A pile of poop with a smile, is still poop. Sunday’s sermon began with the smiling poop emoji on both of the teleprompter screens. The visual presentations were prefaced with, “If I could find a way to best describe this past year, it would be this (the emoji). I lost my father suddenly to cancer and miss him terribly, our son is struggling with anxiety and depression and my sister in law has moved in with us, heartbroken and confused by a troubled marriage. And day after day, I paste on a smile and assure anyone who asks, that all is well, that my family and I are doing wonderfully.”
Shane went on- “I realize that I can no longer pretend the mess is not there AND at the same time, work to grow and heal from it. And I can not do this alone. I have stuff in my life that is not going well, which is causing me despair–in whom do I trust to share?” For him, it was God, and also a friend. The sharing is the first step to coming out of denial. For a moment, the poop emoji left the screens and was replaced by these words: “Acknowledge the mess. Do your best. Let God do the rest.” I love this!♥
Shane continues: “I know that I am at my best when I rely on god to help me with the mess. Working and growing through the messes is the way to our best lives.” When effort is directed at putting a smiley on the poop, we teach others that it is not safe to share with us, because we are not fit to acknowledge or deal with poop without judgment. Having the courage and faith to heal, is not only the way to our best lives, it is the way to genuine connection—being able to share the poop, handle the poop, cry and collectively pray over the poop is what people who are intimately connected and spiritually growing, get to do, TOGETHER.
I shared my understanding of the sermon with my sons, explaining to them, that in my experience with my family, we were not able to ever connect in this way, the handling of the poopier parts of life. My unyielding need to do so, was an offense to their merciless need to NOT. I cannot put a smile on the poop and pretend it is not there, not stinky and not troublesome. I just cannot. This is the key to functioning in both their father’s family and my own. Everyone wears smiles and moves on as if… They consider this moving on, as evidence of strength and positivity. Anything other–gets labelled as negative, weak, and ungrateful- shaming any soul, unfortunate enough to openly struggle or suffer. They have a clever way of discussing people with unmasked feelings, they do it as though they are expressing pity, which is not as wholesome it is intended to appear. What they are doing, commonly referred to, as priming the pump, initiating a campaign to create doubt and discomfort with those afflicted in this way.
The service left me feeling deeply the goodness and love of the people in my life and also reminding me of the stark contrast to those to whom I am related. My sister’s nagging and tenacious pursuit for connection TO my ex-husband and OUR children still affects us deeply as two divorced people who are meant to co-parent and work for the best of our children. The versions of love and strength(poop with a smile) they model for my children is literally soul-sickening. The forced betrayal and hugging is awful. I tell my boys it is ok to say NO and they insist it is not, because that will anger their father. Ugh.
I dont care if you’re family or friend, old or young, if my kid does not want to hug or kiss you, then that is that’s that. I won’t be encouraging or bribing them. Their body, their choice.
This led us right into more intensity and heavy sighing by my boys, as I forced them to endure my mini-rant about the difference between peacemaking and peace-keeping. I do intend to raise peacemakers who will be driven by wholesome values like courage and kindness, more than the opinions of others.
Another reason I felt called to think of female sibling. I try hard not to:
We have all seen and used and laughed about this poop emoji. #allofus
In our home, we shake our heads at a recurring performance by my sister regarding the swirly poop, recognized by those aging from 2-99, for what IT is. My sister who wears only
angelic white loves to report how she is mortified to have mistaken IT a Hershey Kiss and was sending it to people. I relayed this to my friend Trish, who exclaimed “Oh Okay, you are almost fucken 60, backdooring your sister, and still so pure and innocent you don’t think poopy thoughts when you see a poo emoji…and you are so terribly embarrassed by THIS– that you share that story at every opportunity”. My sons have reported now, twice in 6 months, being subjected to the “Ohmygaw y’all- I am so embarrassed because I had mistaken that poop emoji as a Hershey Kiss”-story.
Yesterday, my older son text me from the school bus that he had to go poo and we just laughed at the foolishness. He is wise to that shit.
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