I am sitting on the couch. Outside my window, the snow is falling gently, landing softly on everything in sight. Worship is playing on the television. My kids are tucked in their beds with sniffles & coughs, being entertained by tablets.
This is my normal for right now.
Quite frankly, I’ve been feeling shame about it.
I didn’t realize that’s what was going on, yet here I am being smacked in the face with the realization that I am feeling ashamed of my process & my mess.
Everyone is moving forward, which they totally should, but I’m not ready to. I don’t want to hold onto my pain forever, but I haven’t figured out what I can use it for yet…& so here I sit. Determined to rise again. To be inspiring to anyone who notices. Not because I want to be great or have it “be about me”, but because I want my pain to have been for more than just to break me.
So I sit. I soak in the music. I make sure everyone is fed & that the house doesn’t smell awful. I’m trying my best to stay on top of bath times & nail clippings. But it’s harder than I’d like to admit. The amount of energy it takes me to get up & do these things seems insurmountable @ times. Then when I finally act, I am exhausted after.
As I was talking with my Dad the other day I brought up how we can’t rotate which part of ourselves we care for. We can’t just take care of ourselves spiritually without also caring for our physical & our mental needs. We are complex beings & so we need multiple things to live healthy lives.
Yesterday, I got myself to therapy. Made myself eat, even though I didn’t want to, & did some reading & meditating on spiritual things.
It’s not pretty.
It’s definitely not perfect.
but, It IS enough. because it’s what I’ve got right now.
Later I will have more to give, & I promise I will give more when I’m able. That will not be today.
Today, I’d rather sit in solitude. I’ve texted some people because I don’t want anyone to worry too much about me & even though I’m exhausted I DO care about others. I just don’t have much to give right now. It’s difficult admitting that. It’s difficult accepting that. So I’m adding that to the list of things I’m working on.
Although I love so many people, I am finding myself not wanting to be by anyone. I was using the word reclusive to describe this. A certain part of me even felt like I was hiding. Hiding from questions. Hiding from people’s ideas on how I could get better or how things would be better someday. Hiding from the stories of how other people have been through what I’ve been through. Hiding because these things are precious & valuable & I just don’t have the capacity to receive them right now even though I desperately want to.
So today as I curled up in my spot on the couch & pulled up YouTube on the television to soak in worship some more & I noticed one of my favorite worship leaders had spoken at a church in November. The video popped up in my suggested column. I was intrigued so I started watching & listening. I ended up pausing it, getting paper & pen & writing down as much as I could. It was just what I needed!
This woman spoke my heart. She had a personality that seemed similar to mine. As I watched her speak I imagined that I would speak in similar way if I were ever in that situation.
Awkward & passionate.
As she was wrapping up she said something that I just loved:
Solitude is not isolation.
Here are some definitions per Momma Google:
- Solitude: the state or situation of being alone.
- Isolation: the process or fact of isolating or being isolated.
- Isolated: having minimal contact or little in common with others.
Jesus, our example, constantly slipped away from his disciples [friends] to be in solitude with the Father.
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place & rest awhile.” Mark 6:31a
Every minute I’ve spent with friends has been a lovely & much-needed gift.
Every minute I’ve spent in solitude with Jesus @ home has been brutiful & necessary for me to step forward into healing.
The Poetry Bandit said it so well: “when alone feels too good, it’s time to come up for love.”
Friends, let’s heal in the quiet solitude. Let’s ask the hard questions while sitting safely in our homes, without fear of judgment. Let’s cry & stare into space. Let’s read scripture. Scoff. Read it again & let it penetrate our hearts. Let us put worship on, allowing it to be a balm for our broken hearts.
BUT then let’s push ourselves a bit & make sure we check in on others. Let us be careful to not isolate ourselves inside of our pain. Drive to a friend’s house or ask someone to come sit on your couch with you. It doesn’t have to be glamorous, or over the top, & we don’t even have to be our usual self. We just need to allow others to love us in our awkward & hurting state.
There is no rush to healing. There is no timeline for grief. Let’s just be sure to take care of all of us as we keep moving forward on the journey through the grief/hurt/pain.
The Mess in Me Honors the Mess in You