As I sit recuperating from a wisdom tooth removal, in the middle ground of pain and healing (hope you caught that), I reflect on my 2015. There are a couple things I learned along the way, and I thought I'd share them with you.
I didn't love myself the way I thought I did. People really think that they are experts at loving themselves until they go through something and realize they didn't quite have a good grip. There were a lot of days when I looked in the mirror and was happy with what I saw, but still many days when I looked at her, or them, or it, or anything outside of myself and felt the void of self-acceptance. Loving yourself is so important. How else can you teach others how to love you if you haven't shown you? How can you know what to look for externally if you haven't set standards internally? Insecurity is real and I found that this year, and even still to this moment, I have a lot of them. It's okay though. A quote I read sums up my point: "show me all the parts of you that you do not love so I know where to begin." I started and will continue to uncover everything that I have not mastered loving about myself and commit to loving every single one of them.
I was broken. You don't really realize how broken you are until you start to uncover wounds that never healed. I was hurting. There were so many days that I sobbed or felt empty and could not figure out why. There were so many times that I drew connections to what was hurting me and yet, could not heal because it was too painful. Little by little, I refused to allow the brokenness to suffocate me though. One day, the dam broke, and I did nothing to stop it. Since then, the river has been flowing, and it is a beautiful thing. Brokenness is beautiful. Painful? ABSOLUTELY. Downright crippling sometimes? ABSOLUTELY. Feels like your soul is being pulled apart? ABSOLUTELY. But beautiful. So many of us do so much to hide our brokenness, hide those things that are still bleeding because we think we're supposed to have it all together. No. Embracing your brokenness will allow someone else to embrace theirs. And brokenness doesn't have to stay forever. Healing does come, but you have to be willing to uncover those wounds, let them bleed and then allow them to scar first.
See, when you get a wound, in order for it to heal properly and without infection, you must first make sure it's clean. That means getting everything that stands in the way of that, out of the cut. But that hurts like heck. That is the moment that hurts sometimes even more than the wound itself. Whether peroxide or alcohol, people wince at the cleaning, even though they have good knowledge that they'll feel better once its cleaned. After the cleaning, you cover the wound up so nothing bothers it, maybe put some antibiotics on it, and let it heal. While it's healing though, it itches or feels tight, almost like it's giving you reminders that it's there. Then, one day, it's healed and all that's left of the wound is a scar. Brokenness is like that. Whatever has hurt and wounded us, we have to uncover, let it bleed and clean it out. It hurts like a mother, but you realize healing is so much better so you push forward. That wound will send us reminders while it is healing, but we realize those reminders no longer hold the magnitude of the pain. Then, one day, we wake up and the wound is a scar. A scar that reminds us of the wound, but no longer hurts. Everyone is not willing to go through that process though, and I had to, and still have to learn that. Everyone does not want to uncover their wounds, and feel the intensity of the pain. Even when I noticed brokenness of others, I had to wait until they were ready to deal, instead of pushing them to go. All I could do was support.
A year really makes a difference. I got my Master's Degree, started a new job, moved back home to NY, and became single, amongst other things. If you asked me last year what 2015 would have looked like, I would probably not be accurate in my prediction. I thought for sure employment in Alabama. Thought I'd be continuing down the relationship path to serious commitment. Thought I'd be pretty sure about next steps. But little did I know, God had something else in store. Trust me when I tell you accepting His alternatives was not easy by any means. I wanted what I wanted, and my heart was broken when I didn't get it. But I had to trust that by God giving me something else, or really Himself, It would be better than my first choice.
2015 was the year of revealing. My growing up process game was strong. I never had to face so much of myself, and actually deal with it, but I'm so glad I accepted the challenge. I plan to love myself fiercely, be courageous enough to uncover my wounds, feel the pain, and heal, and commit to grieving for everything I lost, while trusting that God did not and will not abandon me. I am sooooo ready for what 2016 has because I see healing. Everything won't make sense, but I'm sure things will fall into place.
In anticipation of great things,