Over on my personal site, my last few posts have dealt with the prevailing theme of Restoration. We all go through things that are created to test our faith and our focus. Some people break, but most of us will find the inner strength to overcome. Out of the fire will come a whole new person that even you won’t recognize when you look in the mirror. But how do you get there?
For some of us we encounter angels on earth. It sounds idyllic, but because I just experienced it, I know that it’s real.
I was minding my own business at church, waiting to talk to 1 of the deacons. My mind has been so cluttered and in overdrive that I needed to talk to someone. I felt like I could only gain clarity by talking to someone who didn’t know much about me. As I was sitting outside his office, an older woman walked past me and into his office. When she came back out, she greeted me and started to talk about how she hadn’t seen me in awhile. Bare in mind, this church has a membership of probably 1200+ people and I don’t go every Sunday. So I was shocked that she even knew my face enough to know she hadn’t seen it in awhile. We exchanged pleasantries and she went to hug me. I’m not a touchy-feely person so I instinctively tensed up in her embrace. She addressed my apprehension with a weird look on her face. The uncomfortable silence lingered then she said to me “I can feel the tension in your body. Whatever is on your shoulders and making your heart black, I’m telling you to release it. She forgives you.”
I didn’t quite know how to respond to that. I mean how do you respond to a complete stranger giving you an insult like “you have a black heart”? While I was offended, she was right. I have been carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. The pain I’ve been hiding was slowly squeezing the life out of my heart.
For most of us, our baggage is a metaphor for mental enslavement. We become prisoners of what used to be, what should be, what did/did not happen, and what we would have done differently. The shackles are invisible yet very heavy. They hold down our consciousness where thoughts of hope and faith should be free. Every day is an opportunity for you to get out of that prison cell you created. However, some of us just don’t want to be moved. I don’t think I consciously chose to stay bogged down by my emotional baggage. Yet I didn’t pay attention to the subtle signs of breaking free that God was sending me. So he had to do something more drastic.
God (or the universe if you’re non-religious) will use the most unlikely people to be your catalysts for change. In most cases, it’s someone that you’d easily overlook. I think strangers have an uncanny way of seeing the reality of what troubles us. They don’t see the walls of defense we put up. They see right through the facade of perfection we display for those who know us. There will come a time in your life where you feel like you really can’t get any lower or find any speck of light. Somehow a message that you need to hear will slap you right in the face. I’ll give you another example that’s not as preachy. On my Twitter, I favorite’d this tweet from Deepak Chopra
Tying this back into my experience with the older lady; like I said I was initially offended. But when I talked about this with 2 people that know me very well, they both said essentially the same thing. Your ego will prevent you from hearing messages that are meant to be motivators. This woman didn’t mean any harm when she approached me like that. But God (or the universe) knew that I needed my feelings to be hurt in a way that would wake me up and force me to take action. Sometimes you need to hear something that will push you to choose absolute freedom over emotional bondage.
Making peace with your past is an on-going process. It doesn’t end with a moment of finality. For me, I understand that as long as I keep getting independent confirmations of what I know to be correct and right, I’m moving in the right direction. My journey for 2013 is about being restored after loss and grief. My writing is a huge part of the recovery. Nobody goes through life unscathed. We all have our crosses to bear and regrets to live with. However, we all should be so blessed to encounter perfect strangers that let us know it’s all worth it.
I found myself reminiscin, remember this one
when he was here he was crazy nice with his son
I miss him, long as I’m livin he’s livin through memories
He’s there to kill all my suicidal tendencies
In heaven lookin over me