Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Uncomfortable In My Own Skin

I have only been truly comfortable in my own skin a few times in my life. Yet even as I type that, it feels like a big fat lie.

*Deep Sigh*

The truth is that I am not sure I have EVER been comfortable in my own skin. I have struggled with body image my whole life - I am sure you can guess the cycle - too much baby fat to being too skinny to being too fat, too tall, too plain, too pretty, too sexy, too boyish, too girly....getting my point?

The body stuff didn't stop with my actual skin. Oh no. It was also just a hop, skip, and a jump to criticism to how I dressed and when you grow up without a lot....not having the "right" clothes is as much about not having clothes to not ever learning how to dress yourself - stylishly/appropriately (just keep filling in the blanks).

So....lets just say that I am mortified to own this, but the truth is I have always struggled with body image and dressing said body. Like All. The. Time...up to, and including, this morning.

I have hid this (or tried to) by being overly confident (a lot of bravado there), hiding in clothes, and my personal favorite - wearing the same clothes over and over (after getting positive feedback). Body-wise, there have been a few times since high school that I was in really great shape (physically) and I would undoubtedly sabotage it after a bit of time due to the attention I gained that I couldn't handle (emotionally) OR my body would simply fail me (health issues). *Eye Roll*

So....imagine my utter disbelief and surprise in learning that both of these things are connected....all of it is connected....and just like all of the other shit I have toted around emotionally (and physically), there is a way to work through it and find some healing...maybe complete healing. Of course, I have to deal with said "shit" (which makes me sigh and then laugh because.....c'mon) by doing the work.

Do. The. Work.

Anybody guess how all of this came bubbling up?

Well, it seems I don't breathe well. I have a lot of "acknowledged" anxiety - some previously there and some being revealed via counseling. So...my counselor has been recommending the gym to burn off the anxiety, and I have resisted - for weeks - with excuses. Then, the breathing came up and the suggestion was yoga. These little "subtle" recommendations in counseling (and in a book I am reading ) were not lost upon me....and believe me I have been thinking about it. Like why I was acknowledging both would be helpful....I have enjoyed working out in the past...enjoyed yoga....but there was a block. So....yesterday my counselor informs me that we will not see each other for three weeks due to her vacation and mine.

Say what?!?!?!?!

Without saying a word to her or anyone....I left counseling. Drove straight home. Put my workout clothes on. Drove to the office to send a couple of emails and make a couple of calls. I then went and walked a couple of miles (blew up that damn fitbit) and walked home and did some yoga.


There might have been an "Eat Pray Love yoga mat scene" when I rolled out my yoga mat last night. :)

I then proceeded to sleep like a baby for about nine hours (hello 7 a.m.; goodbye 5:45 a.m.).

Let me say this. I was more clear-headed that three hours of walking and yoga than I have been in I don't know how long. I also cannot remember the last time I slept that long (when not under sheer exhaustion) peacefully.

I did a lot of thinking too...with all of that new head space to dream and plot and plan.....oh and not for nothing, but to talk with God.

Hmmmm....

My God and I walk through the fields together....

One night and three hours don't cure me. I am not naïve. I know that.

I think that is why tonight after walking another couple of miles and then in the middle of yoga....I found myself needing to write. I need to document this next step in the journey of healing. The truth is that I am learning who I am. What I like. What I don't like. What I need. What my body needs. I am also learning how to negotiate my brokenness and find healing.

If you think it is weird to be 45 finding yourself, You. Are. Right.

It. Is.

My latest goal in this journey in counseling is to pinpoint why I am uncomfortable in my own skin and get some healing there....even as I start working my body again - which is the real gift of yoga as it is re-introducing me to my own body - the one that is carrying me around all day.

I want to cry (good tears) typing all of this out. I don't know if I have ever said these words out loud. I haven't even said them in counseling. You can't hide within your own skin (that you are already uncomfortable in) if everyone knows your struggles with it. What would be the point? Maybe I am giving up some of the power it has always had over me with these words. I pray so.

I sent this post-walk/post-yoga selfie to my Sis last night. I needed a cheerleader.
Earlier tonight, I wrote a mini-post (they come out every once and awhile on my social media pages and like here - spontaneous) and I closed it with a line I cannot get out of my own mind...

"This is the work of my life really - getting well, being whole, and living a life with no regrets. I hate everything about it, but this....that inch-by-inch, God is showing me his glory and his deep love for my heart and the healing we are fighting for together."

...I can't say it any better than that.

Amen.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Draft

If you had admin rights to my blog you could pull up a page where all of the posts written since this blog began in 2011 are listed. Those published and those...not. The ones written but not posted have a single word next to them in red...Draft.

I was having breakfast with a friend yesterday and he asked me about the book proposal I am (supposed) to be working on, and I shook my head, wrung my hands, and shifted in my seat. I remain so uncomfortable with even the discussion that I am going to be putting a book idea of mine in someone's hands. It is simply NUTTY. Suddenly I said, you know the real story of my life is found in the drafts on my blog.

There you go he responded without taking a breath, and you have the title.

Ummmm....I was kidding.

Was I?

Yes. I was...but this morning when I opened my blog to write, I suddenly found my eyes scanning the posts page. There is a lot of red listed there....five years worth.

Would I even DARE?!?!?!

I don't know.

I will say this though....just the concept has me thinking about all of things that go unsaid, unwritten in an individual's lifetime. Not just mine, but yours. How many times I have perused the words of Paul and wondered about all the words he didn't write....the things we don't know....my curiosity runs away from me in short order. How about you?

I don't know if I have the guts to write a book proposal and slip it across the table to a real-life publisher. I don't know that even if I do, it will be along the lines of what I have been writing the past five years - whether posted or draft. What I do know is....it might be time to go back and pull up those drafts and dive into the deep waters of things unsaid and wounds not yet healed. I have done a lot of brave work these past three months with a wonderful counselor. I want to be braver still. I am too far in now to turn back....and maybe there is healing in the drafts of my heart....because that is what this blog is to me - the written wringing out of my heart.


What do the drafts in your life say about you?

Are you ready to share?

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Unwinding Home and A Broken Heart

I have written a lot about "Home" over the years. Do a quick search of my blog in the upper left corner (search box) and you have lots of reading material....LOTS.

To say that I have wrestled with home - the concept, the actual, the meaning - over the years would be an understatement.

So...it is no surprise that in my very first EMDR session last week, home got all tangled up in a completely unrelated topic/question we had started the session with....and this week we spent the entire session unwinding the confusion in my heart and head over the past week that the EMDR had triggered....*Deep Sigh*

Home is hard for me.

I have a lot of brokenness tied to it....as a child, as an adult.

I have a lot of confusion wrapped up in just the word.

I want to let go.

I prayed those words over and over like a chant to Jesus, "Lord I want to let go. I want to let go. I want to let go." with the tears streaming down my face.

My heart is grieving.

When I was a little girl, all of five, in Kindergarten....we lived on a farm and although we had a long driveway to the county road, we walked through our field to the dirt road on the other side of it (parallel to our driveway) and caught the bus with the kids that lived on that road...a little cluster of kids of all ages. The grass in the field was taller than me, and our father kept a long path cut in the field for us to walk on. The path connected our house to the bus stop. I walked that path every day of school for three years with my older sister.

I can feel the conflict in my heart between home and moving forward...even now.

What is that????

I have an issue with letting go that precedes the implosion of my family. That is an a-ha. So now we start digging into that....

When I was in Haiti the first time in June 2013, there was an incident when I left the final orphanage (one we had been to three times during the trip) for the final time of the trip. This little boy who had latched onto me the very first visit when I stepped off the bus, had to be pulled off of me. Two grown men on the trip held my physically heaving, sobbing body on the bus as we drove back to Jumecourt (where we were staying that night). Something broke open in me in that interaction, that good-bye....something primal, raw, deep, and indescribable. I searched for a way to explain it, understand it...but words alluded me - then and now. The truth is the interaction shook me and changed me.

Haiti : June 2013
For the first time since that incident, I believe I understand a little of what was happening beneath the surface - both in my heart and in the little boy's heart.

I am broken. Not unfixable or unhealable.....but....yet....I am broken. I have a broken heart. That boy has/d a broken heart. Something in me....something tied to home....is broken inside of me, broke my heart....and I have to figure out what that was/is...and I have to allow healing in that place, in that memory(ies)...because whatever it was still resides in my heart, is still broken, and is still wreaking havoc in my life. There is fear and loss and heartbreak tied to my heart in relation to home.

....and I am ready to let go.

There is the hope.

The fact that I can say those words....that I can feel those words....that I believe them to be true - I am ready to let go - Amen.

Last night I was reading in Romans and came across this...


What a reminder that hope comes from the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit given to us by God - along with joy and peace. In my study Bible it emphasizes (for good measure I am sure) that hope cannot be "conjured up by man's effort...it is God's gift" - God's gift. How beautiful is that?

There is a healing....healing from fear, wounds, confusion....but you have to face the very things that cause them, that allowed them to fester deep in your spirit...you have to be brave and bold...and you must persevere. Holy Spirit come...

I am dreaming of the "What if" - what if on the other side of this good good work, I feel God's healing in these old places, old wounds? What if I can reconcile home and love and letting go? What if???

Those are good dreams promises to hold onto as I walk through this process of unwinding "home" in my memories...in my heart.

"The greatest mistake one can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one." ~ Elbert Hubbard

...time to move into the #nofear zone.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)