Leaning into ourselves

Writing a book about one’s life is a unique experience. It is exhilarating, painful, exciting, insightful, gut-wrenching, transforming, liberating and difficult. It is much like grief. Parts of us die in our stories. Things like innocence lost at the hand of a sexual predator. Hope dying with the loss of a dream. Tragic accidents taking away someone we need to feel safe and secure. The list is long.

Being a therapist for over 25 years, I have entered into the darkness of tender broken hearts countless times offering a place for hurting people to safely share the pain hidden inside. Throughout that time, I have shared with them some of my painful experiences in small pieces when it seemed appropriate. It usually offers comfort to know others have survived trauma and have personal understanding of the pain endured. My painful experiences in life, resurrect into the ability to help others navigate through similar challenges. Often, when there is a death, resurrection is coming. It’s only a matter of time.

As I was writing this weekend, I relived the most devastating experiences in my childhood and how my life was effected by them, all in one afternoon. Leaning into my past in an intense and vulnerable way, things stirred inside of me that were hidden for a very long time. There are times we just can’t know what we are holding until we access the weight of the pain. We simply don’t know what we don’t know.

Those who know me best would know I am a pretty balanced, calm, laid back, fun, genuinely happy, joyful, funny, life lover. Dealing with my emotional baggage, choosing not to push it down, is how I stay that way. Knowing what I know about denial and avoidance, the pain of reality is much easier to handle.

There was a place inside of me that was hurting and hopelessly lost for decades and I didn’t even realize it.  The part of me held captive was released and at first it was brutally painful. Because of God’s great love for bringing healing though connection, a friend was available and willing to be a very safe, caring space for me to be vulnerable. It happened to be  one of the few people in my life specifically able to help me by offering truth to replace a lie I believed for 35 years. That truth has since penetrated through my being and I am so grateful.

May you enjoy the comfort of a caring friend in time of need. May you also be the one to offer comfort to another who is hurting. May you experience redemptive resurrections from losses in your life. It is how pure love operates.

It’s a great day!

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