Today marks the one year anniversary of The Healing Lane. At the urging of my friends and therapist, I decided to start a blog about my recovery. This is my 60th post and I am grateful to have this forum to share my thoughts, to journal my story, and to chronicle my recovery. There is something very therapeutic for me in writing this blog. I have often felt the nervousness from being so vulnerable in spite of my willingness to be open and honest about this struggle. I appreciate the comments from friends and followers about the blog, with appreciation for sharing with me when it has provided insight, understanding, or even humor.
Today’s gift came this morning when I got the thought to think of my little Sara as an adult. I felt that God was showing me how to grow this image of myself as this precious little girl into what I would want for her if she were my own daughter. He was asking me to start envisioning what preciousness looks like at age 25, 35, or even 50. This exercise has me considering the potential for redirecting my own energies about myself. In particular, I believe He is showing me how to re-frame the feelings about myself that are buried deep within, yet are powerfully and negatively impacting me.
This inner child work is difficult for me. Debra has been giving me exercises that involve working with the thoughts and feelings of a very young me. We call her little Sara. There is a well of sadness and silence, encasing the depth of her wanting to be accepted, loved, approved, and seen. The adorable blonde, curly-haired, blue-eyed little angel covered up so much of her authentic self in an effort to be loved as she understood it. She took on the adult thoughts around her, suppressing her own childhood desires and I believe without a lot of signs to indicate the coping behavior. She was agreeable, dependable, responsible, happy, and to most adults, the dream child. And she was rewarded for all this good behavior. So what was missing? Temper tantrums and expressions of her needs. I am starting to understand that she didn't want to have needs. She didn't know how to voice wanting them met, and the guilt and shame for having them has permeated her for 40 some odd years. There is no blame; there isn’t any anger about this. I am learning to accept and understand that of no intention, this was how I adapted my behaviors to get the approval, love, and attention I desired. And if I didn't have a boatload of addictive behaviors indicating something is amiss, I wouldn't be dealing with this today.
This little girl loved life and she was mostly happy. In part, she was loved because she did behave so very well. She didn’t get all she needed, but she got a lot. There are gifts to draw upon. There is strength to muster. There is love to receive and to give. The story continues because I have not given up on her story, which of course is me today. I want to get to the heart and soul of why I do things that are not in my best overall healthy interest. Like for instance...the marked question that set me on this path..."why did I tolerate the intolerable for 24 years?"
So when God asked me about my little Sara, there is quite a context of work I’ve been doing in learning to love her, love me, and overcome the pain of today. What would I want for my little Sara when I see her as an adult? What is the vision I have for little Sara as a fully functioning adult Sara – forgetting that little Sara is now the big Sara of today. Let’s just say I am able to start over…what would I envision her to be like?
Most importantly, I would want her to feel loved. My guess is that we all want that for our children. So of COURSE I want her to know love for herself and from others. I would want her to experience the joy of living and giving. I would want her to feel empowered and enriched by the experiences in and through her environment. I would want her to feel comfortable in her own skin – to accept the flaws, strengths, gifts, warts, beauty, personality, assets, shortcomings, and imperfections that make her who she is. I would want her to know her worth and to make her mark in this world. I want her to ultimately fulfill her purpose in life – the reason God brought her into this world. I would not want her to allow others’ opinions of her to negatively affect her opinion of herself. I envision confidence, joy, love, peace, acceptance, authentic living. Yes, most definitely, I envision her loving herself and others, and being loved.
To realize that this is what my own mother has wanted for me too is very important. She continues to pray for these very kinds of things, and is willing to do whatever she can to help see this come to pass in my life (and hers). The precious little Sara that I hold in my heart is the Sara that she birthed, held in her arms, and desired for all good and wonderful things to come to her. I have come to understand that those deep needs that still exist from my childhood are my opportunities. I am able to parent myself and co-parent with God to meet those needs.
I am starting to grasp that even greater than my own vision or even my mother’s vision for me, is God’s vision for me. How He sees me, how He loves me, and how He is working on my behalf is the real key to acceptance and healing. My spiritual lesson is to receive that. My battle is to combat the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that go AGAINST this truth. To continue in the negative images and beliefs is the crux of my unmanageability. It leads me down paths of destruction and pain.
This blog is The Healing Lane. It is about revisiting the past for restoration and redemption. I have gratitude today. It is a cruising day as I often call them, for the recognition of my progress – not perfection – and for where I'm headed. That's the Vision Revisited.