Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Auschwitz Season

*** I can't thank you all enough for your outpouring of support on my last post.  It really made a HUGE difference, and if it weren't for your kind words, I know I'd have locked everything down again.  Thank you for your love. ***
I was recently called to teach Sunday School to 7th graders.  This is great news because it means I get to spend time NOT with peers.  Sometimes beings with peers is hard, right?  Especially in church when they talk about things that used to be normal for me and are now painful for me.

"When we said yes in marriage, we MEANT it and stayed married."
"Kids these days..."
"If you want to stop doing something, just make a decision and DO IT."

I love my 7th graders.  This last week, they spent 15 minutes teaching how to tie a tie.  They spent the rest of the time giggling over a face one of the kids were making.
And yeah -I taught 4 boys that day.

One of those boys has expressed interest in Viktor Frankl, so while I was ordering Christmas stuff on Amazon I plopped, "Man's Search for Meaning" in my cart.  When it arrived, I decided I'd better read it through before giving it to him, just in case there was graphic stuff -I didn't want his parents knocking down my lil' trailer door.

It's a fascinating read -it makes my trailer feel like palace and my oatmeal seem extravagant.

There's a passage where Frankl talks about suffering.  As he lived each day in a concentration camp (Auschwitz), he decided that the POINT of each day was suffering.  He expected suffering and faced it -not so much with valor and class everyday, but with a sense of... I don't know... duty?  He leaned into the suffering and searched for a purpose.  As a doctor fascinated with research, he imagined himself on a stage teaching others about what he'd learned in the camp.  He thought of the research paper he'd been working on, how he needed to rewrite and finish it (it had been confiscated).

This passage did something for me.  It really did.

While my life is nowhere near suffering, it is hard right now.  Trials dovetail as they never have before, and I keep sort of waiting for some reprieve.  I keep waiting for a rest stop, a breather.  But much like my body in labor, I'm not getting one.  No break between contractions and pressure, Alicia, not for you.

I've moved into a sort of acceptance.
This is my time to be uncomfortable.  Each day is uncomfortable.  Instead of flailing against it, fighting against the powers that be and WAITING for it to end so I can get back to living... I can lean into the hurt, the discomfort.
There is much to learn, much to uncover.

As I wade through health issues, I will learn more about my body.  I will grow and grow in knowledge about anatomy and science, health and nutrition, truth!

As I wade through the mess that is my marriage, I will learn about brain workings, about healthy thinking, the underestimated power of stress vs. peace.

Where are the books written for AFTER sobriety, by the way?  What comes after sobriety?  How is trust rebuilt?  How do you learn to count on each other?  Lean on each other?  Handle the burns and the hurts?
Marriage AFTER sobriety is scary too.
Funny, isn't it?  I remember thinking if I could just get rid of porn (hypothetically) everything would be SO much better.  Realizing that porn was just a sort of symptom of bigger issues was unnerving and empowering.  Awareness is ironic like that.

Tonight, I'm very uncomfortable. The point of my discomfort is knowledge.  It's a sort of search for truth and wisdom -God loves me enough to give it to me through the most effective means possible: hands on, the hard way.

It's my Auschwitz Season.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

With Love

I locked you all out for awhile.

It started out from a healthy place... really and truly.  My blog was found by some folk who don't agree with the way I'm living my life, and I shut it down simply to stave off the crazy traffic surge.
"Forty days," I told myself, "A Forty-day break should do it."
During which time I committed myself to a 40-day yoga program (Baron Baptiste) and spent a lot of time re-centering.
The words from The Folks Who Found Me haunted me during this time.  Because, see, they think I'm wrong.
I have a grave fear of being wrong.

I didn't realize how deep this fear ran until I was on the mat during those 30+ days (I didn't finish the program on account of family issues).  As I moved from week-to-week, from position to position, I said to myself, "Alicia, you're doing this wrong."

Alicia, you are bending your knees and you shouldn't.
Alicia, you can't touch your feet and you should.
Alicia, your feet...
Alicia, your hands...

I would try to release tension, mind talk and my own schedule.
Even then, all I could do was, "Alicia, you're not letting go, and you should."

I know you all have an answer for me right now.  I know that my "shoulding" is wrong, and if I had a penny for every person who said, "don't should on yourself" I'd have at least 20 cents.

As I stepped off my mat and went to my kitchen to eat and wash dishes:
Alicia, you're eating wrong.
Alicia, you're washing wrong.
Alicia, couldn't you be cleaner?  healthier?

At work:
Alicia, you could be more efficient.

At the store:
Alicia, you could be saving money better, but you're not.

I have a deep-rooted fear that I'm going to live wrong, and isn't that silly?  Because isn't living wrong a given?  We ALL do it! We are all blessed with weaknesses that are our own uniquely carved pathways leading upward to God!  And don't we know it!  We feel EV.ER.Y step of that uphill incline!

Long story short:
The folks who found my blog took to a forum to discuss exactly what they thought about the way 'm handling things.  And even after I locked my blog down, they shared screen shots they'd taken.

I have spent HOURS surrendering.  And yes:
Alicia, you're feeling this wrong.  If you really believed what you're living, their words wouldn't touch you.


I can argue their points.  I can.  I could apply myself with fervor to their assumptions and perceptions, fight back!  But you know what?  Yeah, you know what, so say it with me, "It doesn't matter."  They can believe what they want, they can say what they want, for it is given unto them.  But one things that rang true time and time again was simply this:

My people are Love People.
They come together to heal and to share.  They uplift, they strengthen.  They say hard things to me, but never out of spite... only out of love.  Christ lived the same way, saying hard things out of love.  And we have to do hard things when we love ourselves.
Please understand that right now in my life, 8 hours of sleep, three meals, and exercise all in one day is VERY hard, but it is the LOVING thing for me to do for me.

The words spoken by The Folks Who Found Me were so hate-filled, so filled with sarcasm and contempt.  It was that very hate that saved me.

There is no truth in hate.
There is no God in hate.
God is truth.
God is love.

I am love.
The Folks Who Found Me are also love, though they aren't feeling it right now.

I will say now that instead of unlocking my blog when I felt I should, I kept it locked out of fear.
Except for that one time when I unlocked it for 5 minutes and locked it again.  I conquered fear for almost 5 full minutes!
Tonight, I'm logging back in from a place of love.  My blog following is very small, my web presence inconsequential.

I don't want to be known or found or shared or loud.
I was a small, tucked away house-by-the-river, barefoot in the kitchen kind of life.

God wants me to share my life anyway.  As soon as I could talk, I shared.
It's a painful thing and a scary thing and sometimes a much-hated thing, but I know how arguing with God goes...
So at the mercy of Him, I'm back.

There is a grand chance I'll be hit with more pain, more doubt and much more opposition.
But God is with me.