Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bringing Tidings 2 - Support -

I am stronger than I ever thought I was, and I have learned how to ask for help –

As soon as I was diagnosed, I invited a group of friends over for a Sunday evening boob party. My desire was to be surrounded by folks who could help me with answers, with prayers, positive energy, and who were “move-the-body friends.” And I loved the support.

Brene Brown says we all need a “move-the-body friend,” someone who is going to show up and wade through the deep with them. She says this is a person who loves you not despite your vulnerability, but because of it.

I have several of these friends and family, who have supported me along many of my life transitions/lessons, and who still show up for me. Three are here this evening -  

Scott - He teaches me daily. He adores me. I am the most important thing/person in the world. Through him I am learning I can be loved, I am loveable. He saved me by saving himself; he has taught me about unconditional love. He is my first. He has taught me to have "more heart" and "love is stronger than terror." He has taught me I don't need to be strong alone, that we can be stronger together.

Jenna – I had the opportunity to rear my best friend - she is my gift. She kept me out of the cancer mode by sharing her daily life with me. When we were together, I was not a breast cancer patient; I was Mom. 

Mom – as much as I didn’t want to need her, I needed her. She held my head, my hands, fed us - put pounds on Scott and me, and kept me honest.

I had folks around me who said, "You sure were a bitch today, worse that you've ever been, but I know tomorrow will be better, I love you, I'm here for you, go take a nap, let’s go for a walk."

With loss, losing, finding, moving forward in newness, in gratitude for constancy and change, I think we need each other – women tend and befriend (mothers, daughters, husbands, wives, friends, support).

I also found out what I was made of, and I became my own friend. I had the strength inside of me to help me. I've learned lots about myself in all of this. I've had to turn inward to find strength to make it day to day.

I'm coming to the realization that what I had been searching for, for so many years, is deep inside me. I'm still finding that. “Being still” is a lesson I'm learning. Turning inside, pulling myself up, searching my own psyche rather than the internet, has brought me peace, a time for reflection. The support I have had has allowed me time to be pensive, reflective, hesitant. What I've learned is that I needed time and space for meditating, sorting, and sifting, bringing answers to questions. How often do any of us really take the time to stop and look inside? I believe we are "outsource" driven, looking for someone, something, somewhere, that we fail to realize that often our answer is deep within. 

Have you heard or shared the phrase, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle"? Oh my goodness, I really hate this phrase, and all of its cousins - "God must sure love you to give you this trial," is one of those nasty versions. Or how about these, after the "trial," "What did you learn?" "Have you learned your lesson, yet?"

Hardships such as bad health, sick kids, anxiety, cancer, these are things of this world - and so we deal with the natural consequences that come with this world. God doesn't give these to us, we don't ask for these hardships, they are just a part of this natural world.

When I had cancer, that wasn't God's love showing up in the disguise of a lump in my chest. That's the natural world - there was suffering that went along with this, there were hardships, sure, there was growth and knowledge and experiences gained, but this was no gift from God! Cancer is a bad disease that is somehow related to this world, not a temptation! And when my pain was too much to bear, I didn't buck up because God said I could handle this, I crumpled, and ran to His arms for comfort.

So I'm calling BS on "God doesn't give you more than you can handle,” and saying, “God doesn’t give us what we can handle, God helps us handle what we are given.” 

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