It’s All Good . . .

on March 12, 2008

I have labeled a lot of things in my life as “bad”. Somethings were so bad that for years I kept them squished down as far as possible in my head and memories. Unfortunately some of this squishing eventually came out in my stomach and hips. It was kind of like a girdle – you can squish as much as you want but eventually it’s gonna poke out somewhere. I thought about getting a full-body girdle once but figure that it would be hard to type at work with fingers that were 5 inches around. Anyway, I recently came across a website that challenges people to see the blessings in life. It suggested looking at things that we always thought of as “bad” and label them “good”. I’m not talking about calling “evil” good and “good” evil, like the scriptures say will happen in the last days (which is happening by the way.) It’s more about trying to see what good you can make out of what was bad. I like this concept. It feels – good!

A few months ago I visited with my friend who is a psychologist (see the way I worded that? That is to make you think I have a friend who is a therapist instead of just admitting right out that I was going to therapy.) At the time of this visit (i.e. appointment) I had a horrible headache. In fact I almost canceled the appointment because I thought I wouldn’t be able to concentrate. Immediately after sitting down he instinctively knew that I had a headache and asked if I wanted to learn to get rid of it. Of course I did – and thought about the Advil in my car. But instead of handing me an Advil he taught me a relaxation and visualization exercise – which amazingly worked. At the very end of the exercise he said to “ask the pain if it has a message for you.” At the time I thought it was a little odd – okay I thought it was kind of sappy and really really hoped he wasn’t going to next ask me to take my inner child on a wagon ride. But in my mind I did it anyway and amazingly enough the pain did have a little message. The message was “you are okay”. No divine revelation or even anything profound. Just a little assurance that I really was okay. Wow! Who knew?

Now I’m sitting here thinking of the other things in my life that have caused me pain and I wonder what message it has for me. I don’t want pain in fact I pretty much try to avoid it. I’m the kind of girl who starts taking Advil a couple days before her “monthly friend” comes to visit just to preempt any possible pain that may come. But I have had pain — physical pain and emotional pain. Does it have a message for me? What GOOD can come out of it? What does it have to teach me? How can I take a bad situation an make it a blessing?

In my late 20’s and 30’s I was very overweight. The charts would have labeled me as “morbidly obese”. These were some very painful years for me mentally, socially, and physically. It was the time in my life that I thought I should be dating, marrying, and having babies. I’m sure my weight had a bearing on why my life lacked these things. My back hurt while walking. I had sleep apnea and became pre-diabetic. I had been thin before and definately wasn’t as painful – now people watched what I put in my shopping cart (yes people really do that.) I constantly felt judged and always coming up lacking. I know some of this was most likely in my own head. I am still overweight – but now I’m on the right track to health and down 70 pounds. Much much less painful. But there is no doubt that there was a lot of pain. It was bad! What can I see now that could make it end up good?

I believe from that pain I learned to judge people less than I did previously. It’s easy to look at the outside of a person and judge what they should or shouldn’t be doing. But I haven’t walked in their shoes (or stretch-pants.) I don’t know what they are dealing with on the inside. I don’t know their secret sorrows. I don’t know their life circumstances. But they do deserve to be loved and deemed acceptable for being just who they are. I also learned that it’s easy to take health for granted. I also have learned, and am still learning, that my body is an incredible gift from God and taking care of it is a divine stewardship.

Another thing that has been “bad” in my life was some unfortunate childhood experiences. I never thought I could ever see them as anything but bad. But I’ve learned that as you really learn to “cast your burden” on the Lord he can turn anything to your good – anything! I have finally learned it’s okay to have compassion for myself. And that there are so many others walking around this earth with a wound in their soul and that if I’m open the Spirit the Lord can help me bind up that wound if just a little. Most importantly I learned that the Savior is the master healer and there is no wound that can’t be healed by his scars.

There is good! So much good! I commit to look for that good – even in the bad!

It’s all good!


3 responses to “It’s All Good . . .

  1. Larrie says:

    And that, my friend, is exactly why I enjoy reading your blog. You continue to teach me. The humor and the tenderness combine to make for great insights. Now…sounds like your friend/therapist is much like mine was. Glad you’ve found a good one. There IS much good!

  2. Erin says:

    You inspire me. Thank you for reminding me about the good even in the bad. I love you.

  3. Laurel says:

    Okay, this is my 2nd attempt to post…hope it works.
    THIS IS SO GOOD, DeAnn!!! Thanks for helping me see the bad that IS good…I’ve seen a lot of it this week.
    BTW, you are GOOD…not one stitch of anything but good.

    I love your wit too!

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