Last week as I was hoping and praying for D5 while she was in Russia, I found myself keeping very busy physically so I wouldn’t stress and worry too much about all the heart ache and problems she was encountering. Distraction is a wonderful Truth Tool and it did keep me from moving into the Pit of Illusion where thoughts and stories stray from Truth and sink us into self-pity and vexation. I thought I was doing very well.
But I am still learning. While distracting myself had helped me avoid the Unnecessary Pain that comes from sinking into the Pit of Illusion, I was faced with some very real Necessary Pain that the distraction kept me from dealing with. Instead I had bottled it up inside me and Sunday it came spewing out with a vengeance.
I was fine until just before Relief Society meeting when a friend who knew D5 had gone to Russia to adopt children came up to me and asked if D5 was home and how it had gone. I began to explain all the heartache and the problems and the pent up tears just pushed right out of my heart, into my eyes, and down my cheeks and I could not stop them to save me. The meeting started and I still couldn’t stop weeping. I tried everything I knew, but the tears wouldn’t stop.
The lesson was wonderful-based on Elder Holland’s talk “The Best Is Yet To Be.”(The perfect lesson for me right then!) It was well prepared and comforting, but I felt so sorry for the teacher. There I was sitting right in front of her, crying through the whole lesson. But being a fantastic teacher, she did a beautiful job despite me.
What I was reminded of through this experience (and should have remembered before) is that with Necessary Pain there are certain emotions we have to face and then work through—sorrow, anger, grief, etc. Working through them properly allows us to grow and learn from the experience. Instead of using Truth Tools to avoid even thinking about the situation, I should have accepted each emotion as it presented itself, the sorrow, the grief, the anger, and used the Truth Tools to work through each emotion. If we avoid working through these emotions, they can build up and fester until they manifest themselves in a way that causes other problems.
Like I say, I am still learning! I hope what I learn can help you.