Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Where My Demons Hide

Not so very long ago, I listened to Elder Holland give a definition of The Soul.  It isn't synonymous with "spirit" but the combination of the body AND spirit.  I've known that, I guess.  But something about that has hit home over and over again since then.

My body loves this earth -it loves to binge on food, chocolate and Dr. Pepper.  It loves television and money and flesh.  It has such an appetite.

My spirit loves heaven -it misses heaven.  I loves love, charity, beauty, grace, family.

If I could create a cool Venn Diagram, I would.  But all cards on the table, I had to spend a full 2 minutes googling around because I couldn't remember what the name of those circle chart thingies are.

Math-ish Stuff,
You will forever evade me.

There is a hefty beautiful overlap between my body and my spirit.  It's filled with good music, beach sand, pine trees, miles of flat desert and fresh air.  Sometimes I lock eyes with my daughter and touch heaven.  Meditation brings me to the pearly gates.  Pushing my cold hands into warm, soapy water as the sun sets beyond the window that sits over my sink... that is one of those moments.
Harmony moments.

I disrupt harmony by listening to music that isn't the best.  I have the utmost respect for Eminem's talent.  That man has a WAY with words.  When I turn up one of his classics, there's a disruption in harmony -a dissonance.  I feel the same way after spending an entire day binge watching a series.
Dissonance Moments.

My Dissonance Moments quickly bring out my shame.
In the spirit of, "Inside Out" I will just say this: 78% of the "driving" in my mind is done by Self-Judgement.
I can't decide if she looks like a witch or demon or just a droopy, sad figure.
Maybe she doesn't even know.

My shame is mostly self-judgement.
How could you?
You piece of crap.
Those who know better, do better.  Except you. Because you're a freak.
You drive people away.
You're screwing up your kids.

The list goes on, but I'm feeling some pain here... so I'll stop.

How do I turn my dissonance back into harmony?  Christ.
I don't always do that, though.  Sometimes I reach for my measuring cups and my Doris Day Pandora station and I cook while she sings about pillow talk and black hills.  Harmony and balance start to creep back in.  I like to deny stuff.  I like to deny my worth:

I don't matter enough to Christ.
I'm not important.  He is.  And He's got enough to deal with, thankyouverymuch.

I'm realizing that I deny my body A LOT.  I don't want to face the appetites of my body.  I don't want to hold a very clean mirror up and look at myself objectively and say, "Okay, you want ALL OF THAT.  Now what?"
If I hide my body's appetites -even from myself -what the hell am I even doing here?
How can I possibly fully heal?  How can I live genuinely from my beautiful soul?  I'm slamming half of it down daily.

In some of my reading, I came across a quote.

I spent some time with it and made it fancy so it would be sure to know how much I appreciate it:
Accept myself?
Can I do that?
The past says, "no."

Am I brave enough to make this kind of an inventory?  To write down:
Who my body is
What my body wants
Who my spirit is
What my spirit wants

Look it over objectively without leaning toward one team or the other because THEY ARE THE SAME SOUL TEAM and then just


This is Step One.  Acceptance.  I know I'm not the only one out there saying, "I will forever be on Step 1."
I think I've had times where I've thought, "I accept me.  SO GRATEFUL because self-acceptance is a sucky bucket of a journey."  But now I realize I've only accepted *parts* of me...

The parts of me that talk too much
The parts of me that look for humor everywhere
The parts of me that parent differently
The parts of me that won't ever look like they did when I was 21.

But what about the parts I've denied?

Heaven help me.  This is going to be such a sucky bucket.
But as a music major, can I just say? Harmony is worth it.  Dissonance is just the worst.

I've spent so much time playing God -trying to save myself, trying to save others.  But I've also spent so. much. energy judging.  I judge myself, I judge others.

These realizations will be painful, they will be me stepping into my mess.  I don't know what the ending result will be, not completely.  But I do know that I will come out of it with peace, and with that Soul Peace, I will be able to withhold self-judgement and others-judgement.

I will render unto God that which is God's... my demons.

A few days ago, I heard this song in the back of my mind.  I began humming as I walked around my house. When I had a minute, I pulled it up on youtube.  When God wants to tell me something, He pops a song in my head.  The message in this song felt Godless, so I listened to it until I found God.

God's telling me He wants my demons.  But in order to give them over, I have to recognize them.  This means I'll sit in church and wonder who I am really.  Who everyone around me is.  I have to let myself down, let my self-judgement fall as I take God's name upon me each week.

I'm handing my judgement over, Lord.  

I will sit fallen next to other fallen people.  I will let myself fall.  I will let others fall.
Can I face this?  Not alone.
I can't escape this now unless You show me how.

Monday, March 7, 2016


Each morning after my morning prayers, I go outside.  Headphones plugged in, inspirational talks streaming, I greet the day.
Jane sent me this "Advice from Elder Busche" and so often I find his voice in my head saying, "Embrace this day with an enthusiastic welcome, no matter how it looks."
I embrace my mornings. Morning air smells different, feels different. The energy morning brings is singular: healing, refreshing.
 I feel grateful when morning light covers my face... like, 'hey, I have been given another day!' 

Bronco, our retired and arthritic K9 Belgian Malanois, keeps me company as I breathe in fresh air and dodge cow biscuits on the farm road.

 Last Friday, I walked a road between two fields -one was hard, covered in stubbled weeds and the other had been plowed under. I thought about my Grandpa. He'd come into my Sunday School class a few weeks ago to teach my 14 year olds about seed growth.
"Soil need oxygen," he said, sitting on his walker, waving his callused hands in the air for effect, "How do you get oxygen to soil."
"You turn it over?" the kids asked timidly.

 It sounds so simple, and it is. In theory, it is simple. The more I get to know God, the more I realize that simplicity is His calling card. But as I looked at the upturned ground that morning, I felt it. I know what it's like to "get oxygen to the soil." If I want to grow a good seed, I need to prepare myself for it to take root. And upturning soil is painful, painstaking! This week, I'm working on formulating boundaries for myself so good seeds can start sprouting within my soul.

My counselor suggested this formula: Behavior -------> Alternate Behavior -------> Consequence

Example: I feel self-judgement shame ---> I think of a positive affirmation to counter the shame and dig deeper to find the roots of the shame ---OR I wallow in the shame in which case -----> I read three chapters in "Captivating" (a book about the beauty of a woman's soul) and read my positive affirmations out loud to myself.

 I'm turning over the soil.
 Oxygenation will be a blessed process, ongoing forevermore.