Friday, July 12, 2013

Anger at God or Grief?

After I published my last post about my anger at God, I got a comment from Teresa, who mentioned that she was also experiencing some anger at/with God.   However, she also mentioned the loss of her mom, and coming to terms with that loss, and that got me thinking.

We have the ability to experience a number of different emotions: anger, rage, hate, love, joy, bliss, etc.  The list is actually quite long if you consider the subtle shadings of each.   We can experience one emotion at a time, or several emotions simultaneously.  Sometimes we can feel two emotions at the same time that are seemingly opposite of one another, and yet, we do, and both are genuine.  And sometimes we replace one emotion with another because we are more comfortable expressing that particular emotion than the one we are actually feeling.  As a therapist, I've seen that happen time and time again in therapy sessions.   As an individual, I've done it myself.  It's interesting to me that anger is the emotion that most people turn to, quite unintentionally, I'm sure, to release other emotions they are not quite as comfortable expressing.

Teresa's comment about the loss of her mother made me take a deeper look at my own anger, and what I've discovered is that although I may be angry, I am more sad than angry.  I realize that I am revisiting the losses I've experienced over the years as I sort through the accumulated belongings that are remnants and reminders of things from the past, and that have to be packed up or discarded in preparation for this move: the ending of my marriage, the loss of my father in 1987 before he ever saw me as successful, the ending of a relationship that never culminated in the proposal I so dearly wanted, the loss of my first real adult best friend in 2003, when my evolving 'gifts' made  her too uncomfortable and she decided she couldn't be my friend anymore, the loss of my mother in 2008, the closing of my office in 2012, as I took another fork in the road.

I'm also already grieving the loss of all that I have here in Pittsburgh: my friends, my business, my home, my proximity to the cemetery where my parents are buried and where I go when I just need a destination to head toward when the urge to 'get out of Dodge' hits.  Where will I go when that urge hits and I'm in Nashville?

I'm grieving the dreams I had for my house when I moved into it twenty years ago that I was never able to manifest: fixing up the basement as a family room, fixing the water problem in the basement, buying new curtains and new furniture, planting beautiful flower beds, updating the bathroom...the list goes on. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to be going to Nashville and starting fresh.  I know there are new experiences and new relationships waiting for me.  I know there are wonderful things ahead that I can't even begin to imagine.  But in order for there to be new beginnings, there have to be endings, and in order for me to walk through this new door, I have to grieve the things that I'm leaving behind, and I have to revisit the losses from the past, from a new and different perspective, because I'm not the same person I used to be.  

But grieving is hard work, and it leaves me feeling vulnerable, and I don't like feeling vulnerable.  So I think I chose to be angry at God, rather than acknowledge my sadness, because anger is a very strong emotion.  I can't ever recall seeing an angry person and thinking that he or she was vulnerable.  Angry people are people to be reckoned with, people you want to get out of the way of, people who seem larger than life because of the fuel of that angry energy.  I wanted to be bigger, not smaller, as I prepared for this move, and when I feel vulnerable, I feel small, and insignificant, and without purpose.  But that's just how I feel, not who I am, and I need to recognize the difference between the two and allow myself to grieve whatever I need to grieve.  I don't want to be unpacking that grief when I get to Nashville.  I want to be unpacking my bliss, so that I can move forward and embrace all the amazing and wonderful experiences and opportunities that I know God has in store for me!

So if I have to soak a few more tissues for a while, so be it!  I'm determined to do what I need to do, to close this door, and walk through the new one.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Anger at God

I'm beginning to wonder just exactly what the heck God is doing in my life these days, if anything at all, and to be honest, I've been a little pissed off.  Ok, more than a little.  I am being  honest. 

After struggling through the pain in my knee for almost two months, which has been so intense at times that I almost can't walk, and then struggling to learn how to walk with the orthotics and my new tennis shoes, which feel like boats on my feet instead of shoes, and which have caused additional discomfort in my back as my body is acclimating to the inserts, on Friday, as I was walking back to Tony Tam Sing's Reiki room to get a Reiki session, I fell.

It wasn't an ordinary fall. I can't say I tripped on anything or stumbled.  I was walking and then I was laying face down on the floor. Both knees hit with a very solid bang, my face hit the floor, and my right elbow caught the brunt of the weight of my upper body as it folded underneath me, which probably saved me from a broken nose, because when I sat up, I had a slight brush burn on my nose from where it hit the carpet.

Fortunately, Tony and two other Reiki practitioners were there and immediately began doing Reiki on me.  I had my hands on my knees, doing Reiki on them, and could feel the heat coming from both of them like someone had opened an oven door.  Someone got me some ice for my elbow, and eventually I was able to stand up and walk back to the Reiki room, surprisingly without much difficulty.  Once Tony completed my session, the only thing that was hurting was my elbow, so I thought I was in pretty good shape, considering how hard I hit the floor. 

However, driving home was a challenge, because the further I got from the time of the fall, the weaker my right hand and arm became.  I had to drive home with my left hand because I couldn't hold the wheel with my right.  I called my chiropractor's office, hoping an adjustment would help, but the office was closed for the holiday and he wasn't due back in till Monday.

By Saturday morning, when I had trouble holding my coffee cup, I kind of lost it.  I think the fall, and all that resulted from it, was the straw that broke the camel's back, as the saying goes.  I thought I'd been doing really well accepting all that's occurred in the last few months: losing the buyer for my house, losing the house in Nashville, coping with the pain in my knee and the healing from the surgeries on my feet, acclimating to the orthotics and my new bigger, wider shoes, losing a connection with a good friend, and a myriad other things that haven't gone quite the way I would have liked or expected.  And then I couldn't even hold my coffee cup!  And I had packing to do!

That's when the shit hit the fan and I realized that I was angry with God!  I'm sure you can imagine some of the thoughts that went through my head, not just once, of course, but several times!  And sometimes I even voiced them out loud, and they weren't the nicest thoughts I've ever had.  I really had a melt down.  Even though my spiritual being knows and trusts that God is taking care of me, and I believe that everything happens for a reason, I'm still a human being, and the human part of me needed to vent, will probably always need to vent at some time or another when happenings in my life reach a certain level and my emotional self has no room left for more.

It used to be that when I had a meltdown like this ( yes, I've had them before and will have them again.), I'd feel like I was doing something wrong.  I had this mistaken belief that if I truly was on a spiritual path and working on things from a spiritual perspective, that I shouldn't get angry, shouldn't  let things get to me, and certainly shouldn't have a meltdown that left me screaming at God.  Thank goodness I've come far enough on my path, and in my relationship with Spirit, to let that old mistaken belief go.  Sometimes my human body just needs to feel what it's feeling and express what needs to be expressed.  It's so  much easier to let it all out and know that's it's ok to do so.

I'm also grateful God can handle my anger, my terrible thoughts as well as my nasty words.  I'm glad He doesn't hold a grudge.  I know this because God shared his thoughts on that topic in part of a message during a healing circle this spring.  He said:  "You can yell at Me.  You can scream at Me.  You can tell Me that you hate Me.  That you wish you'd never been born.  That you wish I didn't exist.  You can call Me every name in your book, and then move on to the books of others.  And I will not flinch. I will not cower.  I will not hold you accountable for what you have said, for I understand that you need to say what you are saying.  And you need to know that there will be no retaliation, that I will not hold against you anything that you have said, because that is not how I am.  And because when you vent your anger and your frustration and your pain at Me, it is safe to do so.  So I would much rather you fire away at Me, time and time and time again, so that when you are with those you love, who wouldn't be so understanding and so accepting, you can be more loving and more patient, and less angry and less hurt.  I will take all that you dish out.  Every last bit.   I will make a space for you to be who you are, in whatever way you are being, at the moment that you truly need me to."

Thank goodness!  Because venting helped.  And because I know God isn't angry at me for being angry at Him, I'm not carrying around a load of guilt because I vented at Him, which would just have added to everything else.  I'm feeling better, on all levels.  I'm ready to handle whatever else comes up as I continue to move forward, and I know that there will be more downs, as well as ups, and that it's all part of the journey.  And I know the venting is part of the journey too!  Perhaps the fall happened because I needed to vent in order to continue to move forward.  Maybe I've been holding things in way too long, even though I didn't know it.  And maybe that fall was important to my being able to walk forward in a better way, because ever since I fell, my knee has hurt even less and for the first time in months, I've been able to walk up and down stairs like a normal person, instead of having to put both feet on a step before I could move to the next.  And who knows, maybe that fall did other things, below the level of my consciousness, that also needed to be done.

I did see my chiropractor today ( If you need a really good traditional chiropractor, Dr. Nate Reese in Cannonsburg is great. He's definitely worth the drive.) Both kneecaps had been pushed out of alignment by the impact when I hit the floor, my neck and shoulder were out of whack, along with my elbow, which now has a bruise on it the size of a softball.  My physical  body now feels much more in alignment since Nate worked on me.

After seeing Dr. Reese, I then drove to Wexford to see Dr. Matt Flick, who does Network Spinal Analysis, which is an offshoot of traditional chiropractic, but to me, seems to work more with my breath and my energy body (No crunches and pops when Matt works on you, just very slight, easy touches that allow your body to find its own way to healing.  Again, very much worth the drive!) Matt's gentle touch and heartfelt caring helped my energetic body return to a more peaceful place, and in fact, I told him that it felt at times as if my body was gathering forces to take me higher and help me expand in greater ways.  If not for the fall, I think my experience with Matt would have been totally different today.  I know that fall was meant to be.

So if, like me, you sometimes get angry and need to let it all hang out, remember God is eager and willing to be your scapegoat.  Rail and yell and scream and shout all you need to, all you want to, until the knot in the pit of your stomach, or that red hot ball of anger , or that migraine that just wouldn't quit, have dissipated, because God can take it, and wants to.  And He will never hold it against you.

(Please note:  I'm not telling you about Dr. Reese and Dr. Flick because they asked me to. I'm telling you because both of them have helped me over the past months and years (I've been seeing Dr. Flick on and off since 2005!), and because sometimes we all need more than one type of healing modality to help us over a particular hump. So I think it's important to share information with you about the folks who have helped me out, in case , someday, you need someone or something more than you already have in your own tool box.)