I'm blogging through Kathy Escobar's fantastic series, Rebuilding after Deconstructing, in an effort to clarify some things for myself, to share my story, and to encourage forward motion. This is so not about whining or placing blame, or picking on any person or institution. Just the story of God and me, up to now... abridged.
Next up is Celebrating What Was and honestly, I've been stuck on this part for over a week, because I'm having a hard time writing about some things in my past without sounding like I'm bashing people. That's certainly not the point of this exercise. So, here we go again. Maybe I can say it right this time.
This part is all about looking at seasons of one's life that caused feelings of hurt, shame or maybe just embarrassment, and finding something to celebrate about each season. It's hard, because people are complicated and life is messy. I think the place to start is looking at my own progression. There are things I've said and done over the course of my life that are just plain embarrassing, but they're a reflection of where I was at the time and not my essential self.
The truth I keep coming back to is this: when I'm gentle with myself, I can be more gentle with others (insert whatever word necessary: patient, kind, etc....) I've been able to let go of a ton of burdensome, poisonous, grudgy junk because of that truth.
So I look back over my entire journey, and ask--how does God see it? I think he sees the big picture. Where I've been, where I'm headed. Just that thought covers everything with peace and takes my anxiety away. I don't know if everything happens for a reason, but I do believe that God redeems.
Because of hard times in my life, I have gained
- insight into human nature
- a backbone (I'm a little more aware of manipulative techniques now I think)
- knowledge about myself, how I respond to different situations, what my "deal-breakers" are, what my true joys are
- the ability to put up needed boundaries
- gratefulness for genuine friendship
- an ability to be myself and let go of the constant need for approval (a work in progress)
- the ability to say NO
Those are the biggies I think. Letting go is beautiful and so freeing. On to better things, carrying the lessons of the past with me like the treasures that they are.