How different is the person I am today from the person I was 10 years ago? How about 15 years ago? How different are you? I know I've matured (well, as little as possible! :)) but other than that obvious change, how else have I changed? This question comes because I'm trying to write about myself as a young teen. I want to meet myself as a 12 or 13 year old. I want to know how I thought, what I believed in, who I loved and why I loved them. Its funny to think that I don't know myself but I don't remember being that person. When I look back, it is with the eyes of a 27 year old - from the outside looking in. I can't step inside myself and feel the angst of being a tween. I've noticed this about all my memories - I don't relive them, I observe them. Is that normal? I wish I could relive certain moments. But then there are those moments, those memories that I avoid with every ounce of strength I have. These "special", horrible memories are the reason I'm trying to again be 13 actually. I'm working on remember innocous details about my life then so that I can also try to remember things from the past that I've been trying to avoid for 18 years. I'm not sure this is a good idea, but I'm doing it with a lot of support and prayer. And I really feel like its time. I've had a lot of confirmations from outside sources and I've been given peace about the whole thing. I know that God is with me and that through Him I'll be able to face what I fear. And I'll be able to use these difficult months of healing and these terrible moments of grief for His glory and for the benefit of others. I'm not looking forward to the coming journey, but then who looks forward to pain? What I am looking forward to is knowing that on the other side lies a healthier me, a better relationship with my husband, a better mother to my kids and a great story to use for empathy in my practice.
One step in this journey involves talking to people who knew me then. I don't trust my memories explicitly and so I want outside validation. Barbara Kingsolver said "Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, but not its twin". And Aldous Huxley said "Every man's memory is his private literature". I've been doing a lot of studying about memory and how much it can be manipulated and how much it can be trusted. My husband is great about keeping me focused and reassuring me that I'm not losing my mind. He keeps me grounded and centered on Christ through this process... Without his influence I don't believe that I'd be able to successfully address the things that need to be brought to light. Just another example of how blessed I am. :)
On a lighter side, I decided today that it's a little ridiculous that the profile picture I use for everything is over a year old. I avoid photos. No, that's not true, I ADORE photos as long as I'm the one behind the camera! :) So, *gag* I decided to update my profile picture today. I took 33 pictures of myself and deleted 33 of them... :) Nathan finally took one that I semi-like and so, I'm being brave and posting it. Another benefit of this process... I may finally learn to accept myself. Lowell and I were talking last night about my inability to accept his love for me and I finally connected that I can't understand him loving me because I don't love myself. It seems obvious now, but that truth had elluded me for a long time. :) My life makes me laugh some times... I think Christ is really working to make me a good therapist... I've been able to experience a whole lot of things in life that will allow me to empathize with a lot of people. :) There is good to be found in everything!
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I will delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am made strong." 2Corinth. 12:9-10