The Hurting Place

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In Elaine Marshall’s talk Learning The Healer’s Art, she shares this story:

“My mother once told me of an experience she had one winter morning as she drove down to check the cattle in the lower pasture. She noticed a car off the side of the road. Inside she recognized a young mother and three children. When my mother asked if they needed help, the woman tearfully reminded her that this was the place of the accident two weeks earlier that had killed her husband. She answered, ‘We are just here to feel the hurt.'”

This story has always stuck with me and so a few months ago I chose a place to go to “feel the hurt.”

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This is it. It is a lovely little memorial near my home to honor veterans of all the branches of the military. I come here often. I pray and I ponder. I sit and I cry. A few times the hurt was so overwhelming that I have fallen to my knees and weeped that loud, painful cry that comes from the center of the soul. I like it here. To me it is peaceful. It is safe.

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“Healing is active—you have to be there. Your friend or your husband or wife or your mother cannot do it for you. You have to face the problem and the pain. To begin healing, you must acknowledge and feel the hurt. Only those who don’t feel, those without conscience, cannot heal.”

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“I assumed cure, care, and healing to be synonymous. I have learned they are not the same. Healing is not cure. Cure is clean, quick, and done—often under anesthesia. The antibiotic kills the pathogen; the scalpel cuts out the malignancy; the medication resolves the distorted chemistry. Healing, however, is often a lifelong process of recovery and growth in spite of, maybe because of, enduring physical, emotional, or spiritual assault. It requires time. We may pray for cure when we really need healing. Whether for cell reconstruction, for nerve and muscle rehabilitation, for emotional recovery, or for spiritual forgiveness, healing needs work and time and energy. Healing cannot happen in a surgical suite where the pain is only a sleepy memory. Cure is passive, as you submit your body to the practitioner. Healing is active. It requires all the energy of your entire being. You have to be there, fully awake, aware, and participating when it happens.”

Dear Veterans, thank you. I cannot even begin to understand the many sacrifices you have made to serve our country. I respect you. I honor you. I love you. Thank you. I want to be here for you. I will be your Brotherhood.

Below is a great video about the importance of and how to ask Veterans about their service. Please take the time to watch. And more importantly, take the time to be there. Keep kind and carry on. xoxo

If you struggle with PTSD please scroll up to the top of the page and click “Find Help Here.”

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Truth Telling: Should I and How much?

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Halloween a year ago. My Guy on a Buffalo and I were still together. I never felt more beautiful than when we were together. Even with no make-up and messy hair and chapped lips.

Halloween a year ago. My Guy on a Buffalo and I were still together. I never felt more beautiful than when we were together. Even with no make-up and messy hair and chapped lips.

Truth telling is hard. Oh so hard. I feel such a pull to share my experiences with My Guy on a Buffalo but at the same time I do not want to throw him under the bus. I love this man. He is a good man. His behavior towards me was abusive. I believe in using the correct terms. There is power in them. There is freedom. There is truth. But I hate to think of or refer to My Guy on a Buffalo as my “abuser.” Correct term. Doesn’t sit well. Why? Because that is not who. he. is. “Abuser” is not CORE Guy on a Buffalo. I do not want to label him as that. That is not who he is and he can be helped, healed. He can change.

I have this fear. My fear is that if I tell the truth, if I share my experiences (which I feel so pulled to do) that one day he might read them. That it will cause him shame that he might not escape from. That he will not feel worthy of healing or goodness. And he is worthy! Of healing, restoration, redemption! Being honest here: that it might impede any future relationship we might have together.

I recently wrote a POST about listening to those who share stories of abuse because it can save a life. But the abused are not the only ones worthy of being saved. The “abusers” are too. Granted, I am sure there are people out there who are just mean. But I am gonna go out on a limb and also say that most abusers abuse because of addiction or mental illness. We must help them too (Doesn’t mean we should stay in a bad/unsafe situation EVER). We cannot force any one to change, to seek help or be saved. But we can be aware. We can educate ourselves with knowledge and resources. We can also listen… to them.

I dont’t know. I just don’t know.

Listen to Save a Life

A few months ago the opportunity came to me to share the truth about my experience with the one person, in my mind, who would want to know because it has a direct impact on their life.  I was completely surprised when this person told me they did not have the time to listen, they were too busy.  This person wanted nothing to do with me. I could not believe it. I still do not believe it. I am sure they have their reasons (I can guess and empathize). And I am sure those reasons are completely valid. So making this about me and not about them, this is what I learned…

I did not know how important it was for me to be heard by this person until that moment. I was not aware that need existed. I don’t need this person to hear me out in order to heal or to move on with my life — but, oh– how it would help.

That same day I came across this video. I sat at my kitchen table and watched over and over just sobbing. After what I had just experienced, in watching this video I felt heard – by someone. These brave women are telling a story that some times I cannot tell, even to myself. Please don’t think that my situation was extreme as any of these because IT WAS NOT. Having that said, there are a lot of things, feelings and experiences that we do share.

Friends, Readers, please, PLEASE- if any person comes to you and is trying to share – LISTEN. Put your own crap aside for a minute and listen. Even if you don’t know what to say or what to do. Even if you feel uncomfortable or frustrated, maybe even defensive. PLEASE LISTEN. Providing a listening ear could #savealife.

To watch the video please CLICK HERE. It is the first video in the article. Thank you for taking the time to watch. xoxo

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Permission

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I am a believer and a practicer of giving myself permission. From giving myself permission to fail and fail big to permission to succeed.  I have given myself permission to stay in bed all day when I have needed it.  On other days when staying in bed is what I wanted but far from what I needed I gave myself permission to get moving and hate it. Haha.  The key is to only give myself permission to do or think things that are in-line with my truth. For example, eating cake for dinner is  in-line with my truth but eating cake every day is not.  Standing up for myself: In-line with my truth. Name calling: Never. See how this goes?  The picture above is my most current permission slip.  The one below was made in January.

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And here are some random pictures of my younger sister and I just because.  These were taken in May??? I think

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Channeling Demi

Music is powerful.  It has the power to bring me low or bring me high.  It can validate the way I am feeling when I am feeling like no one understands.  It touches the soul.  It makes me sing.  It tells the truth and very often- it tells my truth.  Listening to Demi has been healing for me in my recovery.  One song that describes how I feel about My Buffalo Guy is “In Case.”  One that describes how I am trying to feel about myself is “Warrior.”

This morning I saw this Clean and Clear add featuring Demi.  I loved it.  I loved how she talked about being a real person who doesn’t always have it together.  I am not famous but I know what she is talking about and I am sure you do too.  Sometimes I feel like others view me as having it all together.  Whether that is true or not, I feel the pressure of that way of thinking.  I also loved how Demi talked about therapy.  I go to therapy every week.  Therapy is hard work.  Really. Hard. Work.  But worth it.  It has made a difference in my life.  It has saved my life.  Read more about my therapy experience HERE.

So thank you Demi.  Thank you for being brave.  For being honest.  In word and song. You sharing your truth has helped make me feel more the warrior I am.  Your music has played on repeat many of times as I have broken down and cried in the shower.  They have played so loud in my car , drowning out my own voice as I sang along.  They have pushed my feet to move one step after another on my daily runs.  Your music has not only validated but made me strong.  Thank you.

My Enemy/My Friend

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Yesterday while siting in a cozy room, my therapist expressed his empathy with me over my heartache.  He acknowledged that many will not try to understand why I choose not to go into Boulder anymore or have to turn the radio off when a certain song begins to play or a hundred million other things.  That no one , if any, will fully understand my heartache.  And he is right.  But what he was describing was not my heartache.  He was describing what others see as my response to heartache.

You see, Heartache is alive inside of me.  It is a living creature that breathes and moves. Heartache has its own heartbeat that beats wild and slow.  I will never fully understand my own Heartache. In many ways Heartache is lovely. It leads to beautiful words on the page and melodies that float in the air. It prompts strength to be born where it was once barren. Heartache’s counterparts are Grace and Resilience. But Heartache and I are not friends. It is not responsible for the Lovely. The loveliness of Bereavity and my friend, Grief, do not come because of Heartache but in spite of it. The Lovely is what I decide to bring to the table. The Lovely is when I show up.

My Heartache is constantly hurting me, causing me pain. It squeezes my throat tight, choking me so my cry cannot escape. Heartache runs fast in my blood. It scratches at the walls of my veins as if trying to get out. Heartache plays cruel games in my brain, having me think one thing in this moment and something completely different in the next. It spins circles in my stomach making it impossible to keep anything down. And my Heartache sits so heavy in my lungs that it hurts to breathe.

And it’s heart beats inside the center of my heart. In every quiet moment, Heartache is there, resting, burrowing and settling deep into the ever disappearing soft parts of my heart.

Heartache is not a sickness that needs hospitalized or medicated. It is not a ghost in the night that calls for exorcism. No, Heartache is a soul. Attached to this soul is every memory, good and bad. Every touch, every fear, every hope and dream. A life with My Guy on a Buffalo. I am not sure how to make peace with Heartache.  Intuitively, it feels that is something I should do. All I know is it needs to be loved, this Heartache of mine. Because it lives inside of me. It goes with me everyday and lies down with me at night. It whispers painful truths to me even when I rather be told lies. Heartache forces me to find a new way to live, to adapt to my love and my loss. It inspires me to hold out my hand to my sister and to my brother whom she lives with too. To keep them company in its presence. That my sisters and my brothers might know that they are not on their own. That although experience is different, often times emotions are the same.

Heartache, I did not invite you and do not wish your company upon anyone. And I really, really hate you right now.  But I really, really need you right now too. I beg you, stay with me. Don’t leave. For when you leave…he does too.

In the Pit of My Stomach

In the pit of my stomach, in the center of my heart.  In every thought in my mind.  It makes my brain come alive.

You know that feeling.  It courses all through your body.

Triggered.  A mix of scary, excitement, feeling.

A reminder of loss.  Reliving the hurt.  All the things he said.  But also all the good. There is still hope inside of me.

It is as if I am slowly dying.

Everyone tells me it gets better.  But in moments like these there is no better.  Only love with no place to go. Except to the pit of my stomach, to the center of my heart.  To every thought in my mind making my brain come alive.

I will probably be out of commission for a few days.  Breathing.  Taking my time.  Grieving.  Passing through every stage.  Again.

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This is my favorite necklace.  My mom bought it for me when we were in Park City this past April.  I always think how My guy on a buffalo could probably tell me what kind of rock it is,