*I do not own the rights to this photo.
Hello everyone! I know it's been a minute. I have been working through some healing and some untangling as this blog is aptly named. This has been good for me and one of the most overdue yet timely things in my life. Before I get into that, I want to give you a few writing updates as well as what to look for in the future.
I will be very focused on writing, both blogs (yes I know I owe you a third and final blog on Lion and Lioness) and writing my third book, over the next 6 months. You will be seeing more updates on my third book and additional blogging on a variety of subjects. My goal is to have my third book written by next summer and get it off for publishing. This book will be a culmination of the healing over the last 8-9 years. I can't wait to share it with you! Thank you for your patience this year as I have navigated some much needed healing space.
Now let's get back to that healing space. I have a lot I want to say.
Have you ever had the feeling you are not good enough? It doesn't matter for what or for who, you just know you are not good enough? Or at least you think you know this to be the fact.
This was me – not I said was me. I have recently learned through the wonders of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), therapy, and prayer that I have not felt like I was good or even good enough most of my life – since I was about 5 years old to be exact. It is amazing what the young brain can deduce from life experiences – even if those experiences were never meant to alter neural pathways, affect emotions, or change thought processes. We are not simple creatures, however, we are complex beings. In that complexity we can get tangled up in our thoughts and fears. What becomes tangled has to eventually get untangled. When did I realize I needed to untangle some things in my head you ask? I simply had an over-reaction to something about two months ago. I froze emotionally. I could not speak. I could not articulate how I felt. I wanted to run away. I had also been dealing with bouts of what I have realized more recently were both anxiety and depression. I started asking myself and God questions. I started to wonder if these things had roots that went back further than I thought. I was asking the right questions and I wanted the answers, even if getting there was going to be uncomfortable. What some of us fail to see is that discomfort (the result of shining light into the dark places of our minds and hearts) can often yield the greatest and most lasting healing. Facing our pain and our fears (and the negative thought processes that drive them) can actually free us, not enslave us. Just because you think it and believe it, does not make it the truth about you. Have you considered this? Have you examined the truth of your beliefs and thoughts? Who or what do you base your beliefs and thoughts on in your life? We must all ask ourselves these questions if we are to ever grow, change, and heal.
Let me circle back around to the “not good enough” thoughts that I had convinced myself were true. These thoughts (the roots) and their little offshoots (“you are not good” and “you have done something wrong”) had pervaded every area of my life since I was a child. They had settled themselves in my unconscious mind. I have learned most recently I have been making a lot of adult decisions based on negative thought patterns that were laid down in childhood. This was not my parents' fault, the church's fault, or anyone else's fault. No one was responsible for my thought formulation or how I internalized their actions or words but me. As an adult, it is my responsibility to untangle and heal from wrong thinking. No one is responsible for my healing and what I think of me and how I think of me but me. Am I saying that 5 year old me was a bad kid for thinking negatively about a few life some life situations or people? No! Five your old me was doing what kids do – the best they can with what they are given in any situation. Let me be clear, 5 year old me was not abused or in any danger, ever. Abused children are not responsible for their abuse, ever! Adults who were abused are responsible for their healing, however, and don't have to be a slave to the abuse of their past for the rest of their lives. Five year old me and even teenage me simply established some thought patterns that weren't healthy and never voiced them to any adult who would have been willing to help me. After all, our society from a young age, encourages children and adults to be stoic and keep their problems to themselves – even the Church has been guilty of this or of “platituding people to death” so to speak.
What exactly did I not feel good enough about? Everything. Trust me, I've been doing the processing of just how deep this lie (negative thought process) went in my life and how much it had wrapped itself around my self-worth. Allow me to be completely transparent with you because this is for someone or maybe more than one person. This may be uncomfortable for some people so this is your warning.
I have not felt good enough to be loved. I have not felt good enough to make good decisions (financially, in relationships, at work, etc.). I have not felt good enough to deserve good things. I have believed I was a burden. I have believed people forgot about me because I was not good enough to be remembered. I have not felt good enough to have a good marriage. I have not felt good enough to thrive, just survive. I have not felt good enough to be smart enough to overcome anything I come up against or anything I have to figure out. I have not felt good enough to take care of my body. I have apologized unnecessarily to people all my life because I didn't feel good enough. I have felt things were my fault that were not my fault. I have been insecure and anxious when people didn't want to be my friend. Feeling not good enough has caused bouts of anxiety and depression for good portions of my adult life – for those that know me, I can be stoic and good at hiding my heart because I have been afraid in the past and I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I have over-eaten because of this lie and negative thought pattern. I have not maintained a healthy weight because of this lie and negative thought pattern. I have pushed people away. I have not made good decisions in many areas because of this lie. I have humiliated myself. I have given myself to things and people who had not right to my person or heart. I am a bit angry writing these things because I am now fully aware and awake. I know what this ugly lie and negative thought process has done to me and stolen from me!
However, this is not the end of the story.
As we untangle, even in discomfort, we have to replace the lies and negative thought patterns with truth. When we replace lies with truth, it opens us up to new things as well. This year, I have been committed to learning and trying new things. I started a PRN job to get back to my nursing skills with children. I have learned how to play chess. I am on this healing journey, no matter how uncomfortable it may get for me. I can't speak highly enough of therapy and EMDR to be honest with you! And most importantly, I am replacing the lie of “not good enough” and its offshoots with the truth of who I really am. This may sound so simple but I can tell you it has pulled me out of the anxiety and depression. I have stopped biting on my nails – I even took the fake nails off this weekend. I had been unsuccessful in doing this before. I am eating healthier (and in moderation) and have started a regular exercise routine that I love. I am writing this blog with clarity and even have greater clarity at work. I am going to be doing some new things at work too this year. I am not afraid anymore of anyone or anything.
I will leave you with the truth of who I am and the new thought process (new neural pathway) I am cultivating (and you can too if you choose to believe):
I am good enough and God's good creation because He made me and He says I am good. All He makes is good! I deserve good things and good, healthy, respectful relationships! I am loved extravagantly by God (and many others) and always have been. I didn't do anything wrong as a child or as an adult (even when people rejected me, seemed to forget me, or have abused me in some way). There is nothing wrong with me – there never has been – God made me just as he intended. I won't fit in your box. If people don't like who God made me to be, that is their issue and their insecurity, not mine. They are free to exit my life and I am free to exit their life. I will wish them the best and will love them from a distance. Their rejection does not affect my identity or goodness God gave me. I am not afraid. What people think has no more bearing on who I am or what I do – those are their issues and insecurities to work out, not mine. I know Whose and Who I am. The best is yet to come!