Makes Me Think

I subscribe to a blog called “Makes Me Think” – sometimes I wonder if people are just making stuff up but it is an interesting and sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heart-wrenching but quick read.  This was on there today and it bothered me.

” Today, when I told them the truth, my parents stopped loving me for being me.”  ~ by lost

The comments section just did not seem the place to respond to this but I am betting that many kids have felt this way and I simply wanted to respond as a parent.   So here it goes:

Dear “lost”,

I am so sorry you feel that way.  I can only imagine your pain.  As a parent, I would like to give a possible explanation of what you may have perceived as an end to your parents love.  It could simply be that they are mourning a loss.   You said that “when I told them the truth” which means that until that moment they had been experiencing something that was not true.  Maybe, an image of their child that was false?  So, in that moment of truth…they experienced a loss.  They need some time to grieve that loss.  When you exposed your truth, you likely were seeking acceptance.  I ask you to give them time.  Acceptance does not mean that they have to understand, agree with or celebrate your truth.  It means that it is not their responsibility to decide upon it.  Now they may need some time to get there and are now trying to sort through what the “truth” is.  You did not decide overnight to expose your truth, you likely took time to decide. Allow them THEIR time to absorb it.  I would like to share with you something that I have had to say to my own child when I have reacted poorly to something:

“Just remember that I am human too, and I mess up.  I react to my emotions.  My reactions do not determine your value and worth nor are they a measurement for my love for you.”


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The door to forgiving

In this journey to end my relationship with FEAR and ANGER there has been a huge discovery. First let me say that I am not on this journey alone, I have a counselor, having an objective perspective from someone who does not know all the people involved in my past hurts is very helpful. Not to mention a husband who loves me, that may not understand all of this but is okay with my travel plans.

My first milestone was the realization that I am human and having feelings and addressing them is OKAY. (I tell people this all the time…but did not realize I was not applying it to myself) If you ignore or suppress or try to control your feelings it really creates a bottleneck and eventually those feelings will find a way to be dealt with. I had heard this before, but did not really HEAR it, if you know what I mean.

So my latest discovery is that my Fear and Anger were unaddressed and misplaced. I had earlier realized some of what I was afraid of and what I was angry about BUT the WHO behind the WHAT was misdirected. After my last blog post I had so much emotion rolling around inside of me that I ended up leaving an important meeting because I was making myself SICK trying to not cry…so I left (discreetly) and went and typed a 5 page “This is what is p!$$!ng me off” paper. I even used the F-word in it once and did not edit it out. It was very cathartic but afterwards I felt like a lunatic. It did not solve the problem. I wanted so very badly to send it to the people that I had been typing about but all that would do is cause them unneccessary pain, or anger and me guilt for causing it. So I emailed it to the guide on my journey and to a trusted friend who has been through the process and knows my story so as to get some perspective. My guide sat down with me the next day and noticed a pattern in my writing…I did not want to BLAME the people who hurt me for my hurt or for the dysfunction they created. I did not understand the ripple affect that not BLAMING them had created within my own household. My wise counselor pointed out that if I am not appropriately placing BLAME for these things then I am likely taking on the responsiblity for everything myself.

Yep, that sounds about right. I was raised to take responsibility for myself and not to be a tattle tale. Pouring my guts out to a counselor feels a lot like shirking responsibility and tattling. It is REALLY uncomfortable. The whole process is exhausting. Sometimes the need for change is very strong, but you cannot open the door for change if you are sitting comfortably on the couch of your own misery. So, I made the decision to get my lazy arse up off the couch and open the door.

I was still afraid, I thought that placing BLAME on those who hurt me would make me even angrier at them. My anger toward these people was never really obvious to them, or anyone really, it was just a heavy emotion inside my heart that I let build and build over time. Outwardly, no one knew…even I did not really KNOW…I just felt a shift in the tectonic plates of the relationship…so slight and so slow that if it had been an earthquake, it would not have registered on the Richter Scale and would have been dismissed as a vehicle passing by or a strong wind.

My desire for Change was stronger than my Fear. I opened the door, I made it happen. I let myself place BLAME for the hurt. Yes…I was angry. Even though there were years of anger there that I thought would just flood over me and I would possibly wallow or drown in it…God was right there with me. He did not stop the flood, but He held me up and when I thought I could not breathe He handed me an oxgen tank. When you have that kind of support…standing in the middle of a tidal wave is not quite as scary.

Once the wave passed and I could see what was on the other side of the door, I was amazed. Funny how, I did not realize that by not opening that door, I was barricading myself from all the paths and doorways on the other side of it. I did not realize that by not blaming I was blocking the way to FORGIVING.

The logical part of me knew that my hurt was not my fault. I took on the responsibility for my feelings but in my core I knew it was not mine to take and so why would I need to forgive myself for something I did not do. Even if it is appropriate to BLAME oneself for something I think it is harder to FORGIVE ourselves than it is for us to FORGIVE others. It is hundreds of times harder when it is misplaced BLAME. Forgiveness may not be on the other side of that door…it is in the wrong place. Is it possible that you have to keep walking through poorly placed doors until you find the right one. I think so. Is it worth it?

I found the right door quickly, maybe not everyone does, but I feel the payoff of FORGIVING and I think so.

My journey is not over, but I think I am going to hang out on this path for a little while.

Dogs can write? (long post warning)

I am going to take a risk here. I admit that I just read a book (in under an hour) that was “written” by a dog. Not only is it a dog, but a deceased dog. However, because it happens to be the deceased dog of one of my favorite authors – I read it. Some of you are thinking this is immature and some of you might take my suggestion to read the book and think that IT is immature…your opinion. I am okay with that. On occasion I can be immature. I know this about me. “it is what it is” and you would find that quote even funnier if you read this book. So here it is:

So, all of that to say…READ this book. BUY this book. All the proceeds go to Canine Companions for Independence.

One thing I love about this book is the fact that it included some text from a book actually written by Dean Koontz that I found very cool and I will share that here…but this reflects Dean Koontz and is from his book Odd Hours but I digress – here is the excerpt from Odd Hours reprinted in this book:

“Grief can destroy you – or focus you

You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone.

Or you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it.

But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. Instead, it was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it.

The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time; you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss.

And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.

I want that read aloud at my funeral (in the distant future) and handed to everyone on a laminated card as they leave the service.

(seriously)

Bad days.

So, I have not had a seriously bad day in a really long time. I actually forgot what it was like to have one of those days when one thing happens and another thing follows and another little bad thing and then just something that you expected but hate happens on top of it. Well yesterday was that day. Details will not really be following. We all have those days in our life but I am writing because really, I have been blessed and it has been a while.

Every few minutes when I am dealing with the details of say…the auto accident Breanna had yesterday…I am reminded of the bad day and I have to say…God…just get me through this. Just get me through this one moment. I feel like I am saying it alot today. Every once in awhile I think my life really SUCKS but then you know what…it doesn’t. I am just emotionally at a place where I am a bit on edge so it amplifies everything I experience. I just have to keep talking to God. I know he won’t give me more than I can handle.

I will say that in the midst of it all, it was great being able to spend 90 minutes with a group of ladies that I love, who let me share and made me laugh. We need to have those friends who will lift you up when you feel down. God never intended for us to go through life alone.

Priceless

I knew a girl

who was a pawn in the game of chess between her divorced parents

who defined herself by the labels that others apply
who saught solace in physical pain because emotional pain hurts too much

who cried alone because she believes tears are a sign of weakness

who was afraid of being a girl because she thinks that they are not strong
who was happy when her parents divorced because she thought the fighting would stop
who is confused because the people who are supposed to love and accept her unconditionally simply don’t seem to know what acceptance and unconditional mean.
who defines her sexuality out of fear but is afraid to admit that.
who seeks attention

who loves her little brothers and keeps herself a slave to her fathers tyranny
so that she can continue to be a part of their life.

who has no idea of the power she possess to control her own life
who wants out of the circle of chaos but feels trapped inside of it

who does not realize that this chaos is temporary

who is seeking a life in Christ but all of THIS keeps flying at her

I know a young woman who does not realize that she is no longer a little girl and that her life and future are hers to determine.

I know a young woman

who is smart

who is beautiful
who is strong

who loves

who is loved
who matters

who wants to be happy

Who matters to God and I hope that some day she realizes that her value and worth come from Him and that He decided that she was worth the cost of His son.

I know a young woman who is priceless