I’m going to be honest, I have 2 vodka/coconut waters in my system, so this post may be a bit…spirited.
Bad joke. OKAY!
I had a conversation with a friend tonight that has completely pulled at my heartstrings and offered me some much needed perspective.
So naturally, I’ve decided to share with you, my wonderful internet friends 🙂
Sometimes we need to grant ourselves permission to mourn for ourselves.
Alright, that’s coming straight out of left field. I should probably back up a bit.
I don’t think there’s a person on this earth who isn’t going through, or has gone through a difficult season.
I was talking with my friend tonight about that. About this incredibly difficult season that he’s had to navigate through this past year with the murder of his friend from a hate crime, and other family challenges. Things that I cannot imagine going through.
And he’s a young man. In college. The “prime” of his life, and yet his world has been absolutely turned upside-down in a series of truly tragic and unfortunate events.
Listening to him tonight, and hearing the pain he was carrying around with him, and the pull between moving on and being angry, I just felt called to tell him something, that I decided I wanted to share with you, too.
It’s okay to mourn for yourself.
Listening to my friend talk about this lost year where he was dealing with the repercussions of everything, I just felt called to tell him that he has permission to mourn for that lost time. To mourn for the time he’s been grieving and sad and lost and angry. Because in giving yourself permission to feel those strong feelings, you are sending a signal to yourself that your feelings and your emotions matter. It’s okay to feel down or mad or frustrated about that period of time when you were grieving – time that you “should” have been living out the “prime” of your life.
One of the most healing things for me was to finally mourn the period of my life that I lost to my eating disorder.
For such a long time I just pushed it to the back of my mind, thinking I deserved to not walk in my graduation. I deserved the shattered relationships, the squandered high school years and the delay in college. But the fact is, I lost close to 3 years to my anorexia. Time that I can’t get back, and time that “should” have been spent living life to the full. But instead it was spent in the chains of an eating disorder that nearly took my life.
It’s okay to mourn the loss of that time.
I needed to acknowledge to myself that, yeah, that period of time was stolen by an insipid disease, and it really sucks that life played out that way.
But allowing myself to come to terms – fully – with the truth and the reality of my past was one of the first steps in my true healing. The first step in the peace that – may not have fully resolved the strife in my heart – but it did give me the freedom to move forward with my life.
That’s what it allows – it allows freedom.
Being that it’s the Fourth of July tomorrow, I really wanted to incorporate the notion of freedom into my post. But I didn’t really know what the angle was that I was supposed to take.
But this is it: allowing ourselves to feel, and acknowledging the wounds we have gives us tremendous freedom. Freedom to heal. Freedom to seek to peace. Freedom to embrace the light. Freedom to let them go. There is freedom when we acknowledge those pains, and then give them to Jesus.
There’s so much guilt and pain and suffering that we’re all walking around with – what if we could break free from that? What if we could just give ourselves permission to not be “okay?” Allow ourselves to feel the feelings – the wounds – that aren’t all shiny and pretty? That’s the first step. Then giving those wounds to Jesus? — That’s freedom.
I just wanted to take that agony away from my friend tonight. Give him the courage to mourn for himself and for the pain he’s gone through, and the loss of that time.
No matter the situation, healing is never a “Point A – to Point B” trip. It’s a multidirectional journey with lots of stops, road blocks, and backtracks along the way. But one thing’s for sure: Jesus is paving the way for you every step of the way.
And there’s no greater freedom than releasing our pain to Him.
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