There is an old saying “You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig”. Funny, it’s one of the sayings running through my mind a lot lately. I get up and get dressed just about every morning – just about. If I leave the house, 99.9% of the time, I put on makeup. Always have. I try to look at least decent clothing wise too. Haven’t always met the mark but I have tried.
One thing I have noticed, since Amanda died, is when I put on makeup and dress up people think I am okay. “Lipstick on a pig” I have faked it for a while now. It hasn’t fooled the people closest to me, but those I just see here and there, or the cashiers in the stores have no idea I have a broken heart. On some occasions, I have had to leave a store because of a song playing. One particular time sticks out in my mind; I was at the Dollar General. It was embarrassing; no one had any idea what was going on to make me break out in tears. After all, I looked fine on the outside – makeup and all.
There are a lot of people in my life who allow me to be fake about my emotions. Another “lipstick on a pig” situation. They like it because they do not have to deal with the deep pain I feel. Ask me how I’m doing as we walk along and my response is “I’m doing okay”. I do not lie to the point of saying “I’m good”. They really do not want to know, don’t want to deal with it. No deep conversations to be had, which is fine with me. I really do not want to share in the moment or time. We are both good keeping it superficial. It’s part of life. Believe me – I completely understand. I wouldn’t want to deal with me either. It does hurt when it is a friend that I was close to before Amanda died. Not so much when we have never been close. It’s just a standard greeting.
On the other hand, there are friends in my life who will be completely frank with me. They will tell me I am not doing well or I am wrong. They will tell me they are worried and know of so many others who are worried about me and my husband. They see past the “lipstick on a pig” to the real hurt and anguish we are feeling. They also will be honest with me when we do get to talk. They will wipe the lipstick right off of my face. The good thing about me most people do not understand is – I will think about what they say to me. I will admit to them they are right. Oh, at the moment and time, I may not admit it; will more than likely be defensive – but, I think about, go over it in my mind, pray about it, look at it from their side – then I will decide if they are right or wrong. I love people who are honest with me, blunt, and truthful. I don’t mean hateful or mean-spirited. I mean people who will take the time to talk to me, not in anger, but in love. I see things in black and white. For me or against me. Always have. Since I was a child. It has gotten worst since I have gotten older.
In these scenarios, I realize I am calling myself a pig. I feel like one these days. A pig is not something you really want to hang around with or be seen with in public. You can’t carry on a conversation with it. A pig is not something you love, it’s something you eat – it’s good for putting in the frying pan and turning up the heat. I feel like I am being treated like an animal by some of the people I love the most. They have decided I am not even worth the effort to be kind to in public. They have decided I am not worth carrying on a conversation or talking to about important things in life. They have put me in a frying pen and turned up the heat.
Also, a pig wallows around in the same ole mud day after day. I was called on being obsessive about certain things, certain situation and certain people. My friend is exactly right. I am. I have always had abandonment issues. I allow myself to become consumed with those who leave me or in the process of leaving me. I allow myself to become consumed with the things they have said or say to me. Particularly when I know they are not seeing the whole picture. More importantly, when they have no idea just how much I love them. How much I miss them. So, yes, I do become consumed and obsessive. It’s is something I have to work to fix. I need to learn to let things and yes, some people go. I don’t want to. I want to hold on to them with every fiber of my being but I have to wait on the Lord to fix the situation. I have to allow the Lord to open their eyes and show them how much I love them. I have to quit picking up the same ole stuff, rolling around in the same ole mud.
It is no secret that the death of a loved one adds extreme stress on a family. It causes separation and anxiety and depression and strain. It’s very common for families to split and have conflict, even years later. Our family has been no different. I know yours is probably in the same boat. I receive email and messages day after day saying so. We put our cover on and deal with our families without being completely honest. We tell part of the truth. We say things we do not really mean. We say what we think the other person wants to hear. We make promises we can not possibly keep or do not even remember making. We are unforgiving to those who have been with us for years. We are unloving to those who are closest to us. Why? Well, it’s easier. It’s a way to not deal with the pain. It’s a way to run. If we push people away, then we do not have to deal with our emotions. We can claim we are doing well because those closest to us are gone. We put our lipstick on and continue on in an unknown direction. Dealing with our grief, our sorrow, our loss, our depression and our humanness all by ourselves. Alone or with a totally new group of people. People who can not see us for who we really are, what we are really feeling or do not remind us of our dead loved one. It’s a very common way to respond.
Common response, but not the way it is supposed to be. We should be there for each other. We should be able to talk things through. We should be forgiving and loving. Kind and considerate. We (my husband and I) took the time this past weekend to talk to some people we love very much. Go to them in love and share what is on our hearts. It’s what God calls for in His Word. “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14 (ESV) “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (ESV) “Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:24 (ESV) “And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” Matthew 18:33 (ESV)
We have to open our eyes and realize – we need each other. We have to realize the struggle everyone is going through and everyone’s reactions and emotions are all over the place. We also have to realize words repeated to us are not always the truth. There are a lot of people in the world who are what I call “Soap Opera People” – they love drama and love to help create it. We, those of us who have lost a child, should realize above everyone else – life is way too short to spend it in the same ole mud.
I am praying for the Lord to soften hearts, open eyes, forgiving spirits, and reconciliation with those I have pushed away and who have pushed me away. I am praying for my attention to not be obsessive or consumed on things of this world but on Him, and Him alone. Everything else will fall into place. I can not be whole with the Lord while I am not reconciled with people. “Lipstick” don’t work with God, He knows what we really are and what we really think and what we really feel. We are not pigs – we are a child of the King!
I have been working on this blog since a week ago. Wednesday night someone actually used the quote “lipstick on a pig”. I told him it’s so amazing how God uses people without them even knowing. I haven’t heard the quote in years and up it pops. I was having doubts about this blog. The Lord gave me a little push.
I hope it helps you to realize, you are not alone. Most of us are dealing with the same struggles. Most of us are putting “lipstick on a pig”. Hopefully, we will learn to be ourselves, honest about how we feel and deal with each other in love.
Love to all of you, Manda’s Mom #APG