Tuesday, January 3, 2017

True Colours

 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7

Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other. Romans 15:32

The other day my husband and I decided to surprise our 4 daughters and take them to see the new Trolls movie. WARNING: There may be a few spoilers even though I tried not to.

There were a few things that were a bit dodgy in it but overall I enjoyed the message.
The Trolls are super happy all the time so much so that the always sad Burgens (huge ogery type characters) think that to become happy that they need to consume a Troll to be happy. They create a holiday called Trollstice and on that day they have a Troll feast.
Without giving too much away and then spoiling the movie for you, the overall message is that happiness is inside of every one of us. We do not need to consume to be happy. It doesn’t come by external means.

I thought about how so many people think that when they buy this thing or that thing then they will be happy. When they have that thing they aren’t truly satisfied. The Burgens thought that by swallowing a Troll that this would make them happy and it did for a while, until they needed their next fix of Troll.

Sometimes we can feel very unhappy and really sad and slip into depression. It is very difficult to get out of it.
One of the Trolls had something traumatic happen to him the result is a rather paranoid and grey looking Troll that doesn’t give hugs and doesn’t dance or sing. He is about as unhappy as a Burgen.
His other friends help him and get him to talk about his problems and he then gets shown how to be happy again. How to find that happiness that was buried and hidden away.
Later on the Trolls lose their happiness and turn grey and sad. The once unhappy Troll then sings True Colours.

You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small
But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow
Show me a smile then
Don't be unhappy, can't remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there
And I'll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

Having friends around you that can help you up when you are down and have lost your happiness is very important. I know that we don’t always feel like we have friends when we are depressed. The world becomes this small dark place.
Happiness. What is happiness really? We have happiness that comes from something funny that we saw or heard. We have happiness that makes us feel good for a bit until a new emotion hits like sadness. The one I am talking about is that state of being that trumps any other emotion. Joy. I know I have written about joy before and I am still trying to figure it out. But one thing I know is that joy is always there. I always have access to joy. I never have to eat a troll or buy a new handbag to get joy.
Life overcomes us though and sometimes we need a friend to come beside us and remind us where to find our joy maybe even remove the darkness that is blocking our joy.

Truth is we need friends in our lives. We need people praying for us and not judging us. People who don’t attack the way you act but who call out the joy. People who can see past the fa├žade and who see the hurt and try and hug it away and take us by both hands and pull us out. People who will fight for us.

Grief, loss, shame, hurt, guilt. Some of the worst feelings in the world. They tangle through our very being. They pull at who we are and try and unravel us. They leave us in a state of depression that we feel we will never escape from. Just when we thought we had reached a point where we have them dealt with we round a corner and they are there ready to assault us again.
Grief. A feeling that sits under the surface of your every day. You never know when it will come to the surface. Maybe a memory, a smell, a favourite flower. Sometimes in the quietness of the night. It sneaks up and pounces and goes through your heart and up out of your eyes in floods of tears. When it has been around a while it doesn’t come out in floods, it ends up sitting like a lump in your chest, refusing to move.

Loss. Similar to grief but disguises itself as something innocent but really it is fuel for grief. Loss reminds you. Loss tells you, you are alone. It tells you that you will never love again. You will never open your heart again. Loss breaks your heart and tells you it will never be mended.

Shame. Shame is that little creature that lives on your shoulder telling you that you are a terrible person for feeling bad and not knowing how to act properly. Shame tars your soul. It moves in and makes itself comfortable in the guise of self-improvement. Shame confuses and blinds. It steals your identity and robs you of your joy.

Hurt. Cuts deep. It aches and bleeds. Hurt leaves you gasping for air as it tries to expand in your chest. Unable to contain it you think you may burst, until you do and tears flow. Hurt is messy. It never puts on a well contoured, bronzed make-up tutorial with winged eyeliner. Instead it stirs up anger. It stirs up moods you didn’t even think were possible to express before. It makes you less likely to trust again and twists your view on reality. Something someone did or said will replay over and over in your mind and hurt comes back to remind you.

Guilt. Justified or unjustified, guilt is the knife that stabs you in the back. Guilt shouts ‘If only you…’ If only you had not done that or said that. If only you had it all together and you weren’t such a mess. If only you had told them you loved them one last time. If only you had gone and seen your friend that day. If only you hadn’t left them alone that day. If only. Guilt attacks your mind making you feel like you aren’t acceptable. Like you aren’t good enough.

Grief, Loss, Shame, Hurt and Guilt are deadly. There is no overnight cure. It takes time to work through these emotions. There is forgiveness. Forgiving yourself and others. But it is a process. Sometimes it needs to be a daily decision to forgive. There are times when you forgive and that is it you move on but when it is 3 degrees deep even surgeons know that you need to add extra stitches on each layer and then there is still the healing after. Some hurt, grief, shame, guilt and loss are not superficial. It can be layers and layers going deep down.

How do we heal these wounds? I found the only way is time, love and understanding. Not everyone knows or can know what you are going through just like you don’t know what others are going through but with a dose of compassion and genuinely caring for the other person you can dive into those dark places and bring hope to a dark situation.

God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He brings healing and He knows the best way to do the surgery that is needed. His hands are skilled at removing dead tissue and cleaning wounds from infection.

I know that in my own attempt to fix someone’s problems I have gone in with a spoon and tried to dig the hurt out of them. Like a bull in a china shop I have done more harm than good. Had I just shown love and looked passed the person’s anger or frustration. Had I look at the heart as God does and seen the hurt buried deep in their eyes, the grief that has lined their face and the heavy load on their backs. Get alongside people and help them up so they can see clearly. Find the gold inside and let it shine brighter than the ties that bind.

We all just want to be happy and have joy. Some have just been on a journey that has smothered this. That is why God gave us each other. To encourage when shame takes seat. To hug when grief leaves you speechless. To fill the gap loss has left. To bring hope when hurt has harmed and to absolve when guilt accuses.