is called Emotional healing in 3 Easy Steps, by Praying Medic. This book blew my mind. Graciously I currently have an emotional experience I am dealing with, and this is my moment to channel it differently than usual. This time around I can process ZaZa's passing correctly, and move to the phase of celebrating her life. It won't be that quick, but in time this will allow for a more healthy grieving process. For a dog? See that's the trick. It's not how big or little it is, it matters how we respond to that event. To you she's a dog, to me she represents my journey, which is ingrained in the fibers of what make me, ME.
Praying Medic Amazon Store, definitely check out this book!
Here was my strategy:
1. Recall the event
2. Let my emotions swell
3. Run wild for a bit
4. Sit in the emotions, summon them if you will.
5. Then in the midst of them, I asked God to forgive me from the anger I feel from these emotions. I asked him to help me process them correctly. I also asked him to replace my hurt with gratefulness for the experiences during the journey. Then I asked him to heal my wounds.
That exact process gave me inspiration and perspective. I am still getting better at this tactical process, but now I have a set of tools to help me confront my emotions. This even allows me to see clearer, and pivot from setbacks.
“Emotional trauma has the potential to affect the entire soul, but God designed a way to limit the damage of emotional trauma by allowing the soul to create what are known as fragments. Fragments are a part of the soul that contains the memories and emotions of a traumatic event. When one of these events happen, the fragment can be triggered and it may take control of the soul. When this happens the person responds the way they would at the age they were when the fragment was created. If the fragment was crated as a teenager, the person may act like a rebellious 13-year-old.” -Praying Medic
Tactical Approach to dealing with painful events, from your past and in your present:
1. Recall an event that was troubling me and identify the strongest negative emotion I was able to feel, which happened to be anger
2. Confess to God that my anger was a sin
3. Say that you believe the blood Jesus had taken away the penalty and consequences of sin
4. Ask Jesus to take away my feeling of anger
5. Ask Jesus to give you something in return for anger. I asked him for peace.
6. Ask Jesus to heal the wound in your soul
Hopefully this helps you! It’s a new tool that I keep in the toolbox. Comment below if you have anything you want to share on this topic as I think that this is perspective we all need! Until next time. LONG LIVE QUEEN ZAZA.
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