Kecks in Paradise

Kecks in Paradise

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Invisible Things/ Gleeble Geep Globb Dobb

I have tried twice now to share this thought with other people and every time I do it comes out as nonsense.

I thought I'd give it a go in writing, though, because one thing that is true about me is that I may freeze up speaking sometimes, but I can always writing good thoughts from my brain fingers. You know?

So here we go!

We started night weaning our babe a few weeks ago. My body was telling me we had to. I wasn't getting any sleep, and I didn't feel like nursing through the night was really serving anyone, so we adjusted, and it was okay.

But then, not but a few days after stopping our night feedings, I got hit by a crazy wave of depression and hot flashes, and terrible nausea. I would Google my symptoms and the Internet would be like, "Well, you are 26 now, so it's probably menopause."

That didn't seem right, so I would type the symptoms in again, but differently, and they'd be like, "Oh no, not menopause, you are pregnant!"

Then I try again, and they'd be like, "Oh, man! I'm sorry. Looks like you died already. Bummer!"

It was pretty unsatisfying, but fortunately I had the good sense to wonder if the things I was experiencing were related to weaning, and it turns out that they are not only related, but fairly common, and weirdly not heavily publicized.

It was such a relief to see that people had experienced this same kind of garbage before, and they knew it would not last forever. But even more than that, it was hugely reassuring to know that all my invisible symptoms were real. I knew they were real because I felt them, but somehow seeing that other people had felt them, too, gave the experience real validation.

The thing is--when you break your arm or leg, everyone can see that you got hurt and that you are making steps to repair it. When your hurt is caused by a hormonal imbalance or some kind of life event, that is just as real an injury, even though it is mostly invisible. If we could wrap big, pink casts around your brain or your feelings, I am sure all your friends would sign it in Sharpie.

I feel like our culture is more aware of invisible hurts than we have been in the past (thank goodness). I have seen all kinds of articles, and short films, and long films, and talks, and commercials that aim to support people and help them heal from our non-tangible maladies. I think we are less prone to wonder if depression or anxiety is real now, because we know they are real. And there is all kinds of evidence and forums and medication to back us up in that.

Similarly, we don't question whether our emotions are real or not because we know that they are. We have felt happiness, sadness, anger, envy; we see them in people's faces. There is no question when you are laughing and happy of, "Is this happiness real." because of course it is! That is the word for the invisible thing you feel!

But there are some invisible things that are too often vacillated on.

Here's a big one: God.

It seems fairly common for people to have good experience after good experience and still wonder, "Is this real? Is what I am feeling the Spirit of God, or is it just me? How can I know?"

And I totally get where those questions come from. I have HAD those questions. It can be incredibly frustrating when you feel like you are exercising faith, and praying, and listening so hard for a response, and the only thing you hear is the toilet flushing in the next room from your Dad's midnight bathroom trip.

The way that God communicates with us is through the Holy Ghost (nickname: the Spirit). While we typically use our voices to speak and our ears to receive speech, the language of the Spirit connects straight to your brain and heart, typically without using any physical sound waves. What's more, the voice of the Spirit is still and small.

And when you ask God something like, "Are you real?" and you feel peace inside, or warmth, or something else good, that is the Spirit telling you, "Yes, I am."

And the more we exercise our faith, the more experiences we have listening to the Spirit and recognizing it.

When you pray: that exercises faith

When you read scriptures: faith calisthenics.

When you listen to words from the prophets and apostles: faith cardio workout.

Go to church, receive the missionaries in your home, serve your neighbors, do some charity work-- there are a lot of ways to help to grow your faith.

And every good feeling you feel associated with those things is invisible.

But they are all real

1 comment:

zeebee said...

So awesome Kimberly, well said! I'm sorry it was rough ending those night feedings. I hope it's better now!