Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wrestling with Alligators

The first question that comes to mind when I consider wrestling alligators is "why?" Why on earth would anyone try to wrestle something as big, as strong, as deadly, and with as many large, sharp teeth as an alligator?

The answer, of course, is, you don't actually want to wrestle the alligator. You have no other choice.

Last fall, in Orlando, we fed alligators. We stood on a deck about 10 feet above the gators and lowered fishing poles with hot dog pieces down to the waiting reptiles. Once or twice, a gator got a hold of one of the poles and clamped down. BigBro tried to pull back against the gator and ended up being thrown back against the building 6 feet away, the strength of the gator so outmatched him.

I think of this today because it sums up how I am feeling at the end of this very emotionally raw and revealing week. These memories, revelations, and inventory items bite with the sharp sting of a gator's incisors. Truthfully, I just want to give up and be done with it already.

The problem? I seem to have fallen into the alligator pit. The only way out is through the gators. Giving in to them is just not an option.

So, I press on. I fight. I wrestle. I bandage my wounds and focus on the next round.

Skilled alligator wrestlers know the tricks: stay calm and you will maintain control. Don't let the little nicks get to you. Focus on the goal.

Good advice, whether the alligators are physical or emotional.


  1. I never thought about recovery as wrestling, but it is a good analogy. There is a battle going on in the mind. How to come out the other side? I have to admit, it took me a long time.

    I don't know if I have shared this with you before. Forgive me if I have. I just could not get over my depression since remembering I had been sexually abused by my father. I was better, but still woke up depressed every morning. Then I read a book by, Joyce Meyer called, Battlefield of the Mind. She says to quote scripture out loud when you are having negative thoughts. I began doing this and it works. She says Satan puts these thoughts into our mind, but he has to leave us when he hears the Word of God. She also says to believe God will help you in your troubles. I realized I really didn't believe God could help me, that I would be depressed the rest of my life. That my life was ruined. I was wrong about that. I am so much better. I still have problems, but I go in my room and decide not to leave until God helps me. And he does.

  2. Oh, Belle,

    I am so sorry about the pain and abuse you endured as a child. Rest assured that you remain in my prayers.

    Our Heavenly Father is all good and loving, and I know that He holds you close and wants to bring you His peace, His love, and His compassion. He was with you, holding you, when you were being violated. He is with you when the memories overwhelm. You are absolutely precious to Him in every possible way.

    Be gentle with yourself today, my friend.


  3. Belle,

    One other thought. Have you read the book, "The Shack?" It's the story of a man trying to find peace after his 6 year old daughter is abducted. He spends the weekend with the three Persons of the Trinity, and in that experience, he hears about how God is with us in the most painful of experiences.

    I've read this book twice. It doesn't exactly follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. I wasn't reading it as a theology text, but as a means of understanding the mystery and majesty of God's infinite love and mercy.

  4. Thank you Jen, for your prayers and the recommendation of "The Shack." I will buy it for my e-reader. I'm always looking for good Christian books.

    I know God was with me, for he showed me in a dream once that he was by my side. It must be awful for God to look upon the things that happen in this world.