Saturday, August 20, 2011

You are not your pain...

Hi There. This is about to be the most personal thing I've ever shared in public since I started writing this blog, so I'll admit I'm a little scared.  But I feel like I'm not alone here, and maybe I can help somebody else. 

Two years and 4 months ago I suffered a miscarriage.  The tragedy for me though wasn't just the loss of the child, but I lost a great deal of trust with it.  My perception of how things happen and how people should respond to each other was shattered.  But I didn't have time to grieve, I was too busy picking up all these broken pieces and blaming myself for it happening in the first place.  For the most part I would say I cleaned up pretty well, but every once in awhile I'll step on a piece of leftover glass. 

These leftover pieces we find, sometimes years after you thought you dealt with the event; they are called insecurities.  They remind us of the damage that was done and that it could happen again and we need to make sure it doesn't.  But if you are a person of faith, you know that taking the situation in your own hands never works out to anyone's benefit, particularly your own.

All of us have insecurities...some more major than others.  But have you ever stopped to really examine where those insecurities stem from?   That's what it means to cope: to take a second to really learn and understand from that thing that happened so you can function despite it and still have a positive impact on the world around you.

When you were hurt as a child, your Mother/Father probably didn't just smack a band aid on top of it...dirt and all.  No, they cleaned it out.  Even if you winced in pain at the cleansing process, it had to be done in order to make sure the infection didn't spread or linger longer than necessary.

So how do you cleanse when the wound is on the inside? Well, from the inside of course.  You have to make your voice...the voice that is truly who you are, speak back to the scared little person that takes residence in your brain at times.  So this is the script I came up with....

"I hear you, and I know where you're coming from and I understand why you feel this way.  But I'm really not (ugly, dumb, unlovable, unworthy, mean, pathetic), despite what other people and/or experiences have taught you.  I am a child of God and He loves me, He made me and since He made me, none of those qualities are me. Those bad things happened so that I could be a better person.  The type of person that understands and can help other people through their pain, not so that I could dwell in that pain.  I know some of those things still hurt and they make the world seem like a scary place, but there are beautiful things in it to, and I don't want to miss out on them.   I know God said He has good plans for me; everything He plans for me is good, even if it hurts at the moment.  So I'm going to trust Him ok? It's time to leave that behind me."

I wrote that for me, I encourage you to write your own script in your true voice. But before you can discover your true voice, I encourage you to spend time with God first so you know who you really are.  Then you will know when you're talking, or when fear/pain/despair/anger, all things that are not part of your original design are talking.  Don't embrace those things as who you are, and don't allow anyone else to tell you that's who you are either.  You are whoever you chose to be.

Having a full life doesn't mean you are insecure free, it means you can look those insecurities in the face and decide to live life to the fullest any way.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Say what's on your mind?

"Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve the silence? " - Sai Baba

Wow! I think that quote just revolutionized my whole life!

As only a child (and many people who have not known me my whole life may not believe this) I am an introvert by nature.  It is actually natural for me to stay in my cozy shell where I know I am safe and sound and everything around me is familiar and operates just as it should; you're not in my world unless I invite you in.  See introversion is less about how talkative you are, but more so how you interact and perceive the world around you.  An extrovert sees the world as a playground, whereas an introvert proceeds with caution, ultra sensitive to predators and harmful situations.

It was not until I started to reach adulthood that I decided I was going to walk boldly in the world...."throw caution to the wind!"  I decided I would be asserting myself and giving my opinion as I decided it was needed.  No more fading into the background for me!  I was trying to make myself over into what I perceived as a healthier, better, extroverted adult.  "Hello world, let me tell you everything I think and feel because I'm fearless! And who doesn't love honesty, right?" Wrong!  Sometimes the power of emotions can suck all the oxygen out of a room; it's best to use their powers in moderation.

As I settle into my thirties, and fully settling into my adulthood, I'm realizing that there is room in the middle.  I don't have to exist in one extreme or the other.  There is a huge benefit in being aware of your own space and boundaries and operating in caution while at the same time embracing and welcoming the world around you.  The key is knowing when which side supports the goals and objectives at hand.  There's nothing wrong with being either one and ideally I think it's best to know how to be both at the same time.

Sometimes silence has it's place.  Sometimes my opinion isn't worth hearing.  Sometimes you need to stop and take some time to think about and digest the world in your own shell and re-enter it when you feel like it.    And sometimes you need to take a stand, speak to strangers, dance in public, and feel comfortable by yourself in a crowded room. 

And as customary I can't think on life and identity without looking to God for validation so I leave you with this:

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Ephesians 4:29