Sunday, November 11, 2012

Facing Problems Maturely

None of us goes through life without irritations and scars. St. Hildegard of Bingen, recently raised to the status of doctor of the Church, is quoted as saying, "To become a person is to have our irritant turned into a pearl." The scars that have been inflicted, when accepted and healed, can make us more mature, more understanding and more peaceful, a person who has turned adversity into an opportunity to grow. Another example, where the crooked is made straight; for a Christian, it's all the work of grace.

A Catholic Times columnist writes that after finishing one of her motivational lectures a father of a third year high school girl asked if she would be able to talk with his daughter, who was depressed and found no meaning in life.  It was impossible to plan an interview but she gave the father her e-mail and telephone number and said that if the daughter was interested, she could contact her.

Shortly after, she did receive a message from the daughter, and since then they have talked on the telephone a number of times. Last year, she was accepted at a college, and communication between them stopped, until recently when she called, wanting to know, "What do I have to do to find confidence?"  Since the columnist prefers having persons with problems find the answers to their own questions, she ask her what was happening in her life. 

She told the columnist that one day, one of her teachers, after a lecture, asked the students to give a three-minute report on what they had just heard. When it was her turn to give the report, her face turned red, her breathing became constricted, and she was unable to answer.  After that, whenever she was asked a question or was asked for comments, she would turn red and be confused.

The columnist now knew it was the classroom that was the problem and told her repeatedly that it was all right. It's the wounded child in us that is responding, she told the girl. When happy and all goes well, the wounded child hides. When we are not well or facing some difficulty, the child appears and troubles us.

Many do not want to face this child and hesitate to probe into the possible causes of the pain they are  feeling. When we have a physical wound, we bandage it to keep it from becoming infected, and the same tends to be true with psychic wounds.   We should face head on what is bothering us; it is a necessary part of the treatment.Most of the irritants and wounds we receive, whether self-inflicted or from others, we are able to handle and are often made  stronger because of them. What is important is that we face them head on, and if necessary with help from others but always, as people of faith, with the knowledge that we are not alone in the effort.

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