On Mindful Monday, my readers and I practice the art of pausing, TRYING to be still, or considering, ever so briefly, the big picture. We’re hoping this soul time will provide enough peace of mind to get us through the week!
Our life is somewhat like a puzzle. There are many different pieces and they are all over the place. As I look over the pieces that comes out from way, way back in my memory does it help to try to fit them all into the puzzle? It’s impossible to figure out everything all at once. I’m sure to get a headache. And I will be confused. Much better to give all these pieces to Jesus who can put things back together.
I so needed to hear that because for the last two days I’ve been unexpectedly thrown back into feeling the hurtful baggage of my past.
The stuff is deceiving. Just when you think you’ve finally moved past it all, Bam! It’s there interrupting your day again … crying out, “Love me! For God’s sake, please love me!”
I suppose my progress is that I can now categorize my feelings of hurt, rejection, and neediness as “childhood crap” and concentrate more on identifying the consistent patterns and predictable cycles rather than analyzing the person who triggered my reaction.
But, man, have I been taken aback in the last two days. By how much hurt is still there, sitting in my memory and in my heart … in need of so much healing.
Yesterday I yelled at a friend for not getting back to me sooner on an email I sent, and told her that I’m trying not to take it personally, but that that I can’t help but think her communication style reflects her values and priorities (which means I’m down the list a ways). She responded that she was giving me all she had, and that it was unfair to judge her values and priorities.
I hung up the phone in tears. I couldn’t stop crying the whole day. And then I realize why: I had the same exact conversation with my dad so many times, especially after he missed an important event, like my high school graduation. Once I had conjured up the courage to tell him I was hurt, he responded with “Look, I’m giving you all I have to give you. Stop whining.”
Ironically, as I was processing this all, and wanting to go back and fix things with my dad, I walked into the coffee shop and on the radio was playing Frank Sinatra’s “The Lady Is a Tramp,” my dad’s favorite song (I know, I know, great taste) which was played at his funeral.
I knew in that moment, he was trying to tell me he loved me, that he was sorry for leaving me the baggage that I seem to be dragging into most of my relationships. I imagined us sitting down at the coffee shop talking about our day and our lives, something that never happened while he was alive. I imagined a love seeping into my raw centers, so that I didn’t have to cling so much to certain people, especially those that can’t give me the attention and love that I so crave.
Today I have choices.
If I require more in a friendship–if I need a friend to get back to me immediately to feel as though I’m a valued part of her life–then I shouldn’t stick around in a relationship where that’s impossible. Or I can continually remind myself that my girlfriend’s lack of response is unrelated to my dad’s, that it’s really not an indication of her love or lack of it. Finally, as Belleo who wrote the above quote says, I can give the pieces of my puzzle to Jesus, and let him figure it out.
For this moment, I’m going with option three.
There you go, Jesus. I give you my insecurities, my confusion, my hurt, my neediness. I give you everything that cries out for love from within my heart, and I hope that you are able to heal me of my sadness. I give you all of it because I trust that you can assemble my pieces much more efficiently than I ever could.