scraps

What will come of this? I was petrified to pull out the scraps. The process was overwhelmingly intimate. Delicate, fragile, and timid. One that I only let my therapist into.

I gingerly opened my soul and uncovered the part of me that had been kept in hiding. I feared that if anything more happened to the college student in me, she would disappear completely. So the scraps of what were left of her had subconsciously been put into the witness protection program.

But now it was time. My body was telling me. The nightmares, the panic attacks, the sleeplessness, the anxiety. And lest we forget the depression.

They were all her, whispering to me from my past. She had finally deemed me safe enough to be trusted. She took me on a scavenger hunt of sorts, giving me clues to find where she had been locked away for safe keeping.

Once I found the place where she had been kept, I faced a choice. Do I risk taking out those frail little scraps that were left of her? What if she blows away in the process? What if she disintegrates altogether? I don’t want to lose her. She is a part of me. She is me.

She required every ounce of courage, strength, and gentleness I have ever possessed to bring those scraps back up to the surface of who I am and get her what she needed. Listening. Understanding. Validation.

Not judging her and telling her she could have done more, should have handled things differently, as I so frequently say to myself. Accepting her for the tender, sensitive nineteen year old that she was, confused with very little of life figured out.

Affirming her for being so beautifully valiant in the face of her trauma.

We worked together for quite some time. She would speak and I would listen and love her just the way she was. The whole thing was very mysterious, really. How is it that a soul heals? What magic is there in paying attention, giving space, offering patience, compassion, mercy, love?

I just know that there is.

And I think one of the hardest people to give those things to is myself.

But there are times when I am the only person who can make a difference in my healing. I can receive all the beautiful things I long for from hundreds of people around me, but if I am not willing to both give them to myself and receive them from myself, I remain lost in my own brokenness.

This was one of those times. I had to learn to love myself, both past and present. My healing depended on it.

What brokenness do you have inside that needs love from your own self to heal?

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oops…my roots are showing

When I saw these trees I immediately sensed they were showing me something about myself. Sometimes I feel like my roots are exposed. Like others can see parts of me meant for keeping underground.

I do not hide my emotions well. Add to it the fact that I blush easier than an elephant gains weight. And I am one of the fairest people you will ever meet, so my crimson shade has very little pigment to hide behind.

I am not a pretty crier, either. My nose turns into a faucet of snot and my eyes turn red and blotchy and it is about the most hideous thing you have ever seen. And it takes hours for me to look normal. Again, the fair skin does me no favors here.

Sometimes I am okay being so vulnerable. Sometimes it is intentional, like when I am around safe people whose love I can count on. Or when I am being brave and purposefully putting myself out there in my writing or by making a new friend.

And then there are other times when it’s an accident. When my emotions are controlling me for the moment and I am embarrassed and can do nothing else other than live through the experience and somehow make it out the other side.

But then I see these trees with their roots exposed and I think it is one of the most exquisite things I have ever seen in my life. Somehow it is ugly and breathtaking all at once. And I understand, ever so slightly, why we find such beauty in the transparency of one another.

These roots – these things that most of the time stay underground and out of sight – are a beautiful, mysterious mess. Just like me.