Can Music Change Your Life? Day 3 of 7

“A badly tuned ukulele in a refugee camp would sound like a grand piano”.-Patch Adams (click to read more about Patch’s thoughts on Music Therapy)

Day 3’s song is The Alabaster Box by CeCe Winans. She sings of the story from Luke 7:36 – a woman who brings her box of costly oil kept in an alabaster box to pour on to the feet of Jesus. None of us know what pain she is facing, but her act of such humility is hard to not be touched by.

I discovered this song years ago, when I was learning what it meant to choose to praise in the midst of pain. We all have things that cost us much that we put into our boxes, and to have the courage to take them out – well, there is sacrifice in that.

Only we ourselves truly understand the strength it takes to share what we’ve stored for so long. And, the wisdom it takes to share it with someone strong enough to handle it all.

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“I’m on my own side now.”

“I swear to God, if I even feel somebody behind me, there is no measure to how fast and how hard I will bring this fight to your doorstep. I’m on my own side now.” -Jason Bourne

When you go through really hard times, it is easy to feel attacked – as if the enemy has a mark on your back and he’s aiming right for you.

I find that more times than I’d like to admit, in the midst of overcoming, I can often become my own worst enemy. Mainly because I just get so tired & worn down.

But, also because of what I’m believing.

Letting myself believe lies, not guarding my mind nor my heart because I just want to comfort myself. I want things to be easier. So, I make decisions that seems to make things easy, but often complicate my life later on.

Like  in trying to lose weight. I’m often uncomfortable with my femininity. I don’t like the male attention I get because it draws on a wound in my heart. So, instead of fighting for myself and the amazing ways that being a woman is wonderful, I sabotage my progress – by overeating and not working out.

I haven’t always understood that’s what I’m doing. But, I can tell as soon as I start getting looks or comments from men, there’s a startling inside me – and I go to that familiar place to hide myself.

The weight helps me hide and disconnect. When I work out, I feel so utterly alive & connected – and exposed. But, it’s like exhaling all of that shame out of me.

It’s letting go to hold on.

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It’s been an unspoken hiding. I’ve never said it aloud until a recent conversation with my husband. But, that’s all part of finding that voice within me.

But, as I’ve quoted Maya Angelou before , now I know better, so I do better.

I was watching The Bourne Identity last night & this quote really got my attention! And, I thought: YES! That’s right, that’s what I’m saying to that part of me that tries to interrupt my progress – as well as looking the enemy square in the eyes and saying it to him, too:

“I swear to God, if I even feel somebody behind me, there is no measure to how fast and how hard I will bring this fight to your doorstep. I’m on my own side now.” -Jason Bourne

We don’t know until the end of this trilogy that Jason, eyes wide open, walked into the life he had of a trained assassin. So, when he is rediscovering who he is and chooses to be on his own side now – it’s powerful. He’s moved to do this because his heart catches up with him.

A life disconnected from my heart, leaves me fighting against myself.

I leave in that part of the quote about swearing to God because I don’t mean it as a slang, but as a commitment to believe Him. He has promised that we can “take courage” because He has overcome this world. (John 16:33)

It takes courage (divine courage at that), to stand up for yourself and BE ON YOUR OWN SIDE NOW.

To be committed to fight for it, too.

Newsong’s “Swallow the Ocean” – couldn’t say it any better!

All used up

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(http://www.flickr.com/photos/owllens/7179609576/)

I recently learned the difference between being all used up because of a wounding or trauma versus being all used up to get stronger.

This is powerful to me – a shift in my soul and belief system.

For as long as I can remember I’ve always been “so tired” all the time. Yet, it’s not that I was very active. But, that the day to day life was just enough extra stress on top of the emotional burdens I was already carrying, that I often felt plain used up. Had nothing left. So, I went through life just kind of coping, comforting myself, feeling less than because I didn’t have the desire to do more than just get by. Couldn’t even picture doing more.

I now know that was a reflection of the wounding left when I was abused. It was my first encounter with having to meet a demand to give all I had, ready or not. That left me feeling all used up.

The way your soul is injured and how that injury can linger, making you sicker because you don’t know how to help it heal. Once I could SEE the wound, and really start letting the air in, I at first felt worse to be honest. Like when you rip a band aid off – how painful it is in that moment.

But, then I started to feel better – lighter. That was the best surprise, that I could feel so emotionally light. I wasn’t carrying so much anymore – and because of it, I had more to give.

This truth was brought home one morning when I was jogging with a women’s running group I joined. Amazing, dedicated women with such a warmth in the group – no woman left behind. You are not pressured to be where they are, but to do what you can do – and push a little harder each time.

But, with someone always next to you.

One morning I was running with an especially strong runner, who I affectionately call Coach. It was about 2 months into my time with the group. She was encouraging me to keep jogging, not walk, a little further.

“Come on, Melissa, you can do this. You have more in you to give,” Coach said.

“No, I don’t…” I pushed out trying to breathe, feeling panic trying to set in for some reason. That same familiar panic anytime I was pushed to the brink of something in me.

“What are you afraid of?” she wisely asked.

“I don’t want to be all used up!” I said in near tears, that same ache in my wound crying out.

She stopped and looked at me. In a sensitive tone, she let me know that in working out this way, when you give all you have, you will not be all used up – this is where you get stronger.

I didn’t believe her at first, but I wanted to. Because all I’d known was that heart-on-the-floor-ragged response to life’s demands. And, weariness setting in. Nothing filling me back up after my essence was taken. Just being empty & more tired, and sad. I never felt stronger.

But, I really thought about what she said. For about a month.

During that time, I had a conversation with a gentleman who is a veteran. I call him Superman. Because he bears a striking resemblance. He’s an ultra runner – running 60+ miles a week. Has 3 fat dogs, which I find so ironic for someone so fit. And, a wife he lovingly describes as his soul mate.

He is open about discussing PTSD with me. I asked what he did/does to help when he’s triggered. Because I seem helpless to the emotions when they occurs. I pray, I cry, I journal, I do art, I read the Word…but, sometimes it’s all not enough.

He looked at me thoughtfully, and said that running is what helps him. Why?

He said you have to out fatigue those emotions when they come in a trigger wave. They threaten to take you back down, and leave you all used up. But, when you work them out physically, you are actually overcoming them & restoring yourself.

GOLD. This made sense to me – instead of letting the emotions wear me out, it was a very empowering notion to think I could in turn wear them out!

So, after thinking about what they both said, I had a situation arise that brought full on triggers deep within me. I decided NOW was the time to put their encouragement to the test. Because I could tell I was slipping back into that place.

So, last Wednesday, with a different woman by my side, as equally supportive as Coach, I  hit the pavement mentally prepared to NOT STOP. And, it was glorious! I just kept going…and going.

My body, though exhausted, seemed to FEED my soul instead of drain it. Strength swelled within me!

So, in my quiet life, I am surrounded by these amazing people. Who speak truth to me in those moments that I believe only God could orchestrate.

And, now that I know better – I do better. (Thank you, Maya Angelou, for that)

 

CREDITS:

Girl w/Phoenix Ring: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/owllens/7179609576/”>OwlLens</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Man free: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/danorbit/1814156778/”>danorbit.</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

It’s time to help – please take a minute to read!

PLEASE consider joining this beautiful initiative. CLICK HERE TO READ the details.

Anyone that knows my story, knows that helping people who’ve been abused has been a direction I’ve been headed into for a while. On my journey, I learned of a beautiful organization call the Brave Girls Club. Even though their mission statement had nothing to do with what I had been through, it had everything to do with where I wanted to be: FREE and HEALED.

For me, art has played a major role in that. I do believe I was created with a level of sensitivity other artists would understand. I see details, in all things, whether I’m trying or not. And, as I’ve gotten stronger, the desire to produce more and more art has grown. And, left me asking myself what to do with it?

LET ME TELL YOU: a word of TRUTH can change the direction of your day. For me, I had to cling to what I knew to be true like it was my breath because the OVERWHELMING power of the lies that entangled my heart because of abuse were simply put: destroying me. Wounding my heart, suffocating my soul.

I was able to heal and move forward, but I could not do it on my own. Many people played a role in speaking truth into my life on those days when I thought I would just give into sorrow, despair and anger. I still battle at times, but my support makes all the difference on those days.

And, I refuse to FORGET how hard it has been for me. My heart’s desire has been to heal, get stronger and pass on that courage to others in the throws of it all.

PLEASE take a moment to read this blog post of the Brave Girls club partnering with a non-profit to help women rescued from human trafficking. PLEASE consider helping – the time is so small but I truly believe the effects so very important.

1 in 6 women have been abused, 1 in 33 men have been abused. The chances that you know more than one person that has faced the atrocity of abuse is LIKELY. The luxury of not dealing with this is know what they have known. (http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims)

Some facts about Human Trafficking (cited from http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-human-trafficking)

  1. The average cost of a slave around the world is $90.
  2. Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including:
    • Forcing victims into prostitution
    • Subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude
    • Compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography
    • Misleading victims into debt bondage
  3. According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
  4. It is estimated that there are approximately 27 million slaves around the world.
  5. 68% of female sex trafficking victims meet the clinical criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.
  6. Around half of trafficking victims in the world are under the age of 18.
  7. More than 2/3 of sex trafficked children suffer additional abuse at the hands of their traffickers.
  8. Trafficked children are significantly more likely to develop mental health problems, abuse substances, engage in prostitution as adults, and either commit or be victimized by violent crimes later in life.
  9. Women who have been trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation experience a significantly higher rate of HIV and other STDs, tuberculosis, and permanent damage to their reproductive systems.
  10. There is only one shelter in the U.S. designed specifically to meet the needs of trafficking victims, and it currently only houses a total of seven to nine victims.
  11. Trafficking victims normally don’t get help because they think that they or their families will be hurt by their traffickers, or that they will be deported.
International Justice Mission

International Justice Mission (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you want to read more about another amazing organization fighting for these victims, check out International Justice Mission’s site: http://www.ijm.org/.

Actress Ashley Judd, who has appeared in over ...

Actress Ashley Judd, who has appeared in over twenty different movies, attended Sayre. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ashley Judd also a humanitarian, writes so eloquently of the suffering and the need for all of us to get involved: http://ashleyjudd.com/.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/h-k-d/3063566547/”>h.koppdelaney</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

When It is Worth the Risk

 

My friend, Karen, would call what I’m about to do: dignity.

I’ve been working on this post for about 5 days now – such progress in my first week without cable TV – ha!

When was it worth it to me to risk of facing my demons?

When it helps me heal so that I can help others. In my humble opinion.

I’m feeling especially brave today.

And, almost 3 years ago today, this was my heart’s cry one weary night because abuse assaults your soul and you feel like a part of you died that day…

I heal a little more each time I can share openly. And, what I’m about to share is about me, but also to help bring awareness to those little ones still out there being hurt.

Also, to the little ones now big ones that may be your friend, co-worker, spouse, parent, relative…that may need just a little more compassion and patience.

And, because we all have a story or two. All of us. I am so encouraged when someone respects themselves enough to share their story – so here’s my effort at respecting myself.

I was abused at the age of 5 by the dirty hands of a neighbor, who happened to be a sheriff – oh, and his daughter was my best friend. I also remember him peeping in my bedroom window, scaring me any chance he could: when I was picking honeysuckle on our shared fence, he would hide on the other side and try to grab me. I never screamed, though.

Or when I’d go to his house to play with my best friend, he’d be hiding behind the door with pantyhose over his head and jump out and grab me.  Why didn’t I scream?? I just was scared – and then he’d just laugh. A dark laugh. Really messed me up. This was all leading up to the actual abuse. I know now it’s called “grooming”  – testing his boundaries with me and my reactions. Educating myself does help me take the power back. (Hero Project)

I lost my best friend after I told my parents he hurt me, just as he promised.  I remember standing in our front yard crying because she was in her drive way and wouldn’t look at me after it happened. No telling what he was telling her. But, I had nightmares more about losing her at first.

I was pretty fortunate, though – my parents believed me. Called the police and had him charged. Then, got me the HECK out of that neighborhood.

The first trip to the police station, the office that “interviewed” me was horrible. I was alone in an office with him, and he starts raising his voice to me, telling me I’m a liar, no one will believe anything happened to me and that I was destroying a man’s life. Then, he tried to get me to physically REENACT what happened to me. I just started crying.

The lies I started believing were that my voice has no place and does not matter. No one will believe me. And, speaking up meant being scared and bad things happened when I did. I lose people. Beginning of people pleasing. When the shame of that evil was placed on me. Took me so long to distinguish between the shame of the evil and what was mine to carry: which was I was not shamed.

As in the Bible, anything done in the dark is brought into the light. Someone called my mom from the police station and told her this guy was the friend of my perpetrator’s son, also in the force. So, could I come back and give my statement to a female office with my parents listening in?

My mom filled in those blanks for me! Thankfully, I can talk about all this with her. And, my dad now, too. That’s part of healing – I don’t want to be shamed or silenced when I need to talk about it. It puts me backwards. I didn’t do anything wrong, so in talking about it openly confirms that.

In my speaking up, his wife and daughter finally left the bastard. GOOD!! I STILL think about his daughter, praying that if it’s good for her and me, one day we would reunite. I want to know she’s OK – because I’m confident he was abusing her. I pray for her regularly. And, I want her to see I’m OK.

But, my awareness of what that year of knowing him did to me didn’t start to be clear to me until after 1 failed marriage, a giant heap of debt I couldn’t even breath, a weight out of control in my mind, and relationships that just always wore me out. I was functioning in a level of depression/PTSD for so long, I just didn’t even know it.

What a gift when my counselor here in Texas named what I was showing symptoms of: you are not crazy, Melissa. You are functioning in crisis mode as things are triggering you. PTSD. It’s tricky, but manageable. And, she would say, Melissa, I feel like your journey is not just about you. You will impact others. Of course, I couldn’t see it yet. Too wrapped up in getting through it. And, frankly – I was jaded.

I think it surprises people when I share that. Not all people, just some. I wanted to seem like I was good. You know, normal? Not so sad, disconnected, confused, forgetful, checked out.

Most beautifully, the story of how I have come to face my past, began with awareness of others’ incredible tragedies. Hang with me here, it’s worth the read. I do apologize if it’s a big choppy:

I was cleaning out my bedside table just this week and ran across a c.d. I’d been looking for and some journal pages from years ago. As I read them, I started to remember myself back then. It’s funny, the issues I’ve spent the last 3 years facing and working through, I was unable to give words to in these pages. Yet, my struggles and confusion were very clearly connected to them.

I smiled and knew – I have healed.

I have come so so far. That’s when I popped that c.d. into the player to hear that one song on it – the only one I listened to. The c.d. is part of a Freedom campaign to raise awareness & fight against Human Trafficking. The band is called Over the Rhine, the song is called “

.”

You see, that’s how God really reached inside my cloudy, hurting heart and helped me find my words. I know, it seems weird being a writer looking for my words. But, I guess, really it was my voice I had been looking for. I’m sure many can relate.

It started one night in Washington. I was working on an art project and a Lifetime movie came on about Human Trafficking. I sat there for 2 hours, crying, riveted, horrified. I couldn’t believe I had no idea of that kind of pain happening. But, it stirred my heart in a way that I was nauseous.

Fast forward, a couple of years, the movie is on again. A reminder. This time, I decided to look into it further.

I checked out a couple of books: one on a survivor from the Rwandan Genocide, Imaculee Ilibagiza called “Left to Tell” & one written by the President of the International Justice Mission, Gary Haugen, called “Terrify No More

I was being changed from the first pages. Honestly, I couldn’t put them down – I switched back and forth between them reading them simultaneously. Then, I get to the part in Gary’s book where he details why he got into the Human Trafficking fight – he had made a trip to Rwanda after the Genocide. And, it broke him. He knew he had to be a part of fighting.

Recounted here: http://voices.yahoo.com/a-review-gary-haugens-good-news-injustice-9101315.html

OK, hang with me a little longer – coffee break?  I’m connecting stuff that was pretty powerful in my little life.

I sat there, rubbing my eyes, thinking – how in the world did I pick up two books where the author was inspired by the other’s history? Seems silly, but I felt compelled that something bigger was being taught to me. I did feel pretty small, like, what could I do about this hurting and horrifying reality?

Well, I was also training for a 18k Trail Run – so I was on the treadmill a lot back then (would do me good now!). As I was running one Sunday morning, a fantastic MercyMe song in my ears, I started praying. Asking God, why am I so unable to stop thinking about those children I’m reading out. Borderline obsessive. I even thought I could hear their names at night when I tried to go to sleep – I would cry and pray for these imaginary children.

Again, the word was compelled – I was drawn to this. I asked myself, how could I even begin to be a part of that fight and what was this undoing beginning deep within me?

I started having more symptoms of my own heart’s cry for attention: short – tempered, isolating myself, migraines, huge forgetfulness, unable to recall things, a deep pinching over my hurt – acute panic.

Well, at church that morning, we walk in and the lobby is plastered with Human Trafficking posters! As, they’d joined other churches in the area in a campaign against it. My husband started laughing because I’d shared with him. I was like, what?! Found out there was a free seminar that afternoon. So, I attended.

It was a very quiet meeting. Very respectful of what we were learning about. A grassroots musician played songs he’d written of specific girls he’d met that had been terrorized. The speaker, an author out of California, wrote a book called “Not for Sale.” I, of course, like all in the room, was just moved to tears.

I walked away stunned. Sick. Changed. Determined to fight with them.

But, my soul was crying out for me to pay attention to it FIRST.

Not in a selfish way, but in a: please help address your pain first.

My symptoms just continued. I switched careers thinking that would make me feel better. But, you can’t run from something inside of you. I still had not connected the dots. At this new job, I full on fell apart. Faced bullying at work, but was asked a life changing question from a dear, godly woman in the office: “Why can’t you speak up?” Then, she looked at me all soft as I just stared at her. I couldn’t even get a word to come out. She said, “Ah, it’s just not in you is it?”

I was like, what? WHY aren’t I able to speak up? What’s wrong with me? I could see I was contributing to the situation, but couldn’t, just couldn’t say anything.

So, the little blackouts started – all at work. When triggered in my cube, feeling so trapped, and surrounded by people that were not kind. I had no idea it was recreating the setting for when I was abused in my neighbor’s bathroom.

As things do, one day IT HIT ME. I was with a wonderful friend at her daughter’s dance practice. Her little girl had asked me to come – who could say no to her? ADORABLE. So, while we were there, my friend asked me if I’d ever taken dance when I was little? Yes, I said, I took a class or two of ballet and tap.

As I said this, like a flip book of memories rushed through my mind of myself at that age – the age the abuse happened. Same age as several of our friends little girls. And, that panic I’d been experiencing suddenly became clear: that’s where this was all coming from.

The body has a way of making you deal – but your mind has a way of making sure you’re ready to remember the worst first. So, body got my attention – my mind finally started releasing the memories. No wonder I was always just so tired.

I don’t know how long I stayed at the dance studio, but I went home all shaky. Crying. Of course, not saying anything to anyone at first.

And, that began the 3+ year journey of facing IT. Sometimes I’m really angry about it. Like, God, can’t I just have a chance at normal without some kind of reaction to a situation or person, or sound. I’m highly sensitive as it is.

But, I wonder: what I would be like if I hadn’t been abused? I have no idea.

All I know is, I’m healing. I’m stronger. I’m braver.

And, my heart knew even back then, part of the reason I wanted to recover was to HELP OTHERS.  It wasn’t just for myself. But, I needed to give that little girl in me time to come out of the darkness into the Safe Arms. And, build up trust that even though life WILL continue to throw punches, reminders, evil deceit – what happened to me is OVER. Even if I relive the emotions when I’m triggered, the truth is it is OVER.

But, facing it was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And, it wasn’t pretty. The deep roots of lies planted in me were fierce.

Because facing it as an adult, I truly grasp all that happened to me, what was robbed from me, and the unjust damage done to my femininity and intimacy.

But, I believe in restoration.

So, I came back “home” to Texas. I just needed as much leverage in my brokenness as I could find. Something about being here, gave me a little more power in this. Hard to explain unless you’ve been there.

Without key people in my life I could not have come as far as I have.

So, the thing now is: remembering enough to keep fighting that evil. Because it is real. And, it is attacking people and their souls. And, when I get all mixed up, I know now I can work through it.

So, as I heal, and I share, I look to reaching out to those who are still in that dark place of facing IT.

And, now, it is my HONOR.

He came to bind up the broken hearted (hidden message)

Thank you for listening.

When Things Do Work Out

(Big Heart of Art by qthomasbower on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/qthomasbower/3470650293/)</p>

Life is a mystery. Who hasn’t heard this before? Who hasn’t experienced life to be at times so perplexing it leaves you breathless, sometimes hopeless and dizzy from all the confusion.

When things do not work out, it seems we have been taught that this IS a part of life, if not life itself. Life is a mystery. You never know what you’re going to get.

For some, it may even be that their lot in life is to merely cope with life not working out on a consistent basis. They have become so adept at dealing with the hardships of life that the luxury of asking themselves: what do I want? what do I love? is just that…a luxury that has yet to be indulged.

Why do we teach so much of dealing with what life hands us as hardships? Because: life is hard and all too often cruel and senseless.

But, what about when things DO work out? I venture to say if all you’ve known is no choices, no time to consider yourself, no guidance in honing in on your deep heart’s cries to express itself uniquely – then when things DO work out can be just as much a mystery as when they do not.

What would you do if you one day awoke to realize you have been given your heart’s desire? What if you had the luxury of time to devote to discovery and strengthening your talents?

I dare say, once you do know what it would mean to you for things to work out – it almost propels you forward towards it.

The hard part is often knowing: what would it look like in my life if “things worked out?” Or, has the hollowness of things not working out created enough of a craving in your soul, that all you think about these days are: What if ?

I don’t mean the What If that leads to the spiral of despair and worry – but the What If that lifts your heart, lightens your eyes, stirs that place in you that is creative and fully alive.

I’ll share a little story with you about a part of my own life. I am a writer. I have always been a writer. In my head, I see stories. All the time. In every situation, I’m drafting what’s happening onto paper, sometimes air typing in my sleep, constantly spelling words in my head. I remember as a child, my imagination so full I would fall asleep mid-story. Only to awake, and continue.

It hasn’t changed just because I’m an adult.  Though for a long time, I did dry up so to speak. Life took it’s toll and my soul was weary. The enemy tried to claim a hold on my heart and liveliness. By destroying me from the inside out. But, I am here. Still here. Stronger than I ever thought I would be.

And, in the newness of this life, I see stories again. Nothing to stop me but me.

Here’s part of the story: I’ve been allowing too much of my energy to be taken up with work. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really like to work. But, when the dynamics are so challenging relationally, the stressors and triggers sometimes take me down for a time.

And, I have to retreat to restore.

I had made a list of the things that were stressing me in a bad way at work. You know what I mean. The bad stress is the one that causes nightmares, anxiety, panic attacks. Too much recovery time to deal. The good stress is the one that I find I am challenged to lead, or use more of my skills, to reach down further in me, draw more out.

Well, on this list were about 4 dynamics – you see, these dynamics were all pouncing on that part of my heart and soul that had been so dearly wounded. I could hardly see straight at times from the pain. Hardly hold myself together, sometimes just giving into falling all apart. And, believing I’d never have a wholeness in me where that wounding occurred.

But, by God’s unending grace, I found the strength to show up each day anyways. And, along the way, delighted to be blessed despite the seeming overtaking wave of confusion caused by these things.

I am here to say that all 4 of those things are NOW GONE from my work life.

One by one, they’ve gone away.

And, I learned something exquisite: I realized that the working out was NOT the removal of these things –

It was the beautiful, miraculous healing in my little broken heart.

That, is what has been worked out. Not that my life is all worked out, but that while enduring life, the working out of my heart has happened.

I am choked up at the relief that flooded over me that I had endured it all. Not only am I still  here, but flourishing inside.

My creativity is a direct reflection of my healing. The spark of life inside me is burning brightly and this gives me warmth.

And, I cannot express the gratitude that floods me, except that I’ve been crying on and off for days. That happy, letting it all go, crying.

It is almost MORE mysterious to me when things DO work out, than when they do not.

And, aren’t the childhood stories we so love the ones that help us see what it looks like when things do work out? Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan…we are drawn in because we can relate to some of the pain in the characters and we can also relate to hoping things will get better.

I’m more prepared to accept that I don’t usually get what I want, or what I dream about.

That when the opportunity presents itself to step closer to those things I desire – I’m almost scared.

Same analysis as when things don’t workout: what part did I play in all of this? Is this God? what do I do?

I’m happy to say that many times in my little lifetimes things have worked out for me. Over and over. And, yet, so easy to forget this in the struggling.

So, the opportunity set before me now that I’m experiencing a more whole heart: to do what I’m called to do: write.

And, do not stop.

I will do better to remember the working out of my heart’s healing in this life. And, share it.

Besides, in sharing how I’m learning to fly, someone else may find their wings as well.

And, I won’t be as lonely:

Captain Hook: You know you’re not really Peter Pan, don’t you? This is only a dream. When you wake up, you’ll just be Peter Banning, a cold, selfish man who drinks too much, who’s obsessed with success, and runs and hides from his wife and children!
Too Small: I believe in you.
Latchboy: I believe in you.
No Nap: I believe in you, Peter.
Maggie: I believe in you.
Thud Butt: You are the Pan.
Jack: You’re Peter Pan.
Tinkerbell: I believe in you… Peter Pan.

Friends and loved ones – here’s to the working out in your lives as well.

May the enchantments of your souls exceed the hardships of this world.

I believe in you.

“Throw yourself at the ground and miss” -Douglas Adams

I read a funny article from the Science Creative Quarterly site on how to fly:

http://www.scq.ubc.ca/how-to-fly/

They quote author Douglas Adams as saying that in order to fly you must throw yourself at the ground and miss.

HA! It is poignant. Don’t I spend a lot of the time hoping I won’t fall flat on my face. But in moving forward, I tend to keep my eyes squarely on the path just in front of me. Even at work, it is sort of a joke that I walk head down very quickly, intent on getting to wherever I am headed. Often missing those waving frantically at me, “Melissa!Look up!!”

I have even teased my friends about walking soooo slowly. I just get so ready to be there, I don’t want to take my time.

So for me, aiming at the ground makes perfect sense. It’s the missing part I’m thinking on…

Sometimes it has felt like that ground just jumped right up on top of me! I know you know what I mean.

Sometimes I do walk slowly on purpose, and I notice this forces me to be in tune with myself: my body, my breathing, my thoughts. And, I do not always like it. It is much more comfortable for me to be so hurried I do not have time to connect with myself or others.

Well, thank you to those two gals at work (you know who you are) for slowing me down. For waiting for me outside the door of a stressful meeting and not letting me isolate. As I rushed by them, frantic just wanting to go outside where I could breathe – but they intentionally waited for me…and made me wait for them so I didn’t miss their support.

For sitting with me when I need to be quiet, but knowing making myself all alone is not good.

For helping me miss the ground that day.

I wonder what would happen if I looked up more often? I wonder what, or rather, who am I missing?
Thanks for reading…and, fly with all your might.