we’ve talking about dealing with “heavy experiences,”
events that throw our lives off-balance.
I shared how I viewed the experience of facing loss as similar to
having a missing piece in a jigsaw puzzle,
accepting a different kind of flower,
and riding the waves.
However, in processing my losses,
I realized that those perspectives alone do not truly capture the work involved
in regaining balance after a major loss or life change.
That was when I came up with the picture of the balance scale.
At first I thought the balance scale was just another way of explaining
the missing piece in the puzzle
or a different flower:
that after a loss,
we must find ways of filling in the empty gaps of life with something else that is good and meaningful.
But then I realized that it is more complex than that.
I think one side of the scale holds all our life experiences.
Day by day new experiences accumulate on this side,
but since most events are not weighty,
these small additions have little immediate effect.
But “heavy experiences” can instantly leave us disoriented and confused,
uneasy and nervous,
because the shift has changed our perspective enough to make us feel out of place.
Although adding new things to our lives is one important aspect of dealing with our losses,
it not enough to solve the problem.
The opposing side of the scale holds,
not more experiences,
but our beliefs about life.
This is what causes our distress.
Beliefs that “fit” our life previously,
before the “heavy experience,”
no longer match up.
They no longer make sense.
But for many years, those beliefs have been the foundation on which we secured our lives.
Rarely do we readily dismiss our core beliefs
because we know, that in doing so, we will cause even greater disorientation.
So quite often, we exist for some time in a state of misery,
not just from our outer experience of loss
but because that loss has threatened the beliefs we had about what we can expect from life,
Rarely do we share with others this inner distress.
More often we mention how much we miss this or that.
We may quite explicitly express the pain of our loss,
but most of us move through the grief process without comprehending how much is involved.
We fail to recognize that we are dealing with challenges on two sides of the scale:
outer experiences and inner beliefs.
Until next time,
you might find benefit from seeing up close the struggles of one man.
In the Psalms,
David expresses his disillusionment with life.
He deals with both sides of the scale:
and their effect on his beliefs.
In Psalm 10,
notice how David starts with his disorienting beliefs
then recites the evidence that lead him to his conclusion.
Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises. . . .
Psalm 10:1-2 NIV
In the end of Psalm 10, David finds resolution.
But we’ll wait until later to talk about that.
I encourage you to make comments on this blog.
Not only is it helpful for us in developing wisdom,
our observations may also be a help to others—including me.