As I sit comfy on my couch, snuggled into the cushions and feeling safe in the sanctity of my home, I am keenly aware of the adventure I am about to embark on this evening. I will begin a seminar tonight, that is a pretty large commitment of time and energy. It is called “BreakThrough” and it is described on the website as “A Training Experience in Spiritual Formation and Personal Effectiveness”.
That all sounds a bit wishy-washy and like a lot of New Age stuff to me, but since I am blessed to know some people who have attended this seminar and since my own brother asked me to do this, I am giving it a go. Truth be told, I have been holding on to the hope of getting a lot of help through this process that is about to begin. This weekend, I will be at the seminar Friday evening from 6:30 to 10pm, Saturday from 9:30am to 10pm, and Sunday from 9:30am to 4:00pm. Since it is about 45 minutes away from my house, I am going to go ahead and say that this is going to be a long weekend!
The seminar consists of four components or sections, so this weekend is the first of four. The second is 4-5 day retreat in a little less than 2 weeks from now. The other two are in July. So, this truly is a commitment of mass proportions to the girl who leaves her house little and is challenged with chronic pain and health issues.
I’m committed to myself and to getting healthy. I have a great desire to experience less sadness in my life and less friction in my significant relationships, most obviously with my spouse. But as my kind doctor reminded me yesterday, “a healthy relationship must begin with a healthy relationship with yourself”. I am afraid that my relationship with myself has not been the most nurturing kind. And, I’m sure that I am going to have the opportunity to exam the “why” of that here real soon.
I am not new to therapy. I have been in and out of counselor’s offices since my mom first took us all to a family counselor when I was around 10 years old. 23 years later, and I can say that I have visited with a counselor at some point within almost all 23 of those years, maybe more like 18 out of the 23, but I think you get the idea. Not a new concept, but there are always new approaches. I also believe that as we grow, age, experience life, we might be able to comprehend an “old” concept a little better, maybe on a deeper level. I can also say, that never before in my life have I been so aware of the fact that what I have been doing for the last 25-30 years to cope with stress, trauma and life, is not working well for me and is not producing wellness.
We all learn coping mechanisms when we are young and often we often don’t even know what they are. I have come to realize recently that I laugh a lot when I am feeling nervous, vulnerable or when I am trying to avoid feeling the emotions of the moment. It doesn’t seem like I have much control over that behavior, but I hope that I will soon learn how to relax more easily and also allow myself to experience the emotions somehow.
My greatest hope above hopes is that in this experience I will be able to break through the protective walls that I have put up around my heart and soul, that I will break through the coping mechanisms that do not allow me to feel well and whole. I hope that as I go through this process I will break through to find me on the other side, and the person that I have not allowed myself to feel and be. That also means that I will be able to share her with you! I hope you somehow find that exciting, as I truly do!
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.