When I have a day of experiences that dredge emotional crap from the bottom of my soul (defined here as the essence of who I believe myself to be), I am sometimes tempted to filter through the muck that has surfaced. I guess I want to search for explanations, to examine the mire’s contents and identify – if possible – what has caused the pain, anger, grief, hurt or frustration.
I know this pain
Why do lock yourself up in these chains?
No one can change your life except for you
Don't ever let anyone step all over you
I appreciate the imagery of a self-created “pain chain” found in the lyrics that Chynna Phillips, Glen Ballard and Carnie Wilson penned for Wilson Phillips’ 1990 debut song, “Hold On.” And as they point out, no one else should be blamed for my unwillingness to change my life circumstances.
You could sustain
Or are you comfortable with the pain?
You've got no one to blame for your unhappiness…
Don't you think it's worth your time
To change your mind?
Basically, the cause of my pain doesn’t get to be the reason I choose to remain in a mired condition. Healing must take place. I must shake off the dredged up crap of life and move in the direction of wholeness. It is the way to happiness. The task is to hold on – day by day – until I break free.
I know that there is pain
But you hold on for one more day
And you break free from the chains
Thank you, Carnie, Wendy and Chynna. At the end of this day, I plan to reflect only on what is good, pleasing, and commendable. Anything else seems a waste of time – a waste of life itself. Besides, I think the chain gang will do just fine without me.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, NRSV)
May it indeed be so.