Welcoming Sorrow, Honouring Self

About a week ago I had a series of realisations. Like a mini power point presentation in my soul, every couple of hours ponderings in my heart, snippets of discussions with Jesus or pages I had read or written would coalesce and God would download another whopping ‘Truth Slide’ for my soul to tremble at.

Below is the list of my ‘Truth Slides’. I can’t programme html to save myself so they appear as numbered points but if you can imagine God gave them to me in this really cool cascading flow chart, every couple of hours the next slide would appear and I could feel how it snugly related to the previous one.

1. I have never really loved anyone. I have always been in addictions in close relationships.

(Do you sort of get to feel why I needed a couple of hours before the next slide?)

2. I am in almost complete denial of my true self. I have squashed my true self and all of my feelings into   a tiny ball in a dark corner of my soul. Every now and then when she tries to appear I (judge) stamp on her to make her more squished and tiny. My true self is full of sorrow

3. My inauthentic self, created to get approval and avoid my sadness is not content, confident or able to love authentically because she is created through addiction. She is needy by nature.

4. If I want to know and accept my true self I must be willing to accept her sorrow. She is full of pain. I want to reject pain but now I realise that pain is a large part of the real me. I can’t know me unless I let my grief be present and tell its story. In order to know myself I must open my arms and welcome pain.

5. Allowing my sorrow will not only connect me with my true self but it will bring about my healing. Even in my sorrow I will be able to love and give authentically because I will have reached an authentic place within myself.

6. My authentic self knows and desires her Soulmate (my inauthentic self stresses about not desiring or knowing – this is just an effect emotion) My authentic self knows what she wants and what is good for her.

In the wake of the God engineered slide show in my soul I have this to say.

We tell ourselves that the adult, invented self is strong and the protector, that the child within is weak and needs protection. In fact it is the child within that holds the wisdom, she is the one connected with her emotions, the emotions that make us sensitive to what is good, safe and wise for our well-being and happiness. Our denial of the painful feelings, created when we were harmed, suppressed, bullied or disrespected as children, desensitises us to the passion, creativity, surety, desire and heart-trust that is innate to our fully feeling selves.

We must welcome our pains in order to know our desires. We have been taught to trust our minds and rationality (and look where it’s got us: sick, divorced, overweight, discontented, dissatisfied, unsure, cynical and mistrusting). If we can find the scrunched up part inside that holds our true self, full of pain; if we can sit with it and ask it to expand, to stretch out into the fullness of our being we will feel its pain and loneliness. We will feel its fears and losses but we also will for the first time in so long be feeling our true selves and there is so much power in a person connected to themselves. This feeling creature that we were created to be, is also aware and connected to everything around it. It feels nature, it feels others, it allows its own feelings and as a result it knows what it wants! If we desire Love and God from this space the potentials for peace, joy and fulfilment are no longer even potentials – they become realities.

The key for me is to begin to view my pain as something different to ‘bad’, ‘the unpleasant part’, the ‘please can I get it over and done with’ thing that I have to do. I want to love me and that means loving my pain because it is a part of me right now. In fact it tells my story, by allowing my pain I am honouring my story, I am coming to know the complete me. By judging and avoiding my pain I am judging the largest part of me (largest for now). I am saying to the real me ‘you are unpleasant’, ‘I wish you weren’t there’, ‘you make my life hard and miserable’.

The starker truth I have come to face is that I, the manufactured me, have made my life unpleasant and miserable and the more I fight the real me, the more miserable I become. I have blamed ‘real me – full of pain’ for unhappiness only to realise now that allowing ‘real me – full of pain’ unlocks my joy and even during the feeling of my pain she, the real me, has the capacity to love, to make decisions, to create and connect with others.

We must change our attitudes to pain. We must desire not only God but ourselves – and if our true selves come clad in pain, abuse, loss or fear we must welcome them and let their grief tell our story, for ultimately they will become our greatest teachers, they will instruct us in love. They have lived so long without it, they have felt the absence of it so acutely that, when we allow them, our darker feelings will give us knowing and make us hyper-aware of what it loving and what is not.

God, of course, will be our constant companion but at present so many of us invite Him from our inauthentic selves. We say “God, come sit for a while, come for tea and I’ll show you my best self, we won’t talk about that scrunched up part of me in the distant, dark corner down the hall because, frankly, she bothers me. I wish you would just clear her out of here, take her off my hands.”

And all God can do is smile gently and try to have us hear His response “But my beloved, this part is you and I love her so much. My Arms of Love long to embrace her – if only you would embrace her yourself.

12 thoughts on “Welcoming Sorrow, Honouring Self

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you so much Mary.These words have triggered dark emotion in me, as I sit here crying, reading them.Releasing this is allowing me to become closer to God, so I feel such gratitude for you sharing this.With love, Cecilia

  2. Sandra Tuszynska

    Mary, thank you so much for this and for today. the little girl inside me is so terrified of the darkness within her and the inauthentic me has been preventing her from hearing truth that You and Yeshua can feel from her. filled with shame and self punishment, she yearns to let go and reveal her herself, exposing her painful wounds. as she stumbles through the darkness searching for the light of deception that her addictions offer to her, she realises that she must embrace the darkness for what it is, an opportunity to heal and be free….

  3. Linda

    Dear Mary,You have such a gift and you are a gift. It is as if your slide show was also created for me, particularly point 2. The more I work through my errors and open my soul to God the more I realize how much my real self has been hiding and how much I have been trampling on her in order to 'feel safe'. I now realize just how much of an illusion this has been and I continually pray to God to help me have the courage to bring my little girl out of hiding. Thank you for taking the time to share your journey and your incredible insights with us. I feel truly blessed to have you and Jesus as my teachers.With loveLinda

  4. Teresa French

    The constancy of how God gives me such perfect and perfectly timed messages is one of my biggest signposts for faith. Thank you for this one Mary. Today I jumped off the cliff of trust and I really get and feel what you have said here so much more than ever before. Feeling really blessed and loved right now, and thank you for contributing to that.with love,Teresa

  5. Lawrence Bakur

    Your words, Mary, felt to me like a warm, gentle rain bringing forth new life from the earth (my earth!). I have been of the attitude you speak of: "take this pain off my hands, dear God." But I see through what you've spoken of that it's okay, indeed necessary, to welcome it, that it's part of who I am with so much blessing and wisdom to impart. This is my first visit to your website and I must say, the pictures of you and AJ are gorgeous. I feel welcomed and I'm looking forward to further exploration.Muchas gracias! (I'm studying Spanish so I had to throw that in).Lawrence BakurSan Diego, CA

  6. pattyinflorida

    I have only read a few lines and I need to pause to take them in. But in that pause I want to say, your blog post is a prayer heard and answered lavishly this morning! I will also share the poem I am taking that line form:

    Morning Poem
    – Mary Oliver
    from Dream Work

    Every morning
    the world
    is created.
    Under the orange

    sticks of the sun
    the heaped
    ashes of the night
    turn into leaves again

    and fasten themselves to the high branches –
    and the ponds appear
    like black cloth
    on which are painted islands

    of summer lilies.
    If it is your nature
    to be happy
    you will swim away along the soft trails

    for hours, your imagination
    alighting everywhere.
    And if your spirit
    carries within it

    the thorn
    that is heavier than lead –
    if it’s all you can do
    to keep on trudging –

    there is still
    somewhere deep within you
    a beast shouting that the earth
    is exactly what it wanted –

    each pond with its blazing lilies
    is a prayer heard and answered
    lavishly,
    every morning,

    whether or not
    you have ever dared to be happy,
    whether or not
    you have ever dared to pray.

  7. pattyinflorida

    Mary, I want to share with you a bit of God’s miraculous work. I prayed this morning for openness and awareness. Seconds later this post appeared as ‘New’ on my Google Home page. I love it and I dissolved reading it. Now hours later I look gain and see that you made this post in 2011! God is Amazing! I am continuing to hold your words and let them work in me. Thank you.

  8. marydivinetruth

    HI Mary, I’m with Patty about the loving ways in which God waits for that perfect moment to make her presence felt. I obviously wasn’t ready for this message back in 2011 because today is my first reading of it. I got stuck on the sentence “I can’t know me unless I let my grief be present and tell its story.” Well, maybe not ‘stuck’, but rather those were the words I was led to today by the loving Beings who patiently help me to grow. They made sure that I didn’t just skim over them as I often do when avoiding the deeper message! 🙂 From my heart to yours – thank you Mary!

    1. marydivinetruth Post author

      Hi there – thank-you for your comment.. so glad that this old post is having some impact at the moment.
      I have a technical question.. you seem to have made this comment using my name.. how did you do that? Are you signed into a wordpress site of your own?? 🙂 who are you??

      1. pattyinflorida

        I believe there are 2 people drawn to the 2011 blog post. I am one and I am Patty in Florida. I love that God touched someone else by mysteriously moving electrons to make an old post appear new on my computer. I’d have to guess that the second someone probably read a WordPress signin prompt for ‘Name’ to mean “who I want to write” to rather than “who I am”. I know I am new to following a blog, to posting comments, and knowing my words can appear all over the world. I have to work with that fear. But I love feeling the connection. With love, Patty

      2. marydivinetruth

        Hi Mary,
        I think you’re asking about my comment ….I’m Joellen and I signed up to receive your Notes Along the Way posts. However I’m not savvy re blogging so can’t answer the technical question re using your name. Was I not supposed to do that? I’m trying now to backtrack to tell you how I did it. So far as I know, all I did was this: when reading the post “Revisiting Abortion”, I clicked on Patty’s post in the side bar about “Welcoming Sorrow, Honouring Self” and after reading that I felt moved to respond to you. I think I clicked the Comment button. A box did come up for signing in to Word Press but what I thought might be my sign in didn’t work so I clicked the Word Press box off and looked for some other way to send my comment. I’m pretty sure I then just saw a ‘post comment’ button and clicked on that instead. That seemed to work, and so far as I was concerned all I’d done was thank you for something that had touched me with truth. But whatever it was that I did, or didn’t do, your original post is still being used to touch me with truth because now, in responding to your question, I’m feeling a lot of emotions related to taking the risk of ‘coming out of hiding’. So whatever technical mistake I made re blogging, it has brought me a greater gift that I’d first realized.
        P.S. Reaching the bottom of this box I’ve just seen what I did wrong the first time! I think I read the words “click an icon to log in:” and thought that was what I had to do to post a comment. So that’s how I opened up the Word Press box! It was only after closing that box that I moved my screen down far enough to see the Post Comment button.
        Another message for me? “Look deeper Joellen”! 🙂

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