Friday, January 28, 2011

Want me? Need me?

I'm guest posting over at Emerging From Broken, come on over and see the post and the great comments that are being shared as well.  Look for a fresh post here over the weekend!

"I was taught to take the abuse because I was obligated to they needed me for that role.  When I STOPPED being available, when their NEED wasn’t met then my life, my wishes to be wanted were revealed to have no value.  I was being taught a very wrong lesson about need and want."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Love isn't about Hurt

This is the first time I'm going to be doing a two part post, one here and one on Strawberry Roan.  I've been seriously drawn to do this, especially for our sisters and brothers who believe that desires of humans trump the will of God.  This verse is the one that pushed me forward, and I hope you'll join me here and over there as well.

There is no fear in love; 
but perfect love casteth out fear ...—1 John 4:18

When they said, I love you but I don't like you there was no love.
When they said, You better love them they are your ____ there was no love.
When the said, You have to love me on my terms there was no love.

When you said I'm afraid and they laughed and then punished you for not loving them right there was no love.

I've come to a huge, world shattering understanding in my life and that is I cannot truly love you if I fear you.  I cannot live and breathe and be love if there is control, neglect, abuse, obligation and fear.

My second huge, world healing understanding has been when there is love the fear can be cast out.  Fear, like a living thing, doesn't go easily but it cannot live where there is love.  Fear must feed and to feed it needs tears, pain, hurt, mistrust, greed, and blood.  When those things are absent, so is fear.

I was taught fear  and I was taught obligatory love but what I wasn't taught was this: neither of these things are love.

I yearned towards God and God's love.  I wanted so badly to share in that but even the church became a place of fear and a supposed 'man of God' delivered that fear.  The threats of wrath and the who would believe someone like YOU kept me thinking that there was something wrong but no one could tell me what that was.  More on this over at Strawberry Roan...

Fear had an icy hand on my life for so long...and looking back I realize that fear isn't a hand.

Fear is a glove that abusers wear.
Fear is a hammer that controllers wield.
Fear is a threat that bullies wave around.

Fear can be healthy don't think it can't.  It was fear that made me run away from an abusive family and ex husband.   It was fear that drove me to consider seriously the impact of certain people in my life. 

 Fear can keep us alive.  Fear can also keep us from living.

Fear is not love.  Love is not fear.

Love isn't about hurting someone.
Love isn't about using fear to control someone.
Love is imperfect, human and all to wonderful but with all the things that it is fear is not one of them.

I refused to stay living in fear, and that meant setting some boundaries and establishing some distance.  Strangely, I should have feared doing that, but instead I was set free!  Isn't that something?

What fears have held you away from love?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Stronger In Broken Places

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward
some are strong at the broken places.” 
Ernest Hemingway 

Broken places.  When I think about broken places I think of hurt, confusion, surprise and mostly healing.  Not all broken places are the same, there are as many ways to break as there are kinds of people.  

Some people are broken by circumstances which are entirely beyond their control.  Others are broken by those they should have been able to trust but in the end were not.  

Accidental or intentional Hemingway was right we all are broken.  Some breaks are small, bruises on the bone.  They may pass with only a lingering ache to remind you of the hurt.  Other breaks are larger but with quick care they heal straight and strong.  They also ache but they are not crippling.  

There is a sympathy, an empathy with these breaks.  They are socially and visually acceptable as injuries.  You didn't do anything to deserve them and there is no crippling after effects to make people uncomfortable.  No one ever deserves abuse I just want to be clear, but for most people they like that things have a simple reason which is easy to accept.  Abuse is neither and so for so many the after affects make them uncomfortable.  They would rather see something accidental than to face something intentional.

Sometimes, though, there are breaks which are not set straight, they never get a chance to properly heal and they leave us with limps and twists.  They can cause us to stumble and fall.  They are, to others and sometimes ourselves, both embarrassing and hard to ignore.

They make us, the survivors, very aware of our breaks.  They make us, the survivors, very aware of both our weak spots and the strong ones.

Those broken places that didn't heal are covered in scars, calcified bones and even bone chips.  The skin shows the bumps and scars.  The bones of our bodies, minds and spirits were broken but no one took the time to help them heal.  There was no caring hands there was no brace or splint.  We survived, some of us thrive, but we all limp, drag or twist.

Underneath though, in the strong places, we are stronger for surviving. Whether it be from war, abuse, neglect or other horrors.  We are stronger because we survived.  

We may not be pretty but there is a beauty in the broken places and in  the scars.  The beauty is that of a spring emerging from a dreadful winter, the flowers blooming in the barrenness of a landslide, the first green that comes out of the scorched, fire burnt earth. 

There is a beauty in our broken places which doesn't get enough recognition because the message of healing crooked is missed in our beauty obsessed world.  We are obsessed with 'cut flowers' trimmed, dyed and propped up in sugar water.  They appear lovely and in truth  they are dying.  They are already dead because they have no strength and no roots.  The enduring beauty of something that isn't perfect is in the imperfection.  

Broken places that heal stronger have a strong message for us all: they mean we survived what broke us!  We lived through it.  We passed through it.  We are on the other side.  A bit twisted and sometimes stumbling but stronger.  We get stronger, we learn to walk with that limp and instead of hiding it we are confident.  They failed to keep us broken! 

Why is it that those who had control or abused us wish for us to stay broken?  Because it means we cannot heal and if we cannot heal there is no way we can be free!  That means they win.  But when we are stronger in the broken places that means they failed.  We did heal and we did get strong and we did survive!

Broken places aren't pretty but surviving  and healing are beautiful!  They are strong! They are us!