October 13, 2010
My heart is so full today that I just want to cry and cry and cry. Emotional work is so difficult and time consuming. I hate the process, but I love the results….kind of like going to the dentist to have your teeth cleaned. I hate sitting in that chair while they scrape around in your mouth and how sore I am after I am finished, but I absolutely love running my tongue around my teeth and how clean and shiny they feel. That is how I feel about emotional work….so painful, so soul stretching, no time for other things……But the way my heart feels after the process…. Free…..You just can’t pay for that!
Where to begin….
Over the last few weeks I have been realizing how deeply sad I am that my family (parents/siblings) does not participate in the gospel that I love so much. I knew I was sad about my mother’s and siblings’ levels of participation, but I never even considered that I was sad about my father. There is deep sadness there. So much so, that I really struggle to reach into my heart and pull out the emotion. Forget it coming out on its own! It is simply too painful….I can’t let it out. I have to reach in and drag it out. It is a slow process because I can only handle so much of it at one time. I do not want it to interfere in normal life. I do not want it to disrupt the family or the children. I do not want to be out for a month or a week or even a day so I can truly experience the depth of my sadness. It is years and years and years of build-up. Years of heart ache tucked away in a safe place where it will not interfere in normal day to day functioning.
Yet, I have to address it. These emotions keep me stuck. They keep me fat because I stuff them way down there and whenever they try to surface, I feed them. Then I can pretend they are not there. So for the last few weeks, I have been acknowledging them. Being sad here and there. Thinking about how much it bothers me.
I have recognized some amazing things. Most of my unconscious beliefs about how the ‘world/family’ should function come from the example and experiences of my home growing up. That home is far from the perfect model. The gospel teaches us better ways to manage and cope. I can apply what I learn and what I know, but my reality of how things should function still isn’t whole. I am still learning and in the places I am learning, I react/function according to the pattern set for me. That takes a lot of emotional work and effort to recognize, acknowledge, and try to change, so that I do not pass those things onto my own children.
One of the gifts given to me has been a good self-esteem. It is a gift. I did not create it. I struggle even now with wondering if I’m good enough. Can I really do it? I do not always know, but I am usually willing to try. If I am afraid of failure, which I often am, I wait and plan and learn, so that as I stretch out there my failure will not be so great that I cannot recover. But I pray a lot to give me the strength to try. It is also a slow process. If I had not been given the gift of self-esteem, I would not be able to thrive. I am.
Many members of my family do not have this gift. They are struggling. Part of the gift comes from knowing who I am. I know that Heavenly Father loves me. I know I am His daughter. I know He always is looking out for my best interest. Even when it is painful and I do not understand the process or its necessity, I know He is in charge and if I am obedient, all things will work for my best growth and development. I have seen it happen again and again and again, in my own life and the lives of others.
I am so grateful for the Atonement. Not only because I can be forgiven for my own mistakes, but I can be comforted and healed from the mistakes of others. I can change who I am or who I have become because of the circumstances surrounding my early development. I am not a victim. I am an agent. I can choose to be happy. I can choose to forgive. I can choose to forget. I can choose to love and to nurture, to build, to create. I am not bound by the circumstances or feelings created in any instance. I am free to choose.
I choose life. I choose love. I choose happiness.
Here are some fabulous blogs that remind us of what life is about and how to live happily….I read them today. I feel great joy and happiness knowing these children and my children and one day my grandchildren will have a childhood with happiness and love.