Posted by: gaylejervis | May 27, 2010

DESIGNING AN ADULT SOOTHER

Some people when they are physically ill or depressed stop eating, but I think more people can relate to my constant gnawing sensation that I continue to interpret as hunger. And since the radical hysterectomy, I seem to be having a lot of different abdominal sensations that I continually feed, and yet I know I am not hungry.  Therefore, when I stuff a handful of chocolate chips in my mouth I can almost anticipate my disappointment that these chocolates will not eliminate this uneasiness.  As I taste that last bit of melted chocolate, I am already looking more closely into the fridge and cupboards convinced that there must be something that will alleviate this dragging your long fingernails down an old- fashioned chalkboard sensation.     Can I blame this irrational behavior on my Mom who used to make me a piece of toast lathered with strawberry jam and give me a hot cup of tea, and as I would chew on my bread and sip my cup of hot tea, I would hear her reassuring words, “It will get better”?

No doubt, part of the problem is that many of us keep hoping that our physical and emotional longings and needs can be resolved immediately and simply, but I don’t think it is a coincidence that our solution often gravitates toward putting something in our mouths.  Isn’t alcoholism a result of men and women looking for a way to curb that unsettling gnawing in their gut?  Isn’t obesity largely a result of men and women looking for a way to deal with their anger, their hurt, or their low self-esteems that keeps gnawing at them?  Aren’t the men and women who are physically ill looking for magic pills to swallow and take away their pain? I believe my favorite comfort food is popcorn since I can continually put something in my mouth!

After reading the novel, The Parasites written by Daphne Du Maurier, I think I know what all of us are really looking for.  The two characters were driving in a car getting more and more frantic since they couldn’t get a young baby to stop crying.  They had tried to feed her, they changed her diaper, they rocked her, but nothing was stopping that incessant cry.  Then her mother told the driver to stop at Woolworths and she returned to the car feeling quite triumphant as she put into the baby’s mouth a soother.  The narrator comments, “It acted as a sort of gag.  Caroline sucked noisily and closed her eyes.  The effect was magic.  The crying ceased.”   The driver, impressed by the sudden peace comments, “How easy it would be if every time one felt on edge one could just go to Woolworths and buy a comforter.  There must be something psychological about it.  I think I shall get one for myself.  It’s probably what I’ve wanted all my life.”  (244)

And so it would seem that the perfect solution is to design an adult soother so that whenever we experience that empty but still full sensation that distracts us from everything else,  we merely plug into our mouths a soother!!  And yet, that too is merely a temporary solution.  Even a baby can’t have a soother stuck into her mouth all day and all night!  Eventually that soother would become a form of torture!   I can’t help think of how my grandson loved his “soos” as he called it, and yet last winter my daughter-in-law gradually eliminated his need for it.  However, before it was taken completely away from him, he used it to help him fall asleep.  One afternoon when he was in the crib, he asked me for his “soos”, except that I knew that “privilege” had recently been taken from him.  I asked him, “Jackson, does Mommy want you to have “soos”?  No one could look more forlorn as he lowered his head, and slowly shook his head as he woefully said, “No.”  Then he lay down on his tummy and fell asleep!  You see, it was just a habit that he had formed and this habit made him think he needed it!  However, his wise mother knew that it was no longer necessary.

For some reason, many of us adults haven’t drawn the same mature conclusion when we put things into our mouths looking for comfort. At one time, the bottle of milk or a soother did give us comfort, but now it is time to move on and find something more lasting that can give us peace.  Rather than using my mouth to insert food, I need to use my mouth to talk to God, to praise Him and to expect to receive His Comfort.  The character in The Parasites facetiously said, “It’s probably what I’ve wanted all my life”.  There was something he wanted all his life, but sadly he never discovered how  he could receive peace and comfort.  However, I made that discovery years ago and I know that no man-made soother is the solution!  I believe that my needs and my longings can only be permanently and completely satisfied by believing such scriptures as 2 Corinthians 1:3:  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and GOD OF ALL COMFORT.”     Perhaps it’s time for me to put away that popcorn bowl and expect my DIVINE SOOTHER to comfort me and settle that stomach queasiness!

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Responses

  1. It’s nice to be able to read your comments again. I think you must be feeling better as your thoughts are coming together in such a succinct way! Your heart is big and your comments an encouragement showing real insight directed to the perfector of our faith. May He continue to draw you to Himself.


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