A scraped windshield…

It is amazing how the little things can set you off…

Today a coworker scraped my windshield. The same coworker who had listened to me pour out my woes about a fight with my best friend last week.

I cried watching Gilmore Girls.

Sometimes it is the little things that mean more than anything else.

Last week my best friend turned on me. The girl who knows how much it would hurt. I was left crying at my desk, stunned. That ache is horrible.

She called me hours later and we talked, made up, even improved our friendship. But I still ached. Then in church on Sunday, as I begged God to show me what to do as I still ache, He told me to choose to love. To choose to love her because even though I hurt she deserves it.

I needed that. I needed someone who I know loves me dearly to hurt me. Why? Because it showed me what it is to choose to love. And I can apply that lesson to those who I need to love whose love in return I have not experienced.

I ached, but I’m learning to accept that ache. I’m learning to accept that life is not lived in not aching but learning to move forward through the ache…. Healing is not “not hurting” but learning to move forward despite the pain…

And I’m learning… little by little…

Crooked lines.

I’ve always been afraid of breaking. I’ve been afraid to love – not so much for fear of getting hurt – but because I was afraid that hurt would break me again… Like it did before. And I never want to go back to that broken place.

But healing doesn’t mean not hurting. Healing means that the pain will not take away my peace, that the pain will not overwhelm… that when I feel the pain breaking me, I will discover that I am held.

Presence.

That is what this Advent is all about. Presence.

And isn’t presence what I have ached for my whole life? Is it a longing to be known, loved, found, and seen. And isn’t that what the babe in the manger does?

How is it that I am discovering more and more what it means that he is coming because I am breaking?

Crooked lines.

And today, that was the counsel I received. As I knelt and poured out my soul… That because my friends turned on me and my fear was actualized, I’ve realized that I can walk through my worst fears of being unloved and rejected.

And it was that same priest who listened to my heartache today who scraped the snow off my windshield. I wouldn’t even have known it was him had I not walked out at that exact minute.

He makes the ways straight…

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Hip Pain

Well, I didn’t run my marathon this year.

But I did manage to win every race I ran this season. I surprised myself. Racing does that to you.

“Your biggest challenge isn’t someone else. It’s the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells, “I CAN’T.” But you don’t listen, you just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper “I CAN” and you discover the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are.”

I learn that every race. And the funny thing is that in hindsight I can’t remember any of it… not the ache, nor the sweat, nor the moment on that half marathon when I really thought I might just prefer to crawl up that last hill in mile 12.

But there is a nagging hip pain… Not real pain, not “lay me up and I can’t work out pain”… but “stand up from my desk and slightly wince pain”…

And that little pain reminds me of everything I put into it. I came out of this running season a different person – as I do after every race. I am stronger. And yet all the effort that goes into it and the determination required and the self-knowledge attained doesn’t come at no cost… There is a nagging hip almost-pain… which reminds me that I did something I didn’t think I could, that I am a different person… And that transformation isn’t always painless.

Disclaimer: I have consulted a medical professional on the hip pain and it nothing to be concerned about.

 

Too Much

Sometimes there is too much to write about.

Sometimes you just have to live it because processing is a luxury that will come but has yet to arrive.

Sometimes emotional bandwidth is to short, so you just hold on for the ride.

Sometimes you resist the waves.

Sometimes you let them flow over you.

And sometimes – you know that in time it will all settle.

But in the meantime, you wait. And just let it happen around you.

The eye of the storm – that is where I hung out during my brother’s wedding a few weeks ago. Because the dichotomy of something so incredibly beautiful matched by the incredible pain of being all together again and the triggers it provoked was too much to try to sort out.

And it still isn’t there…

So for now I’m hanging out in the eye of  the storm… waiting for it all to calm.

(And go figure – of course now would be when some guy decides it is a good time to pursue me… oh and that person I had to say goodbye to in the summer came in town to visit (hello emotions!) )

And the longing to reach for control is so strong… but I know that isn’t the answer…

So I keep waiting… Oh and hello holidays, bad timing – once again! So we are skipping town for the holidays… Because sometimes it is too much and that is okay. And sometimes we have to give ourselves permission… acknowledge that it being too much is not a mistake.

My spiritual director told me something a couple months ago – “N, you’ve got to accept your humanity.”

And the tears come… as I try to accept it wasn’t my fault I got hurt. I didn’t do something wrong that led me to get wounded. I wasn’t supposed to handle it all better – the high expectations, the perfectionism, the sensitivity, the bipolar parent, the unpredictability, the unpredictable environment, the lack of support, the emotional unavailability, etc, etc, etc… I wasn’t supposed to be able to handle it. It isn’t my fault I got hurt. I am human.

A year ago I started blogging again… sometimes I do… sometimes I don’t.

Tonight is one of those sometimes…

What seemed like the end…

I had to say goodbye to discover…

I had to rip the wound open to let it heal…

I had to face the darkness to find the light…

I think it must be something like childbirth. They say time lessens the pain but you never forget. (I wouldn’t know… at least not yet.)

But I do know that in my life turning upside down… many times over… I found things I never wold have imagined.

And tonight lying in bed, the wind whistling through the leaves on this Indian summer night… a little more crinkly now that they’ve begun to change…

Like I’ve changed… 

I’m not who I was a few months ago. I’ve gone through a lot of growth and transformation these past years… but always it has felt like a steep slope I could slide back down at any moment. But this is different. I don’t think I could go back if I wanted to.

These are new beginnings… but for a new beginning everything had to end… and that was the hard part…

But now, even as the pain is fresh (like new shoes) I also know I’m never going back.

Humanity

Are you ever left in awe, just by the beauty of humanity?

This morning I ran a 10k, mind you this is me the morning of every race… I wake up thinking – maybe I’ll just take it easy and then…

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Yeah, adrenaline is a powerful thing.

Today’s race was great. I am currently in better shape than I have EVER been in my life – largely due to coaching. I ran a sub seven pace for most of the race easily…

But this course is HILLY. At mile 3.5 I had to tie my shoe. (That has honestly never happened to me before in a race.) I did and a fellow runner caught up to me. We proceeded to pace off of each other for the remainder of the race. As we came up on mile six and we were going up [yet another] hill, he waved me on. He waved me on again as we neared the finish.

He finished a few seconds ahead of me, and turned around and gave me a huge hug after I crossed.. (And then puked… But not on him…)

And you see, the thing is all this change, I’ve spent a lot of time asking myself what life is all about… What am I here for? Slowing down and learning to relax for perhaps the first time in my life. (More on that another time.)… has made me stop and think. But when you contemplate the beauty of humanity like I saw in my pacer friend this morning, you see the meaning that life has.

So, no… I’m not a girl who has struggled with an eating disorder that has turned into a running addiction.

My running is in check.

My doctor has approved my running.

My therapist has approved my running. (Okay ex-therapist because I’m on an approved break from that too.)

My spiritual director has approved my running.

And I run as a part of my recovery… because EVERY SINGLE TIME I RUN I discover something more about the beauty of this life, about my own body, about my capacities, about my determination, about team, and about humanity.

Today I learned something through this stranger who paced me and encouraged me. He helped me – not only to complete this race and win first overall for women. He helped me to discover a little by more of what life is all about.

Why We Get Out of Bed…

This post made me stop and think… a lot…

I love her writing and she has a way of saying the right thing right when I need to hear it.

Why did I get out of bed this morning?

After a much needed 10 hours of sleep… After running on a quarter tank for weeks… What is today?

I’ve spent so much of the last (how many?) years running… literally and figuratively… I roll out of bed in my workout clothes, ready to make my bed, grab my bag and head straight to the gym… Looking at emails on my phone as I head out the door… God forbid there be a moment of pause in which all those emotions I fear might creep in…

And so begins every day… panic sets in when the calendar isn’t full… Avoiding myself like the plague… not because of me… but because of what’s inside of me, that constantly threatens to emerge and… what? I don’t even care to know. I’ll just keep running.

This morning was different. I woke up in pajamas. No clear plans until the evening. Having moved on from the job that was my “legitimate” excuse to never slow down, never leave the phone aside, never…

Why did I get out of bed?

Not because of the laundry, the errands, and the home that needs cleaning…

Why did I get out of bed?

Because I believe everything I do has meaning.

Because I know I am worth the still uncomfortable down time.

Because I believe God has a plan for my life and this semi-lonely day is part of that plan.

Because I’m learning not to be afraid of those feelings.

Because I’m learning how to become whole.

Because I want to run… not from the past… but towards the future.