Tag Archives: personal growth

New Season

I’m at the point in my life where I’m considering going back to church.

Shocking, I know, but it isn’t just about me. If it was, honestly, I would probably never be the kind of person who gets up on Sunday morning. Just thinking about it makes me kind of queasy. I’m definitely not there yet, but I’m going to make it a goal to work on with my spiritual director. Why? It’s important to Chris.

He’s a church boy. He gets up super early every Sunday and does the soundboard for the service. He wants to go to groups. It’s such a big part of his life, and it’s been slowly separating us from each other. It’s not like he’s been pressuring me, but it’s still something we aren’t sharing.

We went to a Christian concert a little while ago, and it was in a church. I felt kind of weird walking in, but I didn’t feel the need to rush out. The music was really good, which was the only reason I went, and even a bit “edgy” for the crowd. I’m pretty sure Chris was the only man doing any kind of movement. Danny Gokey was the headliner and at one point, he started talking about new seasons. Chris and I feel like we’re moving into a new season, and if I try going back to church and groups, that will definitely be new to me.

I’m faced with a question though: how can a new season start in places that are so familiar, in a negative way? Churches, generally, all feel and look the same, especially the ones Chris goes to. They even smell the same. How can something good and new come from that? I know, I know, God can do anything, he makes all things new, yadda yadda, but I still have to get my ass through the doors. My mind knows it’s not the same place, but my body is trained well. It’s hard work to retrain the thing. Even going to a different church isn’t really an option, because I’ve been to so many, there isn’t a church environment I haven’t seen or experienced. All of the “sets” have memories attached to them. And I’m not going to ask Chris to change churches just because one¬†might¬†not provoke as much of a trigger for me. Arg, the things we do for love.

I’ve basically decided to not expect miracles, but if one happens, awesome. Church isn’t going to suddenly become this amazing, transformative experience, but it doesn’t have to be the place I dread most, either. I would be fine being okay sitting through a service and finding my real spiritual fulfillment through other channels. I do still want a group, that’s more important than services, and I believe that’s something I deserve. That’s where I really need a new season.

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Finding The Root

I was in my spiritual director’s office the other day, and we had just hit on a big revelation about what my core “issue” is. Because (like everyone) all my fears began when I was a kid, I need to connect with my inner child in order to heal. All the other experiences I’ve had with toxic Christianity, unhealthy friendships, etc, all served to reinforce the main lies I learned as a child: I am not safe and I am too much.

It’s been hard for me to really claim that it all began in childhood because by all accounts I had a great childhood. I had/have great parents, a close family, and no horrendous events. What my spiritual director has been teaching me though is that EVERYONE gets their root problems from childhood. That’s just what life does to us, and if we don’t take care of ourselves when we get older and have the emotional and spiritual resources to deal with what we’ve experienced, it only gets worse.

When I think about myself as a child, I get really uncomfortable. I don’t want to look at myself then, I want to focus on who I became and how much stronger I got. I don’t consider myself a “motherly” person at all because I can’t relate to children, I don’t understand them. What I have to do now is learn how to be a mother to my inner child, because that’s the part of me that’s wounded. When I experience rejection or loneliness or trauma as an adult, it’s the child part of me – the part that doesn’t know how to handle those emotions – that takes on the pain.

I feel like I’ve finally found the root of what I’ve been looking for. In all my counseling, I’ve bumped up against it, but never quite put a pinpoint on what the problem was. It’s overwhelming and relieving, but also intimidating. My spiritual director told me to prepare myself for some “stirring,” like when you disturb the bottom of a lake, all kinds of sediment and stuff comes up along with the water. I’m going to be filtering out the negative shit to get at the good stuff, and it will not feel great.

Where to start? I think the first thing I need to do is get comfortable with maternal feelings. They freak me out. I don’t have them when it comes to kids. However, I love animals and my pets. I’m very maternal to Yoshi. It’s a matter of channeling that towards Inner Child instead of holding her at a distance, avoiding her, neglecting her. Even writing that, I tense up a little. It’s so foreign to me. That’s a definite sign that it’s something that needs to change.