Failure or Wisdom: It's All How You Look At It
by Julie Arduini 8/20/2007 / Christian Living
I confess I have acute hearing. It's so sensitive I can hear dogs barking miles away. You might see it as a blessing, but for a long time, it's felt like a curse. This year my ears have literally hurt over certain sounds. The thing is, it was heightened during certain times of the month that I could basically match up against active times in my cycle (apologies to any men reading this). It was to the point that if I heard a potato chip bag ripple, the shake of a popcorn bag fresh out of the microwave, the clang of a bowl, mostly cereal and ice cream, I thought I was going to absolutely lose my mind. It really was a struggle and I was ashamed to speak it out loud because honestly, it sounds weird just to write it.
In May I went to a women's retreat where I experienced hands down the most intimate time with God's Son I have ever had. There was a woman praying with me and she said the moment was so special she felt wrong being there, it was that deep. It was during that time I felt okay, I have to let this sound thing go before it trips me up big time. So I met with a mentor friend who is a pastor, counselor and most of all, a female I felt comfortable sharing this with.
As soon as I shared it she admitted that she too has had the same exact thing happen and that it seems hormonal in nature. She said that a tap of the pen from another room during certain times drove her absolutely batty. I then shared that some of the noises I hear kind of remind me of certain things, and most of the time they are negative experiences I remember from days gone by. It wasn't so much the bowl of cereal that gave me the chills, but my memories surrounding it. The thing was those experiences are in the past---forgiven, over, resolved, and literally buried. I didn't get why this was bugging me so.
We probed a little further and she gave me counsel via a word picture that really transformed my thinking and get this, really decreased my anxiety and stress level regarding sound sensitivity.
I shared some of my thoughts as I heard the sounds. This was the word picture she gave me: my life during all those experiences was like a big accordian folder filled with manila folders. Each manila folder had a label of my experiences. But for each of those experiences I had a sub label: failure. I saw everything as a failure. When I heard those sounds it reminded me of those times, and I felt failure.
Her suggestion was to get new vision. Just as I used to do when I was in an office environment, re name the folder. Take that manila folder labeled failure, turn it inside out, and re name it wisdom.
So visually, I played it out. For every experience I struggled with, I re named it wisdom. The very thing I have encouraged everyone else to do with their hard times, to take their broken places and turn it into a testimony to encourage someone else, was the very thing I had to do.
I'm not completely over this whole sound thing, but it is much better, my guess is it's more of a hormone thing than a mind thing as I think I was dealing with both. So if you're re visiting the past or stuck in it, take a look at your life folders. Are your labels filed under failure or wisdom?
Julie Arduini, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/, is devoted to writing for Christ in ways that encourage and inspire. A graduate of the Christian Writer's Guild, her writing resume is on her blog's sidebar. Happily married to Tom, they have two children.