I used to say, "I'm so thankful to be alive". Hidden under that was something I didn't understand. I had buried my grief alive. In this journal, I have featured art that gives voice to my soul. [GREAT ART FEATURE FOLLOWS MY WRITING ABOUT IT]
I used to tell myself I had no right to my anguish.
"There is no going back, so look to the future".
"10% what happened, 90% what I make out of it..."
These statements are true, and plenty more thoughts like them. But I was living with pain, shame, anger -- all sorts of emotions that I had buried. They were alive, but I was not. I only moved among the living. I lived in the past. Can't be both places at the same time.
I was trying so hard to move on. All I did was, with every new decision, shatter my life even more. I was trapped by bitterness I would not even admit, and so much more confusion.
As I prepare for an art exhibit in October, God is working with me. As I meet twice a week now with a couple of friends each time, to pray, talk, make art -- God is working with me.
Did you know that the Bible says, to confess your sins to one another, SO THAT YOU MAY BE HEALED? Last Saturday the collage I was making started to stir up some stuff. I had spent my whole life with one main coping skill. Go numb. Then try to say and be whatever I thought I was SUPPOSE to.
God has helped me lift the veil to see into my soul. He has helped me face the critical and impossibly demanding spirit I carried with me. God is in the process of setting me free.
Part of this has been to embrace whatever reality I have -- grieve all that I have lost. Grieve all the crazy, bad stuff that has happened. Forgive what I cannot undo.
Lately, I have not stopped myself when I begin to cry. I used to try to suck it up. I wasn't comfortable with my own tears. I was afraid to feel that stuff. I have had a "mental breakdown"...
I was afraid maybe I could blow apart again, something like that.
A couple of days ago all I could do was cry and repeat over and over...STUPID, STUPID, STUPID...
Today, I was able to replace "stupid" with the word "sick". I was unhealthy, and I made sick choices that damaged me even more. And the ripples spread out from my actions to others. God is walking me through a process of getting at the root of these things with the tool of grief, and then forgiveness.
In the place of that regret and critical, angry thinking, I can see in it's place, growing, a new kind of tenderheartedness and kindness. For myself, and with that in place, what I give others will be genuine. I have been in a pitiful state. And now, out of my weakness and what feels like a completely ruined life, I know God is going to develop a powerful life.
Quoted from the book written by Matthew, the last words of Jesus are: "I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
He is with me. I am trading my dreams for His. Out of the ashes I rise. That is a theme of mine. Last week, when I had my little mini-blow out while making collages with my friends, one of them shared this song with me. I'm going to add a link to the song in case you want to hear about it.
I even tore my collage in half while we were working. Later this week, I used that as part of the way the collage looks. I let God talk to me in that collage. I let some of myself out of the box; the box I keep parts of myself locked away, so I don't have to look.
Here are some of the words from that song: "So much for the perfect life..." and "where the dark meets the light"...[see link below if you want to get to the song]
For me, the dark meets the light as I talk to very special, safe friends. And, as I cry -- no,
as I weep. Wail.
And, then, there is peace. I am really tired afterwards, but more peaceful.
~ ~ "...cast me gently into morning for the night has been unkind..." ~ ~
These images spoke to me. I wanted to share them.
Some are from artists I recently discovered.
This is the song, with beautiful lyrics, which will begin after a 20 second musical lead-in. So, if you visit, hang in there. [link]
LINK TO Musician giving an intro that fits this journal exactly --> [link]
"stumbled upon" this intro to the song. I had actually done what the musician is talking about -- that is, come to one of the places where I am broken within. And then I talked about it with my friends. Immediately I felt foolish and ugly inside.
But the song was a perfect description of what had just happened.
My walls came tumbling down, and made a beautiful sound!
My friends lovingly said, "It's OK that you feel that way. It's OK that you told us about it".
I saw for the first time how I'd never given myself permission to feel OK for having all that inside of me.
That's where the healing begins. It is what these TAKING FLIGHT groups are all about.
"Sparks will fly when grace collides... with the dark inside of us"...