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The basket of words continue


The basket of words continue as we learn about the eighth word called rest.
Rest is so important when someone is doing recovery work.
It is not only emotionally exhaustive but physically; depending on the issues.
In the word – [The Bible] rest is found 521 times and is a very important element of spiritual healing and wholeness.
Rest is a gift you can give to yourself even when you don’t feel tired.
To slow down, to center in and not be doing and going all the time.
“If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.” author unknown
Matthew 11:28-29
“Are you tired? I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me.
I am gentle and lowly in heart. In me, you will find rest.”
What is so important to remember is the rest this is speaking of; is a deep inward calm.
It is a knowing that all will be ok.
Recovery work is very difficult and when we don’t use words like balance and rest, we lose so much of the life around us.
Proverbs 3:24
“When you lie down, you need not to be afraid, when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.”
We are much more able to do the recovery and healing work when we can stop and rest in the process.
The hard part is that sometimes dreams startle the calm, or PTSD reactions affect us.
I had moments when I would react strongly if someone were to surprise me.
I think it’s really important to consider all the areas of recovery and healing;
and allow ourselves the time to move slowly through them.
The basket of words continue as we learn about the eighth word called rest.

The seventh word to learn about

The seventh word to learn about is going to be change.
Out of the basket of words I have shared about courage, willingness, trust, tenderness, power and balance.
Change is a powerful word when it comes to any recovery process.
It is a lifestyle choice.

(God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.)

I have tried to set the words out in a sequence of how it was for me;
as I was going through this ‘deep’ internal process of healing.
When someone goes into a therapy season many things begin to change for them; mostly internally.
What was once familiar and comfortable now begins to feel ‘abnormal’ and sometimes disturbing.
Relationships change on many levels.
The person going through recovery changes from the inside out.
It won’t feel good or right to stay in the same routine and old behaviors because healing brings new truths.
I always learned through this process, ‘awareness brings choice.’
Dictionary.com says : It is to become different, altered, transformed, in opinion,
in thought or course or direction as in: changing ones mind.
I remember there was a point in time when someone would say something to me and in the old ‘life’;
I would just ignore it, or internalize it or believe it to be true.
My ‘new’ life of awareness brought me to the point of thinking…
then saying, “this is not about me, this issue is not mine.”
Then I began to move from the guilt and obligation that was taught and felt; to a more healthy place inside.
Change brings courage forward and gives it voice.
Voice is SO important when healing takes place.
It is realizing family ‘dysfunction’ is the core ‘reason’ we sit in a therapy room.
Dysfunction means: abnormal or impaired, bad or difficult.
It is learning to say as we move through the process;
“that was then, this is now. Today is a new day. I will begin again.”
I began to change internally when my old ‘style of coping’ didn’t work any more and it didn’t feel ‘real’ to me.
As healing becomes normal to us we move further away from the old ‘way’s of coping or believing.
Truth changes the reality in which we begin to live.
As we grow and move forward change will create many conflicts
because we are not doing it ‘the way it always has been done.’
Those around us see and sometimes test our new boundaries.
It takes strength and courage to stand up for what is right and healthy.
This basket of words is layered and powerful.
Each one of these words takes a great amount of growth and choice.
The one in recovery has to realize and soon begins to realize some friends, some family,
will not stand by and watch as you change before them.
They will feel uncomfortable with the ‘boundaries given to them’
and they will not encourage you in the new process.
Change creates boundaries and also brings to us the ability to say with courage,
“I am not going to listen to that anymore or I will not allow you to hurt me again.”
Change forces a line to be drawn. It is saying to yourself.
I will not ever go back to where I was as a wounded person.
One of the hardest parts of recovery is realizing ‘you’ are worth fighting for.
The seventh word to learn about is change.

The basket of words continue as the sixth word

Originally posted 4-2-2014

The basket of words continue as the sixth word is chosen.
We started off with the word courage.
Then the next word was willingness.
Then after that the word was trust.
Then it was tenderness and then it was power.
The sixth word in the series from the basket of words is going to be balance.
My reason for this is very simple.
When someone enters into a therapy setting they are often imbalanced in their thinking.
Recovery brings to us an ‘all or nothing’ thought process.
All black and all white with no middle grey area.
Instead of saying, “growing up we had a mixture of both good and bad”; the person in recovery usually remembers only the bad.
There were no good times… ever.
Now sometimes that can be incredibly true; but also sometimes there needs to be balance in the remembering.
Dictionary.com tells us that balance is this: mental steadiness, emotional stability and calm behavior.
Learning the process of balance when one is doing any kind of recovery work is very important.
It is not good for our spirit to think of hard difficult things all day.
Balance means, I understand what was over here, in this ‘pile of journal writings’…and I also understand ‘what is in this one.’
It takes balance to be healthy.
To remain focused on the issues but also to rest when it’s needed.
When I began this process, I was a young mom and it was impossible to focus only on the recovery issues.
There were meals to prepare and laundry and kids; life went on whether I felt good or whether I was deep in a memory.
It took balance to do the recovery work in the office with my counselor; then go home and put that ‘away’;
till the next week when we could talk again and sometimes I had to call him.
In the middle of those days I would write and journal or draw pictures to keep the words and thoughts fresh.
Balance… was critical in the process of healing.
Without balance it is impossible to stay stable and steady when working on recovery issues.
The basket of words continue as the sixth word was chosen.

The fifth word in this series is power

posted: 25 Mar 2014 07:59 PM PDT

The fifth word in this series is power.
I was struggling this week in prayer asking what should be the next word in this series of words.
The first word was courage.
The second word was willingness
The third word was trust
The fourth word was tenderness
It came to me that the fifth word would be power.Dictionary.com says: it is incapacity, weakness and characteristic of those having authority or influence.
It could be to inspire; spur or sustain as in a strong faith in a divine goodness.
But in this instance and for this writing purpose we are not going towards the positive aspects of the word; we are exploring the negative.
The power to bring another person down emotionally is very real.
Words can hurt and destroy and in the recovery process we learn; the power and control we lived under was extremely harmful.
When someone has ‘power’ to make you feel something.
They are like the description in the dictionary:
The possession of control or command over others.
Anyone who have ever been in toxic relationships or work places understand this concept.
When I entered into the therapy process I learned that power and control is reason enough to give up or give in; and to resign oneself into the ‘truth of what is being told.’
For example: the child who is told they will never amount to anything
usually doesn’t. They begin to believe ‘the untruth’ as their reality.
Words have power within them.
They can have the ability to build up a spirit or break it down.
If someone is raised with very negative words eventually that is all they will begin to believe.
In therapy I learned that I was smart, creative, funny and even well liked.
Those were very new concepts and thoughts for me as no had ever said those words when I was growing up.
When someone with low self esteem and emotional emptiness tries to fill someone else up; they will not be able to build out of what they don’t have to give. It’s very Clear now that I’m on the other side of it.
In therapy I learned I had a hard time believing in compliments.
I doubted them and questioned whether they were talking about me;
it was very difficult to take inside my spirit.
As a child there were no words of affirmation spoken to me.
(At least none that I remember.)
Most of the time I didn’t believe I was capable of ‘writing, or drawing or singing well’ even though I did all three throughout my day.
Realizing now that it is impossible to fill someone when you are not filled yourself. I place no blame; just say the truth for what it is.
My ability to believe in myself and my value was very low.
When I was asked to write down ‘truths’ about myself in a therapy group.
It was sad and very hard to do.
The power of the negative created a deep depression inside my spirit
and I stayed in that low opinion for years.
In therapy I learned my belief was untrue.
I learned to let go of ‘the negative talk’ and begin to believe I was capable, smart and able to accomplish something; if I really tried hard.
When the heaviness of spirit begin to lift my eyes were opened and I began to see many things in a new way.
I also learned that the power that tore down could be replaced by the power to believe and change the direction of truth.
When my counselor would say to me, “I have enjoyed our visit today”
my first thought was to push it away.
“He really didn’t mean that, he says that to every one.”
See how I sabotaged my ‘value’?
Recovery from years that were emotionally negative was incredibly hard and even very painful.
At times I still struggle but God is healing me and has healed me layer upon layer. It has been a journey of truth and deep growth.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
The fifth word in this series is power.

The fourth word I am sharing about is tenderness

The first word I shared about from the basket of words was courage.
The second word I shared was willingness.
The third word I shared was trust.
The fourth word I am sharing about is tenderness.
It would seem that this word is chosen out of context when considering the other words.
My reason for this is very important.Dictionary.com describes this word as:
1. soft, not hard or tough
2. to regard or treat tenderly
3. easily damaged, vulnerable, or sensitive.
4. having or expressing warm and affectionate feelings;
   a tender smile
5. kind, merciful or sympathetic; a tender heart
6. requiring care in handling; a tender question
7. painful or sore; a tender wound
8. sensitive to moral or spiritual feelings; a tender conscience
9. careful or protective; tender of ones emotions
10. gentle in mannerism
As I have shared on this journey going into a therapy room was both difficult and necessary for me.
When I chose the ‘counselor’ I was going to work with it was clear to both of us I needed soft reassurance; that my direction was good for me.
He was a gentle and compassionate man who I learned to trust; in the years we worked together.
He was calm and always asked questions that were sensitive and if they were too difficult; he gave me time to work on them never forcing or pushing but always challenging me.
After having one ‘misguided’ counselor experience; this man was given the difficult task of teaching me to trust, to believe and to return every week with a knowing that he would never ‘purposefully’ do harm to my emotions or to my healing process.
Tenderness is a foreign concept for some or even most people entering into a ‘therapy’ room.
They enter with deep layered baggage or wounds of spirit and tenderness was not the main source of emotion given to them.
I remember clearly my surprise when the counselor was gentle and polite and careful of my ’emotional’ and physical state.
Every time he would ask, “how are you?” It would challenge me to answer truthfully for I knew in my heart he cared and wanted to help.
As I begin to process the meanings of the words held inside the basket;  I am prayerful that this series will challenge you as the reader to think about each word and how it applies to your life.
The fourth word in the group of words is tenderness; because we cannot help one another until we learn to be tender, sensitive and protective of one another.
If the man who worked with me was not tender and gentle I would not have returned.
It was like a warm reception to my broken spirit for he knew I would break again or harden too hard, the heart that had been hurt too deeply.
Even Jesus was tender, and sensitive and allowed others to be cared for in the way that would heal them.
He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives.
[Matthew 10: 2 (the message)
Let us challenge ourselves to be courageous, willing and trustworthy.
Without tenderness we cannot be effective helpers when working with bruised or hurt lives.]
The fourth word is powerful and so simple if we can allow ourselves to be this way.
The fourth word I’m sharing about is tenderness.

The third word I am sharing about is trust

Posted: 11 Mar 2014 01:03 PM PDT

The first word I shared from the basket of words was courage.
The second word I shared about was willingness.
Now the third word I am sharing about is trust.

Dictionary.com says: Trust is
[Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety of a person or thing;  with confidence.
Confident expectation of something; hope.
A person on whom or thing on which one relies; God is my trust.
To believe. Certainty. Faith. Trust. Assurance.]
These are all powerful and wonderful definitions of the word trust.
But in the real world of recovery and getting better…trust is one of the most difficult things to grasp.
The concept that one can be trusted or believed in or be assured of; is the most challenging part
of the journey ahead of anyone entering this phase of recovery.
To know in my thought process that someone wants to help me with good motives or intention;
was a huge issue in the beginning.
When someone comes from a difficult background. there is often mistrust in most situations.
It can take years to finally realize one person really cares enough to help.
When I entered in to the room of recovery; I had to know in my heart and believe in my spirit
that this person was safe and would not hurt or harm me.
The first step was realizing it was a process and it would take time.
For me…a very long time.
Even though the counselor I saw was chosen by his experience and reputation in the field of recovery.
He also was the one who told me trust would be a major part of our work together.
Every time I entered into that room: I had to choose to trust as I sat in my favorite chair by the door.
If the process got too uncomfortable: I knew I could leave although for many reasons I never did.
I had to learn to trust in the process of allowing another to walk alongside me through the painful layers and feelings.
Recovery is not pain free.
Just like any birthing process of bringing something new into the scene of our lives.
There is a deeply intensive road to walk before any kind of healing can take place,
and it must be walked slowly and not forced.
I had to trust in the process of sharing my heart hurt and then lean in to the confidence
that this person really does have my best interest in mind and they will stay with me till healing takes place.
Question for you:
Is it hard to trust? to trust God?
to trust in yourself?
to trust others who might want to help you?
to trust the path you must go on in order to become healthy?
Reliance on the integrity of the process is the hardest part of trusting
no matter what kind of journey we have before us.
The third word I am sharing about is trust.

The first word I shared about was courage

Posted: 04 Mar 2014 08:24 PM PST

The first word I shared about was courage.
The next one on the list is: willingness.
Dictionary.com said the definition is:
Willingness: Cheerfully consenting or ready. Inclined, minded, freely or voluntary.

What I have learned in the process of therapy and recovery.
In the beginning we do not enter into it… cheerfully.
Usually we go because we have the realization in our heart; that life is not peaceful inside our ‘spirits’

and we realize something must change so we can heal.
When we are afraid we tend to not move forward, but we must in order for change to take place.
It takes courage to volunteer oneself into a therapy room and open your deepest wounds up to someone
you just met and then slowly begin to trust them.
It is about consenting and giving permission.
It is a knowing deep within yourself that this must take place in order for healing to begin.
What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life. (Leo Buscaglia)
Life is what we are striving for in the process of desiring something different.
.
We are giving permission to another person to ask questions and probe into our ‘darkest places’
in order for us to find healing and health.
I’ve never found therapy to be a sign of weakness, I found the opposite to be true.
As I opened up my heart, healing began to happen and my voice became stronger.

And strength and courage and willingness are all a part of therapy and recovery.
When we understand that this is very needed right now, we will not be the same when we are through with this process.

The first word I shared about was courage. The second is willingness.  
As we move into the rest of the words, may we learn and grow through this process.

Courage is not the absence of fear

Becoming REAL with oneself

The first word:

Courage is not the absence of fear but it’s taking action in the midst of it.
Dictionary.com says: Courage is:
The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, without fear. bravery.
to take ones courage in both hands to nerve oneself to perform an action.
Courage is an action word.
When I first began my journey into recovery, I didn’t know what to expect and was not sure who to see or how to navigate through the unknowns.
There came a point in time when the realization came to me; if I didn’t do something… nothing would take place.
Nothing would change the way I was feeling.
So I began to ask questions.
I searched on line and interviewed well known counselors.
To admit to yourself or anyone else that one needs counseling takes courage.
A lot of it.
Emotionally I knew and was convinced; something had to be done for change to take place.
The journey of healing with a lady counselor began the day she asked me, “why are you in here today?”
That is when you find courage and truth and dig deep within yourself before you answer.
As time moves on you become more brave in finding your voice and
you become stronger each time you go in to talk.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence
by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror.
I can take the next thing that comes along.’
Eleanor Roosevelt
Courage is not an easy word but when we finally become real with ourselves we find healing.
Courage doesn’t always roar.
Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
“I will try again tomorrow.” 

And each time I tried and took action to heal; the tomorrows became easier and the pain lessened.
Becoming real with ourselves is a huge part of having courage.
Courage is not the absence of fear but it’s moving in a direction towards it.   

A basket of words to think about

I’m revisiting a few of my old writings as many of the new readers have not read them.

Posted originally : 21 Feb 2014 09:51 PM PST
Restoring and renewing our thoughts about life, love and beauty.

Years ago when I entered into a season of therapy.
I was given at some point in time a basket of words.
They are heart shaped and etched into the pottery stone.
The basket is broken.
I don’t remember if it always was that way; but for me now,
it represents the fragile and broken spirit I had when entering into the season of healing.
In the recovery group we were instructed to pick a word and then write about it in our journal books.
Giving voice to our ‘thoughts’ on paper so the feelings would not stay hidden deep inside ourselves.
For many survivors feelings stay hidden and silenced and the only way out of that season of silence is to move through it.
The only way out is through.
We were told that over and over.
The only way out is through.
You must move from the dark places inside to a lighter ‘healing place’ restoring your spirit and your broken wounded self inside.
A broken leg cannot heal if one keeps walking on it, there must be a time for restoration and calm.
Then after a short time of ‘healing’ physical therapy begins so the bone can learn to to accept the pressure.
Emotional healing is very much the same concept.
Restoring the broken wounded child and moving her into a strong voice of an adult.
A few nights ago in the quiet of our room I woke up with the idea of writing the words as a blog post.
Each week one word would be written and focused on.
Exploring the meaning and the thoughts surrounding that word.

A basket of words representing new life.
Peace ~ delight ~ abundance ~ healing ~ beauty ~ rest ~ humor ~ balance ~ change ~ tenderness ~ play ~ willingness ~ courage ~ compassion ~ forgiveness ~ light ~ trust ~ power ~

A basket of words representing growth and health and empowerment.
When we are broken we don’t see the potential for healing.
We only feel the brokenness deep inside ourselves.
(or …we feel nothing at all)
We are not sure what to do with that internal mess; so many times those who enter into this journey go in with great resistance and fear because we don’t know or understand what it will look or feel like to put a voice to words.
Our feelings get misunderstood and jumbled and we remain closed off from them because they feel foreign and new to us.
Those who have lived in difficult places or scenes cannot begin to believe when entering a season of healing that it won’t always feel ‘this way’.
A basket of words is a good tool to start when working with someone who is closed off and resistant.
Our group leaders were brilliant and caring and compassionate and wise.
They were sensitive and gentle never pushing but always encouraging us to become stronger.
A basket of words is a good beginning, when the door to one’s heart and voice is closed.

Words that can bring life, hope, healing, and new awareness.
Words that challenge and re-direct our thoughts and minds.
Words that change the core of who we are and mature us into stronger people.
Words that change us deep within.
Restoring and Renewing our thoughts about life, love and beauty.

Another blast from the past funny post

One more blast from the past

Posted: 07 Feb 2015 08:31 PM PST

When my oldest grand daughter was in pre-school I would take her to school and pick her up every day.
She was with me all the time as her mom worked.
One day we were running a bit late, and we got in to the car, she was buckled in to the car seat and I drove down the road.
After coming to a stop, I turned left and began driving while I noticed blinking lights behind me.

Wondering what that was about I pulled over and the officers car pulled over behind me.
Now I couldn’t believe anything could have gone wrong having been in the car less than five minutes.
I rolled down my window and the officer said to me, “do you know why I pulled you over?”
I honestly could not so I told him I had no idea.
He said that I pulled out in front of him.
Anyone who knows me and knows how I drive, also knows I would not ever ‘pull’ out in front of a police car.
At this point while he was talking to me my grand daughter in the back seat lost her patience.

She said, “I am going to be late for school. We need to get going.”
I calmly told her to let the nice gentlemen talk to us.
She again reminded me it was a school day and she was going to be late and she didn’t like to be late for school.
I tried my best to get her to be more quiet, while not looking to obvious with a police man standing by my window.
He then said to her, “let me talk to your mommy and then you can leave for school,”
I thanked him and let him know I was grandma.
He then looked at my license and told me to be more careful before he walked away.
A verbal warning was wonderful and I was free to continue driving.
It was a crazy morning and even more crazy to be stopped.
Then I as we walked her into the pre-school room she excitedly told everyone about grandma and the police and how they stopped us and the lights were flashing and it was so exciting.
Another funny moment in the small town in Oregon.