Something has been plaguing me, and I have had to sit with whatever it is that is making me have really dark days again. I heard a podcast about anxiety, and it mentioned to remember the tools I had used to get through anxiety in the past. If that doesn’t work, then something else is going on that needs to be addressed. Anxiety is not something to push away. Anxiety is telling us something.
So I went back to The Liturgists podcast. Science Mike is one of the hosts, and he told a story about being on the phone with one of the other hosts one night. She told him how much she valued and liked him. He didn’t know what to do with this.
He told his therapist about the phone call. The therapist asked him how it made him feel when Hillary (the other host) said she liked him. He answered that he usually just ignores statements like this and moves on. The therapist asked him to take a moment and believe it is true.
He started weeping. He couldn’t figure out why someone liking or valuing him made him cry. His therapist told him if he sat with it he would figure out why.
He ended up seeing his kindergarten class. He was a bullied child in school. He was bullied so badly it disrupted class. His teacher had to take him to the time-out chair to put the rest of the class in time-out. She comforted him in the time-out chair alone. He started to remember more events. It was confusing him that believing someone liked him was leading him to remember such traumatic events in his life.
Science Mike realized that by believing Hillary actually liked him he could remember things he had to forget to survive. He had this little boy hiding out inside him watching for bullies his whole life. All of the Liturgists hosts reached out a hand to him, and they told him he isn’t a burden. They invited him to the table, and they told him he is worthy.
I wept listening to this podcast. It struck a chord with me. I keep saying how much I love this church, and this church likes me back. I don’t think I ever really let that sink in. Now I am having melt-downs, but instead of people leaving my side, I am receiving encouragement and patience. I never have been treated like this in church or society.
A friend gave me a bracelet that says, “God is Big Enough.” Two of our amazing ministers contacted me, unknowingly, on one of my dark days, and they weren’t scared off. They keep telling me I am not a burden. They will help me, and they don’t feel burdened by it. Listening to that podcast made me realize I have had a little girl inside me waiting for things to fall apart. I have been invited to the table where there is bread and wine, and I am told I am worthy.
A friend who is going through spiritual-direction training came over and listened to me. She let me talk, and when I said this church likes me, she asked me this: “So, now that you know your church likes you, what does that mean for you and God?” I found my spirit go still with this question. I answered, “It means I believe God likes me.” That put me at peace again. Now I am ready to remember things I had to gloss over previously so my soul could survive.
I felt so many emotions going back in time. One day I was crying, the next laughing all day. I was feeling so many emotions that even I, who embraces feelings, was feeling overwhelmed. But I got back home again. I went through my darkest night and made it back to the new day I am living now.
On this Good Friday, I am encouraged by this quote from Ebonee Davis: “The only way to heal is to feel.”