Wednesday, December 19, 2018

F.E.A.R.



With 2018 coming to a close in a week and a half I have been drawn into reflection. I have really been looking at what has taken place in a year. At the beginning of the year, I set a challenge for 2018 to be my “Brave” year for healing. Yes, indeed I did do that. My first thought brought me to a question. What made me make a goal like that? What does a brave year for healing actually mean? I have alluded to the fact life has been pretty gloomy for me in a few of my blog posts. What I did not inform you is just how dark it truly got. This time last year I was put under a 24/7 suicide watch for several weeks. I can recall the moment everything came to an end. Sobering thought, perhaps. I remember the utter despair and desperation from the relentless torment I was enduring. I could see no relief in sight and could see no other way out. I remember the exact moment the brokenness within me became wrapping black tendrils choking life out. It was a logical conclusion to me... End my life... That’s all I could see or desire. I sobbed on the floor yelling “I WANT TO DIE. JUST LET ME DIE. I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE. THE PAIN. I WANT TO DIE. LET ME DIE. I CANNOT LIVE THIS LIFE ANYMORE!” The plan to end my life was already formulating in my mind. My husband grabbed me like he’s never done before and held on for dear life. As I kept repeating the same words over again and again his grip became tighter. Yes, that indeed was the moment I must remember. Why? Because it has become a foreign memory. Not a sobering thought after all.

I didn’t see how important it was for me to recall that exact moment. However, I now see with absolute certainty I HAVE been successful making 2018 a year of growth. As I recall the year I remember hard battles I would much rather have ran away from. This has been a truly difficult year. I have been fighting the toughest battle I have EVER fought. I accomplished things I never thought I could do or hadn’t done in years. The smallest things most take for granted in daily life I have had to relearn. Things I used to do with ease I no longer can. It’s as if I am learning how to walk all over again. Those steps are not very big ones either. I stumble and fall but the difference is this time I am slowly learning how to climb back up by using something to grab onto instead trying to do it alone. I do not want to go back to who I was before. That person was damaged and she pushed the dark down. I am getting rid of the dark and letting the light reveal who this individual really is. I don’t want the dark tendrils to reach me again. So I must Face Everything and Rise. I am going to keep searching for this new Michelle. I am confident she is not far from reach and I feel her arms are stretched out in anticipation to welcome me!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sticks and stones can break my bones but words...



We can all remember growing up and either saying or hearing these words spoken. I was never one of the popular kids. I never quite fit in with most of the children in my class. I could be found playing by myself a lot during recess time. On a rare occasion, I would find someone who played with me. I think I had gotten used to moving to several schools in my very early life that I learned to not make too many friends because I would end up losing them in the end. I grew, what I thought, was a tough skin at the time. When I got picked on and made fun of I would cock my head to the side, lift one shoulder higher than the other and loudly proclaim “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will NEVER hurt me.” I would then promptly stick out my tongue, turn on my heels and march off. I was trying so very hard to show them they were not going to intimidate me. I don’t think I was all that successful because it would happen again the next day. At some point I just gave up. No amount of me saying anything was going to change the way I was being treated. The reality was, the names and words really did hurt me but I wasn’t going to let on to it.

The origin is unknown for this phrase. Matter of fact, from what I have found, the first time it can be located in print was March 1862. The Christian Recorder, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, declared it an “old adage” reciting it as being “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.” But as most phrases morph and change over time it became something a little less grisly. Yet, somehow I find myself drawn to the original adage. There is something more powerful in the word break instead of hurt don’t you think. As a child I didn’t pick it apart. I just wanted the bulling to end. Now as an adult, I stop and actually ponder this. It has been milling around in my mind for a while now. Perhaps for a reason.

Words are a powerful thing. They can proclaim love and desires, lift up emotionally, share good news that can result in smiles, declare devotion, spread happiness, destroy relationships, kill someone’s spirit, and cause tears of joy or sadness. Yes indeed, words are influential to say the least. So the “old adage” is just that, a saying. It holds no truth other than sticks and stones can break bones. Many times we tend to think our words aren’t earth-shattering. But I think you already know that’s not the case. You’ve been deeply wounded by words. Words that completely affected your course of life, whether in a positive or negative manner. But what if it goes deeper than words said. Can the unspoken word, actions or lack of actions also cause the same? I believe the answer to that is yes.

Sometimes we are in situations where words aren’t said, action response is quick or not at all, and we find ourselves waiting for something we have no idea what. It’s all determined by the situation in a blink of an eye. We hold so much power in our hands and yet somehow I don’t think we fully realize how much. It is not an easy thing to be mindful of every spoken/unspoken word and actions/no actions. But we must be aware that no matter what we chose to do or say holds a lot of influence.

Words and actions indeed can break.

“If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.” James 1:26 (NLT)

“The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” Matthew 12:37 (NLT)

“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NLT)


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Where's Waldo? ...



Indeed, where is Waldo? 

Ok let’s take a minute to search for him. There is a cityscape picture with tons of people in it doing many different things. There are cars, bikes, trucks, and many other forms of transportation. The picture is full of specialty shops where the widow displays are ornate. We can’t forget the occasional person walking their dog. Oh and the landscaping along the side of the road and in front of the shops. Clouds in the sky where birds are dancing in and out of. Yes, there is indeed a lot going on in this picture. Now we must find ONE guy among all the chaos. Perhaps he doesn’t want to be found. Maybe he’s trying to take a minute or two for himself. But it is inevitable, we must locate him.

After combing every inch of the photo and painstakingly thinking many times we spotted him, we are about give up. We look in places we think he should be but he’s nowhere to be found. Then finally we spot a glimpse of his red and white hat. BOOM!!!! Found him!!!!!!

We now turn the page and start the process all over again…

So what is the point in this? I feel many of you have been playing “Where’s Michelle?”  Trying to locate me in places you think I should be. There is so much surrounding me you’re not able to see where I have taken up residence. Well you are not the only one. Matter of fact, I am looking for Michelle as well in the same picture you are. I try to search for Michelle where I have always found her but she’s not there. The places and things I once loved and enjoyed have collected dust from lack of use. Yes, where indeed is Michelle? It is the million dollar question.

I have not hidden my mental state over the last year and a half.  No, I have not gone into great detail but enough to know I am in a battle. Yes, I said I’m IN a battle. The toughest battle I have ever fought in my life. I am surrounded by many things that push and pull me and it’s hard to continue to stand. But I’m fighting to keep my footing. Sometimes I lose my stance and it’s hard to get back up. Each day I have to make a choice to stand firm and not allow the wind, sometimes even a small breeze, to knock me down. My successes are beginning to outnumber my failures. I came to a mountain and knew I had to either climb it or I would be stuck in the same spot forever. So I decided to begin the slow and rough climb up. I must make the decision daily to climb. I decided to make 2018 my “Brave” year! That’s my word for this year. I have realized I’m not going to get better if I don’t start focusing on me for once. I’ve NEVER done this. I have always put other’s needs before my own. I no longer am able to do that. It’s time for me to begin to repair the brokenness that started many many years ago. Will it take longer than 2018 to get to that point? I truly do not know. I am focused on each day and making sure I’m doing the work I need to make it through it. My goal is to once again live and love life and I do believe it will happen! So I must be brave and face the climb ahead, no matter how rough it gets. In the meantime, please be patient while looking for Michelle and please don’t give up on trying to find her! 

Because I’m not giving up on her!!!!