Archive | August 2014

PARADOXES

In the past few months, my personal journey has led me to places where I find that I don’t know myself well at all, or I am not sure how to proceed.
This is a part of healing that some people avoid:  It requires hiking over rocky ground that is often unpredictable, frightening and painful.
When I worked as a therapist, I sometimes met people who would do anything they possibly could to stay away from such terrain, even if it meant continuing in unhealthy ways and habits.  I sat with more than one spouse who was headed for divorce because he or she had become healthier while the other spouse insisted on staying in “safe territory.”
The cost of wellness can be high indeed:  Friends and loved ones who are not on that path will eventually leave…or you will be the one to decide that a continued relationship is not good, so you will tell them good-bye.
Sometimes, it’s a part of your own self that gets laid down, old and familiar as it is.
I have come to points of decision all along the way that require me to count the cost, weigh the risks and make a decision.  When it comes to wholeness, the treasure is always worth the price.  Okay, there have been times when I wondered about that, but if I will hang in there long enough, I find that the gains are far more valuable than anything I gave up.
Such interesting paradoxes are found in the journey:
By dying, I live.
When I lay something down, I get something greater.
In facing darkness, I find light.
In losing myself, I find myself.

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HEALING IS GREATER

Have you considered the power of wounds?
Recently, I was reminded that places in our souls that are not yet healed can bring us to act in ways that are hurtful to ourselves and others.  They cause breaks in relationships and create distances that are hard to cross so that we can be close again.

Brennan Manning once said,
“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.”

So then, if wounds have such great power, how much more does healing have?
I say, exponentially greater!
Light defeats darkness, just by showing up!

LAUGH AT THAT

In his book, “Let’s Just Laugh At That,” Steve Backlund says that God laughs at the plans of His enemy, so we need to learn to laugh, especially when it comes to lies.  He says laughing is the best way to take the power out of them.

So, here are some for you to laugh at.

BTW:  If you find it difficult to laugh at a particular lie, you probably need to laugh the hardest at that one.

 

 

You’re less than okay
Because you’re too fat;
Your hair is too thin;
Let’s laugh at that!

You’re unsuccessful
Because you don’t make
six figures plus;
Laugh till you shake!

Your imperfection
Is your biggest flaw;
You’ll never be right;
Laugh:  ha ha ha!

And now for some truth
That will set you free
To be who you are;
And help you see:

You are in process,
Precious, loved and whole;
Priceless creation,
Beautiful soul.

There’s another cause
For laughter and cheer:
The joy of a life,
That’s held so dear.

Heartily laugh then,
A happy guffaw!
Snickers and giggles,
Ah, ha ha ha!

COURAGE TO BE YOURSELF

Something that seems so simple; yet is terrifically hard to do is to be yourself.
You know all the thoughts:
“I’m a misfit; an alien.”
“What if others….”
“My ______ (fill in the blank:  husband, wife, friend…) thinks I should….”
“What if I make a mistake!”
Then there are the inward experiences that generally don’t have words, such as confusion or “the dead zone,” where no feelings exist.
There’s also this:  Each of us is on a life-long journey and we are not so easily defined.
Fear, uncertainty, mistakes, sometimes lack of direction and feeling lost all come to play in our becoming whole.
A necessary ingredient, therefore, is courage.
Surprised?
I like what Steve Jobs said:
“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
That’s a good one!

A FLAME

Like a moth who is drawn to a flame,
I want to come close;
Yet it hurts me so.
I’m so ambivalent.

I look hard for every strategy
never finding it;
Feeling defeated.
I try another way.

I taste the sweetness of affection,
Awakening desire;
Drawing me to the fire.
It keeps me hanging on.

I summon the courage to resist,
Standing firm and tall;
Try not to feel small.
I’m strong and do my best.

Yet I long for companions and friends;
Bravely take the risk
Hoping to find bliss
In love and acceptance.

Such a cycle I find myself in,
Seeking friends who stay;
Then I run away
To turn and try again.

SORTING THE LAUNDRY

Sometimes, I think dividing my inner world From the one around me is like sorting laundry.   I also think it can be just as messy.
What belongs to me?
whose is this other thing?

I have yet to find a flawless way to do this, especially when relationships and situations confuse me; when the feelings are so varied and powerful.

Here is a bit of what I understand:
The thoughts, interpretations and feelings are mine.  They are valuable:  That is how I know my own experience.
Others’ words and actions belong to them.  I can’t make them think, say or do anything.
This one works in reverse:  They don’t have that kind of power over me either.

I am learning to draw aside when thoughts and feelings overwhelm; during times of confusion:  If I am to walk out each day of my life, I have to get my footing.

********
SORTING THE LAUNDRY

Colors and whites;
Darks and brights;
Delicate here;
Bluejeans there;
It’s time to sort the laundry.

Interpreting,
Thought, feeling,
These are my own
I alone
Take responsibility.

Not for me
Not meant to be
Are words and things
Another brings
That power is his completely.

Sometimes I rest
To know best
The lines between
“Them” and me.
Till I can see more clearly.

Then I can find
Peace of mind;
My footing sure,
Heart secure;
I learn to live more truly.