Blue vs. yellow, orange and green

I’m swimming in blue, inundated, drowning.  Bright blue on the walls and a blue flowered bedspread suffocate me when I walk into my room.  Mom almost growled at me when my mind froze, as it usually does, trying to come up with how I wanted to decorate my bedroom after we built our house, so I shut down and let her decide.  For me decision making is kind of like struggling to dig my way out of a hole and then having someone come along and stamp the dirt back down on top of me; I don’t know if I’ve ever known what I want.  My Granny’s favorite color is blue, and as a little girl I always agreed when she asked if mine was the same…sometimes willingly, sometimes nodding in silence.  When you are a kid you do that kind of thing.  I’m sure that is why Mom assumed I liked blue.  Here I am a teen, and I’m still doing it…nodding my head when someone tells me what they think they know I like.  It’s much easier to give in.

There is one place in my room I think I like.  My closet.  Its walls are covered with bright orange, yellow and green flowers.  The paper was put up by me, myself and I.  No one helped; no one else decided.  I painstakingly cut around the brackets and became a contortionist to glue that stuff up.  In spite of being laughed at (which always happens), I did it.  I’m proud of it, and nobody can take it away from me.   It’s also not so scary if I just see it once in a while, so putting it in the closet works out very well.

For the second time this year I have brought home a bright orange, red and gold flowered quilt and accessories to update our bland bedroom.  Funny thing…the second time our reaction was the same as the first.  The colors and pattern still seemed to shout and assault our senses when we spread it out on our bed, hardly creating the environment our quiet introvert souls crave.  OK, said I to myself, why have I repeated the same mistake?  Then I remembered the above story.  Definitely a connection, don’t you think?  My guess is part of me is stuck back in that blue room and bright closet.  How do I get out?  What needs to change?  Do I need to forgive?  Does a pattern need to be broken?  All of the above?

Right now I want to slam the door (interesting wording considering I am talking about my bedroom and closet) on this process and walk away.  I have had it up to my eyeballs with past pain.  Maybe that is one of the reasons why I haven’t written for about 2 weeks.  And, why life has felt so dry.  But avoiding never brought healing.  It’s like putting off necessary surgery; the problem only gets worse or the infection just festers.

So God, help me to continue on.

Running in circles and set on a rock

After almost a week of slogging through life as though partially immersed in a quagmire, this picture went through my mind when I lay in bed reflecting on the day.  I was running on a small, oval dirt track set in small, slightly unkempt grassy field.  Directly across from and facing each other on opposite long sides of the oval stood my Grandmother and my Mom; my racing feet were carving the elliptical pathway as I frantically sped round and round from one to the other.  Along with that image came interpretation.  I was surprised to find I was still living life trying to please them, torn by each one’s demand for loyalty, their extreme dislike of each other and the fear of losing either if I did not conform to their needs.  It was clear I would never reach my goals while continuing my hopeless circular journey.  I needed to break away from the gravitational pull that kept me in their orbit; then I would fly on a straight trajectory toward the dreams of my choice.

That visual then morphed into a slightly different take on the same theme.  The track changed to an old fashioned firefighter’s life net with my grandmother and mom holding either side.  As I sat in the middle, they jerked the rigid oval frame up and down making the inside canvas behave like a trampoline.  There I flopped and bounced at their whim, completely under their influence; the only thing I could do was feel nauseated, disoriented and miserable.  Again, understanding came.  At alternate times in my young life I experienced each as my safety net.  This was essential for me when they separately functioned as my care givers, but I no longer needed them in that capacity.  Now God is my safety net.  After this realization, I saw God reach for me and lift me from my unhealthy status and draw me to Himself.  Holding me close in an upright position, my feet and legs dangling, He hugged me and as though assimilated through osmosis, His power calmed me.  Gently and slowly He set my feet on the rock on which He stood.  My weak legs wanted to collapse, so He supported me, but I was sure the longer I stayed the stronger I would become.

I was reminded of Psalm 40:1-2:

“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

I have long considered these my life verses (except for the waiting patiently part; that I have not done well).  Time and again I have experienced God lifting me “out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire”; always I assumed I was placed on the Rock.  I may have been.  But, I have never before been given a clear indication that it actually happened.  Now I know; it is done.  I am on the Rock.  And, I will learn how to stand.

Hello blog friends

I’ve missed you.  And, I’ve missed blogging.  I’ve done some book writing (I thought I had three chapters, but now I think I need to start over), but that is not at all as therapeutic as spilling my guts here.

So much has happened in the last two weeks, and so much is unresolved.  I have dreamed almost every night and have faithfully recorded each one (at least the ones I remember).  I have guessed at their implications and yet have not experienced the fulfillment of their purposes.  My introverted personality has lately been exposed to much stimulus, and I am feeling exhausted, battered and discombobulated (what a great word).  In short, I am starting to bump along the surface of life without making time to visit those deep places that are so important to me.  The solution?  I think I may need to start posting again to work through the things God is digging up and bringing out into the light.  What good is it to have half-finished thoughts purposelessly floating around in your mind?  They need to be connected with truth and planted in your soul in order to bear their intended fruit.  So, I am back.  Now the million dollar question is (and no, if you answer it, you will not receive your reward) can I blog and write a book at the same time?  We shall see.  Only God knows…and guess what?  I am going to find out.

A dream

Little did I know how quickly the future would come. 

In my last post, I stated positively that I knew there would be more battles to be fought and changes to be made, but no matter what the future held my God would work it for my good….so onward and upward, I declared, into whatever God had for me!  The day after I did my first edit of that post, a new fight began, following only a week of R & R.  Sigh.  But, I have given God permission to do what is necessary to shape me into wholeness, so who am I to complain?  (Even though I did…)

I had a dream.  I was in a house; its outside was exactly like the second home we lived in after my mother returned from her final stint in the mental institution.  Unlike the exterior, the inside was very dissimilar in its physical appearance, although what was there represented well the chaos of our family patterns.  The right side of the interior was like a vertical maze of floors and walls placed at haphazard heights and positions; there was no back wall, so light shone through from back to front.  The left side had no walls, floors or ceilings, as if a bomb had exploded or a natural disaster had swept through and left emptiness in its wake.  The house’s rear section seemed to be completely open to the back yard, but closer examination revealed a clear plastic casing stretching all the way to the back fence, similar to a tall rectangular green house.  Inside this structure there were hanging ropes which were used as zip lines by aliens who were rapidly sliding into the house to attack and annihilate.  My energy and time were given to counter attacks, vaporizing, demolishing and casting out those beings which were bent on destroying me and ending my freedom.  I was in my element, enjoying the fight; periodically I was joined by friends when the battle became too complex and reinforcements were needed.  Like characters in Hidden Dragon Crouching Tiger we leaped, swooped, soared, and fought with deep satisfaction and focused strength.

I was a different person outside that environment, as shown by the second half of this dream.  In it, a new neighbor came to our backyard with a battalion of her friends to “help” plant flowers.  She was over bearing, controlling, very effusive and looked remarkably like Kim Kardashian.  (Since I barely know who she is and couldn’t even remember her name, I really don’t know how her image came to be part of this story…dreams are strange entities.)  Her idea of “help” was to do things her way without any consideration for others’ thoughts and desires.  I immediately abandoned my station inside and dashed to intervene.  She was deeply offended by my objections and began to stalk off in a huff, indignantly proclaiming she thought we had an agreement to help each other with our outdoor work.  (Of course, assisting in her yard also meant doing things only as she wished.)  Following and attempting to smooth her ruffled feathers, I entreated her to try to understand that we just had a break down in communication about what it meant to “help each other”.  Somewhat mollified, she and her friends left.

I watched as she crossed the street to her home, and I realized I should have been firm about who I was and what I wanted when we first met.  Doing so would have avoided that conflict and the turmoil tumbling about inside me.  Truthfully, I wouldn’t have wanted such a friend, yet my behavior exhibited the opposite.

Upon waking the next morning, I asked myself and God what the dream meant.  Some questions which ran through my mind were:  Can I perceive truth inside the house but not outside?  Can I exercise discernment for my family of origin but not for myself?  Am I still trapped within my old family structure and have difficulty functioning outside their mode of operation?  Do I lose my ability to discern and be myself outside of their sphere of influence?           

As the day progressed, clarity came with an answer somewhat different from what my enquiries implied but pertained to elements within each.  I have learned confidence and discernment when warring against the forces of evil emanating from within my family of origin, yet I lack those same attributes when life takes me away from that venue.  Allowing myself to be snowballed and steamrolled by external forces, people, and cultures, I don’t express my internal personality or stand firm in who I am or what I believe.  (This is somewhat relative and depends on the situations in which I find myself.)  Thus, I conform in subtle ways and allow myself to be carried along by the culture or personality dominating the moment.  (Not so much compromising standard moral truths, but compromising my very essence.)

Reflection has verified this truth.  Throughout the years, there are many times when I have jeopardized my integrity.  These vary from blatant lies when I was much younger (the words seemed to be powered by forces beyond my control) to more recent, less obvious, but still internally damaging, denials of who I am created to be.

I’m sure there are numerous reasons for this behavior, such as old patterns engrained in my psyche, the human drive for self preservation and everyone’s desire to be accepted and loved.  Most likely my introversion has also played a part in this equation.  But, no matter what the cause, I do not want to continue to relate to the outside world in such a subservient way.  And, I know my God longs for me to be whole, complete and strong, so I may live in the truth of who I am no matter what the circumstance.  That is why He gave me this dream…to show the reason for and to open the door to the next leg of my healing journey.