Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Distaste and Discomfort

Susan Kingsley-Smith said, "Those who express distaste and discomfort at the reality of others experiences exhibit their judgement of themselves and their need to maintain status quo for their own world to feel safe. Acknowledging the wounds of others requires compassion for oneself."

When I saw this quote on Susan's wall I knew I had to blog it because it perfectly fit where I am right now. Wonderfully, my friend Darlene at Emerging From Broken also has a post today that also fits so well with this. When you are done here please visit her and Susan either on Facebook or at their blogs!

Distaste and discomfort - those two words were almost guiding principals in the world I grew up. Woe to you for causing either to someone in our family or circle of rat you out in an instant friends. People would get that twisted mouth and narrow down their eyes and you'd be in for big trouble!

Compassion is for all, regardless of size
or how important we think we or they are.

And what was this big crime that was committed? Usually it was a simple as not doing or being what someone else wanted you to do or be. Be a good pre-teen cocktail waitress at this party. Be a quiet worker. Be someone's kicking, yelling or belittling target. But for goodness sake keep your mouth shut!. You could be on fire but don't you dare tell anyone that someone set that fire!

Flash forward to today...distaste and discomfort once again.  I'm doing it again!  I'm not shutting up!  I'm making people uncomfortable.  I'm even being 'unfriended' over telling my own truth!  I'm not putting up signs or billboards with photos.  I'm writing. I'm speaking up.  I'm telling my truth, in my voice for the first time in my life. 

But if someone telling their own truth causes someone such discomfort and distaste it begs the question - what un-looked at, un-examined things are lurking under their smooth surface?  If they don't want to see what is open in my life maybe it really is because they don't want to lose the magic of their denial.  How sad.  

You would silence me and stifle my healing because of your own lack of voice and lack of healing!  Things are so small in your world that you would rather walk away from my wounds,  feeling righteous before facing your own?  

When we can see our own wounding and understand it, then we can start healing.   With healing comes compassion and understanding, with that comes a special kind of courage that lets us reach through the veil of hurt to hold the hand, heart and words of another who is on their own healing path.  We can live through the scars of surviving.  We can burst through to happiness.

It is a choice!

You can choose to be gentle with yourself and let yourself heal.  But that means actually acknowledging the wounding.  You can choose to push it all down and away and in so doing you can crush your own ability to have compassion and caring because you won't grant it yourself, you cannot grant it to others.  

By choosing to deny the knife in your back you say you cannot help because your back hurts.  By choosing to be full of distaste and discomfort you deny your self the blessings of healing and grace.  

We have to face the good with the bad, they are a package deal.  I cannot figure out a way to have good memories without the bad ones coming along and destroying the party.  I remembered my prized possessions for a short time - pink satin pillow cases my grandma made.  I loved them.  I thought I loved them enough.  

But soon enough that memory is dragged away with the memory that comes after.  The one where I'm not worthy, not good enough, so bad that I don't deserve nice pillow cases.  And in my tears I write a note, childish scrawl, and attach it to the pillow cases as I give them back.  I'm not worthy.  I wrote it down. I admitted it.  I was sure they were right.

There was no compassion, no second chances.  No chance to try again.  In my world now, full of chaos and healing, I almost feel badly for them in their small world of status quo and pointing fingers at those people.  Us people.  Us healing people who won't shut up. Us healing people who won't whitewash, bury, rename or redress in new clothes the rotting collection of lies and snare line that trapped us for so long.

I want to be able to really touch someone and have them feel the compassion and the love.  I want to celebrate healing, I want to cheer on advocates, I want to be the cRaZy whoot whoot woman on the sidelines as we race once more just to feel the wind on our faces and the sun on our backs!  Never too much or too little - just right because we just are.


  1. So true, so many cannot accept us trying to heal because to acknowledge healing means they may have to acknowledge wrong doing and possibly their own sin. It's so sad how many women struggle for freedom because others do not want to give it to them! I am so thankful Jesus has set me FREE! And you FREE. Nothing in this world gets to have domination over us!

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  2. thanks for stopping by Mel, and you are so right! we struggle so hard to be free because people want us to stay trapped and silent. Bright blessings!

  3. Well written S
    - appreciate it!

  4. Shanyn, you are so much wiser than I was at your age. Don't ever let them shut you up. Speaking out heals us and gives other survivors permission to do the same.

  5. Thanks Maribeth - bright blessings!

  6. Patricia, you and Darlene and Susan and so many others showed me the way to share and to speak out without shame, and without a guilt for speaking up. I promise I won't let them shut me up, if you see duct tape on my mouth, please rip it off for me? Thank you for your encouragement and inspiration!

  7. Shanyn; coming to the realization that when I exposed myself to those who were still in that dark place was about them and not me was really freeing. In time I was able to see the truth - that they were stuck in their own denial and could not have compassion on themselves in regards to their own wounds so it was not possible for them to have compassion on or accept me as I am and was. Seeing how they kept trying to get me to let things go back to being as they were (one sibling actually said that to me) told me that they were not ready to look at their own issues so how could they see mine? It is hurtful when they don't see me as valuable enough to learn how to change so we could heal our relationships but at the same time I am sad that they are still living in that dark place. I'm glad that I no longer feel the need to be "good enough" so they will let me in now and then because that always led to more of the same.

    Ab so lutely!!! "Never too much or too little - just right because we just are."

    Yes; I am. And that is quite enough:)

  8. This is such an inspiring post for me. No more of the 'children should be seen and NOT HEARD' state of mind. Thank you so much...

  9. Susan - thank you for inspiring me with that quote. You are so right in your comment, especially when we can see how going back into their darkness 'now and then' just becomes sad because we know we can leave, we know there is sunshine and healing. We chose it and we choose it! You are - and you are wonderfully enough!

    Interruption - great to see you here again, thank you for coming by. "Children should be seen and not heard" what a damaging statement, and one that for many children of abusers carries over into adulthood when we should be
    able to choose either speaking or silence! No more of that! I think I'll take this inspiration you shared with that statement and blog about it.

  10. Hmm.. someone once described the dysfunctional family creed as "Do not hear, do not see, do not speak, and above all do not feel."
    I know that, I have left it in my family of origin and not perpetuated it in my own family, but every so often, when things get intense, I run back to 'it would be better if I just shut up and went away.' GRRR. Thank you, as always, for encouraging us all to speak out and up - it is a treasured gift, my sister-friend. With love and brightest of blessings to you!

  11. Zoe, thank you for your comment, and although I've moved on I still fall back sometimes into that old, "I should just shut up" mindset...and I realize I have to work on not only why I'm not being heard but what I'm not hearing. Don't ever silence your voices, they must be heard! Love and bright blessings my sister-friend!

  12. Dolores was not able to make her comment 'stick' so I'm posting it here for her: really hit home with this post. I know exactly what you mean. When we go through a healing process, when and if others don't or can't relate, it may very well be that they are in denial about what has taken place in their own lives. In all honesty, it takes courage and strength to face the truth.

    My response:

    You are so right, it does take courage to face truth. It takes more than I think I have some days but God always provides for me to pull through, to blast through, and find another step on the path.