The Empty Jelly Jar and the Little Girl

empty-jar-jam-like-blood-spoon-45563171

The following story was sent to me recently by a client I am coaching.   I use it with her permission…it was too good not to share!

 

”I felt like having toast.  I love toast.

I don’t eat it often- ok I don’t eat it as often as I would like. 

As a middle aged woman, toast is not my friend; however I find comfort in a warm crunchy slice of bread.  This morning is no exception and my desire for toast is magnified by the cold, dark, rainy day today.  Seriously,  it is pouring out. 

I love rainy days,  especially if I can stay inside with my thoughts and of course my toast.

jelly-toastAs my toast is cooking and my mind is all over the place; Fridays tend to put me in a hopeful, dreadful mood. Hopeful that Steve and I will have quality time together even amongst the household chores;  

and dreadful because one day of every weekend “HAS” to be spent with her, you know,  the egg donor person.

I don’t think my brain has got over the Friday thing yet,  but in time I pray the dread will leave and only hope will float (sorry I had to do it).

I went to the fridge to get my favorite Jelly.   I don’t use butter anymore.  I have learned that my beloved toast tastes just as good with just jelly.

The jar I selected was almost empty, I really had to work to get enough for two slices of toast and the funny thing is,  as I was scraping my jar a thought so strong and powerful hit me and made me want to tell you this story.

weeds n jelly jar
Have your children ever picked you wild flowers (I am sure they have) sometimes,  and  it is really just weeds… but they run in to give them to you –so full of love that those little weed flowers appear to be the highest quality florists flowers. 

Usually the stems are short with roots and dirt attached from being yanked out of the ground.

As good Moms we want to display the flowers for all to see and for ourselves as the sweetest reminder we are loved and worthy moms. 

Finding a container for such a short stem can be difficult,  hence the Jelly Jar.  As I was cleaning out the magical fruit inside my jar this morning it hit me so hard; 

I never gave my Mother flowers for a jelly jar.  She wasn’t a Mommy and would have seen them as nothing but weeds and most likely would have had me throw them out.

 It hurt.

picking-flowers-391610_960_720It made me sad, and honestly I saw myself visually like a movie– as a little girl standing in a field with my hand full of wild flowers, roots, dirt and all- lost because I had no one to give my flowers to. 

As I write this I am feeling so sad for that little girl I want to run,  not walk,  out to the field to grab her, hug her and put her flowers in my empty jelly jar.

Is this part of healing? 

These glimpses of what I did not have?  I know we are supposed to look at what we do have and be grateful and,  trust me,  I am grateful.  I was 18  with a baby,  followed by rent,  a car payment,  a job, and a husband  and I had to struggle… and still do, and I am grateful for so much.

Yet,  I feel as if I need to see what I didn’t have with clarity, real clarity…

Not the excuses that have been made… or excuses I have made to cover so much dysfunction and loss.

I don’t think I see not having (money or things) as a very big deal as long as we can have a roof and toast.  I am cool,  haha- seriously I am not a big thing person. 

I am far too emotional and I need relationships… especially ones I can click with in my empathic way,  (gift? still struggling with that).

 I just want someone to give my flowers to for their Jelly Jar. For me it really is as simple as that.  I don’t know why at my age these losses have been more active in my heart and mind.   I look forward to your help in figuring this out.

Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200I do think I need to mourn a whole bunch and not for the loss of a Mother,  but for the loss of the little girl, if that makes sense?

I really feel when I can say good bye to the little girl and let her be free,  the mother will dissolve.  My gosh that sounds crazy!

…but I am writing it because it is exactly what I am thinking.  I think I might have been mourning the wrong person all along.  I have always thought if I felt sorry for the little girl I was selfish,  but right this second I don’t feel that at all.  

I think I will go wash out my Jelly Jar and as soon as the rain stops go find some wild flowers for it from the little girl.

Gosh…I am crying and as usual it feels so sad.

But I have had some weird break through this morning.

It’s not my loss of a mother it’s the loss of ME,

217842_397562620306292_898119185_n… a me who was never allowed to be.”

 

Is there anyone out there that relates to this story like my client has?  This is what I felt Jesus saying after I read this.

This is soul wearying.

Because you may have been hurt,— by words that wound you still — that made you regret that you ever opened up.

Words that made you feel even smaller than how you’re already feeling…words that never felt important to those you loved.

Words that make you feel pressured to get over what you can’t get over.

Words that make you feel more alone, standing on the outside of where you want to be: belonging, loved and understood.

It’s then, in that realization, at that moment, you and I chance upon a glimpse into our soul.

Father-and-child-holding-hands-247x300To the little girl inside us who is broken, feeling cast off and lonely.

Jesus has a way of slipping in his love notes, to reach that wounded child within us….even in empty jelly jars.

Do you feel the  still, quiet whisper of Jesus speaking to the child in you?

There is a place here and now that Jesus has been preparing for us that has  been wounded.

That place is your soul, where Jesus has been doing deep, healing work — because you are valuable.

There is a place in this world for you and, in fact, a wonderful plan, just for you… and there always was…it was just so covered up by pain.

Because Jesus understands us.

Because He loves us as we are.

So go pick those flowers today and allow that inner child to blossom forth in healing and restoration.  Realize that He is always more than enough to fill every vacant and aching place within you with the wonderful essence of Himself.

530443_10150790377567355_563857079_n“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:36-39

Just Shoot Me Now! 2 Ways to Heal Shame Wounds

hidingYears ago I was at Santa Barbara City College to witness my friend’s graduation as an X-ray Technician.  The campus was teaming with people that day for there were many students getting various degrees and licenses in their particular fields.  The event was outside and I sat down on the cold metal chair and then realized I had a while to wait so ventured off across campus to find the restrooms.  

I wore a long skirt that day.  After using the restroom hurriedly, I started the long walk back to my chair.  The whole way there people were staring at me weird.

Some had smirks on their faces and some looked away in disgust.  I couldn’t figure out what their problem was and one time I even shot a dirty look back at some guy, like he had a problem or something.  I passed many people on the way back to my chair and they all looked away when I would smile at them. 

When I finally sat down I felt intensely cold metal on my back side and glanced back.  My skirt in the back was completely tucked inside my underwear and my entire back side was exposed to all the ‘millions’ of people that I passed on the way back.  No one had the nerve to tell me! 

Just shoot me now!

I find it very funny now.  Add it to my list of escapades that have provided many chuckles in my story telling on myself. 

But back then I wasn’t as healthy, and had not dealt with much of my denial and secrets of years past born out of being a victim of childhood sexual abuse.  I sat there the whole event cloaked in shame and embarrassment.  I felt exposed and uncovered the whole day and I felt like a child inside with no self esteem who just wanted to run. 

64658_465671946828692_1306119874_nShame is an emotion in which the self is perceived as defective, unacceptable, or fundamentally damaged.  Shame is often confused with guilt, which is a related but distinct emotion in which a specific behavior is viewed as unacceptable or wrong, rather than the entire self.

Brene Brown says, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.  Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.  Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” 

Shame is darkness to our soul.  We need to learn to recognize it and then let it go into the light of His presence in us.

People who experience traumatic events, mostly in childhood, are prone to shame, particularly if they blame themselves for the event.

Shame gives you a desire to hide, disappear, or even die.

Have you ever done anything you’re not proud of, like feigning a headache to get out of a dinner or snapping at your partner in a heated moment?  You mess up, like we all do, and when it happens, you probably feel guilty and convicted to make it right.

Guilt is a normal emotion that people experience when they believe they have caused harm or actually done something wrong.  We all make mistakes and those mistakes often affect other people, therefore we feel guilt. 

Or there is unfounded guilt, the worst kind.  We could come from a family that used guilt to manipulate us all of our lives.  Such as, “Okay go the movies son, but if I am dead in my chair when you get back, just bury me out back.”

Now that evokes guilt.  Any dutiful son would cancel his plans so that he won’t be responsible for causing Dad to die.  The motivation is guilt.  But that son will carry anger in his heart, and left undealt with, will be with him through adulthood.

Or how about going to see an elderly parent.  The first thing they say to you is “Where have you been?  Why haven’t you come to see me?”  More guilt, instead of rejoicing that you are there now.  The guilt can be so horrible it makes you not want to visit them at all.

But, If your feelings of guilt cause daily anxiety or are out of proportion to the actual mistakes you have made, you might be suffering from an even more toxic emotion:

Shame.

Shame is what I felt that day I was exposed to the world.

Shame is commonly confused with guilt.  People who experience shame often feel bad for every little error they make, and are in a constant state of fear of making more.  For this reason, they feel fear around authority figures, judge themselves harshly, and have a low sense of self esteem.

Guilt says I have done something wrong.

Shame says I AM something wrong.

553486_415888875110718_1880467937_nShame is toxic.

Shame can strip away the joy and freedom that you deserve to experience in your walk.

Shame most often stems from a wounded part of you that was convinced in childhood that you weren’t enough.  Though this is not the truth, it may feel that way, as beliefs that you carry for decades become your reality.

Shame can play a very powerful and negative role in your life, but it doesn’t have to.  God can heal your feelings of shame and you can start living a happier and more empowered life. 

One of the most powerful techniques to healing shame is to practice self compassion.  We need to love ourselves.  How do we do that?

  1. We begin to treat ourselves and talk to ourselves with the same kindness, caring and compassion we would show a good friend or a beloved child.  We find out what God says about us as His precious children and begin to confess that over ourselves in spite of what we feel.  We will eventually begin to believe it.  It will sink into your mind and renew your mind to truth rather than what you have believed all of your life.

When we practice this, it helps us to feel less isolated and alienated from others.  The more shame we feel, the more deficient we feel and in turn, the more separate we feel from others.

  1. Now say those words out loud to yourself.  Take a deep breath and really take in those words.  How does hearing yourself say those words out loud make you feel?  Can you feel your faith grow in your own value in the Kingdom of God.  

The more you practice this the more you will believe it.  Oh, there will be triggers, (like my skirt incident), that will bring back those old familiar feelings, but pay them no attention…pull out those scriptures and start saying them over yourself again.  Sing them over yourself if you feel inclined.  Get them into your spirit and renew your mind!

brokenchainsYou deserve to be free to allow God to lead you into a life of freedom you truly love and to feel worthy of having it.

dixie1For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Eph 2:10 NLT)

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!   Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.  You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.”  NLT(Psalm 139:13-15).

For help with shame issues I would be honored to coach you into freedom.  You can contact me on this web site from the home page.