Our basement flooded with water from a “Hotlanta” summer downpour yesterday. I walked downstairs and felt the squish of sopping wet carpet under my foot at the base of the stairs. The water soaked the carpet in half of a bedroom and in one other space. My husband Dusty and I needed to decide whether to tear up the carpet or try to salvage it. Could we get by with drying it out and salvaging it?
Too often we get by with emotional salvaging. We do the emotional band-aid fix and get on with things, because therapy and self-reflection get too messy, expensive and time-consuming. We dry things out, patch them up, and the exterior looks pretty much the same way it did before the storm.
But there is a time to tear up the carpet, examine the contents beneath, and assess the damage. It looks bad for awhile. It’s not pretty or polished. We may step on something sharp. We may need to invest some time and money in the process. There is a time to tear, and therapy works the same way.
Sometimes we uncover unexpected, added challenges in the therapy process. We discover another wet corner, or see some rotting baseboards. We need to pull back the carpet long enough to address the foundation of the problem, so we can move forward knowing that we are building something new that is going to last.
There is “a time to tear and time to mend.” This concept is mentioned in biblical literature, in the poetic book of Ecclesiastes, part of the Bible concerned with time, meaning, and purpose. When you see a problem in your life, address it. Tear it up if you need to and see what’s causing it. Replace the problem with solutions that are lasting and resilient, and learn how to care for yourself in ways that will help you thrive. The time to tear will lead to a time of mending and lasting healing.