Chris got up earlier than I did and woke me up when he hollered from the bathroom, “look outside.” I rolled out of bed, stumbled to the window and was surprised to see that the lake has completely thawed – no more ice.
This means two things to people who live on the waterfront of Lake Simcoe.
First of all, it announces to us all that the time to put in the dock is quickly approaching – boating season is coming and swimming to follow!!
Secondly, it beckons us water front dwellers to get out the wheel-barrels and rubber boots, walk down to the waterfront and start sorting out all the flotsam and jetsam that gets pushed onto our sandy shores. Last year, Chris and I had to clean up the waterfront three times because the waves brought in so much garbage. Many ice-fishermen spend their winter hours eating and drinking in their fish huts and they slothfully leave their garbage on the ice and/or throw it into the holes that they drill. They don’t deal with the garbage properly – they ignore it or they stuff it down a hole.
The problem is that all the garbage eventually shows up on the shore. It doesn’t go away – instead, it just gets carried with the waves and we, who live on the waterfront, live with the consequences.
It’s a lot like our emotional garbage, isn’t it? When we choose to ignore, avoid or stuff the emotional pain that we experience, it doesn’t go away – it festers. It remains unresolved within us, gets tossed to and fro with the waves in our lives and inevitably seeps into our relationships. Loved ones most often experience the consequences when our garbage shows up and blows up.
We all have emotional garbage…wounds in childhood…lies that we have grown up believing that are solidly embedded into the core of our being.
We all need a little help at times, don’t we? My girlfriend once told me that she and her husband didn’t prepare educational funds for their children – they contributed to counseling funds instead. They realized that they were not perfect people or parents and that some day, their children would most likely need some counseling so that they could experience healthy, long lasting relationships. It made me laugh when she told me this – but there is some real wisdom in her comments.
I know that counseling certainly helped me deal with the loss of a father, the unpredictability of living with an alcoholic mother and the desperate need for a Savior, to whom I can run. This morning, I read Psalm 142 and these words impressed me.
“When my spirit grows faint within me, it is You who knows my way….I cry to You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” verses 3,5
Emotional health doesn’t come easily but I truly desire to deal with the flotsam and jetsam in my life.
No man remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself. Thomas Mann