Preface:  This is more of a dramatic metaphor…that does not relate to all areas of life and I actually think there are a lot of things we do talk about with tact/respect. I am not referring to one subject specifically but did hear a refreshing message by someone talking about the elephant in his room—A message I will never forget for I cried, realizing, Life is hard but we are all in this together.  We all have issues.  Some we want to talk about and others, we are still working on.  Bottomline:  There is pain in the world, in us.  You can talk about the pain.  But when you talk about pain, please bring up the Healer too…Otherwise, it is going to be a frustrating conversation, with absolutely no conclusion.

Per Wikipedia, the term “elephant in the room” was first stated in British journals in 1915 but also in 1959 in the New York Times.  The term refers to an idea/truth that is being ignored/not dealt with due to embarrassment, pain, etc.  People avoid a certain subject because of the charged emotions that are associated with it.  Addictions, suicide/death, religion, race, etc. are all subjects people ignore at times-why?  Generally, because it has come up before and it went no where.  The other person didn’t agree with you or there is no easy answer, thus no easy discussion.  I would say most of the planet does not enjoy confrontation all that much.  We would rather ignore things than sit down and talk about our feelings/emotions/solutions with tact and respect.

The elephant sits there, affecting people, sitting on their chairs, eating their food, abusing the atmosphere.  Everyone steps around it hoping not to get stepped on.  Hoping someone will just show the elephant the door.  But no one does.  We talk about the weather, sports, food, work, music, upcoming events, the circus.  We even have “white elephant” gift exchanges to help fill in the gaps.

And there he sits.  Waiting.  Taking up room, suffocating some.  Some people don’t notice him anymore.  His big ears, big nose, gray firm fuzzy skin.  He is almost lovable, likable—giving free rides to the kids around the room.  He steps on toes, knocks over glasses with his tail running over the top of the cheesecake with the strawberries sticking to his behind.  Every now and then he rears up and loudly sounds his horn.  Everyone covers their ears, glaring at him, wishing he would just go away.  Why here?  Why our party?  Go crash a different party.  But we go on nonetheless.  Moving to the music, getting more punch, eating around the smushed section of the cheesecake.  He is just another guest, coming with us in our cars and to work and to the park and everywhere else we want to go.  He reminds us that there is pain—He is the pain.  He is the subject we avoid.  He is a confrontation/an intervention waiting, or should I say, needing to happen.  Instead we try to sweep him under the rug.  The poor elephant is covered in rugs.  You don’t bring an elephant to the party without bringing a few rugs with you.  Everyone has rugs with them…The music, the weather, sports, work…All rugs.  We bring our brooms too (how else do you sweep?).  We sweep but it’s only a little dust that gets stirred up-the elephant goes no where.

Every now and then, someone will whisper, “What about that elephant?  Is there no relief?  My kid last week got his foot broken by him. ”  The person replies, “I don’t know.  Pray about it.”  And we go on.  Is prayer beneficial?  Of course…but our prayers are more like, “Dear God, help me get through the evening without talking about that dang elephant” than “Dear God, give me the strength, the tact to talk about this issue that everyone else wants to ignore—tell me what to say and give us the grace to bring healing.”  You can’t deal with elephants when you are selfish, angry, yelling, or in denial.

How long will we go on?  When will we stop and make a statement?  When will we ask “Why?” out loud?  Why did you say that?  Why are you acting like this?  Why are we following you?  Why are we allowing you to act like this?  Why?  Why are you crying?  Why didn’t you show up?  “It hurts me when you say…”  “It feels bad when….”  “I don’t know what to say about ______but I need you to help me understand what is going on”.

You could just delete them from FaceBook.  You could just stop going where they go.  You could just stop talking to them.  Maybe glare at them, that always works in getting your point across.  Passive-Agressive.  We have raised a generation to do this and we wonder why so many people are so messed up.  We haven’t raised people to understand the value of using words wisely, carefully for words have power.

Do we have elephants?  Maybe…Do we want to talk about the elephants?  Not really.  It hurts too much.  And I wouldn’t know what to say….for I am not sure what I think about the issue and I am not convinced I want an answer.  I don’t have the time, the energy, the motivation to hash out the issue, talk about the issue, look at the issue…And so, there it sits…Getting fatter and fatter off the cheesecake in the middle of the room.

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