In the hurts we absorb, forgive us

fallToday, a friend at church, was showing us the bruises and stitches gotten when she she fell in the grocery store. She fell while buying a bottle of wine. The bottle broke and she was cut by the glass. She talked about going to the immediate med place and smelling like a drunk. I can imagine her saying “but I wasn’t drinking!”

She will have a small scar in one place and that started me thinking about the scars that we all carry. I have one from the time I put my finger in an electrical socket as a child. I have one from falling on a sharp piece of bamboo in the back yard.

woundsWe all have scars. Some are physical and some are emotional. I think the emotional scars are harder to heal. The trouble is we keep pulling them out to look and remember the pain. It’s funny how we do that and hardly notice the physical scars.

It is so easy to remember the times that we were hurt and to dwell on them. We can feel the emotions all over again…whether it is anger or pain or sadness. We almost treasure them and tuck them away so that we can get upset all over again.

We have to open those closets inside where we shove those scars and pull them out and throw them away. The sooner we do that the sooner we will be able to move past them. Holding on to them hurts us. Probably the people who caused them remember nothing and there we are still hurting.

I am trying to expose those scars and push them away from me so that I don’t have to feel the pain. In the Lord’s Prayer it says (new version) “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” A version from the New Zealand Prayer book says “in the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.” It makes me think that one meaning we can get from that is forgive us for holding on to those hurts.

hang on1

Turn them loose and move on.

Just Sit !!

i just sitToday was a little strange for me. I love Easter and its wonderful gift to us but today was a little off. Again it has to do with change. Usually, at Easter, I do baskets for my two grandchildren who live near. They are adults but I still like to do it. My daughter-in-law and my grandson are both on a cruise so it seemed a little unnecessary to just do one basket. My granddaughter is in her 20’s and on her own with a good job and didn’t expect me to do anything. Time moves on and things change but it did feel odd.

Church was also different. The service was not the usual service and started with the Exultant which is beautiful but somehow I wasn’t ready for that. It is just me trying to adjust again. The service was beautiful but I wasn’t.

Once again I come up against my own failure to accept change. Change is hard but it shouldn’t be this hard. I am trying but not succeeding in feeling at peace where I am. It’s hard when you know that the problem is you and not the life around you. Maybe I am facing aging and not being in the midst of things. That also is my error for not pushing myself to get out there and do something.

just sit 2There! I have voiced my sadness and my frustration and will need to move on and find what God has in store for me. I think the hardest thing that God tells us to do is to do nothing. The plan to do mediation has been slow in coming but will get here in time. I know that things will move on. God just needs to bop me on the head and say “I told you! Just sit!”

Learning to cope

love yourselfLike most people I spent my early years worrying about what other people thought. I was always changing myself to fit in wherever I went. I also didn’t like conflict (I still don’t) and was always playing the peacemaker.

I don’t know when it started to dawn on me that everyone didn’t have to like me or agree with me. I didn’t have to work so hard to be everything to everyone. It is exhausting.

I am an only child and when I was young I was more comfortable with adults than people my own age. I think that is one of the things that made me try so hard to fit in. I had very little self confidence around my peers. It wasn’t until I went to college that I started to feel comfortable. I am sure that this did not help my anxiety.

In my teen years my mother was extremely ill and for years there was no diagnosis. Even though I was unaware at the time it fueled my worries about illness.

Now, at my age, I have gained some perspective on how I reflected my environment and didn’t cope well with anxiety and depression. Over the years, a little at a time, I have grown coping skills that make my life so much better. It is a good thing that I did as aging brings so pretty serious issues to cope with.

peace3Some serious episodes with IBSD triggered my panic. Fortunately those were mostly few and far between. I am so grateful that treatment for these issues has progressed so far. When I was young anyone who had  panic was said to have had a nervous breakdown. Thank God there is better understanding today. I am hoping that this progress continues until research into how our whole selves work finds answers that remove the stigma from those of us who suffer.

As each person writes about these issues and shares the things that help them our knowledge grows. The community is a blessing.

 

Perfect? NO

not-perfect3I feel as if I lost this week. Tomorrow is Friday and it seems as if I haven’t done a thing. Actually I have…I have been working on a baby blanket that I have to finish by the 24th. A lot of it is finished but, dumb me, I can’t do anything half way and I decided to put cars on  each of the blue squares. There are 18 blue squares and 18 white ones so there is a lot to do. The cars are fairly easy to crochet but time consuming. My hands (with mild arthritis) are hurting and my mind is numb. I would love to just trash the whole thing….but I won’t. I will work my butt off to make this amazing since my stuff always has to be the best! Can you see the problem?

It’s that thing again about wanting to do everything perfectly. I ripped parts of that blanket and started over because of some minor errors. That kind of obsessiveness has haunted me my whole life. When I was young my father always pushed me to try things but if I thought I could’t do well I wouldn’t try. I know that I have missed so many wonderful chances by being this way.

be free

I am not as bad as I used to be because age has helped me to not worry so much about perfection. I have tried some art projects that I never had the nerve to do. I am definitely not an artist but I had fun. I guess age has given me more freedom to be me.

None of us can ever be perfect. We are not made that way. The obsession to be perfect at everything we do can add to anxiety and depression since we feel we are not worthy. We are worthy to try everything. We may fail at some things or not be the best but it can be fun just to try. Don’t get caught in perfectionism.

 

The monsters that haunt us

Sometimes, as children, at bedtime we would imagine monsters….monsters under the bed or in the closet. We would make our parents open the closet door and look under the bed before we would let them leave the room. Unfortunately the monsters are not just part of our childhood. We hang on to some of the monsters as we grow up. We may not recognize them. They don’t look the same.

monster2The monsters we have now are bigger and uglier. They threaten us in ways we never imagined as children. The monsters follow us around just waiting for us to slip and suddenly there they are.

The monsters have many names. Some are self doubt, loneliness, regret, guilt, anxiety, depression, fear, addiction. I am sure there are many more but each one can ruin our peace. They take advantage of any crack in our defenses and take over.

monster 3We can fight. We can eventually wipe them out. Each day we have to learn new ways to right ourselves. Tricks that make them go away. Tricks like meditation, medication, turning to God, music, TV, anything that works for us.

The monsters can be beaten. We can chase them away. Don’t be afraid to tackle them. They are weaker that we are. We have the strength of God with us.

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Each moment matters

life happensI have been out of the loop for several days and have just caught up reading blogs. I’m sure I didn’t get to them all but at least managed to dig into some.

The past week was hectic and somewhat nerve wracking. With doctor’s appointments and other things I missed time with my support friends. None of us got to see each other and we all feel the loss. We make an attempt to keep ourselves sane and when we don’t all bets are off.

On Friday I had to drive three hours to my daughter’s home for a co-ed shower for my grandson and his bride-to-be. The trip is not long but back roads and boring. The kicker is that on Saturday immediately following the shower I had to leave to drive back home for a dinner put on by the West Point Society for the founding of the academy…my husband is a graduate. When I arrived home after the dinner in a zombie like state I went straight to bed. THANK GOD!

I keep forgetting that as active as I am age still plays a part in my physical resources.

Looking back over my life brings memories good and bad. If I really try I can almost look as if from above and see the patterns. I can see the places where things took a turn that altered my ability to find the skills to cope. I can also see where something that I had learned in the past allowed me to keep moving forward. Yes, sometimes I have struggled and fought the demons of anxiety and depression. Sometimes I have felt joy and happiness. Both mattered.

wisdomSocieties view of those of us aging is so judgmental. We have learned so much on our journeys through life that could be shared. It is such a shame to lose all of that wisdom. An informed life is wasted on obsessing about looks and being young. Life is so much more than that…..so much richer. To continue to seek wisdom and strive for wholeness makes each day a miracle. The beauty around me is breathtaking. I can see the blue and gold of the sunset against the dark outline of the trees. I can see the movement of the water in the river in front of the house. Each day and each moment matters. Don’t waste it trying to hang on to youth. Embrace the years and be grateful. Life is worth living.

Middle Ground

SONY DSCLife can be so frustrating. Things can begin to pile up and then they push us over the edge. And we fall. Tonight I spent time talking with someone who is being pushed and is maybe too close to the edge.

Living with anxiety and depression can be hard for us but it can be terrifying for those we love. They can see the cycle happening and want to do something but everything they try doesn’t help. They sense the danger and can do nothing. This can lead to overreacting. Being anxious and feeling watched for signs of stress doesn’t make life easier. The sad part is that we know it is about love but we also can do nothing.

The books that came out in the 1950’s and 1960’s talked abut what life would be like if we were being watched. “Big brother” is always watching. This idea is unsettling. It takes a toll and makes life even more difficult. It adds on guilt for seeming to be a burden and making those around us afraid.

This is a heavy weight to carry. Someone watching our habits…sleeping…eating…living and questioning our level of wellness can actually set healing back. I don’t know what the answer is. To be loved is what all of us want and need but it can be overwhelming.

balance

Each of us needs to find the middle path between our loved ones anxiousness and our own search for wholeness, wellness and ability to function on our own. We must accept their loving care but need them to know that we are aware of their fear of harm for us, understand but also need space to just be be ourselves.