Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Elephant In the Room - Actions Have Consequences

There's so many ways to approach this topic, as the emotions I'm having are washing over me like a river. I'm not one to run to heartache or pain, it's not something I want to dive into and wallow around in, but right now it's almost unavoidable. For far too long though, I've not let myself feel deeply, the profound sense of loss I'm feeling right now. Sure, it's always lurked around in the back of my mind, but I've tried to avoid thinking about it as it isn't productive to dwell on something you can't change.

It's a good thing my husband is gone right now, as I need a couple of days to just sit around and cry when the tears overwhelm me. The quiet and opportunity to grieve alone without having to think about anything I don't want to is a blessing. I'm too emotionally tied into the needs and wants of others, and often deny myself the chance to just sit and ponder and feel.

So where am I going with all of this? What is that elephant in the room that everyone walks around, but pretends isn't there? Even when we bump into it by chance, or slam into it by choice, we act as if it's not there, because we want what we want when we want it, and don't want anyone telling us we can't have that "thing" or do that "thing". We don't want to acknowledge that actions have consequences that impact those around us, often for the rest of their and our lives.

There was a time when most people believed that physical intimacy outside the bonds of marriage was wrong. Everyone knows where babies come from, and at one time that wasn't something to be taken lightly. In fact when girls or young women got pregnant out of wedlock, families found a way to deal with that, either with a shotgun wedding, or sending the girl off to live with relatives, or in a home for unwed mothers. The understanding was that this wasn't something to celebrate, and more often than not the pregnant person lived in shame and carried that around for the rest of their lives in one form or fashion. I'm not going to say that was a good or a bad thing, because shame or guilt can be a motivation for not making the same mistake twice. Often though, the shame and guilt is there regardless of how anyone else treats the situation. Actions have consequences, and in the case of sexual relations, they can have a far reaching impact that doesn't go away for some, ever.

I'm certainly not here to judge anyone, as only God knows the intent and desires of our hearts, and He sent his son, Jesus Christ, to atone for the poor choices we all make at times. I've made some very big mistakes myself and still regret them to this day. As I start to gather the bits and pieces of my new found siblings life stories, along with allowing myself to face and deal with the profound sense of loss in my heart, it's something that can't be ignored.

There are many in the world today that say there's nothing wrong with doing whatever you want to do, as long as it doesn't hurt others. But for every action, or even inaction, there is an impact on those around us, for good or bad. Just because it's something you want to do, and enjoy doing, doesn't make it okay. The heartache that I've lived with most of my life, and others in my family as well, comes from the choices of others. The heartache my children have gone through comes in part from poor choices I've made.

As I write this my hearts desire is to perhaps get people to think. In working through my pain, and by sharing my pain, I hope to encourage discussion. We live in a world that would use the story of my heartache, and the heartache of others to justify abortion. They say that if you just get rid of the baby no one gets hurt, but that's so misguided, not true, and is selfish. If my mother had had the choice of abortion, and made that choice, her heartache, pain or shame wouldn't have gone away. Much like the profound sense of loss I'm feeling right now, she would have suffered, as she did anyway. A child is the very essence of who we are. No feeling woman can have an abortion without the emotional impact and sense of loss anyone feels at losing a family member, because that tiny life growing inside the womb is family. That little person is made up of bits and pieces of not only our bodies, but our ancestry. I have two family members I know of that have dealt with life long struggles of alcohol and or drug addiction due in large part to having abortions. Their living children have suffered as well. It has been a heartbreaking thing to see their struggles and not be able to help them.

Part of the discussion we should be having is about the sanctity of life. The mantra from the pro-abortion crowd is women's rights are human rights. How humane is it to brutally mutilate and or poison that tiny life growing inside you? How humane is it to tell your daughter, sister, or other family member that you will be there for them if they do this, and that things will be much better this way? Wouldn't it be much more humane to teach our daughters and granddaughters to respect themselves, to understand that life is sacred, and we must do all we can to keep it sacred? That if we accept responsibility for our actions and don't make another wrong choice, we can find a peace that abortion will never ever bring.

My situation might have been much different had my parents been talked to about intimacy, the why and why not of marriage versus being intimate outside the bonds of marriage. That was something not talked about back then, you were supposed to know.... We as humans are way too smart to put that to chance. We can't assume our children will understand the deeper part of intimacy, the part they don't teach in sex ed at school, that yes, you will have these strong and sometimes overwhelming desires and emotions regarding being physically attracted to someone, and here's why you shouldn't let those feelings run away with you. We should be teaching our children how to avoid getting into a situation where passion rules instead of rational thought. Parents should be taking an active role in knowing where their children are at all times, and help their young people set appropriate boundaries and curfews. Our children should know that the desire to be intimate is God's gift to those who get married, a way to bond a man and woman together emotionally, as well as spiritually. It's part of  God's plan to bring us to earth to live this earthly part of our eternal journey. Without that gift, none of us would be here.

I know so little about my father, but I know enough about my mother and her life story to know that she was a good person who was deeply hurt emotionally and spiritually by the actions of others. She never intended to cause this much pain and heartache in my life, nor do I think did my father.  From the little I've gleaned so far he felt things deeply, and I'm guessing was very hurt by my mother. They were young, and foolish, just as I was at that age. I also had the adults around me telling me conflicting things, and in my own lack of self esteem my life choices reflected that.

In our modern day and age, we should and we must move forward, not backward in society. We must teach our children better than we have been doing! And if they make a mistake, we help them work through that, not by teaching them to avoid responsibility for their actions, but by encouraging them to make the choices that will have the most chance for success and happiness. Regardless of whether you believe in a Heavenly Father, we as earthly parents have a solemn obligation to get serious about this thing we call life, to speak and teach truth. Actions DO have consequences, and that elephant in the room will continue to take up valuable space and time in our lives unless we learn to be unselfish in our actions.

I'm feeling a little better now, as I get this in writing. Oh, that life's lessons could all be as easy as putting pen to paper to work through our struggles. There is a place I can go though, to find help to heal. It's on my knees in humble pleading with my Father in heaven that I can find that peace, and get the relief I need. I have a lot to look forward to in the months and years ahead. I have new found family to get to know and embrace, and what an exciting adventure that will be. That will be a huge part of the healing, not just for me, but my siblings as well, because we are all a part of the essence of our earthly father.

So I am facing that elephant in the room. I don't regret being alive, even with the pain and loss and heartache I've experienced, and am feeling right now. Pain can teach us, it is to learn from, not be embittered by. I will talk about that elephant now, and acknowledge it rather than pretend it's not there. Hopefully it can be used to teach and help others.....

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