bleh

I’m feeling pretty bleh today. My face is tomato red, warm to the touch, and swollen for one thing. An allergic reaction, to what I have no idea. Also, I just found out that the new medication I was prescribed a couple weeks ago to help my hair grow back (fingers crossed x a million) can cause drowsiness. So maybe it’s these things, or maybe it’s just the usual ho hum that seems dead set on following me around the rest of my life. Whatever. Same same. Either way I’m feeling bleh.

The crazy part is this: I’m okay with it.

I’m no stranger to Depression. We’ve become friends actually, after all this time, kinda sorta. It’s totally a love/hate relationship, the love part coming into play when he decides to leave me the hell alone of course. I can even see where Depression has been good to me, carving out places within myself where compassion and empathy have begun to grow in greater measure. But mostly he’s just a shitty sort of fellow, and for a long time I carried quite the load of shame that he and I seemed to be joined at the hip.

Depression wasn’t welcome in the house where I grew up, and I wanted to curl up and die for all the unhappiness it seemed to bring my family. At church, my home away from home, the message I heard loud and clear was somewhat the same: Depression is not God’s will and is something to be overcome in the name of Jesus. And so I hated myself for struggling, for skirting the edges of darkness in my mind, for every single day when I couldn’t find the strength to pull at my bootstraps and pick myself up. I began to obsess over the whole idea of God healing me (nothing less than complete eradication of every single deep, dark thought and feeling would do) and the more I continued to suffer, the more ashamed I felt. Clearly I wasn’t praying hard enough or surrendering enough or believing in Him enough.

Maybe I’m still not, because all these years later I’m still well acquainted with the dark. More than ever in some ways. Life has taken some crazy turns in this last season as I’ve determined to face some of my deepest pains and the valleys have been scary low. But you know what? God’s been so good to me, so faithful. He still hasn’t sprinkled me with his magic dust and made me All Better, but He’s continued calling me to Himself and its a journey that has radically changed my entire world and the whole of my self.

There may be darkness in me still, but there’s not nearly as much shame. Really, I’ve been watching it leave my life by the truckload and it’s been pretty much the best. I guess God meant it when He said that darkness and light are the same to Him because He’s met me in every pitch black place I’ve been in. I used to think He was up in heaven, tsk tsking me for not getting my shit together faster, and now I know He’s been by my side all along. God loves me and accepts me and though I’ve known this for most of my life, I’m now beginning to know it know it. I’ve even started taking His cues and am loving and accepting my own damn self, believe it or not, bleh days and all.

real self

It’s always been there, her real self, only it’s been hidden, hard to see and know. There’s been all of the lies for one, an itchy blanket looming large and real. The lies that have told her she is different somehow, not like all the rest but deeply broken and flawed to the core. That she’s not good enough and her life is meant for trying to be better, that Light and Love are hers if only she can get it all right. Those are the big ones, the deep untruths that have kept every beautiful thing inside her covered up, but there are a thousand more beside and she’s believed them all. Fear has bound her too, kept her all tied up within the depths of herself where she could not be reached. The fear of rejection made it unsafe to share her insides and so she held back and tried to make herself small. She was afraid to be less than perfect and so she shied away from doing most anything at all, her potential and gifts and passions obscured.

Listening to the lies and letting her fears take the lead, everything grew dark and she nearly lost herself. She shrank back each and every time they cast their somber shadows until she couldn’t seem to find enough of herself to keep from feeling shaky and unsure. The facade that she had become began to give way in this place of painful loss and instability. There was no more room for pretending. She had exhausted every bit of herself in trying to overcome the darkness by finding some way to be better and yet she still felt trapped inside. And so the truth of her, the last scant shred of self she recognized, turned to face the hurt and fear and every dark corner within.

In determining to lean into the places where the pain was blinding and she could see no hope for more, she found that the slightest sliver of Light was enough to dispel the deepest dark. She grappled with each and every fear-filled lie, first letting herself feel the weighted terror of it and then the beautiful, empty space it left behind as it lost its power and unhooked from her heart. She began to see things as they truly are. She began to see herself, to know who she truly was. She was open and unafraid and she was enough.

// 9.26.17

This morning I wake early and sit with myself in the quiet of my living room. Cross legged in the comfort of my favorite red velvet chair and cradling a steaming mug of coffee, I notice the sun outside the window to my right just beginning to peek out, it’s beams assured and bright. I welcome it, this Light that is always with me, and feel the new day dawn within, tentative and soft. Glowing gentle and complete, it makes room for the parts of me that are hidden down deep and have deemed the darkness safe. I sit still and breathe and allow the places within that feel betrayed by my newfound exchange of the familiar for Light’s full embrace to simply be. I am scared, even as I’m lighter than I have ever been, and my fears still demand a voice. I allow them to be heard just once and then I choose to listen not one bit more. There is Light and Love here in the beginning of this brand new day and I have worked my ass off to open up the places of myself that have been closed for far too long. How could I do anything but let myself unfold all the more and receive every good thing with reckless abandon?

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts

open wide the doors

open wide the doors
the ones ajar at birth
let the light flood in
illuminate your worth

open wide the doors
once locked out of defense
find the key and quick
they’re sealed at your expense

open wide the doors
the entrance to your heart
take in all the love
that’s been there from the start

boat

adrift
on somber seas
straining
to see the shore
wayward
with no compass
forlorn
for lack of oar

found
in deepest waters
aboard
he sits beside
rowing
rendered useless
his voice
commands the tide

knotty rope

these needy hands, they long to grasp
twist you around and knot you down

help me trust you with my longing
let go these heavy ropes and strife

may I seek and never scramble
for you’re within and all around