All posts filed under: Healing

What Rob and Harry Taught Me About the Power of my Words

Every relationship I’ve ever been in grew from a seed of curiosity. An irresistible, dangerous curiosity that calls you to it like siren song. I think too much and often find myself turning past romantic encounters over and over in my mind. Just as river currents smooth out the rough edges of a rock as it turns it in its midst, it’s as if I think that if I reflect on them enough, perhaps the power of my mind can smooth out the unforgiving, snagging edges of my memories and make them into something neat and digestible. I reflect on them and think and think and then think some more, but I rarely speak about them out loud. My therapist Jill once told me that healthy doesn’t attract unhealthy, only unhealthy does. “Hurting, broken people attract others just like them,” was the way she put it. I saw in my mind a parade of broken, passionate albeit responsible men I’ve loved throughout my story and wondered what it meant. In the past few weeks, I’ve …

Biblical Womanhood: When You Feel Like You Don’t Fit the Mold

A few months ago, I went on a second date with a guy who called me “cool.” We sat in the dim lighting of a local restaurant and he said, “You’re the kind of girl my friends would love. You’re a pretty cool chick.” I smiled and laughed; after all, it was a compliment. Yet, I couldn’t help but mull this compliment over and I found myself obsessively dissecting it in my brain. Since becoming a Christian, I’ve often found myself struggling with my identity. “Sure, I’m cutting away at sin in my life, but am I biblical?” I ask. “Do I have a good reputation in my church family? Am I perceived as Godly?” In the world of evangelical Christianity, there is usually a mold. There is a prescription for what it means to be a woman in the church outlined in the biblical womanhood podcasts and Proverb 31 bible study workbooks. In many ways, I fit it. I’d consider myself to have very traditional values and interests. I love baking, I throw down in the kitchen, …

Finding Peace Amongst the Chaos

I’ve had the opportunity to visit New York City several times and I am amazed each time. The towering buildings, bustling streets and endless nightlife make the city very unique. I love to watch the people who appear to be locals and wonder what it must be like to live or work in such a busy city. I marvel at the beautiful women walking quickly on 5th Avenue in their high  heels and wonder if their feet hurt. I watch the men in business suits hustling from cabs into buildings and wonder how they keep the pace. The noise and lights of Times Square is exhilarating to the senses. Restaurants, shops and entertainment line the streets of this “city that never sleeps.” It’s full of so many distractions, I wonder how anyone gets anything accomplished! But nothing amazes me as much as Central Park. An oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle, it offers green grass, water, and peace to those who visit. Each time I visit I wonder how often the people who …

I Want To Talk About Mourning Your Story

I cried at work. The ugly kind of cry that makes it hard to breathe and sends mascara running in black rivers down your face.  My boss described it as sudden, almost manifesting out of thin air. “I understand you’ve been going through a challenging time,” he said, his green eyes bright and shimmering with concern, “but it’s like it suddenly came to the surface all at once.” He then gave me time to compose myself in the women’s bathroom. “I can’t have you crying all over the Warhol,” he said. He was half-joking, yet entirely serious. A few weeks ago, Andrew told me he was worried, “You’ve always felt things deeply and had this sense of sadness around you, but I’ve never seen you with this much of it.” He’s known me for almost ten years and within that decade, he’s been witness to all the times I dropped a plate because I was suddenly overtaken by sobbing while doing the dishes. He knows all of the restless nights spent staring at the ceiling; …

A Prayer for Orlando

I was on my way to church when I saw the news. My feet pounded the pavement as I weaved through the skyscrapers that surrounded me with their various shades of endless grey. Orlando. The breaking of my heart wasn’t instant; it lingered in the temporary sphere of disbelief and denial, still recovering from the last violent rupture that had occurred too recently, too close to this one. It’s not possible, not again, I’d told myself. My inner dialogue of self-reassurance was frantic, running along before the reality hit me all at once, all at the same time. My soul collapsed under the weight of that instant grief. On the feed of my Twitter, I saw that the deadliest mass shooting in American history had occurred the night before while I’d rested quietly at home, oblivious. The afternoon before it happened, I’d met up with my friend, Kevin, at a conference for the LGBTQ+ community. “This is just the most accepting and open-minded place,” he’d told me; the excitement he’d felt about the love that …

The Mess of Healing Work

I love my therapist. On Friday, the close of one of the worst weeks I can remember, I sat across from her and tried to put my feelings into words while my tears mixed with snot and she looked at me with that loving expression she wears. “You’ve had it rough,” she sighs and shakes her head, “You’ve had it rougher than most women.”  “I can’t help but feel like even when nothing bad is happening, there’s always SOMETHING — some sort of pain or sadness,” my words lingered in the air between us. “You are healing and overcoming a lot,” she stated, “It stings to clean and heal wounds that are cut that deep.” Healing is often viewed as gentle and therapy as therapeutic. The image we see in our minds is a process that lessens the pain more and more or a journey that gets easier and easier, but I’ve found that this isn’t really the case. I used to think that when I did everything by the book, showing up for therapy …

When the Past Is Holding Onto You

It’s me Lord. I’ve been hurt. This sincere, six-worded phrase is one that I find myself speaking in prayer over and over again. I have learned over the course of my life that in order to get through a situation, I must confront it. By confronting my situation, I mean bringing it to the feet of Jesus and letting Him take care of it. It’s not because I am easily offended, but this prayer is an overflow of feelings that emerge due to my past. Growing up, we experience situations and learn many lessons that cultivate us into the adults that we are. However, one very important lesson that we miss is the one about forgiving the past and letting go. We are frail human beings compelled by circumstances we have no control over and cannot change. Sadly, our future actions are governed by the hurts of our past, and we miss out on growing to the potential God has set for us. God never intended for us to be burdened by the things of …

What My Ex Taught Me About Confronting My Source

I think I fell for Andy because of his energy. My spiritual mentor Jacklyn once said that I have a flow energy. This was confirmed by Finn, the adorable British guy I went on a date with last week, who told me that my energy moves in an undulating motion, unfurling what he called its “controlled wildness” in deep, purple colors. I once wrote that the one for me would be a forest, deep and mysterious. My first love, Andy, was that forest, but not the calm and quiet one I imagined. He was ablaze and I could hear the roar, feel the heat on my skin. I lived in that tense moment listening to the crackle of the dry wood, waiting for my skin to be marked by its overwhelming glory. His energy roared and climbed and darted. He was intense and competitive, smirked at challenges, and just couldn’t care less about what anyone else thought. Together, we weren’t a slow melting of complementary elements that molded together into something shiny or new, but a wildfire …

Leaning Into the Triggers

I outlined the Girl Code for Rachel over white hot cocoa and a slice of berry-lavender pie, “FYI, my most-trusted girlfriends don’t talk to him. So, since you are one of them, you should follow suit.” In her complete lack of tolerance for stupidity, she smirked. “I can’t talk to him?” she clarified. I knew how it sounded, but my conviction was stubborn and unwavering, “Of course not. That’d be awkward. And he never cared much about bothering to remember my friends anyway, so whatever.” I guess you could say that I haven’t exactly been killing it in the emotional maturity thing in this particular area. I’ve recently started to feel like my broken pieces from last summer are starting to fit back together. There’s still a lot of tender spots felt around the parts of my heart and ego that got hit the hardest, but I’m starting to move into a quiet resignation. A few days ago I told Lyosha, “Now that I’m past the situation and examining it from the outside-in, I can …

Forgiving Yourself for the Silence

TRIGGER WARNING: This piece deals with non-explicit themes of domestic violence and assault.  “You know how we each have something that keeps us up at night?” The hum of the voices in the coffee shop whirled around me as I typed out the words to my friend from undergrad, Rachel. I paused and looked out the window into the depths of a late-February nighttime. The dark road of my city shimmered under the lamplights, moist from the afternoon’s rain shower. After the pause that all confessions require, I told her what kept my eyes open at 2 am, what tossed me around in my bed when I fell asleep, what moved through my dream state and lived as a permanent squatter in my subconscious. “For me, it’s the fact that I stayed silent.” As I hit “send,” I was transported away from the small table with my headphones and half-finished packet of organic fruit snacks and back into 2011. “I regret that I never reported it. That I just let him graduate magna cum laude …