Blog-tember Challenge: Mood Board

Instead of a mood board I decided to share my Vision Board that I created as part of my work through this book:

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For the past 1-2 years, I have been dealing with another bout of depression which I am sure was fueled by the stress of so many changes in my life this past year. This past summer my goal was to get healthy and one of the things in my functional medicine doctor’s plan was to read this book. The author’s point was to become a Visionary not a Critic (pp. 24-26): “While the critic whispers incessantly to you about your shortcomings, all that is wrong, and how hard you must work to change, …the visionary knows who you really are, identifies with your basic goodness, and has specific longings just for you.”  The book said to create a Vision Board by first reflecting on what hopes you have in going through this workbook. Then, by cutting out pictures from magazines that speak to these hopes and your vitality. As a former artsy crafty person, it was fun to be creative and take the time to do this for myself. So this is what I came up with.

img_0004The book asks, “What does your vision board tell you about your deepest longings and intentions for yourself on this journey to resilience?”

My deepest longing is to be free from self-sabotage brought about by my incessant self-judgements. When I strip away all this negative judgement I am left with the person I really am, even if I don’t feel like I am her. That’s why I included affirmations such as “I am free from fear; I am full of peace” and “I have the courage to change.”  They feel so very far from true-like it’s almost wrong to say them. But by not saying them, I am not true to myself and I continue along the sad road of self-sabotage. Along with the Scripture verses, “I am precious and honored” and “I am chosen, holy and Christ’s heir”-they don’t feel real, but I must fight to believe them.

I also included comforting and serene pictures to remind me that I am someone who longs for peace, rest and comfort. And it’s okay to have these things. Because when I experience them, I can then give them to others.

I included pictures and quotes about healing because true healing is not the absence of pain or disease; that’s just a cure. True healing is a mental state that shows I am resilient and have the ability to find joy in tough times.

I also included a picture of a snowman because it reminds me of the innocence of childhood and brings me back to my memories of childhood.  This is a reminder that it’s okay to be nostalgic, to receive soothing comfort from the past. While I find joy in my memories, I also desire to be creating new memories by experiencing beauty in the present moment. Because by remaining focused on the past or future, I am contributing to my old patterns of stuckness and self-sabotage. This reminds me that life is about a balance.

The book finally asks to come up with an intention statement for yourself as you go through this book. My intention as I continue along the road of healing is:

I allow myself to become who I truly am by letting go of the fear of change and of becoming this new person. I allow myself to let go of the things that overall don’t matter but instead embrace all of the beauty in my self, others and Creation.

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Woman on a Bed

I decided to abandon the 30 questions. Big surprise! If I need to get inspired, I can refer back to them but something different for now…

Half naked body in the heat of a summer-warmed house. Laying here: a speck in a vast expanse of time and space. Fan flitting wisps of hair, ruffling a blouse hanging on a chair. A woman on a bed. Half curled, longing. She is just a body on a bed. A mess of cells and skin with woman parts. Who sees her?

I see her from a distance and inside her mind I hear their wails, their horror-filled eyes, their empty hearts, their stopped blood-flow and forced breath, their will to press on in the midst of a fucked up world: a ball of matted confusion, all because something evil entrapped a body and mind and he went on a killing spree. His actions the reason for their empty souls and a nation shaken with disgust and incredulity and at the same time a deep down feeling of “I’m not that surprised.”

The towns of Aurora and Littleton and the nation that is so-called “free” and “united” and “under God” yet we seem to have our own brand of problems. Diseases of chaos, poverty, perversion.

She lays there at the mercy of a world so out of her control. At the will of a mind so active and a body that seems to do what it wants when it wants. Her brain and heart continue to war on and on. Can she be known as more than what they want? What she perceives herself to be? 

They see a woman as curves and moves and soft skin and finger tips. But who will notice her will; her passion; her drive for beauty, creativity, simplicity; and life and her commitment to her dreams, however shattered they seem? 

She is just a body laying there. She wants to be held with no expectation to give. She just wants to know her existence matters in this world of chaos, confusion, a world of massive killings that take away what is real: enchanting beauty; endearing, spectacular moments that you will never get back. How can this be the same world, so empty and full at the same time; so clear yet so bewildering; so tangible yet complex; so full of love, kindness, and beauty yet wrought with murder, depravity and despair.

Somewhere she lays. In a far off bed with cheek against tear-stained pillow.

I look into a blue sky with powder white clouds, cruising. Where are they off to? With birds and dragonflies and bees off in their own little worlds, their nonexistent brains keeping them free from confusion and the hate, that we as nameless humans are trapped in. Flitting about from leaf to leaf, zooming up and down and around the clouds, I long to have their freedom for just one moment.

Whether on the grass or on my bed, I will forever be a jumbled up mess, a mind constantly shifting with its longings, questions, quests, dreams, hopes, images. I can see insider her brain: images of peace. And I can feel it in her body: deep breath that feels like heaven. And I hear it in her ears: You can always have a moment like this. You must search for it. You must take time out for it. You need it to survive.

Written 7/21/12 inspired by my mind and the Aurora, CO shooting

Restless

Something is pulling me
Grabbing at my will
I can’t seem to be okay
I can’t sit
My mind spins
Thinking: what could I do?
Should I do?
What will satisfy me?
Looking inside I know You’re there
but why isn’t that enough?
I’m not up, I’m not down
I’m treading in the middle
missing my old rollercoaster life
Unaccustomed to the stillness

The moments where nothing seems to be happening.
When I can’t put a finger on a feeling
I’m burning
In this deadness
I feel like a fish out of water
this is so strange to me
When life is not about to end
And when running to my journal
And my tears is no longer necessary
to survive…

but still there’s an ache
I wish I could be full blown depressed (sometimes)
But is seems that chapter has closed
Now I have to survive
In a new world
When I’m thirsting for the old one
Who am I when I’m longing
Longing to have my identity back
My sense of worth
I feel better when I’m sad (I think)

But I hate it when I don’t have reason to be
And my brain and my heart both agree for once
I’m unsure and unsteady
As always, looking for answers
Inside and outside
instead of upwards…
i don’t know when reality will set in:
that I can’t, WON’T go back!
No matter how hard I try!

i have to live with one foot here
And one step there-for NOW
Brain-thoughts flitting
Nothing can fill me
Things that were once drugs to me
No longer allure me

And I miss that.

coffee and sugar and crying
Writing and analyzing my self
Weeping and sobbing
Friends and love ones who gave their all
to listen to my ramblings and woes
The Psalms and New Testament and Isaiah and Jeremiah and Job
Jesus…

Books, characters whose lives I longed to have
characters who were my only friends
Real people who I loved as my flesh and blood
People who I’d think about night and day
Authors who I felt knew me through and through

and the words I wrote down
Spurred on by my passions and melancholy
Beautiful, sad words…

Now I don’t see these things as necessary
Because…I’m different
But I miss the highs they gave
The lows that led to the highs
The roads I walked
The barriers I dodge
The waves I climbed

Even Jesus. Christ are you necessary?
I know you are but it’s new.
You are my life in this NEW place
I need you in a new way but i’m not sure
what it is yet
Please teach me!
Help me to know how to ease this uneasiness
And just rest.

 

>Happy Love (and Joy) Day!

>I have not written in a while and I don’t know if it matters much, but I guess I will share a little bit of my heart. God has shown up in so many powerful ways…extremely visibly ways in my life the last couple weeks. Sometimes I just do not feel worthy of all of His blessings. Among my trillion other thoughts, I’ve been wondering, why now? After so many years of depression and now for the first time in 9 years I am Rx free…I feel like my depression is perhaps behind me. I had a rough few weeks of withdrawal because that’s really what it is… I think I am finally free of every one of those tiny white beads-it has now been three weeks! I don’t know if I can say I am depression-free. I am tempted every day to go back to the darkness, especially with all the stress I am under that always affects me emotionally. Sometimes I don’t even believe I had an illness, that it was all in my head. But I have been reading some of my old journals and I know it WAS real. I am in TOTAL AWE of our AWESOME GOD in seeing how far He has brought me! I’ve been struggling with this thought: did I contribute to my healing or is it selfish to think that? I have been working hard to stay healthy-physically, emotionally and spiritually-and I know that for many years, I was too ignorant to make quality decisions about my health. I wonder, if I had made better decisions, would I have not been struck with depression. Did the meds even do anything for me? But I guess it does not help to analyze it. Even if I did make good decisions, God has been my strength in making them and I praise him with all that I am.

There’s so much more on my heart. As I said, depression is a huge temptation in my life-my tendencies toward anxiety, negativity and a bitter, critical spirit are things I have been working on. It seems every minute I have to stop and refocus my thoughts…it’s hard to explain. I want to continue basking in the wonderful gifts God has given me…why did he allow my depression to ease among tons of other blessings? I am not a special person. Why now and not many years ago? And what about everyone in my life who is struggling. I continue to try and take on their burdens and discount every good gift I have received. Because of guilt usually. I don’t feel worthy of joy and happiness a lot of times. I somehow continue to believe that lie and the lie that if others are struggling, I don’t care about them if I am rejoicing in my blessings. Through God’s strength and truth and with my counselor’s help I am able to accept the truth: I am worthy of joy. And God wants me to be joyful! As easy as that is for some people, I have always struggled to believe that. I thought maybe He’s preferred me somber and sad, thinking of everyone in the world (including myself) who is suffering. I can think of them…but then let them go into our Savior’s hand. After all, He is the Savior not me. And He does not need me but He can use me…

I hope you have enjoyed this special day with people you are close to, and especially that you never forget how much you are loved! Thanks for listening, whoever you are.

>Where is my hope?

>The other day I had a nice post written about my measly self and life. I thought, “Oh this is actually pretty good. I should save it just in case.” But I didn’t. Then the power suddenly went out. So much for that.

I am hurting for loved ones right now. Especially my beautiful cousin Becca who lost her third baby. I can’t imagine what pain she must feel so I am crying out to God to comfort her like no one can. Then there’s my friend Kat whose brother was murdered a week ago. I was reading some tributes to her brother Leo this morning. He was only 22 years old. I just can’t believe what kind of f’ed up world we live in. And I am trying to hang on to hope. If not for me, at least for my sweet dear cousin who doesn’t deserve any of this crap. Or for a family whose wonderful brother and son was violently, tragically ripped from their lives…

I was feeling pain earlier. But now it’s deadness. Like it’s not even me writing. I don’t really know if I am sad. Because it is kind of no emotions. None of the stress I am dealing with can compare to the pain of these two wonderful women and the people closest to them. But comparing doesn’t help I suppose.

I don’t really want to talk about me and my drama with messed up relationships and lack of knowledge of self.

When listening to some of my favorite songs, I, like I often do, wondered: Do I even believe this? “He has been there before/He will be there again” and other songs with a similar Jesus-will-never-forsake-you theme. Sometimes I wonder if I am Christian, because when Greg Boyd (my pastor) says to imagine Jesus in your head, I can’t. How am I supposed to know what he looked like? And I wonder if maybe Jews could get into heaven even they don’t believe in Jesus. That makes me feel like a heretic.

I want to turn the world off and focus on hope and life. The only way I can do that is if I have Someone to hope in. For all my life, I’ve hoped in Christ because I was told to; I always wondered if I was doing it right. I don’t want to hope because I’m told to. I want to hope because it’s all I can do. I don’t know if it’s my own evil self or something evil putting thoughts in my head that I can’t trust Jesus. Because look at all the people that kill themselves who were Christians…

Okay sorry for that tangent. It’s like this: I trust God but Jesus is kind of distant. I know they are one and the same and Jesus is supposed to be “God visible” but I don’t feel that. All I see is his Awesomeness in nature and his Beauty in people. I don’t feel Him right now in this moment. Jesus. Sitting next to me as I cry for everyone who is hurting, yelling at Him: Where are you?????