Thursday, May 26, 2005

claim your identity

"Love brings up anything unlike itself for the purpose of healing."
Virginia Satir

the henri nouwen weekly reflection from last week used this quote, and i didn't read it until today. the focus of the weekly reflection has been written by a woman named victoria schmidt and she's entitled the continuing chronicle "On The Journey Toward Reclaiming my Identity". she is also a survivor of sexual abuse and her path resonates very closely with my own, and she seems to be working on the same issue in her recovery and healing that i am currently working on. it's one that is so difficult for me to put into words. this layer of the onion is so very close to my soul.

she writes:

Virginia Satir, the well-known psychotherapist, said, "Love brings up anything unlike itself for the purpose of healing." Through several years of counseling, this one sentence has helped in my recovery from sexual abuse. It is God's infinite love for me that continues calling me to the depths of my inner self, my true identity.

I know healing life's hurts helps me to become my true self. The struggles of life often create barriers to true love and understanding of self. Once we identify our struggles and make a conscious effort to heal, we begin to see clearly our true identity. Our real, God-centered identity is not the sum total of our experiences. Our God-centered identity is the inherent goodness that came with our creation. It begins whole and is powerful beyond measure. As we move through life, the wholeness gets chipped away and we have to consciously work towards healing.

What are the barriers that keep us from knowing our true, God-centered identity? What are the wounds that need healing? Why are we afraid to heal and to know our God-centered identity? Why are we so afraid to be whole? These are questions I ask myself often, and they continue to guide my own healing.

The love that brings up anything unlike itself to be healed is a love beyond our human grasp. It is the love that is given by the One who loves us infinitely more than we can ever fully understand.
this quote today somehow broke through a lot of the noise in my head and touched me in a deep place. love is calling all of these things forward in me. that helps. a lot.

i was walking with a friend the other day and got back home to shower and i removed the t-shirt i wore for our walk and saw the back of it. i know it sounds strange to be wearing a t-shirt that you don't even know what it says, but we get free t-shirts at conventions and youth conferences all of the time, and i just don't hardly pay attention anymore. just grab the next one in the drawer if i'm working around the house or just hanging out.

as i removed this t-shirt i saw a red fingerprint on the back and thought 'hey, i've never noticed this before.' the back of the shirt said 'claim your identity'. i know i always say i want god to write directions for me in the sky, but on the back of my t-shirt is okay with me too. claim your identity. i laughed - wondering where my coat check tag, or dry cleaner number was so i could walk up to a counter somewhere and 'claim my identity'... would that it could be so easy.

call it a 'mid life crisis' or just plain old recovery and a stay-at-home mom at the end of her ability to use that term - but i truly have no identity that i can claim, truly i don't.

since november i have been battling with myself over the direction i received at 'the path' in vancouver. i haven't been able to claim publicly what my mission statement is. i kept thinking i would grow into it, and i could still very well do so, but i keep hoping for someone else to come and validate that place within me that says 'yes, that is exactly who and what you are'.

i blogged yesterday that i watched 'the snoodles' veggie tale video with my kids. if you haven't seen it i highly recommend it (especially if this line of thought resonates with you at all). the little character is created with a backpack of items, a paint set, an instrument and wings. as he tries each of these items out he is mocked by those in his community. they draw him pictures to remind him how foolish he looked. he carries each one in his backpack, each weighing him down further and farther to the ground. he looks constantly for some place to fit in and finally sees the birds flying high and resting at the top of the mountain.

he climbs the mountain looking for a safe place and finds a wise man in a cave who invites him in for tea. he tells the wise one he is not worthy and shows the pictures he has carried. the wise one tells him he is the creator and shows him a picture of how he truly looks. he takes the snoodle's art and hangs it on his fridge and tells him how the paint set and the instrument were gifts to be used to the creator's glory and the wings weren't just meant for flying - they were meant for soaring.

i was a puddle by the end and pink and buck were so confused and betwixted as to mom's tears. (we processed them later) i know all of these things to be true, honest i do, but i really wish there was a face on the other end of that confirmation, instead of empty air and echoing prayers. arms instead of pillows, words instead of guesses. a community instead of a crisis... sigh.

so again, i am just wanting to get this out, to be heard, not fixed. with this quote above i have the reassurance that love is truly calling all these things forward for healing, not for hurt. to the journey toward my true self and wholeness.

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