Wednesday, June 29, 2016


To celebrate Father's Day two weeks ago the local farmer-owned cooperative asked readers to complete a simple sentence:

My Dad taught me _______________. 

I submitted a few filled blanks but the lesson I really thought worthy of passing on deserved more than one sentence. So here we are. 

I remember I had just turned eighteen (late bloomerwhen Dad taught me this lesson. I also remember the disappointment I felt as I sat against the headboard of my bed, kleenex in my hand.
I was experiencing heartache I hadn't yet known:

My first broken heart. 

Dad did something really simple that night when he got in from the farm. 
He came into my room. 
Sat on the end of my bed.
Acknowledged that I was upset (probably by saying something very straightforward, like: "I see that you're upset....")
And then went on to say something so basic and true that I've remembered it several times since:

"This is so temporary."

Dad went further to say that what I'm going through isn't uncommon (turns out, this was true)
And though it was the first time for me, it very likely it won't be the last time (turns out, this was true)
And though it felt like the disappointment was about to shut my heart down, it would be over soon (turns out, this was true)

What I was going through was so temporary. 

Years - actually more than a decade - have passed since that evening and while the things that weigh on my heart have certainly changed, this lesson has never waivered. 

This morning I think of a long list of friends and family who are going through a particularly difficult time. Some are in a place so dark and hidden, they're wondering if they'll ever get out. If there is even a way out. My reassuring (unpaid, unschooled) counsel always seems to be the same, because I believe it, year after year. I hope you believe it, too: this is so temporary. Sometimes I say it enough just to reassure myself. 

Whatever you're going through

A tough work situation
Frustration at home
A class that leaves you feeling less than brilliant
Deep and broad disappointment
Addiction that changes a family
A situation that just doesn't sit well with your heart
Guilt, upon guilt, upon guilt
Poor health
Monetary issues that ensue panic
Absolute anger
Fear of the unknown
Frustration that keeps you awake
Discouragement, doubt or disbelief 

Nothing lasts forever, including this. When you get to the other side, you'll be so glad you stuck it out. 

This is so temporary.

One possible exception: Pregnancy. 
Pregnancy is a condition in which the last two weeks actually lasts more than a month. 
I guess maybe I just need to talk to my Dad

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