Just Get Over It
We live in a culture that is constantly bombarding us with what we are supposed to be, do and have. If we suffer any great loss we are to “just get over it” whatever “it” is. (I refrained from inserting one of many get over it memes or GIFs.)
An example of this is “it” was when I was going through my divorce. Once I made the painful decision to leave the marriage, I had people offer a moving truck, movers to help me and lots of friends that were there supporting me and encouraging me.
Moving day came and all the things I wanted were delivered and placed in my new rental home. The small, two-bedroom home was a fraction of the size of the four-bedroom dream home I had left. I was unemployed, down to my last nickel, and felt utterly alone, even though I had my son with me half the time.
I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had my Golden retriever Duffy with me during this time. He was my rock, my comfort, my best friend. I cried many times into his fur. He was always there for me. He was the presence of God in doggy form.
No one followed up with me to see how I was doing. No one offered me support after the move. It was as if my problem was solved in my “new life.” It’s like they said, “Jackie is out of the house. She’s settled. She’s over it. Now she’s good.”
Let Go of Childhood Wounds
It was in that house that I did a lot of healing. I mostly healed from the divorce. When I left the corporate world in 2008, that’s when my healing really started taking place. That was healing the wounds from my childhood.
In my bio I talk about wanting to be an artist. I drew and painted and created many masterpieces as a child.
Growing up in a small, two-bedroom house, my only sibling, my brother who is seven years older than I, got one bedroom and my parents the other. We had couches in the living room that unfolded as beds. That became my bedroom.
In addition to drawing, I loved books. My grandmother on my mother’s side still lived in England. She sent me a collection of children’s books that I treasured.
I had accumulated quite a collection of my own artwork and books. Since the living room was my room, my treasures collected on the living room coffee table.
One day, when I came home from school, I walked through the door to find the coffee table was clear. My father was in the living room and I asked him what happened to all of my artwork and books? He screamed, “I was tired of the clutter and I threw it all out!”
In a complete burst of panic, I bolted out of the house to the trash cans. They were empty. The trash collectors had already come. All of my artwork and books from my grandmother were gone, poof, thrown in the trash. I think I was seven or eight years old.
There was no discussion about it like, “Honey, we need to figure out a place to put all of your things.” The message was loud and clear. My creativity was meaningless. In my mind, my father threw me in the trash. My artist died that day.
The mantra as a child of an alcoholic is: Don’t talk. Don’t trust. Don’t feel.
For decades I stuffed down my feelings. I never pursued art or writing. I didn’t realize how much of an impact this incident had on my artist’s psyche. I have had to overcome the demons of not being good enough and allowing my father’s behavior to keep me from knowing in my heart that God has given me the gift to write and create.
Any father in their right mind would not throw their children in the trash. Because of his alcoholism and manic depression, my father was not in his right mind. I understand that now.
Wounds can go very deep. We can cover these wounds over with denial, busyness, and numbing out. But wounds won’t heal until they are cleaned out and brought to the light.
We can’t be effective carrying around our wounds. I believe that many of the parables that Jesus taught while healing people who were blind or lame can be metaphors for people that were hurt deeply. They were wounded and couldn’t function. They couldn’t be effective. They couldn’t become all that God created them to be.
When I was seeking therapy going through the divorce, I was talking to my therapist whom I really loved. We were talking about life being fair. She told me the only fair was in Sedalia, Missouri. This is the home of the state fair for Missouri. It wasn’t a hurtful or flippant comment. Life is not always fair.
For those who have been hurt and abused, especially by parents or people that are supposed to love you, that is certainly not fair. It wasn’t fair for my father to throw out all of my books and art work. But he wasn’t in his right mind due to the alcohol and manic depression. I’ve accepted that and let go of the hurt. I also realize that somewhere along the line, he was probably hurt too.
If you’ve been wounded, take those wounds to God. He can take away the hurt and the pain when you sincerely and passionately let go and ask him to do so. If someone is continuing to hurt you, you need to remove yourself from the situation. If family members are not accepting you, you need to remove yourself. You are part of God’s family. There are many people in this family to love and accept you.
Practice the Miracle of Acceptance
I have learned that one of the greatest spiritual practices is acceptance. Once we accept what has happened to us, we can acknowledge the hurt and then we can let it go. If you don’t let it go, you will not be effective in all areas of your life. You can try and achieve and run from your wounds like I did for decades, or you can face them, bring them to light, and let them heal.
You’ll have more compassion for yourself and others. Your mind, body and spirit will feel lighter.
Dear one, know that God loves you and suffers with you whatever it is that you are going through. He is waiting with open arms to comfort and to heal you so that you can be all that you were created to be. Then, you will truly be effective in the world.