It was so lovely sitting outside a couple of nights ago. Wafting summer breezes create spectacular evenings. And, as I found out this morning, my annoying mosquito friends are also enjoying the night air – at my expense.
Last night, the itching started on my right calf, then my left foot, then the left side of my forehead. I started scratching my skin because it felt good. Temporarily. Now, I have four big welts and the bitten areas hurt; I didn’t even know I was a delicacy the other evening.
A revelation hit me as I was thinking about these little enemies – robbers of summer peace and joy. Mosquitoes and their bites are metaphors for life trauma.
When a mosquito bites, I usually have no clue that it is coming for me. I don’t get much warning. Similarly, tragedies, more often than not, have hit me out of nowhere.
After a mosquito lands, it immediately secretes its paralyzing saliva – numbing me, so that I don’t know it’s probing around my skin.
Life trauma is similar. A life-altering, negative circumstance can come out of nowhere. When a trauma situation lands on me, it shocks, numbs and paralyzes my emotional, physical and spiritual system.
I may not realize for either days, weeks or years how deep the pain is. For trauma to “take” from me, it has to numb me.
It’s after time passes, the pain and agony increase. Just like the lingering result of a mosquito bite.
My natural reaction to relieve the pain is to focus on the wound – just as scratching an itchy mosquito bite brings temporary relief.
Some of the ways that I deal with trauma offer temporary comfort.
Some comfort comes when I:
- Feel angry at the enemy that created the wound
- Resent the wound itself
- Pick at the wound
- Analyze the situation
- Ask “Why me?”
- Curse the enemy
- Ignore the injury
- Succumb to results of the injury
As I look at the red, burning, near-bleeding welts on my leg, I think about the choice I have – either I keep scratching at these darn bites, or try to find a better way to deal with the pain – such as finding a truly, comforting salve.
Mosquito bites. Trauma.
Coincidence in pairing the two?
Hmmm. Something to consider.
My next step is to seriously think about the reason that I’m struggling with moving closer to a true, longer-term comfort. And dare I say healing?
I don’t have an immediate next revelation, but want to share this metaphor with you – just in case you can relate to it too.
Note: Focusing on this verse today, “… your rod and your staff, they comfort me. “ Psalm 23:4