Affirmation 6/23/17

Look, you’re doing fine. Yes, some times heads and hearts feel like they’re going to explode. Yes, some times emotions run so high you can’t see anything. Yes, some times hurts go so deep they stop you from moving. That’s okay. It’s all okay. What’s good is that you are you, and you are wonderful. You really are doing fine.

I’m glad you’re here.

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Affirmation 6/15/17

Every day will not be flawless. Many will have struggles. Remarkably, you continue. Some days may feel impossible. There may be a storm outside or in your head or in your heart. It will calm. It always does. Breathe slowly. Focus on tiny victories. Don’t be overwhelmed by a heart storm. You will come out stronger. I’m sorry you have to go through it to get there. I believe in you.

I’m glad you’re here.

Adventure in Strength

strength

(some times, even I don’t understand my neighborhood)

Let’s be clear. I’m a weak lady. People are far too generous when they tell me they think I’m strong. I’m here to tell you that I am not. Not really. I’m a persistent person. I’m an independent person. Ya know what? I’m well-practiced. Let’s call it that. Can we?

I am not strong. I am easily manipulated, particularly through guilt. I am quick to relinquish power. I have multiple times found myself in dangerous situations and thought, “yeah. Of course, this is happening. And this will be how I die. That’s fine.” I survive, because I’m supposed to. Not because of anything I’m doing. Every day that I am alive is not because I woke up and said, “Ah yes, I shall live on.” I never make that decision. That decision makes me. No. That’s dumb. And not true.

Here’s what it is. Here is why I continue on.

A few years ago, I finally started to get the wherewithal to recognize that I needed prayer. not just “oooh stuff is bad. I need prayer.” I mean, okay, that’s where it came from, but soon I started recognizing that that was something I needed all of the time. So I started asking for it, and would in return offer prayer for those individuals as well.

*That has value. Please, don’t misunderstand me on this. Having others pray for you is important. Praying for others is important. These are intrinsic to strengthening the body of Christ.*

What I didn’t learn, or learn to embrace and then practice, until about a year ago was one very important thing. Hear me. Please. It is not selfish to pray for yourself. It is imperative. Open communication with the Father about your needs, fears, pains, victories. All of it. Let me tell you, from my own personal experience though, having others pray for me to understand and have peace, strength, be surrounded by hope? Is virtually useless if I am not also admitting to God that I need those things. It’s one thing to say to a friend “I am broken here. Please pray for me that it can be repaired.” It is something else entirely to say to a friend “please pray with me in this brokenness.” AND to take that brokenness and say “Father, I know it’s broken. Help me fix it. Fix it.” It’s easy to admit to those who don’t already know and can’t fully understand “oh this is broken.” One, because you don’t ever have to be completely honest in that. Two, because they can’t fully comprehend it with you. It’s hard to admit to the one who actually gets it and already knows, but wants to hear you say “I know you know, but hear me out.”

Ultimately, it’s taking actual responsibility for your head and your heart, your spirit. Anything else is really shirking that responsibility. Not always. I know that. Some times it is impossible. It is impossible to say what you need to say to God. Some times all that comes out is a string of expletives that would not only make you sound like you just murdered a pirate, but also probably embarrass your mother that you even knew all of those words. He wants those too.

Pray is our greatest strength. Christ is my only strength.

rail

Adventure in Head/Heart

Here’s the thing about being 26 and shockingly and newly content. According to the TV I’m supposed to have known for at least the last eight years who I am. Four years for sure. As it turns out it’s a lot closer to maybe the last three months. My college brain was in such a little safety net that it didn’t matter how much I thought I knew myself. It’s not until I actually have to make logical decisions on my own without thinking about how it will impact another person in my life that I really start to feel like maybe I am who I am. Even if I still don’t completely understand who that is.

I play my life pretty close to the vest, a phrase I hate, but it’s hard to explain. Maybe it’s more logical to say I keep my emotional bullshit as tight inside me as I can without having to worry about it impacting someone else. Because of this I try to process things as detached from my emotions as possible Some times that’s impossible, but not always. Usually I can separate the logical from the broken emotional state that is almost constantly rattling my brain. If I couldn’t separate the two, I’d never leave my bed. I just wouldn’t.

As it is that means my 26-year-old brain and heart are almost consistently at war with one another. My brain can’t comprehend my heart, and my heart absolutely hates my brain. My heart is a whiny 13-year-old who simply wants to be listened to and feel loved, while my brain would just like to see things get done and have everything work out without any stupid fuss. Because of this my brain shuts my heart down a lot. My heart starts to hurt or swoon, and Jack Donaghy arms waving my brain declares “Shut it down!” And my heart quietly whimpers into the oblivion of the day.

When the time comes to need my heart, to let my heart be in charge of the situation it destroys me. The smallest of feels turns into a cavalcade of desperate emotion that rips all logic and reason apart. Pity turns into utter heart-break and desolation. Actually, most emotions, when I let them run free, turn into this ripping and self-destructive heart-destruction that renders me useless. Maybe I’ve always believed my emotions were invalid. Maybe I’ve always believed my emotions were less relevant than my thoughts. Maybe I’ve always believed my emotions would only get in the way of life or become burdensome to those around me. Or maybe I’ve always believed that my emotions would detract from the emotions of others. Maybe I’ve always believed all of those things. That seems less important than the fact that now I have no idea what to even do with emotions except stifle them until I can be completely alone to deal with them.

Let me tell you a thing about being alone with these emotions of mine, if you haven’t figured it out yet. It’s a bad plan. It’s necessary, for now, until I can figure out what else to do with them. But for not it’s a very bad plan for me to be alone with them, because my emotions are the girl in your 5th grade class who sent you to another girl to play with to distract her from hanging out with the popular kids. The thing about that is that, yes you’ll make a pretty cool friend in the process, but you’re also being totally used and sent away for a reason. You also were not cool. My emotions are that girl. They’re bullies. They’re pre-teen bullies. Determined to destroy. And without a knowledgeable and aware adult to help me deal with them they’ll eat me alive.

For now? I’ll be bullied. Until I can figure out how to stand up for myself without killing my emotions. Because that’s the thing about bitchy bullies. You just sort of have to deal with them, whether you like it or not. They aren’t going away, but some day they’ll get better. And some day? So will I.

Semi-related, if you’ve never taken the Myers-Briggs test, I really encourage you too. As a freshman theatre major we all took it, and I think it really helped us 1) understand our own brains a little bit, but 2) understand each other.  As it turns out though, for me I need to be isolated to take personality tests, otherwise, I give my answers based on my environment rather than actually mulling them over. When I first took it I was an ENFP. I am not. At all. I’m an INFJ. And some times that’s an enormous capital I, which looks a lot like this.

infj-head

And some times it looks a lot like this.stressors

Also, some times when you’re 26, you don’t brush your hair for two weeks, and you just don’t even care.

Adventure in Shutting My Damn Mouth

Time is the enemy of comfort.

In recent months, proximally speaking, I have become a very solitary woman. Some days I don’t remotely hate it. I’ve always enjoyed my space, time in my head and imagination. But you can ask my mom and she’ll tell you that I used to talked to anyone and everyone. At the grocery, in line at Cedar Point, didn’t matter. For me now that is the audible, but unspoken, plea for kindred. The constant pursuit of Anne Shirley’s so-called bosom friend, a kindred spirit.

On the whole I’m closer than I’ve ever been, but something has this tendency to get in the way. Outside of the constantly changing lives of 20-somethings. It’s my damn mouth.

If there is one thing I’m not good at doing, it is controlling my refusal of bullshit. I won’t have it. Well, no. That’s not entirely true. I won’t accept it in the lives of others. I won’t let it affect people I love. I take it from people a lot. Often. Regularly. But every so often I snap. I let my passive-aggression spew from my mouth and fingers into the lives of people I care about.

As soon as I do, something awful sets in. Guilt, the shittiest of dance partners. I stew. I apologize and apologize, even in cases where maybe I shouldn’t. To a degree I think the amount of times I apologize a day is not an expression of my wrong-doing, but an apology for my existence. For which I apologize to myself, God and my parents. I’m here for a reason, for which there is no cause to apologize.

Comfort is the enemy of change.

Now as time pulls us apart or draws people together change swells and comfort becomes subtly more and more uncomfortable. Things that were exactly the strength you needed in brokenness are an overwhelming awkwardness. A fumbling attempt to remain the same when nothing is as it was.

Where once beauty came from the truth of brokenness something grumbly rests. Something stirs my confidence, and I retreat back into the person I grew so far from. But that’s my pride. That’s my fear of being someone I’m not proud of. Someone’s whose focus is a little more than lacking. At 24 I wonder when I’ll truly change. And as my life spins around me, as my friends grow closer together in new ways, as I grow further from home comfort shifts. Solitude becomes not something I thrive on nor something I fear. It becomes normalcy, which scares me the most.