Let Me Hide

Today at church, which has been great to attend again, a late, smaller service and no cameras. Just for me. Too many have been ill with the virus through the months, so I declined going. The morning was beautiful with the sunshine, even though it was quite cold. The joy of knowing springtime is near.

I was reminded today of how far I have come.

As I am sitting there waiting for church to start, a lady commented that my face looks thinner. I had to laugh and said, yes I hear that all the time. While nice of noticing a difference in my face, it actually hurts me when this is said. I get frustrated more with myself. It makes me feel hopeless.

Also, it is my internal thoughts that start stealing my peace and my joy each time, because it is like a look of disgust received that I am still fat. I am.

As I turned to sit in my seat ready for service, for a couple of minutes, I had a war within. All the negative thoughts were being thrown at me and an urge to go hide. Just go hide, as it hurts too much. I was considering to leave and go home to feel safe in my rocking chair, throw the covers over my head and call it a day. All because I am fat, the thoughts of unworthiness, I should hide my fat, I am a disgrace nobody wants to see me, etc. WOW

The struggle was real but I worked through it soon after and stayed. I am not where I want to be, but I am not where I used to be. There were many years. I did hide.

Life can throw some heavy rocks of condemnation, unworthiness, shame and every negative word or thoughts to the point of hopelessness. I was there, in a pit of despair for so many years due to several circumstances. I had given up. What’s the use, just hide and let my comfortable chair hug me to a long deep sleep, sometimes hoping I would not wake up.

Even though I deal with weight issues, which I allowed to increase over the years. Depression will do that to you, as some of you may know. I have had to deal with being over weight. We probably each have a struggle in one way or another. Exactly where the enemy wants us, to hide and be depressed, believing the lies.

This won’t be the last time that I will be told my face looks thinner and then they glance at my body. It hurts because I see it happening, and I know I will need to deal with it afterwards. Thankfully, I did not leave church. I did not go hide in my bedroom and rock the negative thoughts to sleep. It can feel like a prison, locked up.

The first worship song, I sang along and clapped my hands, while still tossing a few of those negative thoughts. It was about the third time around of hearing and seeing the words on the screen and me singing, “He set me free, Yes He set me free, and He broke the bonds of prison for me” I actually felt joy rise up within me.

I know I have been in prison, not actual prison, but one in my mind that I am no good, etc. I don’t want to even type the words now of what I struggled with again or elaborate. I think you get it.

I am worthy of God’s Love whether I am overweight with a thinner face or whatever. He loves me. I don’t need to go hide away from life and people. I don’t need to fear but have peace knowing He is doing a work in me.

Perhaps you understand and at times want to hide yourself as the negative thoughts bombard your mind, or people are unkind in their words whether they know it or not. Whatever it might be. Please know, YOU are Worthy of God’s Love. He loves YOU.

I felt the prison bars opened for me today. I just need to walk out with my head held high. I don’t need to run off and hide. Just shut the door for no re-entry when those moments come and I want to hide.

Lord, don’t let me hide.

“I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” (Isaiah 45:2-3) 

..if the Son sets you free, you will be absolutely free. John 8:36

“God has opened the prison doors for you to walk out into the freedom He promised through Christ.

https://findingtruthwithin.com/2016/04/29/freedom-friday/

https://bessg.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/prison-in-our-life/

https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/08/18/isaiah-611-the-opening-of-the-prison/

Always A Hitch

Yet again, I find that one thing leads to another, which is good but somewhat misleading. You get drawn in and then, here comes a sales pitch. If you do this and pay this fee monthly, I will do this and that for you and you will never be the same, totally worth it.

A guilt trip is added, but you deserve this for you, do this to be a better you, you will thank yourself, etc. While I get it, I get totally frustrated of being strung along and then BAM. Yes, it would be a good but so would the other program and another program, each one having a monthly fee. I do want to join to become a better me. Majority of the time, the same layout. When will I quit being pulled in and fall for the catch of them trying to get clients? Tonight’s fee was just $450.00 a month, a six-month program. A great deal, she said. No!

This class for the week, first three nights, were awesome. I absolutely loved it. It was like a continuation of my counseling years ago and stirred some emotions in me, which was good. I miss those hard, exhaustive sessions I had years ago at times that leave one depleted emotionally, but I grew within myself.

What ticked me off was a couple of things, besides this happening, a sales pitch. I was vulnerable in an email and shared how this time learning had affected me, as I stated. The fourth night, it starts off great and then it started, as a commercial for thirty minutes. While I understand, I should have known better days before, although I kinda did. I let my guard down and trust level was present. Angry with myself for allowing that to happen. Years ago, my counselor questioned why I didn’t trust others. Wonder why? Moments like this and I fall for it at the beginning and have at times jumped in and totally regretted, while losing money. It’s like the “L” hand sign on my forehead, Loser. Live and learn, right? Not this time.

Besides the anger I felt, it brought back other memories. Memories similar since I allowed myself to think back of my former counselor, that I still miss. When I was her client, on her Facebook business page, she offered programs that would have been nice to join. I could not join because I was her client. To sell her courses, of course, those also came as advertisements by the way of emails. The same holds true, I could not join. Each email or post, I felt it was like a slap in my face, like I was being rejected by her.

Dealing with rejection anyway, this did not help matters although I understood. I requested that I be taken off her email list for this reason. I do not have to subject myself to further pain. Although that decision I made hurt me in the end, as she officially closed her office and I did not know. A sad day it was when I drove past her office, it was my safe place for four years on a weekly basis and her signage removed. Now, not only feeling rejected but now abandoned. Devastated.

Of course, her groups also cost, which is understandable. Now that I am no longer a client, as she closed her office, I guess I could join. I don’t know, I was not offered and probably best. Now she is a coach. Everybody is an online coach nowadays, it seems. Unsure of the cost for her program(s) but it was a lot, if I remember correctly, but not as high as I was just offered. No! At least, no guilt trip.

A friend of mine that I often walk with also has a support group, she is a coach, too, which I could join but I will not. No! It’s only $39.00 a month. Really, there are all types of classes, groups, etc., that we can all join and they all have monthly fees. Again, understandable. It makes the world go around. It’s a business world.

Still, the last night of this class, it opened up an area that still affects me. The anger with myself of allowing to trust and enjoy but the slick move of the hitch attached was too much. Please do not guilt trip me to making me go in debt to the soothing tune that I deserve it, I am worthy enough, etc. I do and I am but I am also to use wisdom.

Otherwise, it is just digging a bigger hole to deal with the depression and anxiety of added expenses and probably thereafter a class on financial management would be needed. Wisdom.

They are all good and fine but there has to be a balance, too. I was really enjoying and wanted to grow in this one area. Yes, I can do it for the low cost of $450.00 a month. Immediately with her saying this price will never be this low again. Also, an often-used slogan. Should I or shouldn’t I? No! Further stated, next year will be $550.00 and following year $650.00 so jump on this price now. Sign up! Now! Plus, told that she spent $50,000.00 for her training in order to help us, to help me. I did not need to hear that comment. I get it but I am not doing it. No!

As much as I would like to have joined, I just cannot put forth that much money. I know it would help me, I know I am worthy but there are some things that you must let go of and just trust the Lord. He has brought me this far, He will be the one I will look to help me go further.

There are many online groups and local classes that I would like to take a part in, cost or no cost, but there are only so many commitments you can make. Choose wisely. Too many and you will burn out. If you have a family, it is time away from them.

Even though I am venting through this blog, it also made me aware of the anger that came up due to situations that still bother me. You know what? It’s okay! It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to say, “No Thank You.” As a thank you, a few days later, after I pondered this whole scenario, I sent an email stating I will not be joining and appreciated what online time we had together, wishing her well. No surprise, no reply, as I am not a monthly payment for her debt. It was a week of growth of knowing who I am, how it affected me and I am okay with my decision. No!

On a more personal note, it has taken me many years to get our family out of debt. Back in 2014-2018, my former counselor and I would discuss the stress this was putting on me. Drowning and I did not know how to dig myself out to move forward. So often I told her, I don’t know how. I did not see how it could happen, to be free of debt.

As I looked back and we talked, I caused a lot of this. Besides emotional eating, emotional purchasing is a thing, too. Depression and emotions can pull you down to where you feel there is no hope.

I can now recognize with the help she gave me, is when my emotions are trying to take over, how I am feeling and sensing, the desire to eat and the desire to buy. I know to pay attention to my thoughts, what am I telling myself, my emotions, my body. Just like the class mentioned above for $450.00 per month, my emotions were stirred. Stirred not only in learning but also grieving, as I missed my counselor. I needed to join. Everything she touched on was for me. I need it now, sign me up. Previously, I probably would have joined. It would have been good.

Thankfully, in late 2019, the debt was gone, just like that. Now it is me saying, Lord, I don’t know how you did that and led me to conquer such a mountain, but Thank You. An amazement in me, as that was a miracle. There’s a freedom I have not felt for a very long time, which is pushing me through an almost open door. Bring it on!

To bypass joining the class and knowing myself better and mostly of who I am in the Lord, I am a lot more aware of myself, happier and it is awesome. I wish I could share with my counselor.

In life, it’s hard at times. Through it all though, I know He knows my name and I know He knows where I am. What is exciting, He knows where I am going. No hitch attached, I just need to trust Him.

For you, He knows your name, He knows where you are and He knows where you are going. TRUST HIM ✝️

Missing Hugs

In this past year of social distancing, the huggers have had withdrawals of not being able to be themselves. They want to reach out and hug but are reminded not to hug by the face mask the other wears and of their own. No hugs! This causes a void in their daily life whether it be in social settings as in church or just running into a friend or family member.

I know of one lady that is in a public business, a funeral home, and this is her nature. In her personality, which is very caring in this role of a funeral director, the hugs given to those in mourning are an added benefit. After all the funeral plans and committal service, these people know that the hug will come from her in the days ahead. Her hugs felt safe and precious in a time of the darkest hours with a death in a family of our area. If you mention her name, they automatically smile and remember the hugs given and so desperately needed.

I have no doubt this caused a mild depression in her of not offering that hug to those needing one. Back in 1996 when my mother died, she became a rock for me, as I was lost in my grief. I have had family members pass away and friends but this was my mother. My role as a daughter had changed, I am now a caretaker of my father more so, after the funeral and financial ends were finalized. For a long while, I did not know how to process this. I was grieving but had to be strong for my dad, my children. Emotions were always hidden in our family growing up, you don’t cry, for whatever reason. Perhaps I was made to feel that way since I was seven years later and the older ones called me a cry baby. I learned early on to keep my emotions to myself, as a young child. So, I somewhat died along with her but became a robot of day to day living. Maybe they were all robots. During this time, my marriage was dying but even before, to cry on his shoulder or to be held, was also out of the question. Alone in my grief.

Two years later when my father died at home with my sister and I by his side, I was more prepared but still, it is like a rug was pulled out from me. Now I felt like an orphan. Another new role to take upon myself, as I dealt with the estate and a few greedy family members. That’s a whole other writing in itself. The morning my dad passed, I called the funeral home and it was not long until she was with me in my living room, knowing she filled a role in my life that kept me steady on a thin, raveling rope. Those hugs she offered and I accepted was a glue that I needed. Besides my boys, there were no hugs.

So that is her, a hugger of many and filled in a mother role that I needed. She allowed me to cry, she hugged me tight and stayed in touch with me, she knew of my marriage and family issues. Again, she was my rock, when I needed a boulder.

Many years have passed now and a lot has happened since. I was able to not need her as much in this role, as I have grown and adapted to my loss as in time we do, but she will always be special to me. We always have those hugs. Still and many times, gifts to and from one another are related to hugs, even now, texts will relate to hugs. I needed those hugs and I knew her two arms would tightly wrap around me, keeping me together.

So here we are almost a year since this pandemic started and the social distancing, limits all around and it is like a don’t touch sign on each person. It is sad. I decided to reach out to her a few weeks ago as I/we still do for each other. I know she is there but I don’t rely on her as much. Unselfishly, which was not always easy, others need her, too. In my text, I asked her how she was doing and how she was handling this pandemic and the rules. Again, everyone knows she hugs, that is just her. When she responded, she was happy to be asked and felt she could elaborate but had to get back with me. It was several days later and I did not think anything about it, as life happens.

Finally, a text but a different tone in her writing to me, as I started to read, which was unusual from her. I continued to read and was apologizing to me because she thought this would be easy to write about but found it was not. This lady is and has been a strong pillar in our community with the funeral home business but this stirred emotions in her.

Believe it or not, I have been thinking of you a lot after receiving the above request. SORRY to be so long in responding.

When I read your message, I really thought I’d get an answer back to you before the end of the day. As you already know, that wasn’t what happened.

You were requesting me to write you my thoughts, on how things have been going, and how I felt about not being able to socialize, or HUG during this crazy unfamiliar time we’re all living right now.

I didn’t think at first it would be so difficult to write, but I’ve been in solitary (like a lot of other people) for months now, NO hugging, touching, having anyone visit (I understand they are all trying to protect me, but I’m sorry to tell you at this time, I can’t help you.

I’ve also lost so many friends, and several family members since last March, it makes me sad to even think about it. Please forgive me. Maybe at a later time I’ll be able to help you, but right now I don’t want to talk about my feelings. I do Love you and hope and pray you’ll understand. ❤❤❤🙏🙏🙏”

I did understand. Honestly, I bet a majority of people, even you, feel the same. Our lives have been disrupted, a ‘Do Not Cross’ sign on our forehead of no touching, no hugging, no socializing basically. We are pulled from those that give us hope and laughter as a tight hug brings laughter and tears fill our eyes with joy. Now tears of sadness if we give much thought of those times together.

I have had to wonder how I would respond if I would run into her. Automatic hug or replaced with fear to hug, as we both struggle with none. I have wondered about this happening with another, my former counselor if we would run into one another. Upon leaving her practice, she said we could hug if we saw one another and I do expect it. I do know that had it not been for her and I to discuss why hugs meant so much to me and why I yearned for hugs from others, in those years together as counselor/client, among other things we discussed, I don’t doubt I would be experiencing severe depression during this pandemic. If and when I would run into her, how would the emotional side of me react, I wonder. Would it bring further grief, as I miss her? There are some people in my life and I am sure in yours that you want and expect those hugs. I do. I want. We all need them. I have been so blessed with many in my life, just like the two I mentioned.

In this pandemic, there were a few visits with my son of no hugs. My heart was broken as I went back to my room and cried. The grieving of what we have lost in just the touch or a hug, being with others, my own child(ren). The seclusion can do a number on our mental health. Even though, we are resilient.

We are made and we yearn for touch and love. This pandemic puts a wall and the masks further isolate each of us from seeing the smile of those we care for in our lives or just in passing others in day to day life. The joy has diminished from faces and in life. Hopefully, not fully from their hearts. On the surface, we are adapting but we long for those hugs and the closeness in visiting.

Yes, we will get through this season of seclusion but knowing, too we have lost friends or family members with this evil virus. Perhaps this is a wake up call to know and be reminded we are not promised tomorrow, or our next breath. Express your love and appreciation for those we come in contact however done, either in person, phone or text, as it might be the last time.

“Touch is a legitimate physical and emotional need. It’s part of the human experience, and losing that and not knowing when you will get it back is hard.”

https://www.tmc.edu/news/2020/05/touch-starvation/

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200615/how-to-cope-when-covid-steals-loving-touch-hugs

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

https://faithcounts.com/bible-verses-about-coronavirus-20-scriptures-to-help-those-feeling-isolated-and-discouraged/

https://tenor.com/view/running-hug-embrace-imiss-you-good-to-see-you-again-gif-15965620

OPEN and enjoy as many times as you need. ❤️ ML