The healing process takes time…a long time…a lifetime.
Injuries to the body cause physical wounds others can sympathize with, but injuries to the heart and soul are different, hidden, buried.
Injuries to the heart cry out in personal, sometimes humiliating ways. They cause holes that refuse to remain empty for long, eventually filling with either a new kind of Love or the shadowed absence of Love…
Injuries to the soul are unseen even by the soul itself, the extent of damage done fully known only by the Creator of that Soul. Injured souls have scars that either harden, deforming, darkening, and shutting out, or strengthen, making one wiser, more patient, interesting, and capable of a Love more complete than before.
It’s called the healing process for a reason. It is indeed a process. Many days it’s a fraction of a step forward and a giant shove back, a sobbing, heart wrenching seeking of a reason to get up in the morning, a desperate, day after endless day of longing to believe there is a plan and a purpose for the Creation of You.
Healing is a process.
We can’t stand still, planted in one place.
We always move in one direction – or the other.
Nothing in this world is stagnant.
A well designed bridge sways under high winds rather than break free from its concrete pilings. A boat manned by a wise, courageous skipper faces into the waves meeting them head on rather than turning sideways, ignoring the oncoming crest, only to be tossed about like a rubber ducky in a child’s bathwater.
And human beings were designed with the ability to stand tall, but also to bend down, pick up our broken pieces, and move ahead sorting through the rubble, taking time to consider each shattered piece in hand, deciding which pieces should be simply discarded, tossed to the roadside without further thought, which pieces should be prayerfully buried, handed over to the Lord for a Justice and Mercy we are incapable of, and which pieces will begin to shine in more intricate patterns, sparkling, new refractions catching and returning Light in designs not possible before the breakage.
We were designed to decide which of those beautiful pieces should be held onto and treasured for our eyes alone until we hand them back to the Artist one day. These pieces are priceless, unique gifts given for us to pull out and look at in solitude and with awe. They give us Hope in future doubt and allow us to draw Courage and Beauty and Value from what we had once thought of as only worthless wreckage.
But there are also some beautiful pieces that are not ours, pieces that we cannot selfishly horde for our own prideful delight, pieces we cannot fearfully tuck away, hidden from others to avoid having them stolen out from under us, for, though they came from our wreckage, those pieces were never ours at all.
These tiny pieces are found buried under layers of fear from our falls and soot dug up from our journeys. They remain unseen for long periods and are doubted like mythical creatures. Rather than being yanked to the surface and vigorously wiped clean, these pieces must be gently handled, dug out spec by spec, dusted off with a slow, feathery touch, and blown clean with the soft kiss of fresh air over time. These pieces are unique and glittering and unexplainably, miraculously grow only when in the hands of their rightful owner.
We are given these pieces of ourselves,
not for ourselves,
but for ourselves to give away.
These pieces can only be truly given when the soul has found Grace, when it knows its value, its place at its Father’s table, when it knows it is Loved as a Child, cared for, protected, sheltered, unafraid, grateful to know that, even if another fall should occur, the Creator will always treasure, protect, and grow the Beauty of one who gives of herself in His name.
But it is difficult to give those pieces away, difficult to find that Grace in our soul, impossible, in our human imperfection, to ever say we have found that innocence, that confidence, that understanding of Pure Love we once had and that is again required, especially when the heart and soul have been so gravely damaged.
There is risk involved when we give a piece of our heart, a piece of ourselves away. We didn’t understand that the first time, years ago, in our innocence, our naïveté, our blinded Trust. But we do now…
The healing process takes time…a long time…a lifetime.
When we stop that process, in our understandable desire to avoid future hurts and humiliations, in our desire to avoid risk, we unknowingly invite risks we can’t define and therefore can’t protect ourselves from, risks resulting in a hardened heart, an empty soul.
When a life changing physical injury occurs, rehab doesn’t take six months or a year. It is a lifetime commitment to find balance, to push yourself and care for yourself, to find others who will push you to your limits, to invite you to rest when rest is needed, to take you to summits you thought you couldn’t climb to again.
When the heart is broken, holes are left that will be filled one way or another. Healing takes place alone, over time, with friends and family, through quiet and challenge, in prayer and reflection. But healing is never complete. Like with a physical injury, rehab of the heart is lifetime commitment.
In healing a heart, that lifetime commitment means a lifetime of exposure to risk, the risk of Love, Love of one’s self, Love of one’s children, Love of one’s family and friends, but it cannot end there. To Truly Love, you must journey to summits you never thought you could climb to again.
You must eventually decide one of two things.
You must choose to Love an ex for eternity, believing vows spoken were True and Blessed by God and therefore meant to be forever no matter how your spouse uses his gift of free will. Choosing to Love an ex means you must live that choice of chaste, devout, unconditional Love. It means you must not “love” in revenge to show how much better you are than the one who walked away but to Love moment by moment, to Love not in a selfish, look at me, sackcloth and ashes, I-am-a-Martyr display, but in an unnoticed by the world, misunderstood by those around you, continuously forgiving, sacrificial, quiet, giving, unconditional Love sort of way.
To heal your soul through continued Love of your spouse
and the belief that a Marriage did, and therefore does, exist,
you must truly Love as the Lord does.
Or you must decide to take the granted annulment, admit deep in your heart of hearts that the Marriage you treasured was never really a Marriage at all, that you had made a mistake, a Loving, wonderful, hopeful mistake, but a mistake nonetheless. You must decide to accept that perhaps you didn’t and don’t know all you wish you did and do and may one day.
You can then take that annulment and pray over it, seek forgiveness from those you’ve harmed and from God and yourself. You must determine to do better, to be better, to reach for more than you knew you could be and commit to knowing you can’t do it on your own, that you need to Lord to guide every step, every word, and every thought because there comes a time when you must Cross Over, when you must step out of the shelter you’ve built for yourself, for your heart, for your soul, and take a risk. You must choose to seek to Love again.
I recently watched the movie, Eat, Pray, Love. I so disagreed with so many parts of the movie, but this is not meant to be a movie review, it’s meant to take one beautiful concept from the end of the film, Attraversiamo.
Attraversiamo, A Time to Cross Over, a time that cannot be determined by another’s standards, a time that cannot be rushed, glossed over, skipped out on, a time when healing reaches beyond covering wounds and protecting open sores, to peeling back bandages and exposing scars to sunshine, a time of risking injury, facing fears, and hoping the Lord will protect and beautify you both if you fall again.
Attraversiamo, A Time to Cross Over, away from the fear, the insecurity, and the risk, a time to trust in the Lord to protect you and those you are interested in spending time with, in getting to know better, in taking a risk for.
Attraversiamo, A Time to Cross Over, a time to realize that no matter how many mistakes we’ve made, how many times we’ve stumbled and fallen, how many times our hearts have been crushed and our souls defeated, we must move forward in the healing process, a long commitment, a lifetime of rehab, an continual reaching out and the chance to Love again.
Attraversiamo, A Time to Cross Over, a time to realize we cannot stay stagnant, that our hearts will fill one way or another with Love and Hope of self defeat and loss, a time to realize you cannot keep an empty hole in your heart forever, that it will fill one way or another eventually, a time to take action, one way or the other, that will fill remaining holes, holes made strong and ready by the power of the Holy Spirit for another to pour Love into.
Attraversiamo, A Time to Cross Over, a time to believe God has given you shiny pieces of your shattered heart to hold and offer only back to His hands, but that some are meant to be given to a Partner of God’s choosing, for Him to hold, joining his shining pieces with yours until God seeks to have them all back in His Kingdom, making each of you a Creation more stunning than our limited human mind can comprehend.
Attraversiamo, A Time to Cross Over, a time to risk, to choose to offer your Heart on Love’s altar, ready for the Lord to sacrifice if needed, trusting Him to protect your Heart and your very eternal Soul by taking things slowly, by choosing to follow His Commandments, by guarding and softening your heart, and by offering it in the risk of Loving another.
Attraversiamo, A Time to Cross Over, it’s been almost seven years since my husband left. I have my annulment. I am not presently capable of promising to Love my husband and believe our vows were Sacramental. I cannot let the holes in my Heart remain empty forever. It is Time to Move Forward. It is Time to take a Risk. It is Time to Cross Over.
I do not know where this year will take me but appreciate your prayers for so many attempting Attraversiamo in 2016….
And, as always, thanks for commenting, liking, following, and sharing!
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