Apologies for the delay for this week's post--celebrating May the Fourth...
Pile 3: Shit Happens
Let me paraphrase the disciple’s question to Jesus in John 9 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+9:1-41):
Jesus, this blind guy—why the hell does he have to be blind? It totally sucks. Did he cause this shit himself, or did someone like his parents dump this shit on him?
And Jesus said—this shit is neither self-imposed, nor did someone else dump this shit on him.
Listen to me: shit just happens. And when it does, give this shit to God, so that he can make compost out of this shit. And out of this rich compost, beautiful things will grow, so that you and all around you can see that this kind of shit can be redeemed.
If you’ve been really honest about your other 2 piles, what’s left over is this kind of shit. But hey, you’ve just had shit reduction surgery, haven’t you? You’ve owned your self-imposed shit, and are ready not to add to that pile. You’ve unloaded other people’s shit. You may be left with a third (a turd?) now.
Again, you can’t control whether or not you end up with this shit. You most certainly will, because that’s how life works.
There’s a lot of different routes to the end of this shit—a Kubler-Ross grieving process, an obstacle overcoming attitude, tears, screaming off the top of a mountain, whatever works. All roads come to the compost pile, where you have to let go of that shit.
Does that mean that shit is gone? Are you never allowed a nostalgic sniff in that direction?
Not really. But the nice thing about bringing it to the compost pile is that the shit will slowly change. You might, when going back, see how it broke up, or dried out. It’s like going back to see how a lab experiment is turning out, instead of seeing your child grow up and away.
One visit, a sense of wonder may come about, as you see little seedlings sprout and grow. Eventually, your focus will no longer be the shit in the pile, but the beautiful growth that could not have been so strong without that shit.
After the first time I instructed a friend on the 3 pile method, I was asked,” Yes, but what happens when I want to protect my child from shit?”
We’re parents. We love and want to protect our children. But really, we can’t always do that. That’s why the best thing we can do for them is to give them the tools they need to grow up—like teaching them to sort their own shit out. Don’t abandon them in the process –they’re kids. But love them, grieve with them, be honest with them. That’s all I got.