December 14, 2013: Feeling the blessings

I came across this email this morning written almost two years ago and was reminded that there’s value in every experience and that by learning to see and embrace it, we can walk away without bitterness and fear of being hurt again.

I’m sitting here feeling the blessings and being thankful for the big picture, God’s plan for me, and all He’s doing to prepare me for it.

I’m also reflecting on all the things for which I’m thankful; all the challenges that moved me out of my comfort zone to create the new and improved me; all the people I’ve met along the way who’ve made a difference.

I’m remembering the hours we spent in the park, the laughter and fun we had. I remembered the ugliness, too, but I’m thankful I was equipped to deal with it without allowing it to embitter or become a part of me. So yes, I’m thankful for the experience of you.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m excited about it!! My life right now may not be the one I planned and while I have moments of doubt, fear and uncertainty, I’m seeing and embracing the value in where I am…the challenge of discovering me and abandoning all the stuff that no longer serves me; the difficult conversations I’ve had that I would’ve avoided in the past; for the truths about myself that I’ve had to face; and for meaningful interaction with family and friends that opened me to new and deeper relationships.

Thanks for being a part of my journey, and it’s my hope that I added something to yours.

For nearly forty years, I repressed emotions. As I write this today, I’m free of the grief and sadness I carried, but I discovered Sunday that I’m still carrying a residual of that behavior: the need to hide my tender and affectionate side from my family.

It all began, I think, as a way to protect my younger siblings from the fear that tormented me those weeks (or months) we lived home alone while Daddy lay dying in that Savannah hospital, needing Mama by his side. As my therapist pointed out several years ago, once you begin repressing certain emotions, you end up repressing them all.

But as I think about it now, I was always shy and self-conscious, the root of which is a subject for another day, running to hide when folks came to visit and dreading being called to answer questions in class.

For now, I’ll just accept this latest revelation as an opportunity to release this thing that no longer serves me, the thing that’s standing in the way of my being my whole self.

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