11.28.2010

Releasing the Past


Words, and how we use them, help define our experiences. The language we use has the power to trap or free us. I want to begin identifying my problem words and replacing them with language that still holds a positive connotation for me, so I can go into situations freed to embrace the experience, not trapping myself into the same box as past journeys have been stored. This concept has the potential to evoke change over the past, the present, and the future.

Past hurts, sorted through and re-processed using new language, may well be released or forgiven, leaving behind peace and freedom. Unintentional hurts, for example, hold less power for me than intentional hurts. If in my reexamination of something in my past that hurt me, I come to the conclusion that my wounds were secondary to someone else's (their hurt caused them to hurt me), my compassion for their pain can help erase mine.

Learning these tools is Drivers Ed for trauma. Once educated, I can give my traumas license to take their leave. They can pack their baggage and hit the road.

11.18.2010

11.11.2010

My Miscarriage Story - Final Part

It’s been 5 years this week since we said goodbye, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of the baby we lost.

Between then and now, I had 5 surgical procedures and a lot of pain, both physical and emotional. It's been quite a journey.

Miscarriage is not what I once thought. Before I experienced it, I thought miscarriage was sad, a disappointment, a setback… I didn’t realize that miscarriage forever changes you; that the baby you lose is a child you will grieve, that even if you have a healthy child the next time, it doesn’t replace the loss. Children aren’t interchangeable. With each of my babies I formed a unique bond.

Losing our baby has changed me. I cry more easily when others hurt. The lense through which I view the world is different now. Loss has sharpened my perspective.

I also hold so much tighter to my daughters. Losing one has helped me not to take my girls for granted. I now view every healthy baby as a miracle. The process from conception to birth is so intricate, and I feel so lucky that I have two healthy children here with me. Natalie was born healthy and hearty (at 9&1/2 pounds) the year after we miscarried. I hesitate to use the words "our family is complete" -- I suspect no matter how many kids we could have, there would always be one missing -- but she is a piece that belongs to this puzzle, and she has brought us great joy. As they say, joy comes in the morning. For me, joy came in the mourning.

I believe we will hold our baby in Heaven, and that this loss will be redeemed there. Until then, I don’t know that you can fully heal. Maybe you just learn to cope; integrate the loss into the fabric of your life.

What helps me the most is to hold onto my faith. The hope I have in Christ is real, and I could not walk this road without Him.

Sisterhood

There can be no situation in life in which the conversation of my dear sister will not administer some comfort to me.
Mary Montagu

There is something so special about sisterhood. That may be between you and your biological sister. It may be a step-sister, sister-in-law, or adopted sister. You may not have that bond with a sister, you may have found it, instead, in a friend. I am blessed in the department of sisterhood. I have a biological sister who I love hanging out with {just a couple weeks ago, we went grocery shopping together and had a blast}, laughing with, watching movies with, or having heart-to-hearts with, I love being the person she calls when she needs to talk or cry or wants a dose of big-sister advice.

I have been gifted two daughters I have the privilege of raising as sisters. Currently 3 & 6, they are the epitome of siblings -- they giggle at each other's made-up knock-knock jokes, share clothes, compliment each other on their outfits, play together, make messes together, get into trouble together, adore each other, and fight with each other. I hope they will always be close.

I also have sister-friends -- women I have met at some point in my life with whom I have a sister-like bond. These are the women who have celebrated with me, watched me fall and helped me back up, not judged when my actions or attitude were not admirable. These are the women who have showed up, without my asking, when they knew I needed them; who have prayed for me; who have cried over my hurts like their own.

I have a mom and aunts I look up to and who encourage me on my journey. They are not perfect and that frees me from feeling like I can't measure up. They are real and they are flawed and they are wonderful.

Sitting across the table at a restaurant recently, I looked into the eyes of a new sister-friend as she told me parts of her story. Where she came from, what obstacles she has overcome, and what makes her who she is. I felt so honored to be given that gift. We ate pumpkin pie and sipped hot chocolate and talked for more hours than you would believe about authenticity and motherhood and love and faith and things we struggle with. To be able to be real with someone, to show them your heart and have them accept and understand it, is such a gift.

11.03.2010

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