How was your Easter weekend? For some people it's filled with fun and family and activities. For others it's a painful reminder of who or what they may have lost over the years around this time of year or the lack of a certain individual or group of people to enjoy this time with...
I went out and enjoyed the sunrise and the beautiful sound of bird songs and watched the birds freely enjoying the morning light while happily foraging for their breakfast.
"Flowers don't worry about how they're going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful."~Jim Carrey
Friday was a hard day. It was Good Friday and even though I was at work I kept thinking about how my last church would have Friday evening services and I couldn't go. I mean, I could go physically but because of the things said and done and ommitted it would have been a very painful and traumatizing experience. (For some background, feel free to read this blog post: https://www.lighthopetruth.com/post/red-flags-want-to-learn-from-my-experiences )
There were people I would've loved to see again. But they had shown me that because I let some of my "sparkly points" show they didn't want to be my friends anymore.
One of my friends shared one of her stories about church and it helped me not feel quite so alone but it also brought to the surface what I had been thinking about earlier in the day. (You can read her story here: https://autopsyofabuse.substack.com/p/for-lent-this-year-i-gave-up-church?r=1735ph&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web )
There were 3 specific older ladies at my last church who I looked up to a lot. One was really into art as I was too. She would have me over and we would spend the evening together. She had also help me a lot with the one subject in my GED course. The second one I went hiking with a lot and we would also do other things together. The third one was a quiet steady motherly type of person. There was something about her that drew me. These three made a big impression in the not quite two years since I had started attending the same church. They really meant a lot to me.
As time went on though I wondered if they truly cared for me or if they would eventually turn their backs on me too, like so many others in my past had.
I would sometimes use painting as a way of trying to express my emotions because as a trauma and abuse survivor, there isn't always words for the depth of emotion and pain. One day I went over to the first lady's house and I took my paintings along because she wanted to see them. At first glance, she was impressed but then she said something about how dark they are. She started telling me things I should do different, such as using different colors to make it lighter. At first, I couldn't believe what I was hearing, but then, I realized that this person who I thought was a mature adult could not handle the deepness and darkness of what had been so much a reality in my life. I felt that in order to have her investment in my life I needed to cut off one of my sparkly points: the deepness and darkness of my past. This may not seem like sparkly point at first but it is a part of me that I felt I had to hide in order to keep her in my life. What makes it sparkly though, in my opinion, is the fact that it has made me who I am. Just as the fire purifies gold; so trauma and abuse can have a deepening and purifying effect on a person, if we choose to seek healing for the wounds caused by it. Some of us barely survive and sadly, there are also those who don't as well as those who let it make them angry and bitter. Those of us who chose healing change the trajectory of our course as well as change the lives of those who we come in contact with.
Around the time I experienced this "shutdown" from this first lady; I was seeing a therapist who I had a very hard time with. All my life I had lived with pressure to perform and I was exhausted and it seemed this person couldn't be ok with me just being relaxed but would keep giving suggestions and it made me feel like I just wasn't making the progress she wanted me to make. I didn't need suggestions, I just needed space to just "be" and to rest. It was after one especially trying session that I posted something on social media about how exhausted I am and I need rest but even the ones who should be helping me are adding to the pressure.
The second person commented on my post, saying something in the line of: if I would just praise God then I would feel better. I replied that I dont think she understood what I was trying to say, that I don't need more things to do, I just need rest. She had just heaped on an enormous amount of pressure with her comment and it was exactly opposite of what I needed. By the way, what she did in her comment was spiritual bypassing because to really take in what I was trying to say would have taken her past a point that she refused to go.
The next morning when I checked my notifications, the third person had amened the second person and I felt like I was the bad guy. I felt like I needed to cut off another sparkly point, this time what was reality to me in how I was feeling, like in this instance: bone-weary exhaustion from life-long pressure to perform; or in other words, trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole. It just doesn't work without causing a lot of damage.
"You are under no obligation to be who people think you are. Change, grow, rearrange yourself. Free and beautiful things always bloom and spark with no holding back."~Charlotte Eriksson
I wondered how they would treat me after I had so blatantly disagreed with them. The next time I saw them at church they were more distant and didn't seem to really want to talk with me. I dont remember the third one ever giving me a hug after that time. There was a difference in their manner and I realized that I was seeing them for who they really are. They were not willing to go through the hard stuff with me. They were not real friends like I had thought they were. I had hoped they were. I didn't want to lose my friends all over again, but I was just too exhausted to keep up with all the pressure. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't fit in the hole that they wanted me to fit in. I just knew I couldn't keep cutting off my sparkly points to fit into the hole I was supposed to fit in.
I drive by the first person's house when I go to work. I usually don't look at this person's house or look to see if they're home because it's just been too painful. But this past Friday on the way home I looked. It hurt. It may have been on the way to work that I was already thinking about her and the other 2 people and I thought to myself: "There is just so much that they're missing out on. There is just so much I wish I could share with them."
It is not to be. In reality, they betrayed my trust. I expected more out of them. After sitting in a church service became too painful, I 'disappeared' from church. One of them I have not heard from to this day. The depth of pain and loss and betrayal has been so deep I have not been able to let myself really think about it even though so I often I yearn to hang out with them, to feel their embrace, their care and concern for me. But...once again...its over. Not only have my sparkly points been cut off but now also I as person have been rejected by these women who I had looked up to. The two others I tried to make contact but they were evasive and the one basically told me indirectly that she didn't think I was a spiritual person and therefore because I no longer attend church she's no longer interested in continuing the relationship. It was like throwing a knife deep intomy being and as if that wasn't enough they had to twist the blade yet. I'm only beginning to deal with the depth of pain and betrayal that they have caused by their actions and words.
It took me a while but I finally came to the point that I had tried my best and given my relationship with them my all, my best; but the fault lies with them in that they were unwilling and refused to walk with me after a certain point because they couldn't handle that depth themselves as so often happens, thus the spiritual bypassing that Christians resort to which is an affront to God.
On Sunday I was talking with a friend and for the first time since all this happened with these ladies (at least half a year) I was able to take a look at how they treated me with the support of my friend and to begin the grieving process because it was not right the way they treated me and they are responsible for it. In our conversation it was mentioned about a square peg fitting in a round hole. A little later this post showed up in my feed. The picture resonated deeply with me. Follow the link for the original post.
I think this quote fits right in about here...
"Behave like the flower; it blooms with its own petals without bothering to take the color of another flower's petals. You can excel with what you have!"~Israelmore Ayivor
All day today while I was at work, my thoughts were busy. I was trying to think of all the sparkly points that I have felt I needed to cut off over the years. This is the list I came up with:
My sparkly points:
-the deepness and darkness of my past
-my desire to connect
-my negative emotions
-when I disagree
-my need for space
-my ways of expressing myself in art
-who I am as a person
-my likes and dislikes
-how much noise I make
-what I want to do with my life
I can remember instances all through my life where my sparkly points got cut off or I felt like I had to hide them. Some of them are as simple as trying to explain something that's bothering me to someone who should have cared enough to try to do something about it and yet they were too busy, or too distracted, or just plain didn't want to be bothered. The "being unheard" or "being silenced" chopped off my sparkly points till there just weren't any anymore to chop off. On the outside it may have looked like the square peg was now round and fit perfectly in the hole but that was only how it appeared on the outside. On the inside the sparkly points were/are causing havoc and jabbing me in painful ways but as I heal I think all my sparkly points will be sewed back on and the wounds healed and slowly this star will sparkle with all the dazzling light possible on this planet.
"A flower does not use words to announce its arrival to the world; it just blooms."~Matshona Dhliwayo
Where does this leave you? Did you know you also have sparkly points? Have you had your sparkly points cut off over the years? Have you ever felt like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole? That sounds really painful. And it is. It makes us into someone we weren't made to be. It is also a loss. A loss of who we were made to be but couldn't.
"You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more."~Oprah Winfrey
May I invite you to also take some time to ponder on what your sparkly points are, and to make a list of how they have been cut off in the past? It may take you to some deep, dark places but that is ok. Sometimes that is necessary in order for one to blossom; or in other words, to go forward with their life.
"In this illusory gloom, like a night-blooming flower, let your imagination bloom in a riot of color."~Vera Nazarian
Today is the first day that I've really spent time thinking about my sparkly points. And I'm really liking the picture of a beautiful star with every sparkly point intact shining light on the path for the people that are struggling along in life. Just imagine with me what your life might look like if all your sparkly points were allowed to shine as bright as they wanted without fear of being cut off or that you might have to hide some of them around certain people. Seems to me like we could become quite the dazzling display if we were given/ reserved the freedom to let all our sparkly points shine in all their beauty...how does that sound to you? Are you able to imagine it with me?
"What blooms from beautiful seeds of thought becomes a symphony of colorful abundance. "~Jazz Feylynn
Just think what could happen if you and I could let our sparkly points shine and didn't have to hide them? Would we spread hope? Would we weep with the weeping? Would we comfort the mourning? Would our presence exude peace to a troubled soul who crosses our path? Would it help us to honor ourselves and who we are more? Would we be kinder, gentler, or more compassionate to those around us, beginning with ourselves?
"The earth is gentle. And the earth allows the flowers to bloom. We need to be gentle. And the flowers will bloom in our life."~Avijeet Das
Our sparkly points weren't made to be cut off. They make up who we are. Abuse and trauma cuts them off. It is possible to mend them back on and they will still be able to shine despite the scars. There is no shame in having sparkly points. They make us unique. No one has the same set of sparkly points. Sometimes it is very hard to see them because they're so covered up with pain and hurt. Sometimes we need help to mend them and help them shine again. There is no shame in that. Rather it can be an empowering experience.
"If you've never been thrilled to the very edge of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom."~Audra Foveo
My question to you tonight is: what are you going to do with your sparkly points? You may not be able to see them but you do have some. I daresay you have a LOT of them. And...
Just imagine how it would be if all your sparkly points were allowed to shine in all their brilliance...how would it change your corner of the world?
"When you're doing exactly what you want to do,it's not tiring. You've been planting these seeds, and finally, you have a full garden in bloom; you're like, 'Oh, I just want to play among the flowers all day'. That's what I'm doing. I'm playing among the flowers."~Charles Domingo
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