I’ve wrapped my heart in a writing tourniquet. I can find any number of turns of phrase to say it in a nice way, except it’s not a nice situation.
I gave myself a week off to think, to step back, to feel, to find wisdom and to heal. After any emotional and relational storm, I have the aftermath and the injury to treat. Just like healing from a physical wound, there is a sort of protocol and process to restoring me.
During the hurting and broken time, I am learning to dive deep into the emotional wreckage, search for the cause of the storm (me, someone else, situational), and sit there. Be uncomfortable. Ask the hard questions. Come clean to God. Do the apologizing, forgiving and right thing.
This brings me to my knees, and I usually discover that there was a “something” sitting in me unresolved, waiting for a chance to surface. It’s super nice when I’m healthy, well rested, filled up and secure; because I don’t get to this part. I’m fully able to either circumvent my emotional bomb or able to immediately deal with someone else’s with grace and love.
I’d love to be able to blog all the time about how I’ve grown so much in the latter, how I’m living out His love daily. I’ve grown. Its’ just that the former is much more my m.o. And I am built to feel everything. Express everything. Also, it kills me to hurt someone. So why am I so good at doing that very thing?
I’ve never really had an issue with full disclosure. Honest to a fault, or maybe honest to my own detriment, that’s me. See what a mess I/This/We are!! And the truth of this is that I’m much, much more able to easily and quickly forgive someone who has done the hurting than to forgive myself.
So, there is always a wound. Either caused by another or self-inflicted. And either way, it needs treating. The speed and ease at which I will move through these steps depends on the wound(size), the wound-e(who,intimately) and the wounded(who else got hurt).
My plan? Do whatever it takes. Do no harm. Making sure I share and debrief with people who love and understand me, and love and understand God’s love and grace is priority. While our prayers work out the kinks in my soul, I still have to rebuild my self-worth. Everyone has their own prescription they take, the ‘thing’ that gives you distraction from the pain, relief from the thoughts and (hopefully) adds structure to your rebuilding. These are just mine.
Watch movies. Because they are long, engrossing, and transporting. This last week or so, I have renewed a relationship with my Walgreens RedBox. I gasped when I saw there were GOOD MOVIES AGAIN!! (long dry spell this summer). I picked what felt good to watch, just me. Bad Words (irreverently awesome), Belle, (historical real life story of justice, triumph, and love. Better than the book), The Lance Armstrong Lie (fascinating personality docu), Winter’s Tale (not like I thought it was going to be…half okay, half wtf), Mom’s Night Out (cute, surprisingly good, a little corny). You are so welcome for the reviews!
Walk/run/lift/hike/move: with or without dog or others, though alone can be best for processing. Builds serotonin and dopamine…those are the brain chemicals you want more of. Stat.
Sleep. I consider this important, having lived through almost a decade of continuous sleep deprivation (love you boys!). After the anxiousness wears off, you may sink to depressed for a bit. So, monitor how much you are sleeping, but a full night of rest and a nap here and there is good for perspective and normal feeling. If you feel way at the extreme for a long time on either, please seek help. I did, and it’s been the best year and a half of my life.
Say no. Kindly, to occasions and opportunities that just feel yuck. Don’t make the mistake of overloading your schedule consciously or unconsciously to escape dealing with the painful self revelations. You are allowed a break, even from things you love to do too. Just make sure you when you do say no, that you say NO to guilt, shame, blame, social anxiety, shoulds and self bullying. It is ok to do (or not do) what you need. Healthy you will shine and fill the places and times you have been created for!
Get out and away. I’ve gone for walks in my neighborhood, and to neighboring states and towns. If it’s for a half hour, a day, or five minutes, it’s good for you. Perspective happens when we can detach and shake up our thinking. I’ve discovered some pretty great things about myself on these sojourns.
Feel. Outloud. I found myself talking to God and ended up crying because I stumbled across what was hurting. I go to my backyard that is like a mini forest and look up at the trees and sky, listen to the wind, and let landscape move me to awe. I have been singing some songs really loud, I usually save it for when I’m alone, and it feels good. No, great. I’ve even lol’d a few times, from something I listened to, or from a memory of laughing with someone. Just allow yourself the freedom to feel.
Pintherapy!! How to fix yourself or life in 42 easy steps!!! Most popular thing written ever!! Must read! Recipe included!! I do love Pinterest. It’s visual and interesting, like reading fifty different magazines and tearing out what speaks to me. This week I have attended pintherapy (so named by me and my sisters) every day, and every time I’ve come away with a spark; a new blog, a yummy desert to try out on my boys, so many amazing quotes and words to fill in my blanks, a super cute outfit. And a few cute puppy/baby/cat pictures. I always leave feeling better. Or stay on until I do.
This is perhaps the hardest work of the process. The deliberate act of making time in the long days to choose me.
Slowly, my wound has healed. I unwound the tourniquet that had been covering my vulnerable heart. It’s time to let the fresh air in, and to seek some glowing sun to fade the scar.
It’s beautiful, really. I’ve earned every one of the scars that I bear, tattoos and testaments to the truth; that I survived. Every scar has a story. A tale of hurt and battle and redemption. A story that someone needs to hear. Now, be brave. Show your scars.