Thursday, February 24, 2011

Balance: Trials

Everything is about balance, isn't it? And that's tricky because if you take your focus away from maintaining it - even for a moment - it's easy to lose.

There's a balance between always looking on the bright side of life and getting completely mired in self-pity. I'm not so good at finding balance in this area; I'm a bit of an emotion stuffer because I always think of others who have it harder. It could be worse, right? While that is true for many, it doesn't mean that we don't - each and every one of us - struggle.

4 years ago last month I had a miscarriage. I wasn't very far along and we hadn't planned on getting pregnant just yet, but the miscarriage was still devastating to me. I didn't like talking about it too much, but when I did I had several people say, "How far along were you? Oh, it's good you weren't farther along. You'll get pregnant again soon." The topic would quickly change and I felt like I was being dismissed. And I knew people who had lost babies farther along in pregnancy, had stillbirths, lost children, so I didn't feel like I had a right to grieve. My loss was not as great. I found myself saying, "We weren't quite ready for another baby" (our first was just 9 months old) and "It's okay, we'll be trying for another baby soon." I stuffed my feelings down every time they tried to surface.

Fast-forward a few months. Tyler and I got into an argument one night; I was not being reasonable and I think I was picking a fight. I had been on edge for a little while and couldn't put my finger on it. Our "discussion" was going in circles and I knew I just needed to take a breather. It was late and so I went in and laid on the bed in our guest bedroom. I prayed because that's what I do. I realized quickly that I had been stuffing my emotions about the miscarriage for too long, but there they'd sat, just under the surface, waiting to be addressed. And now was the time. Suddenly, I was sobbing like I had never sobbed before and all of my feelings of grief were pouring out of me. I finally knew that I had a right to them and that I needed to own them in order to move forward. I let it flow...and flow it did. For a long time. It was the closure that I needed.

We should not compare our trials to anyone else's - either to say that we have it worse or that we have it easy. At least not at first. Should we ever? Own your trial. Understand your trial. Say that your trial is hard and look for help from others if you need to. Accept and learn from your trial. Conquer that thing!

I've learned that even though I live around NAVY wives whose husbands are out to sea for months at a time, I still have a right to say that it stinks that my kids don't see their dad 2 days a week because he works and is going to school. It's hard for me...for us. But at the same time, it has deepened my respect for NAVY families and their sacrifices.

A balancing act, to be sure. Sometimes I put my foot down on the wallowing side for too long and sometimes I drop down into the optimistic side where I don't let myself really feel. Own my feelings, but don't get mired in them. I'm not always good at it. Maybe I'm never really good at it? But I'm trying.


  1. When I was pregnant with Matthew I felt pretty crappy in the beginning. I never threw up, just felt like it often. Our home teachers were visiting, one whose wife was pregnant and is sick the entire 9 months of her pregnancies. He asked if I had thought about anti-nausea medicine. I said I didn't feel like I was "sick enough." He told me not to feel that way, that my sick was sick enough for me. Why not get help. So I did, and it made a great difference until that lovely first trimester was over.

    That doesn't have much to do with your post about balance, but just a thought about comparing our trials with other peoples. We each have trials and we each try to get through them in a way that works for us.

  2. We had a lesson one Sunday and one lady said something that made total sense and has stuck with me! Each one of us have a plan, and what happens in our lives is specific for us and what we can handle, need to learn and accomplish in this life. It is to help us grow emotionally, spiritually and physically throughout our lives. Your plan is no more important than your friends plan or the lady across the streets, because we are all so different from each other. And no matter what trials I am going through, I can definitely say that I will take my trials over any one else's any day!

    Not saying I am perfect with this, but I have come to a point in my life where when I am going through a trial I look to see what I can improve in my life. What I might need to change or do differently to help me better myself! I know I have a long way to go, but I am no longer comparing every detail of my life to those around me (like I used to). It became time consuming in my head and was so not healthy for me!

  3. This year I have made my motto be "Come what may and Love it" It has been now been over 6 years that my beloved husband has passed away and I am now allowing myself to feel. I have functioned and lived for my children.

    Lately I have started pushing myself out of my comfort zone and started dating, which has been fun, scary and hurts. I just want it to be easy. But, I do realize that there is opposition in all things and we are here to learn. I have truly had to turn to the Lord for comfort, direction, and support in realizing that it is time for me to push myself to grow. It has been hard to realize things that I don't have anymore in my life, which I have suppressed. But, I know that the Lord is mindful of me and will bless me.

    I love how Wirthlin encouraged us to 1. Learn to Laugh 2. Seek for the Eternal 3. Remember the Principle of Compensation 4. Trust in the Father and the Son. I love this talk and how it truly does remind me to keep things in perspective. I also realize the importance of patience and the Lord's timing. Not to mention the importance of once learning and growing not reverting back to not feeling or pity, but embrace what you have learned and keep moving upward and onward. Thank you for your insite and your blog has truly been a blessing to me and the timing is a tender mercy. Love you. :)

  4. Beautifully said Danalin! I love it! If we could each just turn to the Lord and be and do what He wants us to do without worrying about what goes on around us. My goal! :-)

    By the way, I think you little blogs here and there should be combined to be a published book for women. They are wondeful. Your insight comes from the years of nights and days spent praying and being sensitive to the teachings of the spirit. Thank you for being so open and willing to share. I am learning a lot!

  5. Agreed. Isn't it interesting that we allow ourselves some emotions but not others. I often find myself doing the same thing not wanting to be a "whiner". No good.
    I went to a voodoo Dr a couple of years ago when I had kidney stones. She was talking to me about the mind body connection stuff and that repressed anger leads to kidney stones......yup.
    Don't stuff it, it will go right to your kidneys.