If you’ve ever driven past a lagoon (a holding area for piggy waste) your nose knows of what I speak.
I have finally been able to come up with a good analogy describing the last year and a half of my life:
It’s as though I stumbled across a secret lagoon hidden in my own backyard. And now that I know it’s there, it can’t be ignored, or shoved under a rock. The smell is just too overpowering.
No, I’ve got to deal with it. And the teaspoon I’ve been handed to shovel with sure doesn’t help much.
Here are the lessons I’ve learned in the lagoon:
1. The clean-up job sucks. It reeks to high heaven. Quit expecting your problems to smell good. Or to be easy to remedy.
2. Due to the close proximity to the edge (given the nature of your teaspoon), it is absolutely inevitable that you will fall in once in a while. Yeah, it’s gross – but you’ll get back out again.
3. It’s asking a LOT to expect anyone else to dig with you. Most people, even my hand-picked ‘team’, have run. The smell is just too much for many people to deal with, so they’ll keep their distance and cheer at you (or throw out criticism) from the sidelines. When and if someone actually grabs a teaspoon, they are your true forever friends! (You know who you are…)
4. Don’t look at the whole pit at once. Setting a goal of cleaning it all will suck you in every time. If all you could do today was 1 teaspoonful, that is one less teaspoon to deal with tomorrow.
5. Throw away your watch. This isn’t a gaming challenge for bragging rights – it’s your life. Thinking it must all be dealt with now will defeat you before you begin. Make the word ‘PROCESS‘ your new mantra.
6. It’s okay to put down the spoon when the smell gets to you. Go for a walk. Call a friend. Laugh at a joke. When you are ready to return, you’ll be in a better frame of mind to pick up where you left off.
7. Give yourself some slack! The world didn’t show you mercy – but that’s no reason not to lend it to yourself.
8. Don’t judge your process. Don’t compare your shovelling style or prowess to anyone else. This is YOUR LAGOON; they have their own.
9. Learn to appreciate and celebrate your successes. Make much of your own progress - you are best acquainted with the level of hard work it took just to get where you are!
10. Cultivate a new attitude. Open your eyes – and your heart! Unseen hands carry the brunt of your load. If your eyes are truly open, you just might catch a glimpse of God working alongside you, right in the bottom of the pit…