Whoever wrote a Bushman cannot survive
Of inner straightness and compassion and a courageous prayer
The past few weeks have been turbulent. Outwardly not so much, thanks to Covid and my busy schedule - apart from long walks in the forest, I currently usually stay within 15 minutes walking distance from home (4 minutes to work, 8 minutes to the nearest supermarket, 15 minutes to the supermarket further away, 0 Minutes to all the Zoom and WebEx and Skype meetings and the good old phone calls). But inside.
As I have already mentioned at one point or another, I am always amazed that I am even able to practice my current work as a psychotherapist in training - and that I enjoy doing it. Not so long ago I was the one who was afraid of any conversation because I was in a completely unnatural relationship with myself. That made my insecurities skyrocket in any other relationship. I was the one in a permanent state of discomfort, judging and condemning every single word I might or might fail to say - trapped in myself and therefore never really able to be fully present in a conversation. (Just remembering how tiring it was makes me weary.) I felt bent inside, whereas now I can stand upright and straight for who I am. I feel complete, reconciled with myself. I walk through the corridors of the clinic where I work, I unlock the door to my office, I welcome a patient - and I smile (under the FFP2 mask), I am infinitely grateful to God and I like it, to be myself. I have to share this verse again, simply because it expresses my story so beautifully:
The insecurity and inner evaluations that challenge every word I say are by no means gone. On the contrary, in the last few weeks, which have been quite stressful and challenging, they have come up again particularly often. They still feel normal and right in those situations. But after a while they wear off and fade away. Even if they sometimes accumulate, they remain individual thoughts and not the general cognitive tone. Grace is obviously at work. It is not only amazing and wonderful to be in harmony with myself, rooted in God's grace instead of my old harshness, but also that I can be properly present in conversations - a necessary prerequisite for my current activity. One concept that is very similar to grace to myself is self-compassion. I recently discovered this term and it touched something inside of me (and shortly afterwards it became a key buzzword in two different seminars). What is significant in the context of my work with patients is that when I allow myself grace and compassion, it creates space within me for true compassion for the patients I meet. It creates space so that it is not a question of whether I am doing something right or wrong, but rather that it is about them.
Nonetheless, I am still not a great expert in dealing with mistakes I make 😛 I would like to be able to say, “I made a mistake, I learned from it, and I can still look myself in the eye and peace have with myself. I can accept that I am human and therefore sometimes make mistakes. ”But even if I choose these thoughts, my feeling doesn't follow, and each mistake feels like the end of the world, or rather my existence.
There was a situation recently where I made a stupid mistake. The most unnecessary thing about it wasn't the mistake itself, but the massive feeling of guilt that I felt afterwards, especially because the whole thing didn't even have negative consequences. Still, the perceived guilt for doing something “forbidden” was absolutely crippling. I tried to imagine the bug being thrown into the deepest sea and dissolving there, but it made no difference. Then I prayed, “Jesus, let your grace release the guilt that feels like it is suffocating me. Help me allow myself to make mistakes. Even mistakes that don't make sense or have no reasonable cause. "
Even if I have not reached the point that I described with the prayer for a long time, the willingness and ability to ask God for such a thing is a huge difference from before! It shows that I would like to admit this fallibility to myself. This very desire includes a significant portion of grace and self-compassion. There was a time when the very idea of admitting mistakes felt like my whole world was crumbling. Now the prayer still felt dangerous, but right, and also a bit exciting, in a good way - I am curious to see how God's grace will work even more in me.
After the prayer, an image developed in my mind's eye. I saw myself run into Jesus' arms like a little child and say, "Jesus, I've done something stupid." At first I was so ashamed that I couldn't look Jesus in the eyes. But the subsequent dialogue and His actions were so full of tenderness, affection and love that in the end my shame and harshness melted at least so far that I could let Him embrace me. A touching picture that meant so much to me, in addition to the issue of guilt, because thanks to Corona it has been ages since I hugged an actual person. (As an aside, that's pretty insane considering that for a while the main sustaining factor in my anorexia was the desire to be hugged and held - now I don't have the eating disorder or the hugs, and yet I survive.)
So far for now. More on current key moments and insights 🗝 will follow when I find the time - and the words.
Of Confidence And Compassion And A Courageous Prayer
The past weeks have been turbulent. Not so much on the outside, thanks to covid and my full schedule - other than taking long walks in the forest, I mostly remain within 15 minutes walking distance from home (4 minutes to work, 8 minutes to the closer supermarket, 15 minutes to the supermarket that is further away, 0 minutes to all the Zoom and WebEx and Skype meetings and good old phone calls). But on the inside.
First of all, I still never fail to be amazed that I am able to do the work I do now, as a psychological therapist in training - and loving it. Not so long ago, I was the girl who was afraid of every conversation because I was in a completely unnatural relationship with myself, causing my insecurity in every other relationship to soar. I was the girl who was in a constant state of unease, appraising and judging every single word I said or might say or might fail to say - caught in my mind and therefore never fully able to be present in the conversation. (Just recalling how exhausting it was makes me feel exhausted.) I felt warped and bent on the inside, whereas now I can stand tall and upright as the person I am. I feel whole, reconciled to myself. I walk around in the halls of the clinic I work at, I unlock the door to my office, I welcome a patient - and I smile (beneath the KN95 mask), I feel incredibly thankful to God, and I like being myself. I just have to share this Bible verse again, it captures my story so well:
Those insecurities, those judging thoughts that question every word I say - they are by no means gone. On the contrary, in the past weeks that have been extremely stressful and challenging in various ways, they have surfaced many times again. They still feel normal and right in those situations. But after a while, they pass. Even though they aggregate in some instances (a lot so lately), they remain individual thoughts and not the underlying tenor of my whole cognition. Grace is obviously at work. It is amazing not only to feel at ease with and in myself, confident about who I am, rooted in God’s grace instead of my old harshness, but also to be able to actually be present in conversations - a necessary prerequisite for my current work. A concept very similar to grace for myself is that of self-compassion. I recently discovered this term and it touched something in me (and shortly afterwards, it turned out to be one of the main words in two different seminars). In the context of my work with patients, the significant thing is that granting myself grace and compassion makes room in me for true compassion for the patients I see. It makes room for it to not be about me doing something wrong or right, but about them.
That being said, I am still not very good at dealing with mistakes I make 😛 I would like to be able to say, “I have made a mistake, I have learned from it, and I can still look myself in the eye and be at peace with myself. I can accept that I am human and therefore make mistakes at times. " But even when I choose these thoughts, my feelings don’t follow, and every mistake feels like the end of the world, or rather, of my existence.
Recently, there was a situation where I made a really silly mistake, but the even more unnecessary thing was the intense guilt I felt afterwards, especially because it didn't even have any bad consequences. Yet the sense of guilt I felt for doing something “forbidden” was absolutely crippling. I tried to picture the mistake being thrown into the deepest sea and dissolving there, but it didn't make any difference. Then I prayed, "Jesus, let Your grace dissolve the sense of guilt that feels like it's suffocating me again. Help me allow myself to make mistakes. Even mistakes that don’t make sense or have an adequate reason. "
Even though I am not at the point where this prayer is completely fulfilled, alone the ability and willingness to ask God for such a thing is a massive difference from what it would have been like in the past! It shows that I want to be able to give myself permission to make mistakes. This wish in itself already contains a significant portion of grace and self-compassion. There was a time when just the idea of allowing myself to make mistakes felt like my whole world would crumble. Now, the prayer still felt dangerous, but right, and also exciting in a positive way - I am curious to experience more of God’s grace working in me.
After the prayer, an image developed in front of my inner eye. I saw myself running into Jesus ’arms like a little child, saying," Jesus, I have done something stupid. " At first, I was so ashamed that I couldn't look Jesus in the eye. But the ensuing dialogue, and His actions, were so full of tenderness and love that in the end, it melted my shame and harshness at least so much that I was able to let Him embrace me. A touching image, especially given that, aside from the guilt issue, it has been such a long time since I have hugged an actual person, thanks to corona. (Which, on a side note, is pretty crazy given that once upon a time one of the main sustaining factors of my anorexia was the desire to be embraced, held - now I have neither the ED nor the hugs, and still I am surviving .)
So much for now. More content on recent key moments and realizations 🗝 is to come when (if) I find the time - and the words.
Once, I had lost myself. But God’s grace found me and I became myself again. Always a reason to give thanks to God!
Happy Thanksgiving! Even though it's probably a very unusual one ...
[Image using a photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash]
#thanksgiving #mystorywithgod #mylittleamericansoul #evenif #edrecovery #allglorytogod
Looking Back # 15: An Ending And A Beginning
Something like an epilogue ...
Wow, it took me over a year to complete the "Looking Back" series. I could probably start a new one for this past year 😉 But it shows that my life is filled and the story continues to be written - new chapters added to the same story, often times with references to past chapters. Thoughts, quotes, ideas from this past episode continue to be woven into the current fabric of my story.
This day exactly two years ago - November 13th, 2018 - marked an ending and a beginning. The ending of the inpatient stay that meant so much to me. And the beginning of a new life in the old surrounding, in the outward frame of my old life.
* * *
And suddenly, it was over.
Only, of course, it wasn't.
I was back in Berlin and the inpatient stay itself was over - but all that had happened there, the inner changes, came to Berlin with me. I was about to write, came “back” to Berlin with me, but that would be wrong. I as physical person returned to Berlin, but I as transformed person stepped into my everyday life in Berlin for the very first time. And it felt as though it did not fit anymore - I did not fit into my life anymore. That's a different part of the story, though. What it does highlight is how profound the changes that had taken place in me were - how powerful, amazing, and loving the God who worked them in me. He let me write the story together with Him, and allowed me to be accompanied by so many amazing people who each played a unique and meaningful role. My story would not be complete without all of them.
From my Prayer Diary on November 11th, 2018
Thank You that I am indeed becoming myself again, the relationship person I am. Thank You for restoring in me the joy of being with people, as prayed before [the inpatient stay]! Thank You for all the amazing friends I have made.
It will be (and has been) so hard to say good-bye.
But thank You for all the breakthroughs, more than I had imagined, and that I have been able to put colons (:) in all decisive areas. You are so great and amazing!
Maybe it's not surprising that the people in Berlin - the people that mean so much to me! - feel a bit like strangers to me, and being with the people here feels like home. After all, the ease and openness I am able to live here at least in part was missing at home, so I never got to know the people there in the same way as some of my fellow patients here. Of course, it can change in the future, but for now I have to accept the fact that I don’t have the kind of relationship I have with [my new friends here] with anyone in Berlin. It's up to me to make it happen there as well, but it makes the farewell all the more difficult.
From my Prayer Diary on November 12th, 2018
No wonder it's difficult to say good-bye to the clinic: Here I have found me, I have found who I am and have been able to be myself. I have never been myself in Berlin and I am scared to “lose myself” again. I am confident at the same time, deeply convinced that You who helped me find myself here will help me remain myself there. But I will let the fear and sadness surface as well right now - it's okay because they show me how much has changed and will keep me from simply returning to the way it was.
From my Prayer Diary on November 13th, 2018
[Having gained weight this morning] still devastated me.
The fight is not over.
But it's not a fight against myself anymore.
Back in Berlin
I "found myself" there. I am a new person, the real me, and this real me has only ever existed there. I have to get to know myself, plus the new me has to make this place her home and the people here her friends [...]. Until then, it's not surprising that I feel lonely and even homeless. It shows how much I have changed on the inside. Which is amazing ...
... but right now it just hurts terribly to be here and not there.
This is the journey I have been on ever since. Even now, two years and many more transformations later, I am still not sure if I will be able to make Berlin my home again or not. Finding myself came at a high price, though a logical one, and one I had maneuvered myself into. It's as though I am still getting to know myself, which is causing me to question many things I once took for granted. A painful but healthy, yes divine process.
However, this is not how I want to end this "Looking Back" series. Instead, I want to conclude with a quote from the first half of the inpatient episode, where the inner changes that were only just “hatching” allowed me to catch a glimpse of the whole meaning of the transformation to come, the peace I would finally be able to make with myself.
From my Prayer Diary on October 14th, 2018
And the relief ... There was never a moment of pause or vacation from the ED, from waking till falling asleep, not one second, for years. It was always a fight to eat because of the hellish guilt that followed, and to not-eat because I still had the body signals and appetite; always a fight to maintain the ED and to combat it, from the very beginning on. Constant struggle, constant tension, never-ending, every waking second, and probably during my sleep as well. And now, through the structure of the days here and the inner change You have been working in me, as the battle line is moving in favor of health, there is suddenly a relief, there are moments of break from the battle, and it's overwhelming . I feel the tiredness of the years, and it's okay, it's good - it's healthy and appropriate. I feel a peace that has not been there in ages.Oh god, it's overwhelming. To go to sleep, and despite the tension during meals […], to feel okay. And to feel that the next day will be okay as well, without complicated strategies in order to not eat too much. It's incredible, and I stand in awe (or lie on my bed in awe 😉), and right now, this is my worship, the best and deepest worship, straight out of my heart.
Review # 15: An End and a Beginning
Kind of an afterword
Wow, it took me over a year to complete the "Review" series. I could probably start a new one for last year 😉 But it shows that my life is full and the story is being written - new chapters added to the same story, often with reference to previous chapters. Thoughts, quotes, ideas from that episode continue to be woven into the current fabric of my story.
That day exactly two years ago - November 13, 2018 - marked an end and a beginning. The end of the hospital stay that meant so much to me. And the beginning of a new life in the old environment, in the outer framework of my old life.
* * *
And suddenly it was over.
But of course it wasn't.
I was back in Berlin and the rehab stay itself was over - but everything that had happened there, all the internal changes that came with me to Berlin. I was about to write: came “back” to Berlin with me. But that would be wrong. I came back to Berlin as a physical person, but as a changed person I stepped into my everyday life in Berlin for the very first time. And it felt like it didn't fit me anymore - I didn't fit into my life anymore. But that's another part of the story. What it illustrates is how deep the changes that had taken place in me were - how powerful, amazing, wonderful and loving the God was and is who made them happen in me. Who took me by the hand so that I could write the story with Him. Who made sure that I was accompanied by so many great people, each and every one of whom played a unique and meaningful role. Without them my story would not be complete.
From my prayer diary on November 11, 2018
Thank you for actually being about to become myself again, the relationship person that I really am. Thank you for restoring the joy of fellowship with other people in me - just as I prayed before rehab! Thanks for all the great friends I have made.
It will be so difficult to say goodbye (or was sometimes so difficult).
But thank you for all the breakthroughs, more than I imagined, and thank you for being able to put colons in all the crucial areas. You are so big, amazing and wonderful!
Maybe it's not surprising that the people in Berlin - the people who mean so much to me! - feel a bit like a stranger to me, while the people here feel at home. After all, the openness and looseness that I can at least partially live here was missing at home. So I never got to know the people there in the same way as some of my fellow patients here. Of course that can change in the future, but for now I have to accept that I don't have the kind of relationship I have with some new friends here with anyone in Berlin. It's up to me to ensure that friendships like this develop there too, but it makes saying goodbye all the more difficult.
From my prayer diary on November 12, 2018
No wonder it is difficult to say goodbye to the clinic: this is where I found myself. I found who I am and could be myself. In Berlin I've never really been myself and I'm afraid of losing myself again. At the same time I am confident, deeply convinced that you, God, who helped me to find myself here, will also help me to remain myself there. But I'll also let the fear and sadness come to the surface - it's okay because it shows how much has changed and will keep me from simply going back to where I was before.
From my prayer diary on November 13, 2018
This morning I was still devastated that I put on weight.
The fight is not over.
But it's no longer a fight against myself.
Back in Berlin
I found myself there. I am a new person, the real self, and that real self has only existed there so far. I have to get to know myself and the new me has to make this place her home and the people here her friends. […] Until then, it's not surprising that I feel lonely and even homeless. It shows how much I've changed inside. And that is an immense miracle ...
... but right now it just hurts terribly to be here and not there.
So this is the journey I've been on since then. Even now, two years and many more changes later, I am not sure whether I will be able to make Berlin my home again or not. Finding myself came at a high, albeit logical, price - one that I had maneuvered myself into. I am probably still getting to know myself properly, which means that I question a lot of things that used to be taken for granted. A painful but healthy, yes divine process.
But that's not what I want to end this series of reviews with. Rather, I would like to end with a quote from the first half of rehab, when the inner changes that were just beginning to budge at the time gave me a glimpse into the significance of the entire transformation that was to come. To the peace I would finally make with myself.
From my prayer diary on October 14, 2018
And the relief ... There was never a single moment of break or vacation from the eating disorder, from waking up to falling asleep, not a second, over years. It was always a struggle to eat because of the hellish guilt that would ensue; and not to eat because my body was still sending signals and I was hungry. Always a struggle to maintain the eating disorder and fight it, right from the start. Constant struggle, constant tension, without end, every second of wakefulness, and probably during sleep as well. And now, through the structure of the days here and through the inner changes that you have started in me, now that the battle line is shifting towards health - now there is suddenly a relief. There are moments when the struggle rests and that is overwhelming. I feel the tiredness of all these years, and it's okay, it's good - it's healthy and appropriate. God it's overwhelming. To go to sleep and feel okay despite the tension at meals [...]. And to feel that it will be okay the next day too, without complicated strategies not to overeat. It's amazing, and I stand in awe (or lie in bed in awe 😉), and right now this is my worship, the best and deepest worship, straight from my deepest heart.
Looking Back # 14: The Real Me
... and a thought about grace BEFORE
In the previous “looking back” post, I described how God was preparing my heart to accept grace and make peace with myself. Up to this point, it was a process. But as I have said before, it has been my experience that sometimes a process leads to threshold moment, a moment in which I cross a line and a major shift takes place in my heart. The last Thursday of my inpatient stay held such a threshold moment for me. That morning, it felt as though the inner war was culminating and truly tearing me apart - a war between my spirit (the part of me that is closely connected to God) and my soul (my human thinking, feeling, perceiving, wanting).
From my Prayer Diary on November 8th, 2018
Exodus 14:14: The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.
-> This is a battle I cannot fight with my will and my strength. My God, I lay myself into Your hands. Fight this battle for me.
The inner was intensified over night. If felt like a spiritual war more than anything else, because I know it is against myself, or rather between my spirit and my soul, but I can't fully describe it in words. Just that my soul rebels against coming to peace.
Being asked if I couldn't simply lay the inner weapons down, my only reply was that, no, I could not, because I’d need weapons against the weapons ...
The inner war became even stronger when, in the next therapy session, which was called “salutary singing,” we sang the lyrics “Shalom… peace be with you” to each other. Those words were unbearable for me, because as much as I longed for it, the fear and rebellion against this peace was even stronger.
From my Prayer Diary on November 8th, 2018
It is so difficult for me to accept this [the words: peace be with you], because peace is not with me. I wish the subjunctive would become an indicative: Peace is with me.
This tension caused even more inner tower oil and at the end of the session, I could not hold it together any longer. The moment I (or rather, the version of myself I had become) finally fell apart… and was able to be put together again afterward in a new manner… that is a moment I will never forget.
From my Prayer Diary on November 8th, 2018
This war in me, the war against myself, the war between spirit and soul - in the end, the aim is not to defeat the soul (a part of myself!), Ie, to have a winner and a loser (because that would be a loser in me!). In this case, it's not about victory and defeat, but about alignment, joining together, unifying. So I will use the sword not to wage war against the soul, but instead for an act of knighting, which means to me in this context aligning the soul with the spirit.
And that will lead to true peace.
And it did.
I was able to accept this idea of knighting, because I was so amazed that God met me right where I was, knowing that I wasn't able to let go of the sword, and so not forcing me to, but showing me a different solution. That touched me beyond words, and I was finally able to say, "Yes, God, I accept Your peace and Your grace." Right then and there, this special divine peace that is beyond human understanding (compare Philippians 4: 6-7) filled me, and along with it the feeling that I had become myself again, that I had found myself, or better, I had been found by God and put back together. I was finally whole. (More on that part of my story in the post I wrote shortly after the inpatient stay, about the P E A C E I had finally found.)
Even now, it is difficult for me to find words for the intensity of what happened in that threshold moment. I wish I could convey the depth of the change that took place in me, and the awe and wonder at God’s working in me. Since then, of course, a lot has happened. I have been holding on to being myself, to not letting myself be torn apart again, which is not always easy. And I have been learning that there are still further levels of grace to experience and grant myself. For example, I recently discovered that I had only taken hold of a specific aspect of grace, which I now call "grace AFTER." I have been learning to be graceful to myself when I have made a mistake, to get over a shortcoming or failure - AFTER it has happened. Yet I still enter each day and situation with the attitude that I have to do well and get everything right, by all means. I say, “I have to get it right today. I have to use perfect wordings. I have to refrain from skin-picking ”and so on. So basically, I don't allow myself to make mistakes. When it still happens, it feels terrible at first, but then it is possible for grace to slowly seep in. Yet am I not omitting an important aspect of grace, which would be to allow grace BEFORE the situation arises? To state beforehand that I will do my best, but if it's not exactly what I expect of myself, it's still okay? That would be grace BEFORE, and this approach is still difficult and scary because I so badly want to get everything right. But I see now that it takes both, grace after and also grace before, to truly stop fighting against myself. So I am still on the road toward ever more depth of peace and grace - there is still a way before me, but I have also come quite far already.
Review # 14: Becoming and being myself
... and a thought for grace BEFORE
In the last review I described how God prepared my heart to accept grace and make peace with myself. Up to that point it was a process. But as I have already said one or the other time, I experience time and again that a process leads to a threshold moment, a moment when I cross a line and something meaningful inside me shifts. The last Thursday of my stay in the clinic held such a threshold moment in store for me. That morning it felt like the inner struggle was coming to a head, reaching a climax, and truly tearing me apart inside - a struggle between my spirit (the part of me that is closely related to God) and my soul (my human Thinking, feeling, perceiving, willing).
From my prayer diary on November 8th, 2018
Exodus 14:14: The Lord will fight for you, you don't have to do anything yourself.
-> This is a fight that I cannot fight with my will and my strength. My God, I put myself in your hands. You fight this battle for me.
The inner struggle intensified overnight. More than anything, it feels like a spiritual battlebecause I know it is a struggle against myself, or rather between my mind and soul, but I cannot fully describe it in words. Just that my soul rebels against finding peace and calm.
When I was asked if I couldn't just lay down my inner weapons, my only answer was: No, I can't, because I need weapons against weapons ...
The inner struggle became even fiercer when we sang to each other in the next therapy unit, “Healing Singing”, a song with the line “Shalom ... Peace be upon you”. Those words were unbearable to me because as much as I longed for that peace, the fear and rebellion against it were even stronger.
From my prayer diary on November 8th, 2018
It is very difficult to accept that [the words: peace be upon you] for me because peace is not there with me. I wish the subjunctive would become an indicative: Peace is with me.
Feeling this tension upset me even more, and at the end of the lesson I couldn't pull myself together anymore. The moment when I (or rather, the version of myself that I had become) finally broke ... only to be reassembled afterwards ... that moment I will never forget.
From my prayer diary on November 8th, 2018
The fight within me, the fight against myself, the fight between spirit and soul - in the end it is not the goal to “defeat” the soul (which is a part of myself!), Ie a winner and a loser to have - because that would be a loser in me. In this case it is not about victory and defeat, but about a union, the achievement of an equal direction. Therefore I will not use the sword to fight the soul, but instead for an accolade - which for me in this context means to unite the soul with the spirit and to bring it into line.
And that will lead to real peace.
And it did.
I was able to embrace this idea of accolade because it filled me with so much awe and amazement that God came to meet me right where I was - He knew that I was unable to let go of the inner sword and did not force me to but showed me another solution. That touched me more than I can put into words, and I was finally able to say, “Yes, God, I accept your peace and grace.” When I thought that, I was immediately filled with the incredible divine peace that exceeds the human understanding (cf. Philippians 4: 6-7), and with it the feeling that I had become myself again, that I had found myself, or rather that I was found by God and put back together again was. I was whole at last. (More on this part of my story in the post I wrote shortly after my stay in the clinic about the F R I E D E N that I finally found.)
Even now I can hardly find words for the intensity of what happened in that threshold moment. I wish I could convey the depth of the change that took place in me then and the awe-inspiring wonder of God's work in me. A lot has happened since then, of course. I held on to the self-being, didn't let myself be torn apart again - which is not always easy. And I've learned that there are other degrees of grace that I can experience and grant myself.For example, I recently discovered that I have only had a limited aspect of grace that I call "grace AFTER". I am learning to be gracious to myself when I have made a mistake or feel that I am inadequate - AFTER something stupid has happened. Nevertheless, I continue to go into every day and every situation with the attitude that I am doing everything well and right got to, at all costs. I think inside: “I have to do everything right today. I have to use perfect phrasing. I have to stop myself from messing around with my skin ”, etc. So basically, I don't allow myself to make mistakes. When it does, it feels awful at first, but then I can allow grace to slowly seep into me. But am I not ignoring an essential aspect of grace, namely granting myself grace BEFORE such a situation occurs? Resolving myself to do my best, but also admitting to myself that it's okay if I don't do quite as I expect it to be? The grace would be BEFORE, and this approach is still difficult and scary because I really want to do everything right. But I now see that both grace after and grace before are needed to really stop fighting myself. So I'm still on the journey to deeper and deeper peace and grace - there is still a way to go, but I've come a long way.
(Using a photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash)
Looking Back # 12: Truth Is Truth
It feels strange to continue writing these “looking back” posts at the moment (a few are still missing 😉). When I began, the inpatient stay and all the experiences connected to it still felt very close, even though so much had changed since then, mainly on the inside. But now things are beginning to change on the outside as well, for example that I had the first seminar of my training as Psychological Therapist last weekend. The chapter of my life that was dictated by anorexia and inner dividedness toward myself has slid a bit further into the past, or rather, I have come a step further into the now that was once distant future, and I have finally settled down on the inside (at least for now 😉). It feels like I was living in a different world back then.
... But then there are those moments when the worlds collide. The past world and the present world. And the past world suddenly feels close again, familiar and weirdly logical. Not in a manner to worry about, for after the collision, the worlds bounce away from each other again. But it reminds me intensely how real everything was that I experienced then. And how important it still is.
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