Lent this year has been like a rolling black out. On purpose. Its what I wanted it to be. Determined to use this time to grow within my faith space, I have wanted it to be a learning room of trial and error through risk taking, discussions, readings, involvement, fellowship and solace. Sharing with others. Sharing with myself. Sharing with God.
Are you there God? Its me, Muskie....full on some days with spring energy, empty on other days searching for peaceful existence in troubled waters. Believe it or not God, there are even days when things seem balanced. Calm. Sharp. Connected. Empowered. Able to accept the troubles. Why so many rumbling troubles? Is it so I have a better choice of what to learn to let go of??? You are do have a wicked sense of humour oh Higher Power! Thank you!
You know I've learned God? Just like everyone else doing the best they can do with the tools they have, I am an unfinished piece of sculptured art, anxious to know how the mystery of future experiences and endeavours will help continue to form me, sad and troubled about the parts that have been smeared or chipped from the past. ...... I am learning to look at the sculpture from different angles and in different lights. Oh, the shadows from the angle of the lights! And the glimmering beauty sometimes hidden in the folds. I see them. It leaves me trying to push back on the pressure of what was and and what will be......... and just BE.
Beauty and downright ugliness.
Feelings so softening.
Feelings so raw and edgy they leave me so so so vulnerable to any slight.
Cravings coming from some abyss...... needs I didn't even know I needed.
Caressed when one of those needs are filled to the brim.
Oh my God. Thank you for human caresses.
Light off.....tossled sleep.
Lights on.....across the river waters.
Light off.... can I ever learn to trust as openly as I used to?
Please don't leave me within that place of doubt too long ok? It hurts my stomach.
When I'm least expecting it or when You think its just the right moment, a blinding bright light shines into the corners of my gut. Glaring discoveries encountered.......... dust bunny messes, lost gems, dirt and bits that I can't even identify yet. I am learning to reflect and to let go.
Reflect and let go.
Sit in it.
Let go of it.
Keep what I can handle.
Put the unidentified bits on the kitchen counter so I can see them when I am calmly making dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. This helps me from automatically moving to a place of fear and defensiveness.... to turn away so I can learn exactly what those bits of me represent.
Its easier to look trouble in the face when you are personally in a place of safety. My kitchen. Heart of my home. Heart of me. No emotional flooding happens in this space that isn't unresolved. I'm grounded in music, colour, familiarity. Kettle and tea close by. Air flow brings memories of conversations with family and friends. Laughter, questions, topics ranging beyond the walls happen here during cooking fests, parties, steeping tea, pouring wine........ breakfast chat before the day begins. Late night wrap up when the day has ended. Even deep heavy sharing that illuminated wounds and loss, discoveries and confessional brokenness....the troubles that have percolated with an aroma of openness are in the air here. It's good.
I can think, feel, breathe, write while reflecting quietly and not feel that rolling blackout of energy...... I can learn how to figure it out. Or at least give it my best focus.
Recently I realized that one of the bits of me sitting on my counter I had identified. The enlightenment happened away from my kitchen, but my reflections/processing has taken place here. Right here.
God, you gave me the gift of connecting with others in a meaningful way and provided me with a venue for using this gift productively. As a Counsellor. More succinctly, as a counsellor whose gift it is to be in the moment with another who is deeply troubled. In no time, when my attention and energy is shared with another, some kind of grace happens. They open and they spill inside the bubble of safety. Deep heartconnections whose purpose is to make shifts. Swift shifts happen.....
God, you help me find the words to encourage this as well as to soothe. Yesterday, this happened with a young person deeply wounded. His vulnerability spilled out without hesitation. His anxieties were alleviated and in a brief moment, he smiled. He saw hope again as his wounding feelings subsided, like a tide going back out into the bay. He left our counselling bubble with a plan, and with the new knowledge that he was not alone despite the trauma he had recently endured. I thanked you God. Did you hear me? Because I honestly didn't know what I was going to say or do just before this young man arrived. As soon as he sat down, I was fine. He became fine again too.
I saw his raw vulnerability. He knows that. He also knows now that feelings are our visitors with messages. Sorrow and pain hurt like hell, but they leave.... The relationship I have with him has altered considerably. We shared a few stories. But, it is a counsellor/human being relationship. Not a life long friendship. So, when he sees me again, he sees me as someone who can help..... someone to guide ..... someone who will encourage him to love again like he's never been hurt. I can shine a light on it and help guide. It's my job.
This is my gift God. But, I knew this. What I didn't realize was how it impacts some of the people in my life who are friends or family. Sometimes what is shared with me is deep and its all fine. But, sometimes what is shared is an unexpected secret........a rawness that isn't healed...... unfinished and newly discovered bits from their gut. Meaningful and magical always when it happens. But, there are times after the encounter when our relationship has moved into an intimacy that leaves the other person uncomfortable. I am not a beacon of light for them. Rather, I am the bright blinding reflection of discomfort. Does that make sense God?
Somehow, my intentions and the gift I have been bestowed turns me into a mirror of hurt... a reminder that they chose to crack open a part of them they had held and protected. A representation of the troubles. I don't own theirs, though what I have been privy to alters me...... it would alter anyone. But, its the perception and the view some have of my person that causes them to relive the hurt story again. The result? Discomfort around me. Do these people just feel too naked? Or have I pushed too hard on a secret and I am blamed for it? Am I too curious..........too pushy or too quick with my own need to know the secret?
When someone feels uncomfortable with me God, I can feel it right away. Its something I know intuitively. This in turn hits my own panic button.... the rejection button. The light goes off. My footing is off balance. My energy drains out of my fingertips when I feel that sense of rejection. Logically, this is silly. Emotionally, I'm left troubled and second guessing myself. I'm left feeling undesirable. Ugly in the eyes of some.
Interesting that a gift can also be seen as one's Achilles' heel......
light on....... insight through a crack in the dark
light off..... time to rest
beauty and downright ugliness
feelings soft, raw, unwanted, welcoming.....
shifts happen .... swiftly like a swollen river after the ice breaks
Lent opens the flood gates. It reveals new discoveries that make us realize we will never be the same again. At least it has for me. I am learning how I cause others to feel their troubles when perhaps they aren't ready, or they really don't want to? In turn, I become the mirror reflection of this ugly wound?
God? I don't know if I've explained myself well enough to be understood..... This insight is in its infancy. Maybe I will leave it on the kitchen counter a little longer until I can get a better grasp on it.