This afternoon I laid down and meditated for awhile on God’s purpose for my life, and where he is leading me.
God has a purpose for everyone. We’re at our happiest when we submit to his will and not to our own. I’ve learned this truth the hard way, after many years of insisting on having my own way and always failing miserably, or finding out that what I thought I wanted wasn’t what I wanted at all.
I’m still not living the life I want to live, because I’m still grappling with the bad choices I made (and the bad choices that were made for me). I also never took risks before. I lived inside my comfort zone, which wasn’t very comfortable, but it was all I knew.
Last week, I did a few things that were outside my comfort zone. I took a week off of work for something I really wanted and needed to do, in spite of not having any vacation time or money to pay for it. I asked for financial help online and got it. I submitted myself to an emotional and spiritual process that was painful for me at least once. I spend almost a week sharing a room with someone who I would normally regard as much too “good” for me and avoid that person out of envy or feelings of not being able to measure up (those are just the “tapes” that were installed in my mind by my judgmental, snobbish, “keeping up with the Joneses” narc parents). But as it turned out, once we got to know each other, I realized this woman wasn’t judging me on those terms and even seemed to genuinely like me, which I was sure she would not. So I could let down that particular guard. In fact, under normal circumstances, I would have felt inferior or “less than” everyone else on this retreat too. And yet I did not. Other than a little social discomfort and shyness at first, assuming I’d be negatively judged, soon I felt welcomed.
You can tell you’re not living as God meant for you to live if you’re unhappy with what you’re doing or your circumstances. I’m still not fulfilled or happy, but I’m getting closer, and God is showing me the way. He was always there though, always trying to show me something better, but I wasn’t ready. That wasn’t my fault; it just was. Now it’s changing.
The first step of this journey was that I had to leave my abuser(s). As long as I remained, I would stay stuck, and worse than that, eventually die both emotionally and spiritually. Possibly physically too.
But even after freeing myself, I still wasn’t able to start looking inside myself and realize that I not only needed God but also needed to submit my will to his, until after I was able to forgive my abusers.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning the awful things they did to us, nor does it mean apologizing or submitting to them. Not even one little bit! They were wrong in what they did, horribly wrong…but that shouldn’t become a life sentence for us. We need to move on with ourselves in order to find peace and happiness. But moving on isn’t possible until we can forgive the people who tried to trip us up at every turn. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s necessary.
I reached a point where I was tired of hating them. The hatred had served its purpose–I got away! What now? All that hatred was just turning me bitter and angry, and making me feel helpless and living in fear that abuse would just keep happening again…and again….and again.
Forgiving them wasn’t for their benefit; it was for mine! After letting go of my hatred and rage, I was finally able to look inside myself and see what I could do differently to avoid being a victim again in the future. In doing so, I found that I had quite a few unpleasant, even narcissistic, traits of my own. Not that I’d ever asked for the abuse, or been horrible enough to deserve it, no way! It just meant I’d probably picked up quite a few negative traits and defense mechanisms from my abusers, in order to survive.
I no longer needed those traits now that I was free. In fact, I had no choice but to send them packing if I wanted to move forward.
Letting that anger go and forgiving the people who abused me made me able to look at their brokenness. By seeing them as victims too (albeit victims so broken they had lost any ability to have insight into themselves or be able to change on their own), that gave them a whole lot less power over me. If I had never been able to forgive them, I would never have been able to let go of feeling like a powerless victim instead of a survivor with the hope of an actual future.
That doesn’t mean the victimization wasn’t real. It was. But at some point you will want to say, “I overcame this! I’m a survivor!” A victim is someone who is still in danger, who is unable to get past that danger.
God doesn’t let bad things happen to us (such as having narcissistic parents) to “teach us things” or because he wants us to suffer. The bad things that happen to us are never his will for us. He allows them to happen because he has given us all free will.
However, what God can do is take those bad things and turn them into something beautiful and good, IF we keep our hearts and minds open to what his true purpose for us is. God can use these things as tools that bring us closer to him and at the same time bring us closer to fulfilling what his purpose for our lives is (and that purpose always coincides with what will make us the happiest too). We should never fight his plan for us, but we can ask for guidance.
God can and will find the beauty in our brokenness.
While I was lying on my back meditating, I kept my mind and heart open, just listening. Since returning from my retreat last week, I feel like my heart is much more open to God and his plans for my life and however he wants to use me.
I asked him to show me a picture of who I could have been if I hadn’t been so broken…and who I still can be when I’m less broken.
At first nothing came to me, but after awhile I realized my mind kept circling back to 3 words:
God wasn’t showing me a picture of the Me he intended for me to be; he was showing me through the modality I understand and resonate with best: words.
Words are the tools God gave me to write about what happened to me. Words made it possible for me to start this blog and share my story.
Words are the tool by which I’ll fulfill my destiny.
My destiny is to disseminate beauty and truth.
I was the truth teller in my family.
I can’t stand fakeness, phoniness, insincerity. I’m allergic to those things. (Not that I’ve always been honest myself or have never told a lie–that would be far from the truth!).
I’ve always sought the truth — whether through a hunger for knowledge, reading science or psychology articles and books, spirituality, religion, nature, art, music, or literature — all right-brained things by which the truth can be discovered.
Truth, as John Keats famously stated, is beauty.
And beauty is truth.
My purpose in this life–God’s purpose for me–is to disseminate truth and beauty, which are the same.
Through truth and beauty may come healing. Healing for me, and healing for others.
No one who makes an effort to listen to their heart cannot be healed, because it’s through our heart that God speaks to us and can rewire our broken connections.