On Ash Wednesday, I hate to compare myself to the rough, chain-smoking, boozer Grace (Holly Hunter) in “Saving Grace.” But I’ve been thinking about that last episode ever since my former therapist handed me my junior-high journals totally unsolicited on my way to an hour with my current therapist. (I know, so many therapists gets confusing, even for me!)I’ve been thinking about these lines of dialogue between Grace and Earl (her guardian angel):“What do you want, Earl?” Grace asks him.“I want you to heal,” he responds.“So now you’re my therapist?”“Sometimes you have to go back before you can move forward.”The last few weeks I have gone back, to a very scary place for me–a spot I wanted to skip over forever. But in moving through it, I’m able to come up for air with perhaps a bit more clarity to this whole illness of mine, some additional understanding on how to progress towards peace. I had to go searching for Katie, the doll that my guardian angel Ann told me to hang on to, for moments like this.But I’ve found a few companions on the way. Like Beyond Blue reader Babs, who wrote this as a response to my post, “Dear God: The Desire to Love Is Enough”:

One of the very things I have been wrestling with is the desire to love the little child who felt ugly and unloveable; whose father molested her. Can’t seem to make up my mind to love her, either. I have a much easier time with loving other people. I can extend them kindnesses that I deny myself. It is as though there is a locked door inside me and I don’t have the key to find and hold on to desire.

And a fellow Beyond Blue reader who told me he was giving up self-loathing for Lent. I thought that was great, and decided to do the same. No more berating Therese during Lent. I’m going to try to take a holiday for 40 days, as I treat my inner child to a tea party. Wish me good luck! And happy Lent to all of you. BE NICE TO YOURSELVES.

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