Saturday, May 28, 2011

Healing is Also about the Blessing of Family and Friendships

Healing is more than just about diet, herbal supplements, and exercise. Healing also involves the emotional part of us. It is important to access where we are on the emotional level of our being. It may mean seeing a Counselor to work through past hurts (or current ones). There were times in my past that I sought after the help of counselors and those counselors helped me tremendously. In fact, I would even say that they kept me from committing suicide. With their help, and the help of a 12-step program, I processed the pain of being molested and of growing up with an alcoholic/abusive father. We make the choice to either be a victim, or be a victor. I chose, and continue to choose, to be a victor. The best type of victorious life is a life well lived.

Emotional healing may mean accessing our need for friends or to mend relationships with family members. I will tell you a secret: I've not had many friends in my lifetime. For reasons I never fully understood, I was that kid in the neighborhood and school that was everyone else's punching bag. I was mocked, humiliated, pushed, and hit just because it was the fun thing to do. The more I tried to disappear into the wallpaper, the more they tormented me. Until, that is, I reached high school. In high school (Texas Sr High in Texarkana, TX), I had two things on my side: my football playing brother and my art teacher. Being "Paxton's sister" saved me a lot of grief. And, when things still got to be too much, I could always go to the art room and find refuge. Mr. Deon would cover for me with the teachers and I could stay there as long as I needed to. I was forever grateful to him. I learned years later that kids perceived me as being "conceited" or "stuck-up". I suppose it probably looked that way. I was interverted and fearful due to years of torment at school (not to mention what was going on at home). Perhaps if I'd been able to connect with people, I could have had a different experience. The regrets are what we carry with us. We can continue to feel the shame or we can forgive ourselves and others and leave it as just a distant pain that no longer scars our hearts.

I wish I could say that, having dealt with the past, I am now blessed with many friends. Alas, not so. I try but my list of friends is still very short. I have a very dear friend, Neeny, who lives in Northern Virginia. She is like a sister to me. She knows me--the good, the bad, and the ugly--and yet she still loves me like a sister. You know you have a true friend when they see the very worst parts of you and don't run like hell in the other direction. Since moving here a decade ago, I have collected few names to my friends list. There were some I thought were but turned out not to be (betrayal is very painful). There are others who have proven their worth through quiet prayer support in my darkest hours. I think that is another good sign of a true friend--when you feel lost and all alone and beaten down, they lift you up in prayer and don't stop until a breakthrough comes. I am blessed. But, I'll let you in on a another secret: I still pray for a "Neeny" here...someone to "hang" with. You know, the type of friend you go to movies with or to the mall. The type of friend who will go clothes shopping with you and make you try them on in the store. The type of friend who will suggest that perhaps that outfit doesn't set quite the image you think it does. That is the kind of friend I keep asking God for. But, for the time being, I take comfort in knowing that I have the type of friends God knows I need the most.

And, hey, I have over a 100 Facebook Friends. That's pretty good for scared girl hiding in the artroom, don't you think?

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