Part Two of the Lockout Series
When I say the word “undercover” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s secret agents, or double agents. I like spy movies and intrigue.
But here’s a tricky thought: are you your own double agent when it comes to dealing with trials? Are you improving over time or remaining paralyzed in pain?
If you stuff down rather than press through, you may have secretly, stealthily been hampering your own progress.
How’d a double agent get here?
When you’re going through a rough time, sometimes you and your loved ones are in survival mode, just tending to basics to get by. You’re being strong for your family or someone you care about. But with time, eventually you are out of survival and into coping. It’s at that critical point that a writing tool I learned about in crafting good fiction can be so helpful.
It’s called a beat.
Not quite a drumbeat. In writing, it’s the moment your character has a big aha and pauses to absorb it. In any story that’s impacted your life, whether gritty fiction or gripping suspense, if the characters touched your heartstrings they had a telling moment or two where some great lesson was perceived. It felt like you experienced that lesson alongside them, too.
How does a beat feel in real life?
A beat feels like pausing to watch the sunset after a hectic day driving around for errands. The cares of the day melt away and you connect with a lasting moment.
It’s where eternity and value in the now intersect.
It’s like having your family seated around the dinner table and they’re as eager to share kind thoughts as they are to eat. It’s like planting a new garden bed and watering it in at the end of a hard day of work, breathing in the fresh earthy scents, full of promise.
Setting aside a determined moment to focus on lessons learned can be so hard. It requires self-awareness and the ability and desire to process the feelings now, both good and bad, behind pivotal moments in life. But it prevents emotionally volcanic disruptions at later times if you work at it close in to the challenging times.
My hardest one was when my son almost died right after birth. We survived, and he was miraculously healed, but had other complications that kept us on the razor’s edge for over a year on monitors and frequent medical care. The day he got off the monitor, another critical emergency arrived. We weren’t out of the woods. Then another one, all huge emergencies. It was really months later that we began going to the beach more often and taking time outdoors as a family. Delving into a healing moment after so much pain wasn’t only refreshing, it was life giving. Like the first breath of spring on the wind, or exiting an overheated room to the fresh outdoors. Finding time to process along the way, and allowing yourself to do so while giving yourself grace, is really the key to moving forward in life.
It works with good times, too! I’m finishing my proposal soon. We’re hoping for more dates and time with friends. But first, were cleaning out the garage, updating records, and catching up on practical things that need attention. It’s an outward sign mixed with a deeper need to pause and breathe. I want to be ready to take in the delight of finishing this step before making the next one and create room for success along the way.
If I could give you one gift, it’s taking your own beat, or special time this week, to pause and give thanks or grieve if necessary after a difficult time. Cry out over your needs and be grateful for the blessings, too. In the process, you’ll expose any undercover agents lurking in your front yard and disable their control over you.
Photo courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.