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Monday, December 31, 2012

Fresh Paint

Several weeks ago, my church choir presented their annual Christmas program.  It was a beautiful night, filled with twinkling lights and festive attire, and the air was filled with happy voices exchanging holiday greetings.  I had been looking forward to attending the program, while dreading it at the same time.  Still a bit emotionally fragile, I was feeling a little battered by the holiday hoopla, and pretty much just ready to get it all over with.  Just another one of those “firsts” to get through on the way to finding myself again.  Wouldn’t you know – the very first solo was a song about a woman hanging her stocking on Christmas Eve all alone… without her husband… and I kinda sorta just lost it right there in my pew, and spent the rest of the evening wiping my eyes and my nose on my sleeve. As good Baptists are prone to do, we topped off the night with “refreshments in the fellowship hall”, and it all ended on a good note.  Until a phone call from the ex an hour or so later left me feeling somewhat sad and angry again. 

Over the next few days, there were three very special people who whipped up on me with some Serious Tough Love.  It wasn’t pretty. (But thank you, DJ, Mac, and Ricky!)  The week would prove to be very enlightening, and very liberating.  As a result, I feel more like *me* than I have felt in quite some time.

I won’t go so far as to say that I am 100% over it.  (Perhaps 98%, though, if I must quantify.) There’s still a hole in my heart – the place where my dreams of the future lived.  But like any wound, it is becoming smaller with every passing day.  I’m forever changed by what happened, but the important thing is that I am better.  And I’m healing from the inside out.  It is no good for skin to grow and close over a wound with poison still inside.  If the poison doesn’t come out, the wound will never completely heal – on the contrary, the poison will simmer and grow, and someday explode into a hot mess. And the scarring will be even worse.  Sometimes, a wound must be debrided, or “cleaned up”.  The theory of “it gets worse before it gets better”.  From time to time, I’ve felt the debridement, and though painful, it has indeed helped the healing process.

I’m confident I’ve survived the worst, and now I’m rockin’  the “better”.  I’m done with giving in to the emotionally-charged conversations and e-mails.  I’m just done.  Sad? Disappointed?  Of course.  It wouldn’t say very much for my love and commitment if I could just pretend it never happened.  But I will not be debilitated by it any longer.  I’ve been sad and disappointed before, and I’m sure I will be again.  It’s part of who we are as humans.

Christmas is a time to celebrate the greatest gift we could ever receive.  It’s about sharing love and thoughts of Peace On Earth, Good Will To Men.  We exchange gifts with family and friends.  Sometimes we even splurge and do something special for ourselves.

This Christmas I gave myself a gift.  Permission to let go.  Knowledge is power, and after learning, acknowledging, and embracing some things about myself and about my ex, I have finally let go of the grief that has debilitated me and rendered me emotionally dysfunctional for these past few months.
This is a recent post I put on FB: Letting go: For some people, it's a one-time thing. For others, it's a daily struggle. Sometimes the line between remembering the sweet and forgetting the bitter is drawn with a knife - right through the middle of the heart. This anonymous quote says it well: "It's a constant battle. A war between remembering and forgetting." Prayers today for all who struggle with letting go.

I won’t ever forget the events of 2012- the good or the bad.  It definitely ranks as one of the worst years I’ve experienced.  But I no longer struggle with letting go.  My prayer now is that I won't reach for it again and try to take it back.  Each day that passes seems to lessen that possibility, so I'm focusing on looking ahead, and refuse to look over my shoulder to revisit the past. 

Because now is most definitely the time to look forward.  There’s a new, empty canvas in front of me, and a fresh palette of paint.  Tonight I will ceremoniously remove the 2012 calendar from my clipboard.  The 2013 calendar is printed and ready to replace the old one.  The New Year is before me, and I can’t wait to see what it will bring!   

Happy, Healthy New Year, everyone!!

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