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Grey’s Anatomy – Episode “Beautiful Doom”

“What bubbles up?”  That’s what our pastoral care teacher would ask us when diving into a case study.  It was expected that we would experience some rogue feeling from our past while ministering in the present.

So when watching Meredith Grey on last week’s Grey’s Anatomy, all I kept wanting to say to her was “Something’s bubbling up Meredith… Ok, Meredith, step away from the patient… Meredith, your sister’s death is clouding your mind… Meredith, should you really be in the OR?”

In the season finale last May, Meredith’s sister, Lexie, succumbed to her fatal injuries from a plane crash.  Since the episode, it seemed as though Meredith continued to delay her grief.  Feelings had been pushed further and further down into her soul.  Her residual anger that seeped out of her mouth was aimed at the new interns.

This week, Meredith’s feelings finally bubbled to the surface when she tended to a young girl pinned under a car.  Her mind raced back to her sister.  She denied her feelings to Dr. Weber and continued treating the young woman.  Yet, Meredith’s judgment was teetering on the brink of dangerous.  Fortunately for Meredith, she was able to stay away from the cliff of murky judgment and save the life of the young woman.

Ah.  Fiction.  If only we could keep our past feelings under lock and key when it is convenient.

You see, for the rest of us, we aren’t always as lucky.  Any time we listen to someone speak of a similar traumatic experience, feelings of our terrifying past has the potential to “bubble up” and cloud our thoughts.  Decisions we make and advice we give can be based out of our fears and anxieties rather than lucid thought.  Our friends, families, strangers, etc. may take our advice based on our flawed judgments.

It’s in my firm belief that God understands that feelings bubble up during our new experiences.  As God is in our previous pain with us, God is calling us to new ways of healing.  This could be counseling/therapy to understand why feelings continuously “bubble up.”  God is opening our eyes to the triggers that cause us to revert to yesterday’s feelings.  And God is call us to differentiate between our past pains and our present experiences.

We shouldn’t be afraid to ask ourselves “what bubbles up for me?”  By doing so, others may avoid our faulty advice, and we may understand ourselves and transform in ways we never believed we could.