Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Time for change..

Two more young lives lost to suicide.  Why? Because they didn’t fit into a “box” and their peers made sure they knew it?  I wonder, how many of those who threw taunts and jeers at the girls have taken a moment to reflect on what they said with remorse?  Something tells me that any regrets felt over something said will be pondered in private while the “mean girls/boys” openly gloat at the power they held, even for a moment over the lives of these two young girls.
If you detected anger in what I wrote, then you perceived correctly. What is happening to our society? How long do we have to walk through this living graveyard, busy with our own lives while the spirits of our children continue to die a little more each day?  How many monuments to a life ended too soon, too tragically, need to litter the cemeteries of our towns before someone says “enough”?
 I feel as though we’ve lost our grasp on what is truly important in life (caring for one another) in favor of material possessions and social status. I read some of the comments left in regards to this tragic story with a heavy heart.  People who think that bullying is just a part of life that needs to be endured, simply tolerated until you can get away from it. Really? Is that the answer? Perhaps if our children were taught to love and respect one another rather than having to be the “cool kid” then we wouldn’t be reading stories such as these.
Yes, the problem has been around as long as man has, but not with such vicious glee.  Just like many others out there, I was picked on during my school years, an easy target because of my extreme shyness and lack of clique clothes.  Although I didn’t take make the irreversible choice to end the suffering, there were times when whispers of suicide drifted through my mind with extreme enticement.   I may not have known God then, but my spirit for life kept me here and for than I am grateful because I wouldn’t have had the chance to discover how beautiful life truly can be. I wouldn’t have known the joys of overcoming life’s darkness and walking a path bathed in His light.
How long will we allow ourselves to be a society ashamed of our faith, afraid to tell our children that God loves them and through Him all things are possible? We need to find these little lost lights and put them where they belong, into the sad hearts of those who feel as though there is no answer other than death, into the angry hearts of those who feel the need to lash out at others, into the very hearts of those who have lost their way in the world.
Life shouldn’t be a painful experience; it should be filled with love, happiness and a passion for sharing those very things with others.
I’m ready for a change, are you?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Saying goodbye

We all say “goodbye, see you, or even, farewell”, at least once a day, every day. Some of these separations are momentary, small windows of time in our daily lives, while others are permanent; heart-wrenching in their finality.
 There is a 5 year old little girl who I said a final goodbye to last week, yet I will not miss her. Those curly locks of dark hair, coupled with haunting brown eyes will always be with me, but saying farewell was one of the most freeing things I’ve ever experienced. She was needy, clinging to me in such a way that I was constantly smothered by her cries of “love me, love me, PLEASE love me."
She didn’t help me to live a better life; in fact she caused me pain beyond belief, dragging me into abusive relationships, thoughts of suicide and a walk through darkness in which I am just now coming to terms with. This child made me feel unworthy of love, making me seek people who would show me how right she was. She didn’t know how to accept love, and in return, it was not given.
I know her story. I lived with her through the darkest of her days, held her close when the tears seemed never ending, and helped her write the first, second, and even third, ‘goodbye world’ letter.  Although I always did and still do admire her skills of mental prowess and courage, there were many days I despised them as well, wondering why she didn’t just end it all. Why live a life of numbness when there is an eternity of nothingness waiting within arm’s reach?  
It took 40 years, but I am finally rid of this needy, clinging child, completely lacking any sort of self-esteem or feelings of self-worth.  She was put into a box and buried, but I have no intentions of visiting her grave, for it is surrounded by shadows and a darkness which would love nothing more than to swallow me whole. 
Don’t be sad for her, she’s where she should have been all along. In finally relegating my 5 year old self to the past and all its memories, rather than carrying her with me like a badge, I am finally able to live freely, with love felt in total abandonment. I can dance, I can sing, I can laugh without her clawing at me, asking how I dare to feel joy when she is immersed in pain.
That little girl finally knows that she was loved all along, never abandoned, never alone. I had the caring arms of God wrapped around me all along. Knowing this allows me to stop seeking that which was with me all along, LOVE.
Goodbye little girl, we are all grown up.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Means of beauty..

   Plato once quoted Socrates as saying "By means of beauty, all beautiful things become beautiful".  I believe the same can be applied by means of ugly. If it is poured into you enough, the words whispered and bounced around in your mind on a daily, hourly, minute by minute basis, then you become what is spoken. Ugly.
  In every life, there is a memory so monumental, a moment so great, that time seems to stand still. What happens though, if you become stuck in that moment, if that very memory of wretchedness wraps its cold wet tendrils around your heart so firmly that every breath you take brings you back there again? What if all the colors that were once so vibrant fade to shades of grey, the birds stop singing, and your happiness is sucked into a vacuum of mangled memories?
 If the ugliness of 'what was' serves as your everyday foundation, seeping into your thoughts, the very words you utter, and every person becomes the enemy, then what? Simply put, you stop living, forget that you're breathing, that there is a heart pumping an essence into veins filled with a life that you cease to notice; it is no longer a tangible existence, rather a memory of what was.
  Since finding my way back to life, I often look at others, those who once blended into the landscape of my own misery-unnoticed by someone breathing the same dead air-and I wonder if they even realize how accustomed they have become to carrying the dead-weight of pain and misery around?
  Therapists (and those who pretend to be) look at an overweight person and say "eating to cover their pain", when they truly have no idea that it's not a means to mask, rather a way to feed the hurt, give it fuel in order to have a moments reprive from the gnawing hunger of emptiness buried deep within a starving soul.
 Over-eatering, alcoholism, self-mutilation...regardless the addiction, it is born of a need, an attempt to grab onto something a world of gray cannot name, will not allow you to grasp hold of.
  How do I know? Because I've been there, done that. That girl you see stuffing another morsel into her already overstuffed cheeks, is me. That person sneaking a bottle of  liquid spirit into a shopping cart, furtively looking around to see if anyone noticed, is me. That teenager walking around with self inflicted battle scars running up and down their arm, me again.
 Don't judge, don't judge, don't judge! Every addiction, every bit of baggage we choose to drag around, is born of a need, a way to grasp hold of life, regardless how tentative that very hold may be.
  Whether someone is holding on with all 10 fingers, or just one, it doesn't matter. It's the moment they loosen the grip that our chance to reach out and help has passed.
  Tell me, if you look into the eyes of desperation today, regardless of the body they belong to, what will you do? Turn and walk away, or offer a smile/word of encouragement?

 "By means of beauty, all beautiful things become beautiful".  What are your means? They can be the very thing that starts time for someone whose clock of life froze in a moment of pain.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Puzzle Pieces..

  We all have a story to tell, puzzle pieces of our lives to be put into place, but, what if in telling/sharing that story you realize there are pieces of you that are missing?
   Usually in aging, becoming a more mature and refined version of yourself, you carry what was into what is. You become a whole picture that can be reflected on over the years, brought out for a moments enjoyment then tucked away until a sojourn down memory lane is needed again.
   It's the very meshing of who you were over the years into who you've become that makes up the puzzle of your life. Unless of course, someone comes along and yanks you off the path which was yours to walk and forces you onto one of their own, a dark little trail where hopes of happiness are left behind. Then what?
Then, (if you don't have the right tools in which to overcome)who you were meant to be, becomes the evil essence of who they are.
  My brother, in the space of one short afternoon, stole my innocence, lead me astray, deep into a tangled mass of overgrown brush, and dark pits yawning wide in hopes of swallowing me whole, so that not even the empty shell of a child could be left behind.  Sadly, the emptiness was there, but I never stepped over the edge of that beckoning pit, the one screaming at me to just "end it all", and for that I am completely grateful because I would never know how amazing it is to finally be filled with light.
  Darkness, evil, yes, Satan, does his best to steal our happiness and keep it just out of arms reach without our even knowing where it is, or how to get it back. There are so many people complacently walking in a fog of grey, missing pieces of who they are, and doing nothing to change it because they feel as though they deserve whatever lot in life was handed to them. I know this because the great deceiver whispered words of woe and devastation into my listening ears for many, many years.

 Isn't it time to step away from the masses of misery and journey into happiness? If I could do it, so too can you. Keep reading, sharing my walk and you may realize how close happiness has been all are not alone.

My puzzle has very few pieces of the past missing these days. What about yours?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Not always what it seems...

Two weeks ago as I sat with my husband, waiting to be called into the Doctor's exam room, the door opened and out walked a teenage girl.
 At first glance she seemed quite normal, the very picture of teenage smugness written on her face. (ah yes, the know it all years). I started to look away, but then something caught my eye as she slipped her hand into her jackets sleeve. It wasn't the brightly painted nails, displaying a riot of colors I could never dream of wearing in public, nor was it the wristful of bangle bracelets playing a musical medley as they were pushed through the jackets tight sleeve. No, what caught my eye and held me in a moment of awestruck dumbfoundedness were the neat little rows of cuts lined up in painstakingly perfect formation on her upper arm. She did nothing to hide her self-mutilation, instead she seemed almost proud of these bright red slivers sliced into her delicate flesh.
As I looked around at my fellow gawkers, staring at this young girl in obvious disgust, I couldn't help but caress my own arm, searching for the scars that are no longer noticable on the outside, yet felt deeply within. Although I had an overwhelming urge to smile at this child in silent commiseration, I tamped it down, knowing she wouldn't understand, not yet.
What is it she wouldn't understand? Simply put, the fact that the grown woman staring at her mangled mess of an arm gets it.
Oh yes, I know what it's like to want so badly to feel something, anything, that even a moment of pain is better than complete emptiness. I grasp completely, without question that the feeling of life, even at it's most painful is keeping her from taking the plunge into an abyss of darkness.
If she had looked at me in that moment of my own self reflection, made eye contact and read the smile in my eyes, she would have been confused as to why it was there, probably responding with a sneer of disgust directed at me. But, just in case she (or the other "shes" out there) ever reads this I want her to know that those little soldiers lined up in perfect little formations on her battle field of delicate flesh represent a need for life, for something other than the dark emptiness she is in right now.
To want to feel is to want to live, and that need for life is a testimony to a greater power, a God waiting to pour those missing feelings of love back into you. I know because after 40 years, I finally have them myself.

For anyone who reads this, please remember that not everything is always as it seems. That angry face a child/teenager sends your way may be masking a deeper need, a cry for help hidden in the depths of  angry, ugly, painful words.  React with love, pour into them what they so desperately need.

God Bless