Yesterday was a calm, clear, beautiful day.
And of course, my son wanted to fly his kite. Being the optimist that I am, I obliged and we headed out. We walked to the clear section of beach, with no trees or beach chairs, just sand. We had plenty of room to run.
Mind you, it was 4:45 pm and scorching hot, but by golly, we were going to fly a kite.
Ordinarily, I would have insisted that we wait on at least a little breeze to pick up, but he had a particularly rough afternoon, relationally speaking. He’s been with his cousins for a week today, 24/7. There always comes a point when nerves are shot and sharp words fly out. Feelings are hurt and tears fall.
Gosh, it’s hard to watch your kids hurt.
I thought taking him to fly a kite might lighten his heart and help him heal a little. But it turns out, I’m a clutz with a gimpy foot. I ran , full speed, into a huge coral rock, launching into the air. I landed with a very graceful thud, face first in the sand.
That was fun.
I picked myself up and dusted the sand off the bloody spots and tried again to “teach” him how it’s done. You can probably imagine that between the two of us, the heat and the lack of wind, we had the patience of a couple of caged tigers. We exchanged some lovely sentiments and I walked (ok, stormed) off. Very mature.
That worked out well.
Not exactly. But in reflecting on it, I learned something.
When we’re hurting, we don’t always need a distraction.
Oh, we may think it’s exactly what we need. It’s certainly what we want. We want to forget the pain. We like to pretend it’s not there. We just want someone to rescue us and distract us. And sometimes, that’s exactly what we need.
But sometimes, we just need to let ourselves (and others) hurt.
The hurt itself, can bring healing if we allow it. If we look at it and talk about it in safe relationships, it can make us more whole. Distraction for the sake of avoiding pain can end up causing more pain.
Opening your heart to a trusted friend will create a connection that lasts long beyond the hurts of today.
Who is hurting in your life today?
Is it a friend, a child, a spouse, a co-worker? Maybe they don’t need you to take them to fly a kite, even if they’re saying that’s what they want. Maybe they just need you to be present and available. They might not even be aware that they just need to know you’re there and you care.
Maybe it’s you.
Maybe you’re reading this with a heart full of hurt that you’ve been trying to band-aid with Facebook, television, movies or nights on the town. Today, ask a friend to join you for coffee, lunch, or dinner instead. Get out of your comfort zone and get some eyeball to eyeball time.
Caring for your heart and the hearts of others will lead to a lot of great opportunities to fly kites.
To more love,