Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘regret’ Category

Is It Okay To Be Really Angry?

Angry Birds Plush Toy

I’ve been following along with the documentary show on OWN called “Finding Sarah” – about Fergie – the Duchess of York.  She is on a quest to find out why she has turned out the way she has – and why she seems to be helpless to spin out of control and make wrong decisions in her life – resulting in years of destructive behavior including a failed marriage and loss of several careers to reinvent herself.  In this last episode after meeting with trusted friends and experts such as Dr. Phil – she traveled to Arizona to meet with a guru and nature healer.  He was native American – with long braids – a very serene and gracious person who asked her to talk about the things that troubled her.  As she poured out her story to him – he said things very similar to what Dr. Phil had already told her – with a unique spin.  “What you do not acknowledge – you cannot change”.  He used 2 pound rocks to represent all the different aspects of the dark side of her personality – Anger, Rage, Bitterness, Frustration, Jealousy, etc.  He asked her if she had ever felt RAGE?  She told him it wouldn’t have been acceptable to do that – or to even be ANGRY.   Having been in a very controlled environment – that would never have been allowed – even as a child.  And there were some things in her that were buried so deep – and to touch them was very scary.

Then he told her to pick them up – and pack them around on her back while they took a little journey.  He said, “you carry them around now anyway – you might as well take them to know how heavy they are”.  So she did as she was told – and they were heavy.  Once they drove to their destination and walked in the desert for a bit – they came a place where she was instructed to take off the rocks and then he demonstrated for her what he wanted her to do to release these from her life.

He stood facing a canyon that echoed back and yelled, “WHYYYYYYYYY?”  Using his whole body to really take his time – from standing upright to going down on his knees.  Then he did it again – took his time – again yelling, “WHYYYYYYYYYYYY”? And letting it echo back.  He told her – you are doing this for youYou need to release it.  There is no answer.

She was reluctant of course – to look foolish.  But she wanted to comply.  When she tried to do it – it was difficult – especially when the subject of abandonment from her mother came up – and touching that emotion was so painful she couldn’t allow herself to even cry or become angry.  So again – he demonstrated and feel to his knees and sobbed like a baby.  She watched him – fascinated that someone could be so in touch with their feelings – and could release them and not hold on to the darker things.  And though she could not do what he wanted – by watching him – it touched something inside of her – and he knew it would be a long journey of healing for her.

As I watched this “teacher” and “nature healer” speak to her – helping her discover who she is and why she is still so lost – I was reminded of how God works with us.  We all carry around those heavy rocks too – but since no once can see them – we learn to hide and stuff – adjust to the weight of them.  And I realized that I am not so much different from Sarah – I suppress things – stuff them – control my environment so everyone including me is comfortable.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment of RAGE in my life.  I’ve been angry – but mostly my anger goes right to sadness – and I am afraid to touch it too much.

I remember pouring out my heart to God in a situation I had about 2 1/2 years ago – and it was scary going to that rage and anger – and sobbing seemed a more comfortable place for me – so that’s where I went.  Even though I know that God can handle my questions, my rage, my anger and my ugliness – it was still difficult to admit it – even to Him.

The dark emotions that each of us have – can be destructive – if inflicted on another – but I also learned that they are important to deal with and release – with just myself and God.  He can handle them.  He made these emotions.  And He can help release something in me – so that I don’t harm and inflict someone I love.

When was the last time you were really angry about something – and allowed yourself to touch that emotion – so that you could deal with it?  When was the last time you let God see that in you?  Is that okay for you?  Do you see it as a sign of weakness – or lack of control?  When is it wrong to be angry?

God Bless

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Dark Night Of The Soul

“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”

Corrie Ten Boom

I love the movie, ‘The Hiding Place‘ – where the above quote comes from. Corrie Ten Boom was a survivor of the Holocaust – and saw unspeakable things while she and her older sister, both of them women in their 50’s were held prisoner by the Germans. Her sister never lost her faith during that time in the concentration camps – believed, hoped and encouraged others not to become bitter – not to hate. She became ill and died at the hands of the ones who had been so cruel. It was after Corrie was released from prison – due to a clerical error – that she was able to see God‘s purpose and plan for her life – even in that ‘pit’. And she became an ambassador for Christ and His great love and provision for her – to countless millions of people around the world. If anyone knew about the ‘dark night of the soul‘ – it was this lady.

We have all experienced this – a situation that makes us evaluate our lives – and challenges everything we believe in. Most of us have never been in a situation or circumstance like Corrie Ten Boom – but we all have suffered our own degrees of sadness, depression, hurt, frustration, loss and helplessness. We all have longed for peace from strife – knowledge from endless questions and release from hurt and pain.

I’m so glad that I have a relationship with Jesus Christ – and I know for sure there is no place so dark – that His light cannot be seen – no place so deep, that He is not deeper still. I know because I’ve experienced it. I know because I have a story to tell of God’s great love and faithfulness – his hand of protection – and his grace and mercy to me – during a dark time.

Even in those times that seemed so hopeless to me – with no answers – I was not alone.

And I’m thankful that although I didn’t and still don’t understand everything about those hard places that I’ve had to experience – I’ve come to realize that I learned the most valuable lessons in those dark times. In the dark I was finally able to see things I would not have seen while the light shined so bright.

I am told that in a total eclipse of the sun – what is discovered while the sun’s brightness is covered up – is the deadly and dangerous corona which surrounds it and is usually invisible. In the same way there are dangers in my life that can be covered up in the light and are much clearer in a ‘dark’ painful time – where my senses and awareness are heightened. They are sharper and clearer during that time.  And I am forced to see them.  Giving me true courage to face what I must – turn away things from my life that are not healthy and give me final resolve.  As I battle in the dark – I learn much about myself and others who have been there – and sadly those who haven’t.  And I discover that it is in fact,  not the end.

Total Solar eclipse 1999 in France. * Addition...

Image via Wikipedia

And like you – I’m still learning. I’m learning that the ‘dark night of the soul’ – is not the end of the world. It’s the place where fear of the unknown and true surrender come together. It is the place where giving up and temptation meet with resignation and strength.

It is a place where I begin:

Letting go – and giving in.

Losing everything I hold

Waving goodbye – and saying hello

Realizing false strength – and true weakness

Gaining much-needed perspective

Being engulfed by heaviness that I cannot lift

And sadness I can taste

A testing of my strength and will – and looking for any light

This, my friends – is the ‘dark night of the soul’.  It is surrender.

If you are having a season like this – it’s okay. It will not last forever. And although you may not ever get the answers you need – your heart will one day find the resignation – to the questions. And you will not always feel sad – or hopeless. This dark night may turn out to be your greatest testimony.  And your finest moment if you will allow the Savior in.  You will find Him ready to meet with you there.  And when you look back – you will realize that He carried you.   And your faith will never be the same.   Someday, you will be able to help someone else – because you will know and understand.

I found a beautiful song by Kate Campbell. If you are experiencing that ‘dark night of the soul’ or have recently experienced it – this song is for you.

God Bless

Dumb is Temporary – But Stupid Is Forever

MakingAFace

Image via Wikipedia

Can you relate?

I sure can.

We all make dumb mistakes – errors that leave us cringing afterward –  But luckily for most of us, they are only temporary lapses of judgment – and easily remedied.  Everyone would agree – dumb is just dumb.

But stupid is forever.  These are the things that have long-term ramifications – and as former pastor Rick Ross used to say, “Stupid is as Stupid does” – it is so true.  Oh you know what I mean.  Those things or habits that we’ve come to know and even ‘cozied’  up to – blindly ignoring all warning signs that say, ‘STOP doing that!!’  It is then that we cross the line from dumb to stupid.

I’ve done everything that I could in the past to prevent me  from going into stupid after visiting dumb  – but I am human and even I have ventured into the scary dark abyss of stupid.  Making friends with stupid is pretty dumb and no one in their right mind would do it.  But I also know that I have done it – I’ve  tasted dumb – and have not been satisfied with it – and so I’ve taken a drink from the ‘stupid kool-aid’ – unaware of the effects of it until much later.  And sadly – sometimes getting rid of stupid takes forever.

Now the only way to combat stupid and stick to just plain dumb – is this:  Don’t ignore the red flags and the little ‘ping’ you get in your stomach when going there.  Be able to stop and run from stupid at a moment’s notice.  And when you are around stupid people – don’t listen to them.  They are usually as changeable as the wind – one minute your best friend – the next your most hated enemy.  And stupid people will always make you feel like the stupid one.  So beware.  They are slick, fast talking, fair weather people – like the leaves on a tree – blowing any direction – with no stability.  Watch out for them – don’t follow their advice or listen to what they say and stay away from people they hang out with – because most likely they’ve been drinking the ‘stupid kool-aid’  too.  Ever tried reasoning with a stupid person?  Yeah right.  It’s impossible.

I will continue to be dumb – because I’m on a journey just like you.  Mistakes and temporary lapses in judgment are part of my journey as an imperfect person.   I also know there is much grace for me that is new every morning, and God’s love has been such a wonderful and reassuring security for my many mess-ups.  Thank you Jesus!  But I have also gone to the stupid level – and know the pain involved with trying to undo it – heal and be reconciled to situations and people and I can tell you first hand – it’s just not worth it – so I will be on guard and aware 24-7. And let’s face it – even if you decide against stupid – stupid will never let you forget. Not ever.

Dumb is temporary – Stupid is Forever

God Bless

Another Winter

Autumn fallen leaves of Zelkova serrata

Image via Wikipedia

The chill in the air feels familiar

and yet

there is always something missing at this time of year

I wait for something

I sense the anticipation

Leaves hang on

as if they too

are waiting for something

and then they fall

surrendering to their time

surrendering to the cold

And like the leaves

I too – hang on

waiting for something

But in the end

I too surrender to the inevitable

perhaps an echo

of past things

a glimpse of something

from long ago

in this time of the year

when chill and thoughts of snow

fill the air

Another winter season

when something was lost

and something else found

And I realize

I am the leaves

that have fallen

surrendering to the cold

and the winter

and yet…

I am getting up again

crushed but not broken

Another ‘winter’ came

to steal my joy

rob my spirit

and I was lost

But I survived

got back up

and here I am

to face another winter

that feels familiar

but is so different

And I smile

another season

more progress

on my journey

regrets that lessen

with time

and healing

in all things that matter

and I am content

Working The Anger Out

"Always write angry letters to your enemi...

Image by Abby Lanes via Flickr

‎”Always write angry letters to your enemies. Never mail them.” – James Fallows

How many times have we done this? I know I have.  More than once.  My own dear husband admits to writing one of these to me a couple of years ago – and never let me read it – and he’s glad – so am I.

Letters written with anger are never restorative. Instead they can do real damage – as the written word is forever.  It is always imprinted on the memory and heart and is a tough thing to move past.

I don’t believe it is a sin to be angry.  Jesus was angry – many times.  He never sinned in anger and asks that we do the same.  There are going to be things that make us angry – it’s just a fact of life.  There are things we can’t understand – things we can’t resolve and the list goes on and on.

I wrote one of these ‘angry’ letters to a friend I had a falling out with – but I’m so glad I never mailed it – or passed it through an email.  The letter was for me alone – part of my healing to just ‘get it out’ on paper and reevaluate what went wrong – and validate me as a person.  Sometimes this is a necessary thing to do.  Once the anger and emotion is passed – often times there is something left in its place.  Perspective and sadness. Sadness for the circumstances – and perspective that time passing brings – taking the punch out of the anger.  Sadness that so much time is lost in the mean time.

I must admit that I don’t get angry very often.  I’m pretty even-tempered – yet I’m passionate about certain things – but usually not angry.  I love people in my life – deeply.  Love my family and friends with a solid love.  I think what really sets me off are ‘half truths’ told about me – or people totally misunderstanding me and passing me off as something that is not even true.  And being helpless to change this opinion.  Another thing that really sets me off is being helpless to change past circumstances that got blown WAY out of proportion.  I am naive enough to believe that adults should be able to get past themselves – truly and totally forgive – to save the relationship – learn from mistakes of the past and be restored in every sense of the word.  My dear husband smiles at me and pats me on the head – like I’m a small child full of innocence and wonder.  And says, ‘Oh Cindy – that is just not the real world’

And so writing letters are for me alone. God is the only one who sees them.  And He is doing a deep work of art – in my heart.  Helping me work out the disappointment, hurt and anger – and stop it before I spew it on others close to me.  I’ve kept a journal for years – and recently I told ‘my story’ as I remember it.  We all have our ‘story’ don’t we?  Mistakes we have made?  Someone that has hurt you?  Something you can’t fix on your own?  Yes – we all do.

Can I be angry and not sin?  That is the challenge for me. Can I still be passionate about wanting change – and not push before people are ready for change?  Can I keep who I am intact – and not lose myself to emotion?  Can I do and feel what is right – and not compromise what I feel God would want me to do?  Follow His leading and direction – rather than what others tell me?  Know myself so well – that it is not a dilemma for me to restore others in love?  These are the questions I struggle with – daily.  And sometimes what I feel God is leading me to do – is not the popular consensus.

My encouragement for you is this:  Write that angry emotional letter – get it all out!  All of it. The feelings and emotions – the being misunderstood – the slander against you – the feelings of betrayal and being wronged.   Imagine taking a walk with that person who has wronged you.  Find a nice place to stop along the road – a nice grassy patch that’s very quiet and peaceful.  Take out the letter and read it out-loud to that person.  Ask them not to interrupt you until you’re done reading it.  This letter will say it all – and you won’t have to depend on your memory – and get lost in emotion – you can just read it.  Imagine that they hear you.  Really hear you. Imagine that they understand – and that they feel sorry for causing you pain – and they accept your apology too.  Imagine the conversation of healing and restoration – even if you have to MAKE IT UP.  Remember – it is for you. It is part of your heart healing – and letting go of the anger.

I have done this – not once – but many times. It is always a restorative conversation.  The anger is no longer there.  I am still writing – and there are days when I have to take that walk with someone again and read a letter – forgive and be forgiven – and have a healing conversation.  There are days when I have to forgive myself all over again.  I wish I could say that all of my relationships have been finally worked out and are restored – back in good daily communication – having put the past behind – but sadly this is not true.  But I still wait in anticipation for God to truly restore and heal – and bring back to me – what was once lost. There must still be lessons for me to learn. Until then – I am still working on me. I am in process – on a long journey.

God Bless

We Like Sheep

I am like a Sheep.  I am a Sheep.  And so are  you.

I find it interesting that of all the creatures on earth, Jesus compared us to sheep.  The first reason is clear – He took ordinary things in people’s lives and used them for illustration, to make His message understandable by the ordinary working class.  But there is also another reason.  Those that have worked with sheep and been with them for any length of time can testify that there is nothing quite so dumb as a sheep. The comparison is true.  It is speaking of you and me.

Sheep wander, they get lost, and believe it or not – they DO NOT LEARN.

It’s almost insulting to be compared to these hopelessly ridiculous creatures – and yet…

I am humbled by the words of Jesus.  And touched by His protection over me – just like a shepherd.  Protecting, leading and guiding.  Watching, hoping and believing that I’ll finally get it right.  All the while knowing that it is a stretch because I am a sheep. Hopelessly dumb – and constantly wandering and yes –  even getting lost.  I break away many times in my much-anticipated freedom – breaking off the restraints that hold me safe – only to find that I am more lost than ever before.  I blow it – get off track and wander even further away from His loving arms of protection – it is then that I realize – I am nothing without the lavish love of the Great Shepherd.  Will I ever get it right?  Will I ever learn?  And this is why – we need a Savior.  Jesus came to save His lost sheep.  It wasn’t enough that the lost were found – He loved them so much that He died for them.

Sheep-flock with shepherd.......

Image by Astrid Photography. via Flickr

Isaiah 53 (Message Bible)

We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him.

 

Who else do you know that loves you so much?  Would anyone you know really die for you?  How about someone you didn’t know?  How about then?  Is there anyone you can think  of that would do that?  This is exactly what Jesus did.  He died ‘while we were yet sinners’ still living far from Him – wandering around and doing our own thing – getting lost and messing it up – just like sheep.

Are you in need of a Shepherd today?  Call out His name – He’ll be there in a hurry to rescue you and to lovingly embrace you with His protective arms – keeping you on a safe path.  Stay close to Him and He will watch over you with a relentless love. Always.

 

God Bless

The Remains Of The Day

”]Cover of "The Remains of the Day [Region ...

Last night I watched a brilliant story called ‘The remains of the day‘ with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

As I was watching it – and getting involved in the story and the characters – I was keenly aware of the passage of time and events in our lives that slip by too fast.  Things and people in our lives that are here one day and gone another – or those that we feel will always be there – and then they’re not.  Choices that we make and things that we don’t think too much about – until they are gone.

In this story a man who is a butler of a huge household in England – hires a woman to be the head housekeeper.  They work together for years and have a very tragic and unrequited love story – because he cannot risk his own heart.  And eventually – she leaves and marries someone else.

It is 20 years before they see each other again – and she talks about her regret and the lost years – and what might have been – but realizes that it is too late – and though she cries when leaving him at the end – you have the sense that she does not love him anymore and that she has chosen her husband and the life they built together.

It is brilliantly acted – and you can actually feel the remorse and regret from both of them in their later years – though no love between them is ever mentioned. All because his life is very structured and safe and he cannot allow himself to fall in love.  I wanted to say – all through the movie, ‘you KNOW you love her – tell her!!!’  But he would not.  And he is alone.

Loving someone – giving your heart away is always a risk.

C. S. Lewis addressed the issue of protecting the heart back in the 1950’s: “If you want to make sure of keeping (your heart) intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to…the risk of a (broken heart) is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the danger (of a broken heart) is Hell.”

No friend will break your heart in Hell. No loved ones will disappoint you there. Why? Because there are no friends in hell. There is only the love of the self in hell. Hell is the place where the idolatry of the self comes to its logical, final conclusion.

I can tell you how to guarantee your heart will never be broken. The price, however, is astronomical. It will create for you the closest thing I know of to a “hell on earth.” Never give your heart to anyone – a friend, a child, a brother/sister, a sweetheart. Never give your heart and you consign yourself to living out your life in self-imposed loneliness.

My counsel is “Give your heart,” but give it wisely. Give it only to those who are capable of appreciating and treasuring it. The Biblical way of expressing this caution is “Don’t throw your pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6). But even if you are successful in only giving your heart to those who will treasure your gift, your heart will be broken.

When your heart is broken, and sooner or later it will be, seek its healing in the presence of others. When you have allowed others to help you with the healing process, you will affirm the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson to be true: “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

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