For those of you who are parents, you will fully understand what I am about to say: My children are the truest reflections of myself and the most blunt of teachers upon issues regarding my character.
So earlier this week, our daughter Sophia was getting ready to lose another tooth. It was REALLY loose, hanging on by a thread and sticking out like a snaggle-tooth. She was excited, but every time Caity or I would ask to help get it out–Sophia would turn into a wild animal, batting away our advances with her paws and extended claws. Caity and I chuckled about it whenever it happened and we were ultimately content to let it be.
Then arrived this last Monday morning. I was at work when I received a text photo of Sophia grinning with a new gap in her teeth and the attached message from Caity hinted that a struggle occurred to achieve the result. When I was able to speak with my wife, I got the full story.
Caity had been sitting with Sophia and asking about the loose tooth and Sophia was willing to show it to her with a grin, but every time my wife tried to reach out and touch it, Sophia flipped out! So Caity decided not to let it go but wanted to press in upon the issue of resistance. Why was Sophia fighting losing this tooth? Why was she so adamantly resistant? This wasn’t her first tooth lost. It was puzzling. As it turned out, it was all about Sophia’s fear, mostly the fear about the pain of pulling the tooth.
Once Caity was able to talk her through the issue, she was able to gain trust and then reach out and take out the loose baby tooth. It didn’t take much, just a tiny tug, and then Sophia had a wad of tissue in her mouth to dab the tiny blood flow…along with a big grin. Afterward, Caity asked her how she felt and Sophia indicated that she was over-the-moon-happy. Then when my wife asked her how long the pain lasted, she held up two fingers–the pain lasted all of two seconds. It was over before it even started.
Later on when Caity and I were able to talk about these momentous events in Sophia’s life, we both immediately recognized the relevance in our life together. This has indeed been a ridiculously busy summer filled with growing pains and revelations; it’s been a cause for both tears and joy. Yet ultimately it’s been good to grow and be reminded that almost all good growth comes with some kind of pain. The pain of loosing a baby tooth is short-lived compared to the joy of knowing and watching a new adult tooth come to replace it.
Personally and spiritually the growth pattern is similar. We as people can see the light and understand the truth of it, but we don’t actively change until we feel the heat; it creates cause to give up whatever it is that we’ve been holding onto with clenched fists. It’s only when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change that we will choose change. However, once the path of change is chosen and actively pursued, the pain becomes a distant memory. It was over before it even started.
Then the joy of new growth takes over.
SED EGO DIGREDIENDUM