Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Joy of Breathing

We all thought I had asthma growing up. But it must have been severe allergies. I’m not sure. I ran out of breath if I walked too fast. I ran out of breath if I ran. I ran out of breath if I slept in a cold room. I ran out of breath if I slept in a warm room. Any given year, without a doubt. I was sick with bronchitis twice a year when the seasons changed from Fall to Winter and Spring to Summer.

It didn’t help that I developed different forms of anxiety. Like the “I’m so nervous I feel like I’m talking but no one can hear me.” Or the, “I’m so nervous I’m going to pass out.” The really gross one...”I’m so nervous I’m going to throw up to feel better.”

I took a meditation class in college. I learned a lot about Chi--energy, and breathing as you meditate. Actually, I even learned about being mindful, being in a state of mindful meditation. I think after the class was over I stopped wanting to do guided meditations. I developed this pattern of “fast” and “now.” Kind of like our whole generation, we want instant results, gratification, news, social media...everything k thx bai.

I can’t sit still for too long and yet sometimes I can sit for hours crocheting. It’s a mystery. I can’t sit long enough for guided prayer either. I had to walk out of there so fast. It was just not going to work out for me. I can’t sit at the dinner table long either. I start getting up and proceed to finish eating my dinner while walking around the kitchen. What’s in the kitchen? There’s nothing of interest to my meal, that’s for sure. Meditation or mindfulness didn’t stick.

But my therapist tried to make me breathe. Breathe in through your nose, she gently said. Breathe out through your mouth like you’re pushing the breath out. Did she not know that I had sat in that chair for too long and I needed to go. Didn’t matter where I went. I just needed to get up and walk around. Okay I took a breath. It was a failure of a breath but she made me do it again. And then the next day when I totally spazzed out at work I tried breathing again. And when I ran around town I took another deep breath. My goal is to do my breathing exercises twice a day for five minutes.

And I can’t consciously do five minutes of breathing…yet. However, if I find myself breathing in through my nose, my body knows to push out the breath through my mouth. And that makes me so happy. A different happy, a fun happy. A peaceful happiness.

Monday, July 10, 2017

There are two people in this world who I could never forgive

Sunday School started with confusion. I didn’t plan enough, according to my students, I didn’t have a project lined up for everyone and thus there was confusion. But, if I’m allowed a minute of ranting, I don’t believe I need to have a project lined up for the students. Because, no matter what project I want a particular student to do...it won’t matter if that student doesn’t want to do that project! I have decided that I need to be a mind reader about choosing projects that I know my students will enjoy--that’s too aggressive.

Sunday School proceeded with more confusion as we read through the passage of the day. Genesis 50: 15-21, a story about Joseph finding forgiveness for his brothers. Which, also coincided with the pastor’s sermon on the Lord’s Prayer. You know, that bit about how we seek forgiveness for the sins we commit and the sins that are committed against us.

So we started with questions to aid in our discussion and somehow or another we asked the most daring question of all: “If someone came to you and offered an apology, and they didn’t mean it. Would you still forgive them?”

“Yes,” one student responded. “I forgive them in the spirit of them asking for forgiveness.” Another great answer included that forgiveness is something for the forgiver as it releases the hurt, anger, and pain received from the offending party. But I was brave to say that there are two people in this world who I could never forgive and one of them is dead.

So let me explain. I haven’t lived an easy life and I don’t sit around pretending that I didn’t. I have fears, I have pains, and I have “healing to do.” But for all the healing and praying and reliving of my past I cannot admit that I was hurt. Who would I admit it to? Will I feel less hurt after admitting it? Will it change the circumstances I was born in? Will the people who have hurt me decide to repent after hearing my hurt?

If anything, I will not always tell a person all the details from the abuse, sexual harassment, bullying, not having parents to rely on, not believing or wanting to believe in God ...being treated worse than a dog… and that’s just my childhood. I don’t find relief in reliving my past. I don’t find relief or feel better from letting things off my chest. I didn’t grow up with those coping mechanisms. Would it do any good to start learning those things now? Maybe. Am I willing to learn them now? Who knows.

I’m trying to live moment by moment right now. As an adult, the fears and pains I lived as a child are prevalent and hurting in the new fears and pains I’m living in now. Even now where I face the newest “assault” as labeled by the police. I know only how to live in the current moment until I’m ready to livin e the next. And maybe in the next millennia of moments I could forgive those two people who treated me less than a dog.

For now I can only ask God to forgive my sins as I attempt to forgive those who’ve sinned against me. I’m not perfect, God knows me too well to think that I lie if I repeatedly say “forgive me my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against me.” I only answer to one God, even if my answers aren’t perfect.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Sometimes I just want to apologize

But I know that it's not possible to do so at all. Even though I want to apologize I have nothing to apologize for. I've never done anything 'wrong' per se or even dared to do anything to hurt anyone. Yet, if I had to apologize about something it would be that I'm very private in my personal life. I don't complain if I'm tired. Or if I'm sad. I don't let anyone know if I'm hungry or if I'm mad. And though I never verbally say these things, my body betrays me all the time. So I promised myself that I would stop hiding my feelings.

And even then, I have to apologize to myself because I can't stop hiding.