Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's the Journey: Part III

Then there were the times when emotional and spiritual suffering really kicked in.  I think each of us had days when we were really struggling.  I look at our journey in two ways- our physical progress across the country, and our spiritual journey as individuals and as a group.  I believe we all began by fighting the battle of Crossroads- the challenges that we were fighting because we were a part of this tremendous journey.  And then came a week when we all conquered, so to speak, this “Crossroads challenge” and entered deeply into our own personal difficulties that we brought with us from home.  We all got there at the same time.  

And so began Hell Week.

There was not a single person who wasn’t “off” the week of July 2-6.  On the Saturday that ended "hell week", I wrote in my journal: “Well, we all made it through the Week of Hell…………………this has been such a crazy week, a crazy summer.  I know I'm going to look back and just laugh.  It's a huge lesson in trust, and it's a lesson I haven't really learned yet.  It's a lesson in humility- having to admit you're weak or you're wrong.  In honesty.  Faith.  Joy,  Friendship.  So many good lessons.  I hope to all hope that this week goes better than last ..."

That week, those who usually kept the group encouraged were discouraged themselves, those who lifted spirits with laughter weren’t laughing.  There were a couple (read: very, very few) encouraging texts flying around, but not close to as many as usual.  We didn’t talk a lot during dinner.  Long car/RV rides were stressful, not fun and exciting.  

That week, I had this text conversation with one of my teammates.  They wrote, “Okay, so something definitely seems wrong. Just wanna say I’m here if you want to talk.  If not, I won’t bug you about it…” to which I responded, “Thanks.  This has been a rough week for me and I got to the end of my “put on a happy face” rope this afternoon…”  Who was I to talk?  As if enough hadn’t already happened, I had just lost this teammate’s saint medals in the wash, and they were disappointed, yet they didn’t get upset at me.  Had I been in their position, at least that week, I would have lost it.  Lose it I did, later that night in the car.  Just silently.

Yes, I frequently “put on a happy face” this summer.  Is it a bad thing to fake happiness?  I honestly believe that it depends on the situation.  There were two or three of us this summer who frequently took the role of being the happy ones.  We tried to keep the morale of the group up.  But it can get really hard to always be that person, especially when those who you’re trying to cheer up are still not happy.  I say this not to point fingers, because honestly, its just my personality to try to cheer people up even when I’m having a bad day.  It’s not a chore for me.  But sometimes the cheerer-uppers need to be cheered up too.

(part IV)

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