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The Art of the Wallow

The art of the wallow… I know it’s a strange title but learning how to wallow in your sufferings is really quite the well thought out creative endeavor. I am in a community where wallowing has become the norm. I understand the desire to wallow myself… as I’ve perfected it at many a point in my life.

When someone is struggling with any given difficulty in life you will often find a community ready and willing to complain moan and roll around in your general disparaging lifestyle with you. It is really quite tempting to parade the banner of a new normal, a normal of suffering. For those struggling with identity, taking on the identity of a martyr it seems like a very powerful thing indeed.

I mean let’s face it, all of the greatest stories in the world have a bit of suffering in them. But what we’ve lost is the fact that the greatest stories in the world also have breakthrough and triumph over suffering. Somewhere along the way we have started embracing the suffering as the prime point of the story when it was always meant to be a stop through on the way to victory.

For those in difficult situations the pat on the back you received for embracing your difficulty is really quite appealing. There are literally days dedicated to support and upholding of those dealing with anxiety, depression, suffering and the like. Now please hear what I am actually saying. I am not saying that we should deny our struggles. Struggle is part of what makes us human. Struggle builds empathy and working through struggle builds us. But Triumph is in the fiber of our being. We were never meant to stop at the struggle. We were never meant to throw up the struggle and wallow in our own vomit of depression and anxiety. We have found our identity in the very thing we despise.

This has to stop.

Until we discovered that this is not our true identity we will never be able to live enjoy and peace. We may have begun to believe that wallowing will give us peace but it never will. Being OK with feeling this way does not bring true peace it simply brings acceptance that we will never feel better. I sympathize and I empathize with the people struggling with nerve racking anxiety and deep heart wrenching depression. But please let’s not do ourselves and those struggling a to service and tell tell them that this is their true identity. This cloak of difficulty is something they are wearing for a season but is not the real them.

So until you see the light at the end of the tunnel I will be with you I will remind you of your true value and your true self. I will not let the wallow become your new way of living. I will value your joy even when you cannot.