Today I am thankful for the chance to have known a very great man who passed away last night. He has been a very good friend of mine for the past 26 years.
We had recently gotten together at the Riverside Bible Camp on Labor Day weekend. I was able to catch up with him and his wife and son. It was super. It was great catching up. I am grateful I had the chance to talk with him and share some great memories with him and his wife.
After feeling like my heart getting stomped on last night, I have been quite reflective over the past hours. Dreams and waking. I woke up with tears. I got K up and off to school. In the shower more tears. Love is more than just spending time with a man. Love is more than just talking about our kids and work. Love is more than touch and closeness. Love is more than sex.
What is real love? I don’t know. I don’t know that I have ever known. Well, maybe. My parents may have been in what is called real love. They were married for 32 years when my dad passed away. I know for certain that they would be still married if he were still alive. My dad was a hard man with the softest heart. He had big hands but yet they were gentle. He was very stern yet you could see gentleness in his eyes. My mom is a wonderful woman. It has taken my many years to see this. Yes, we have had many years that we did not get along. Same with my dad. But yet, I admire them both. I blamed them for years and years and years.
It wasn’t until my late 30’s that I realized that they did the best they could with what they had at that time. With what they knew. How they grew up. My mom has only just recently told me stories of how it was when she was growing up. I understand now, why somethings happened they way they did in my family. That doesn’t excuse the things that happened, that just puts things into some perspective for me. I am not so sure about my dad’s side of the family. I don’t know many stories there. But I do know that my grands were married for forever there. Whereas my grands on mom’s side….g’pa was married 3 times. hmmmmm.
Anyways, enough about that.
Love. Why love me? That is and has been a huge question for me in the past few months. I thought I was pretty content where and what I have been doing and being. But my head has these old messages and “squirrels” as my friend Karen tells me they are called, that continue to tell me how ugly and stupid and horrible I am. Then I look at my arms, my legs, my body. I see SCARS. I see more evidence of how I used to be so ugly and horrible. Let me show you.
This is damage that cannot be undone. When I was in my 20’s and early 30’s, I dealt with my feelings of anger and frustration and well, any feeling I had by cutting. Most needed stitches. The one on my right arm needed surgery to fix. I quit cutting for good in 2009. I also have not been hospitalized for any mental health reasons since late 2009 after a miscarriage.
So scars. They not only are on the outside. But there are numerous on the inside of my body as well. My heart is FULL of them. Sometimes it feels like they will NEVER go away. I know some have. Because of forgiveness. That is a very very hard thing to learn to do. But forgiveness has been a so necessary thing in my life. I can forgive another person as I have an abuser in my life. My question is then, why is it so dang hard to forgive myself?
I go back to those damn squirrels in my head. Those messages that keep telling me I am fat. I am ugly. I am worthless. etc etc. etc. How do I make it stop? I do I forgive myself and let me like me for me? How do I see myself as others see me? How God sees me? How do I let the opinions of other not hurt me, like what happened yesterday? How do I not let that determine my worth?
Here is what I have found and I am not sure what to do with it yet but I am going to keep trying.
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to stop beating ourselves up. I am reading this book called “There Is Nothing Wrong With You: Going beyond self-hate” by Cheri Huber. There is some of what she has to say: Think about it! Which person wants you to run and which person wants you to not to run? There is no mystery in this, folks! It’s not hard to pick out which characters are in which camp. Internally or externally! The person at the Bank of Self-Hate DOES NOT LIKE YOU! It’s important to get that!
It’s not like this person is really pulling for you to get enough money in the bank to do something special for yourself. NO! This person will never give you a dime. You will work yourself to death, and you’ll never get a thing for it. It is really important to understand that!
If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago…. it seems so clear, but because that voice from inside our own heads, we are actually willing to perpetuate the illusion that this person:
-is on our side
-has something valuable to say
-has some sort of merit in life.
But it doesn’t.
It is to be pitied. It is a pathetic thing, It is very sad. It needs rest and care and nurturing. It does not need to be in charge of anybody’s life. And so you can address it with calm and soothing words, as you would a suffering person.
You don’t let it run your life. You don’t let it sign on your bank account. You don’t let it arrange your calendar. You don’t even let it cook for you. Anytime that voice is talking to you that is not talking with love and compassion, don’t believe it! Even if it is talking about someone else, don’t believe it. Even if it is directed at someone else, it is the voice of your self -hate. It is simply hating you through an external object. It can hate you directly by telling you what a lousy, rotten person you are and it can hate you indirectly by pointing out what’s wrong “out there”.
If the voice is not loving, don’t listen to it. don’t follow it, don’t believe it. NO EXCEPTIONS!
Even if it says it’s “it’s for your own good,” it is not. It’s for is good, not yours. This is the same as when parents talk to you in a hateful tone of voice “for your own good”. It’s for their good. It make them feel better. It does not make you better. (And it does not make you behave “better”)
This book is good….very good. It’s more of a book of an ongoing conversation…..between 2 people….like arguing with yourself. Check it out.
So anyways, I need to heal some more scars. My heart needs some healing. God is out there today. He has “appeared” in many ways this morning alone. In my devotions…I read about God’s word heals my heart so I can do my purpose. I have a Bible verse bandage for today: Romans 8:28 “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. He appointed them to be saved in keeping with his purpose.”
Then……my verse of the day from YouVersion.com came to me earlier too: Ephesians 1:13-14 ” You also became believers in Christ. That happened when you heard the message of truth. It was the good news about how you could be saved. When you believed, he marked you with the seal. The seal is the Holy Spirit that he promised. The spirit marks us as God’s own. We can now be sure that someday we will receive all that God has promised. That will happen after God sets all of his people completely free. All of those things will bring praise to his glory.”
Then…….my verse of the day from KTIS (the Christian radio station here in the Cities) popped up awhile ago with this: 1 Cor 1:8 “He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.”
If that doesn’t say something for me today…I don’t know what does? If God is for me….who can be against me? I think it’s time to let the healing begin.
I also want to share a song by Mandisa that she wrote about scars. It’s a beautiful and wonderful song. I know that Steven Curtis Chapman also has a beautiful song called Scars too. You Tube it. it’s awesome.
I am the Chief Meteorologist at FOX 9 in Minneapolis; I love my life, love my wife, love my daughters and love my dog...kinda like the cat. I lost a third of my lower lip to squamous cell cancer in 2016...it is now early 2017 and this blog will hopefully serve as my therapuetic writing journey through topical chemotherapy treatment