It seems cliched, but some things do bring clarity. The year 2020 has done that in some unexpected ways. On my birthday this year, it felt like years of old suffering and insecurity hit me right between the eyes. The impact brought a sudden end to the silent screaming my soul has felt for several years. I did wonder what the last half of my forties would bring me since the first half gave me the identity crisis of a lifetime. I believe that I will have peace but not in the ways most would understand.
I have concluded that God has a divine purpose for relationships. We defeat the purpose of them when we fixate on the pain that they have caused us. A connection is about giving and sustaining life. If you are judging the reality of any given situation, you will miss the value of it.
We tend to gravitate toward what appears to be exciting to us. Even a subconscious awareness of being numb drives us to seek a thrill. Looking for a release is a sign that things need to be processed. Plenty of evidence is there to make our intuition buzz. We are suffering internally from the tension that the evidence has created without having a personal context. I have discovered that death is the real enemy. All the conflict you face is about what is deceiving you about life. Deception is about what evil sees in you that is worth stealing. Some live in a haunted house metaphorically, and some live in a temple that houses sacred items. The difference is in how they perceive what we know.
I have been deconstructing trauma for a year. I have never been allowed to have any feelings, but now I understand why. Even during the most devastating season of my life, I was STILL not allowed to feel anything that would make anyone uncomfortable. It didn’t matter if I was dying inside from real circumstances that were not self-inflicted. The profound lack of compassion has been telling. Being numb isn’t being comfortable. It means that death has been allowed to creep into places that we aren’t honoring beyond our desires. I have also noticed that the real problem is that my expression of deeply intense and real emotions challenge the feelings of others. It reorients their humanity. My real crime wasn’t that I was too much, but that I was having an appropriate response to toxicity in places that people demand privilege at all costs. If you get snarky with me for pointing out what has frustrated me repeatedly that was beyond my understanding, you are revealing yourself as an emotional/psychological abuser.
Nothing is shocking to someone that has been reaching out for years, looking for a lifeline. They have been connected to reality the whole time because they decided to heal. However, their illusions will mostly remain intact until others reciprocate their passions. Be mindful of how you handle your personal life. Your blessing may be watching. Your enemies are, too.
You’ll know when life and opportunities are being restored to you by how easily they flow after years of frustration. It is so easy compared to what you have known that it looks suspicious, and you’ll see a lot of hindsight in places that you were innocent. Pure intentions tend to draw the attention of what smells good but ultimately doesn’t sit well beyond initial encounters.
Human ego tends to be sadistic in corrupting what they know is pure. That’s what has made me take note of how many I was able to give a conscience to because of the way they spoke to me and treated me. It’s scary to know that some are predatory in their attitudes. It was already in their character, so I didn’t bring it out of them. I would say that purity makes things boil to the surface, which allows waste to be released.
I am having a lot of flashbacks that I thought were irrelevant until now. Employers value soft skills. Knowing how to do the job is just level one. I officially decided to walk away from the medical field for good because I remembered how toxic it was. I was tired of having the same doors slammed in my face AGAIN. A paradigm shift gave some perspective that I have never had because I was being manipulated by those that could see what I wanted. Nothing new under the sun there.
In my meditation this morning, I had a flashback to when I was a student in my hospital clinical rotations. I remember a male x-ray tech that would throw temper tantrums, talk down to everyone, and throw wheelchairs down the hallway when he didn’t get his way. Welcome to the world that women were blamed for while men were enabled. Being the little “brat” that I have supposedly always been, I respectfully asked the department head why he would tolerate that. I had watched him stand there with a dead, blank look in his eyes many times while this jackass under his authority brought the whole department down. His only response was, “…because he’s a good tech.”
People tend to be very honest with me when I am genuinely asking things that no one else dares to say. I only have one reason for even sharing this. For once in my life, being empathetic and compassionate is worth something because of how much the “good techs” have made things worthless. I have spent 25 years in the land of “Lo Debar.” That has always been one of my favorite Bible stories, and I can pretty much guarantee that people who sat in church for decades can’t even relate enough to share that reference with me. I did some research because I have found that God has an odd sense of humor in things that we don’t even try to understand. “Lo Debar” translates into a barren place of isolation where there is no communication. If you know the story, you know why this is profoundly significant. I am thankful for being found and being allowed to eat at the King’s table because his kindness remembered a friendship lost in a war.
When I first tried to escape from oppression, I found a world that I didn’t recognize. I was ill-equipped to do anything but face the same fire over and over again. I was still bound to survival mode because I didn’t realize that it had been a facade the whole time. I didn’t know what was real about my life. I had been blamed and isolated to protect the interests of others. Groomed to believe that my whole life was a series of frustrating failures, I didn’t see how much I had accomplished. I was punished for success so much that I didn’t know what to do next. If people are working this hard to keep you out of your power that leads into a real future, you know it’s real. It’s worth the trouble and the price you pay for passage. It means that they have always been able to see your potential and knew what it would mean for their future, as well.
I spent years trying to make sense of the visions I could see. It wasn’t worth sharing until I found some redemption in what I was choosing to remember about myself. It got to the point that for every time someone became reactive, they would set fire to my world. Instead of causing the destruction they intended, it lit things up and brought warmth and clarity to what was being purified by their hands.
In this season of my life, I can look back at all the times that God was holding people accountable while being faithful to me. I couldn’t see that before because of the reinforcement of the pain of my desires. I always wondered why people do that. What’s the point? Why hurt someone who has done nothing wrong and has been very good to you? Why become reactive, indifferent, and defensive whenever they have made something pleasant for you? Why ruin your own life with denial when acceptance would be simple?
I didn’t see that I had those answers long ago because my empathy was inverted. I don’t know that anything in this life has ever stunned me more than that realization. We miss the point when we don’t hear and receive what is inherent. Sometimes, the trigger pulled in the silence that is deep and complete releases a healing virtue.
In my main writing project, I use a lot of symbolism. My male lead carries a sword on his back throughout much of the story. It was a defensive weapon because it fit the narrative. Now, I see that it is symbolic of the truth that burdens him because of a lack of any saving knowledge of grace. That didn’t hit me until after some serious plot twists that not even I saw coming. Allegory is similar to satire because it parallels the reality of current events that is inciting emotion. I hate it when people try to make themselves look spiritual when they are just really puffed up with the knowledge that hits like a sledgehammer. There is only one purpose for a sledgehammer, and it is devastatingly destructive.
Trying to force your will on others because the law is the law will always be opposed because there is no justice in that. It shows the condition of your own heart when you think force is necessary simply because it’s legal. Psychological warfare is spiritual assault. It is violent in quiet ways. Life flows with unhindered rhythms of grace when someone isn’t trying to keep their lies in circulation.
It was Simon Peter that cut off the ear of a high priest with his sword because he reacted out of emotion. Jesus’ response: Those who live by the sword will die by the sword. Just because something is the truth doesn’t mean you are justified in your emotional reactions. Truth comes with consequences like anything else. The most stunning comment I have ever seen on social media about this made me reconsider how I share. “Hell is the spiritual reality of truth, not tempered with grace.”
Tempering something does not mean to water it down and make it weaker or more acceptable. It means to strengthen it by improving its resiliency. Maybe your emotional reactions are a wake-up call that you misinterpret what doesn’t give you what you want and expect.
If metal is not heated and cooled properly, it loses its temper, which makes it weak and brittle. I have heard it said that it’s better to be broken than to break. I believe those are words of wisdom from those that have broken everything around them with their anger issues. Empathy isn’t always about feeling someone’s pain. If I have to see and feel everything they do, then I will be just as traumatized. I don’t believe that helps anyone. The only thing I need right now is enough knowledge to know how to love people in the ways they need most. I am finally hearing what people have been saying for years. My desires were keeping me bound to a fantasy of what I wanted beyond what was possible. You can have intimate knowledge of any given situation, and you can understand it completely. Nothing will change until you learn to love beyond reason while maintaining an understanding of the value of appropriate boundaries. Empathy without healthy boundaries will lead to self-destruction.
I have believed for some time that self-regulation is a sign of sanity regardless of how unstable someone appears to be in their emotions. The ability to do this would point toward virtue in someone’s soul. I have only had one person say that to me. It quietened my soul to the point of awe. I wanted to know how only one person in my whole universe would have such a grasp on that kind of spiritual reality. That’s when I found the concept of “sophrosyne.” In modern-day terms, we know this as a virtue. Being able to understand the anger of others as it relates to my perceptions has transformed the way I see them forever. It’s called many things, temperance, self-control, restraint, etc.
Here’s the irony of a lifetime. The ones that have taught me the most about temperance have been men that responded to my virtue with respect. That doesn’t mean that they were the ideal themselves. They all had some level of mental illness but chose to lead and teach graciously instead of trying to make others feel their pain. I have found that there is a fine line between toxicity and virtuosity. It’s all about the perspective and intent. We won’t have any reason to be afraid of the darkness of others if we have accepted our own. Reality is not something to be escaped when we know that life and healing are bound up in the things we fear most in ourselves.