Friday, September 14, 2012

Moving On ~ Life Lessons from a Bandaid

My middle child has sensitive skin. She also has a tendency to scratch and pick at her scabs. Disgusting, I know, but she is three so I try to cut her some slack.

She had one boo-boo on her forehead that she wouldn't leave alone, so I put a little square Band-aid over it. (Yes, it was an actual brand name Band-aid. :) ) Because I didn't want her to keep re-opening the wound, I left the Band-aid on for a couple of days.

When it did come off, the skin underneath the sticky part was all broken out. We had left the bandage on far longer than it really needed to be there.

Life is like that a lot.

We take certain measures because circumstances at the time require it. These things are intended to be temporary measures to solve a temporary problem. Unfortunately they become permanent fixtures in our life and those temporary measures eat away at our mental, emotional, and sometimes even physical health.

Some things, like a family having to move into their parents' basement, are harder to accept long term. Small, and sometimes big, things keep the fact that the situation is far from ideal at the forefront of our minds. At the same time you get into a routine and eventually things don't seem so bad. Instead of looking for an apartment as soon as its feasible, the family may decide to delay a few more months so they can save some extra money, or put a down payment on a house.

Other things, especially emotional bandages, also tend to stick around far longer than they should. Perhaps you are feeling wounded and raw from a fight with a friend. Sunday morning comes along and you feel like you both just need some time to cool off before you talk it out, so you skip church.

Wednesday comes along and you figure that a week's sabbatical will really help your equilibrium.

There are times and situations where a respite, a cooling off period, could be needed. But it is all too easy to let this temporary fix become an ingrained habit. The next Sunday you might be too embarrassed to go to church. Everyone will ask where you were all week and then you might have to explain the fight. So you skip again. In another week everyone will forget about it.

The next thing you know you haven't been to church in five months.

Habits are hard to break, especially when they were created out of necessity.

I could have taken my daughter's bandage off the next day, knowing the bleeding had stopped and the wound was nearly healed. Instead I left it on because it seemed easier than teaching her not to pick at it. Now I'm having to medicate the entire area as the skin heals.

Are there things in your life that were supposed to be temporary but became permanent fixtures? Do you need to work on getting they out?

Or maybe you've already ripped off your bandages. Did you have some mess to clean up from your fix? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

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