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Starting over – again

Long story short, my blog got hosed up because I didn’t pay attention to an email from my hosting service.

I have backups, but I don’t like doing IT work for free. Heck, I don’t even like doing it for money anymore.

So I might end up restoring 10+ years of posts, or I might not. But in the meantime, I am replacing the default Hello World post.

You have a voice

You’re got to feel to heal. That’s not what my therapist said, but that’s how I paraphrased it, and it’s now my go-to “trite” saying. I don’t remember what she actually said nor do I even remember the context. But that sums it up quite nicely nonetheless.

It turns out that I am very empathetic. I had no idea because I’ve spend my whole life shutting down at the first sign of a negative emotion. Of course I would somewhat do that for positive emotions also because that’s how stuffing, suppressing, and numbing work. It’s an all-or-nothing effect. It is impossible to selectively numb.

I emotionally triggered several times over the last semester. It started with my therapist. She asked me something, and I can’t really explain what all happened. It seemed to get horrendously hot, and I couldn’t answer her. I could not get any words to form in my head let alone to come out of my mouth, but I had a vision of sorts. Anyway, this was followed by a series of triggering assignments and activities across multiple classes at school. Not to mention more than a few of the talks at The Courage Conference. (The Conference triggering was anticipated.)

A few months ago, I had a Twitter conversation with Doug Bursch, and he said something to me that no one else ever has. He gave me permission to have a voice. “You have a right to your voice.”

Those words of validation breath life into someone whose voice has been silenced their whole life through abuse. And it took me a few days for it to fully settle in. I still struggle a whole lot with my voice because decades of being silenced through force or just being dismissed has left a lot of stuffed anger. I want to lash out with all the same venom that was injected into me. I was telling my therapist one night about how uptight I get when I engage in discussing/arguing on social media with this rush of adrenaline. She asked me why I thought I would have that reaction. Well, it’s because I wasn’t allowed to have a voice or an opinion and had to stuff for fear of a beating, or worse, berating.

I started this post 2.5 months ago. There was a point I was working up to but I haven’t written any on it in over a month, and so who knows what it was. But I recall having some sort of epiphany and deciding that I was done being silenced. And I am done with staying quiet so as not to upset people. We don’t grow without discomfort, and our lives aren’t meant to be lived for our personal comfort.

The path unseen

The memories come flooding back,
Fresh as if it just happened.
Guilt, shame, regret; all the pain.
It wasn’t yours then, and it isn’t now.

Anger begins to well up and demand,
“Listen to me! Focus on me!”
But that road’s been well traveled.
The ruts and potholes are bottomless.

Another voice calls out from the distance,
“There is a better way. Follow me!”
I cannot see the path, and yet
The voice continues its beckoning call.

“That road you’ve always picked to walk,
It always appears to be the easier.
You can’t see the ruts or potholes
Until it’s too late, and you’ve fallen.

I know you can’t really see this path.
My path seems overgrown and hard.
It isn’t an easy path to be sure.
Follow my voice. I won’t let you fall.”

I begin walking toward the voice as it leads.
I cannot see a path, and the brush is thick.
Limbs and briars scratch and cut.
All the while the voice continues to beckon.

I want to stop and turn back from the pain.
“Don’t stop. Keep following me.”
I’m frightened because I cannot see the path,
But yet my feet fall on solid ground – rock solid.

I’m tired and thirsty, bruised and bleeding.
I keep trudging with nothing but hope.
I grow to trust the voice that leads,
Because I haven’t fallen and the voice grows clearer.

Suddenly, I break free of the strange forest.
I cannot believe what lies before me.
A clearing with a small, clear stream;
Flowers in abundance and with sweet fragrance.

A blanket is spread on the grass by the stream.
On it I find a basket of food and cup for water.
I eat and drink and nap with warmth of the sun.
I awaken to find my wounds are now just scars.

“You wonder what happened, and how you healed.
The wounds were from the anger.
You worked through it by following Me.
Now you have rested and eaten my provision.

I provided you the healing of your wounds,
And the rest from your struggle.
The scars will remain but will fade with time.
Do not hide them. Remember the journey.”

I feel his presence, but only hear his voice.
It is peaceful and loving and gentle.
The journey to this place was painful.
But forgiveness really was the easier, softer way.

Facing Fear

I had kind of a hard time going to sleep last night. I didn’t really have any one thing weighing heavy on my mind keeping me awake, but I just had an overall sense of restlessness. It may just have been a result of getting massively glutened over the weekend. I refuse to accept that it might have been the pumpkin spice and rather choose to place the blame solely on the spiced rum. I’ve been drinking pumpkin spice lattes for the past two years after going gluten free with no effect. This was the first time in the last two years since going gluten free that I drank spiced rum. But I digress.

Like I said, I had trouble falling asleep. So I took the opportunity to just spend the sleepless time in prayer. During the course of this I came to the point of really confessing how much I have let fear rule my life since, well, since I can remember. This is a HUGE obstacle. I have know it for a while, at least for the last 3-5 years. But denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. 😉 So there I lay admitting and confessing all the fear, and the continued fear of taking that next step of surrender. So, yeah, I would also rather blame it all on the glutening than admit/accept that I have to stop acting/not acting out of fear.

I just don’t really know what that’s going to mean. What I mean by that is it is a great unknown to me which prevents me from formulating plans/strategies/coping mechanisms. As if I can really rely on my old coping mechanisms any more anyway. They served their purpose for a single purpose, and have generally miserably failed outside of that one purpose. But the one purpose it served spilled out into and onto every single relationship I’ve had whether family or friends or co-workers or total strangers. That is deliberately vague. For now.

Stick that in your pipe…

Back when I was in college at UCA, there was a particular English professor who smoked a pipe and for the life of me I can’t remember his name. I can’t even blame it on not being in any of his classes either because I still can’t remember my Comp II professor’s name, and I had to look up my Lit I professor’s name. Anyway, I can remember walking through the old Irby Hall just to pass by his office and smell his pipe.

Back in those days, I was a cigarette smoker. I quit smoking cigarettes about 11 years ago, and never really lost the desire to smoke. Well, a couple weeks ago I had a massive craving that lasted longer than a couple hours. But before it was really over, I started thinking about a pipe. So I told the hubby I was thinking about smoking a pipe. He said, “You can’t smoke a pipe and look pretty.” I can’t be 40 pounds overweight and look pretty either, so that’s not an issue for me. 😉 So I said, “Well, then I’ll get a corncob pipe.”

I went to the tobacco store this morning after a corncob pipe. All they had was mini corncob pipes, and the guy even complained that they kept getting sent those mini-pipes when no one wants them. So instead I got a cool looking (my opinion) wooden one.

I grabbed a bag of Cherry Cavendish pipe tobacco and it smells just like what that English professor smoked.

It is definitely not the same as smoking a cigarette, even though I am not inhaling it. Even without inhaling it made me a little nauseous. Methinks I need a filter. And I don’t care how redneck/hillbilly it is, I likes my pipe.

This is a test

Had it been an actual post, there would possibly have been meaningful content here. Then again, perhaps not. LOL

I’m still around

I wrote out a big long comment at Traci’s Christian Cottage ™ today, which was lost when I hit submit because our network sucks at work. I was writing about how my best friend and I met, and how I believe God put her in my life and me in hers. This evening I have come to realize that everyone I have come into contact with was put in my life for a reason, and I have been blessed.

Nothing happens by chance. It was no accident Hazel questioned the books I was checking out from the library when I was in 1st grade. 4 years later when our paths crossed again, she remembered me, and became my first mentor (aside from my parents, of course). It was no accident that Brenda and I were assigned seats together in Algebra II in 10th grade despite Mrs. Shaw’s random seating method. I also don’t think it was an accident that her dad delivered our LP gas when I was little, literally years before Brenda and I met.

Today has certainly been an interesting day. Seemingly random encounters. A “gut feeling” to pick up the phone and make a call. I had a prayer answered today.

I know this is all over the place. I guess I just needed to express some half thoughts and ramblings. 🙂

Romans 8:28 (New American Standard Bible)

28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

1 Peter 1:6-7 (New International Version)

6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Happy Easter

Matthew 28 (King James Version)

1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

8And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

9And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

10Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

11Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

12And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,

13Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.

14And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.

15So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.