Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Little of This and a LIttle of That

It's been a frigid week here in middle Tennessee.  The dogs and I are over being stuck inside.  My skin is even drier than usual, I'm shocking everybody and everything that I touch and I'm starting to feel claustrophobic!  But, better days are ahead.  I looked up sunrise and sunset times for our area and learned that the last ten days of this month gain us 15-16 additional minutes of sunlight.  Sunlight is so important to my mood, I have learned.  I'm thinking of buying one of those clocks that gets brighter as morning approaches.

I received so many thoughtful comments on my last post regarding shame that I decided to give another bit of what I learned here.  Someone commented that they thought that shame can be a good thing and it can.  There is normal healthy shame.  Shame is good when it serves as a boundary to protect us.  The book describes an infant who gets embarrassed when a stranger approaches them as one of the first signs of healthy shame.  Feeling guilty when something tastes so good is a great reminder to stop eating before we overindulge. 

Shame becomes toxic when it becomes internalized.  Healthy shame says I made a mistake; toxic shame says I am the mistake.  When shame is internalized a person feels so bad about themselves that they create a false self.  The author of the book is an adult child of an alcoholic and a recovering alcoholic himself.  In one section he uses the twelve steps of AA to to explain how each steps works to restore our relationship to God, self, friend and neighbor through the twelve step program.  Once our relationship is restored to self, there is no need for a false self.  It was such a thoughtful book that it helped me to have a better grasp on what the twelve steps are actually doing in my life.

I had a great day Friday visiting with a cousin.  She has three children.  Two of the three have cystic fibrosis.  So she wanted to start blogging about her experience in the midst of that disease.  We sat with our readers on trying to set up a new word press blog, with neither of us very savvy at setting up a web page.  We fumbled and laughed all day long.  It was so much fun.  Maybe this getting older will afford us more childlike fun.  If you know of someone who battles cystic fibrosis please have them head over to Breath of Heaven and check her out.  She has fourteen years under her belt of first coping and now learning to live with this disease.  And, her journey has been one that has increased her faith, giving her some of the best lessons you can learn.  I'll leave the rest for her to share with you, but it's worth a read.

One last thought, I grew up in a teeny tiny town in western Kentucky on close to seventy-five acres.  My Dad didn't farm by the time I came around but we had the land and it was cherished. But, next door was an older couple named Mamie and Dempsey Dunning.  Dempsey used to wear green Dickies pants and shirt every day.  He sat on his front porch and played his fiddle and sang.  I don't recall if he was any good or not but, what I do remember is how he sang and played with wild abandon.  I also remember how he showed his feelings through that music without regard to what others thought and now I am seeing that that in and of itself was a beautiful thing.  What do you think?

I'm thankful for what God made me to be.  I'm gonna work a little harder to figure out what that is.  I'm proud of my family and thankful for the good and the bad because every bit of those experiences are a tool given for learning.  I'm praying for you guys too.....everyday!


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