Honest, ramblings

Practicing my practice

It’s an interesting place to be in when you sit still for the first time in awhile.

Not on my bed, or in front of Netflix or paperwork or a project. But just sitting, still, with nothing in front of you but space.

I have a new tradition in my life that may sound sad, but really, it’s not.

The new tradition is this: every Friday I have to change into my bathing suit to go swimming with my tiny humans. It’s normal at about 9:30 and I take my coffee into my storage closet and close the door.

But, I don’t turn on the light. I stand, in pitch blackness for at least two minutes. Breathing in and out and drinking my coffee. I did this for the first time on accident. I shut the door without turning the light on and was quickly enveloped in darkness and an intense sigh escaped my body.

The absence of light brought me completely relief.

That sentence sounds like a conundrum really. But in my overly sensory laden environment I’m in every day, being in a pitch black room is heaven.

I’ve been sitting here, at redlight, for over an hour. I’ve started numerous different blogs, I’ve started text conversations, I’ve only had one mimosas and I’ve stared a blank screen.

But now, I came back to this one, these first words I wrote.

Here’s what it is: I’m struggling with depression right now. Depression, coupled with anxiety, with some winter blues to mix it all up.

I don’t like to talk about depression and anxiety because people have opinions.

(Including myself)

There are so many schools of thought on depression and anxiety. So many books and methodologies and experts.

Now, as a human who lived with two people who were in grad programs for clinical psychology (shoutout to A3), I know that there is hope and help and all the things dealing with depression.

But, that doesn’t make me any less prone to talk about it.

There a few types of seasons that come up in my life that cause me to want to shut my mouth.

Because I’ve been through it before, because people have helped me before, because shouldn’t I be able to solve my own problems.

We live in a society that tells us to figure out our own issues.

Fake it til you make it.

There is a time and a place for faking it til you make it.

Because, yes, we just have to get through the day. I have tiny humans who need me to show up for them each day. Routines and a schedule and transitions that have to happen every day.

But, what are you going to do when you stop?

I binged watched a show on Friday. I haven’t done that for awhile. I watched the entirety of the first season of the reboot of Queer Eye. (No but really watch it)

And I cried.

It was the loveliest reminder of what it looks like to care for ourselves. To do things that bring us life. To take time to fill ourselves up. To take time to live.

I am a human, who has for the past 10-12 years, struggled with depression and anxiety.

I’m not defined by it.

It’s not who I am.

It’s just something that rears it’s head in some seasons more than others.

The things that pop up here and there don’t define us. They don’t hold us.

We are still us.

Honest

name your shields

Over the last week I’ve had to mark off “single” on forms and applications and surveys.

And each time I’ve cringed.

Today, sitting in church, about to do communion, I was waiting to hear a phrase I’ve grown to loathe “grab one other person”.

(99% of my friends are attached to one other person).

I am pretty great on my own. I’ve written about being single. I can sit at bars and restaurants by myself. I can travel by myself. I can make my own decisions. I got this.

But, if I’m being honest; being single isn’t a flag I wave.

I wear my singleness as a shield.

I wear my singleness as a shield because if I’m being honest- I’m terrified.

(My head is full of disclaimers right now and I’m choosing not to write them)

I wear my singleness as a shield because it’s easier then having to admit that I still have stuff to deal with in regards to the opposite sex.

I wear my singleness as a shield because I know I’m enough for myself.

I wear my singleness as a shield because it’s less heartbreaking than feeling left out.

I wear my singleness as shield because I’d rather a shield than shame.

I wear my singleness as a shield because it’s easier to use it then have it use me.

The thing about it though is this: I am not the only one.

And it’s not just being single. It’s whatever box you have to tick, identifier that others place on you, comfort blanket you throw on your lap to protect you from what’s happening around you.

While those statements were hard to write, I know, without a shadow of a doubt that I’m not the only one.

I am not the only one who uses something that isn’t a bad thing as a protection.

Hell, there are times in my life that I use my Christianity as a shield.

And I can hear you out there.

Shield does NOT = excuse.

That’s not what this is about.

This is me choosing to tell you that there are things in my life that I am well aware I am doing. There are places that I haven’t gone and walls I haven’t scaled and journeys I haven’t chosen to walk into because I will have to set down that shield (whatever it may be) and be willing to take the arrows.

This is me choosing to tell you for as much as I am “man up or shut up” or “do the damn thing”, that you are not alone in needing to feel defended.

If this was Meghan circa 2012 I’d probably tie this up with a statement about Jesus. I’ve reached the point in my life, to know that Jesus is not the answer to the question.

Meghan of 2018 knows that I’ve been given the tools, the mind, the heart and the spirit to get through and work through the things

I am going to say to you- encourage you, to name your shields.

Name those things you use. Those words, those jobs, those people, those places in your life you need protection,

That’s all I’m encouraging you to do.

Name your shields.

Honest, Spain g42

lovely, once more

I don’t like writing things out by hand. It feels as if the words that I place on paper have more power and emotion behind them then the words that I type out.

I don’t know why.

I just know that it is scarier for me.

It is scarier for me to place things handwritten in a journal.

It is scarier for me to place HURT in a journal.

There is so much pain involved in placing phrases and story in my own hand, phrases that hurt parts of my soul.

My journal is sacred. It’s filled with notes from class, quotes from books that impact and lovely musings.

It is where I separate the light from the dark. It is where I should be able to be vulnerable.

But here in this moment I want nothing to do with vulnerability.

I don’t want to fill my journal with words and phrases.

It is terrifying

It terrifies me so much that I bought watercolors to paint the pages in my journal and make them beautiful so I would WANT to write in them. To entice me to place words inside its covers.

I have another blog started on another blank page.

It’s about one of the reasons I am at G42.

A reason I never talk about.

I was going to explain it.

Because in all honesty I just want it to go away.

But while in conversation with one of my precious people in the haven and warmth of her home I realized I still hurt.

I still feel ugly in those things.

As the women who are influential in my life always say tears and anger are a map.

My tears showed me a lot today.

And it’s tough. I’m sitting here on the floor trying to even eek out a sentence in regards to all that’s in my head. All the beginnings of sentences I began in conversation with my dear friend.

I guess I want to encourage myself and in turn encourage you to write the ugly things. I’m writing mine on beautiful painted pages in my journal. I’m surrounding things I deem ugly with beauty.

I think it’s wonderful that I live in a world where ugly things are made lovely so often.

And that’s what I want to strive to do. Show people what they deem ugly in their story and show how they can create out of it beauty

That’s what I’ll be doing in my journal. Sentence by sentence, line by line, I’m going to paint pictures with my words and make the things that aren’t lovely, lovely once more.

ramblings

light always crashes in

I’ve felt a lot of righteous anger in my soul over the last few days. Anger peppered in tears. Anger that is toppling out of me and longing to come out in some physical form. Anger that was thankfully lessened with laughter but dissolved in heartache.

In a shorter amount of words: I’m mad at the world and I’m mad at darkness.

I’ve seen a lot of darkness and bad things thus far in my life. I’ve seen addiction, death, abuse. I’ve wrestled with suicide. I’ve LIVED in darkness.

Darkness angers me.

The last two days I’ve heard story of tragedies that desperately hurt my heart.

Three years ago I met South Africa for the first time. I met the townships, the people, the families. I met the students of Bridges of Hope Academy.

South Africa changed my view of darkness. It changed my view of a lot of things.

Two days ago I found out one of the boys that was a senior when I was there was shot and killed in a township.

I got mad.

Incredibly mad and sad with the overwhelming desire to cry and hit something at the same time.

Life just isn’t fair.

I don’t know what happened; I don’t know where he exactly was in life. I just know he’s gone and I’m mad at the darkness.

I stood railing at the darkness for a while the other night. I couldn’t understand why this 22 year old kid, who’d already gone through so much, who had gotten out, found Jesus, was taken in such a way as he was.

And after I had railed at the darkness of the senseless tragedies that I had heard about in the past couple of days I remembered the light.

It’s there; fighting against the dark forces. Crashing into the evil. Forcing what is bad into the light to crumble.

And I was reminded of an intense picture during some incredibly dark times in my life. Days where I prayed with each step I took, days where I didn’t sleep for fear of another day starting.

Days where I just wanted to end it all.

And Jesus gave me this picture of the darkest room I had ever seen in my life.

No windows, no doors, no way for light to creep in.

And then a dim night light turned on.

And I realized in that moment that He was always there; no matter how dark, how lonely I felt.

No matter how angry at the world I became;

The light is still there. The darkness may make it seem small; but it’s there.

I’m ok with the fact that I rail against the darkness. That I get mad when senseless death happens or when wife lose their husbands and babies lose their dads. I’m ok that I get mad when things break my heart.

It’s ok to yell at the darkness the clammers unwanted into our lives.

But what I remembered Monday night is that I must NEVER forget the promise that the light will always break through.

The light always invades, always plunders and always crush the dark.

So keep your nightlight on. And rally against the dark.