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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the mysterious miracle of healing

This may seem like a silly picture. That’s okay because it is one that I took because I marveled at what I was seeing. This is a picture of a redwood tree that has been burned and is in the process of healing.

I am amazed by the miracle of healing. No matter where anyone believes that healing comes from, the fact that it takes place at all is astounding to me. I happen to believe that when healing takes place, it is a mixture of a lot of different factors. I believe in a God who heals. I believe God made the human body and human spirit in such a way that they have a propensity to heal. And I am grateful for science and health professionals who know how to come along side a human body or human spirit offering invaluable help to bring healing. And I get most excited when I see all these things mysteriously come together so that I can’t tell where one factor starts and the other ends but somewhere in the process of it all the miracle of healing takes place.

I had a minor surgery just a few days ago. Nothing big or alarming, but enough that I had to be put under and sharp things went at my body. Afterwards, I had to rest. My body needed time to heal.

Sometimes it can be frustrating to take a time out from normal life in order to take time to heal. Needing someone else to make me food or take care of my children or clean my house or drive me around can feel powerless. Healing makes me needy. I don’t generally like to fall into the needy category.

And yet I have been amazed the last few days when I get up after a longer night’s sleep than I thought anyone with children was allowed to have (after spending all day resting and napping for more hours than seems reasonable), I feel better. I have a marked improvement from the day before. Healing is taking place.

And because a year ago I was dealing with some very difficult things and thought I would forever need my weekly visits to my counselor just to survive, this current physical healing is reminding me of the healing of my spirit I experienced this past year. Although the healing was in my spirit, there was a very physical, physiological piece involved as well. Turns out I had a nervous system that was awry and needed some help re-setting.

I had no idea how this nervous system piece was affecting me. I thought it was normal to experience life the way I did. My coping mechanisms worked well. But then, as healing started to happen, I marveled at what “normal” really was. It was as if I had figuratively been walking around crippled with a broken back having no idea that the rest of the world didn’t stare at the ground all the time but walked upright instead.

Of course, we don’t always heal. I have had many dear friends this year loose loved ones and I am acutely aware that healing does not always happen. And yet, the fact that sometimes it does is still amazing to me. And so even though my incision wounds are still sore, they are much less sore than yesterday or the day before that. And even though my throat is still a bit scratchy from the tube they put down it while I was blissfully knocked out by the drugs they gave me, it is also better than yesterday or the day before. My body is healing due to the mysterious combination of factors: my husband has been taking care of our home and three children so that I can rest, bodies do heal, and I believe God has his hand in there too.