Ramblings

I am sleepy. I have been awake during hours I should have been sleeping. What started out as a typical trip to the bathroom, turned into my remembering more traumatic events from my childhood.

So many things come to mind.

I consider how easily and without any thought whatsoever, people get into destructive and dysfunctional roles and play them out, sometimes, for the rest of their lives, with little to no self awareness.

I consider all it takes for one person to stop the cycle of abuse that has been perpetuated in a family, in a most covert manner, for generations.

I consider who will be the ones trying to bring back the old order and way of doing things so that all is “back to normal again.”. Sometimes these people are intentionally sent, and sometimes, because they are uncomfortable, they just go of their own accord, all with the intent of “restoring” things.

I wonder how adult after adult, could be so dismissive, caught up in their own issues, to not see hurting children.

I consider and now see patterns in my own behavior and have a better understanding of myself, and why I did and do things in certain ways.

I am dissecting what people are really saying when their behavior, patterns and what they say aren’t aligned with one another.

I am questioning much of what I was taught as a child and believed most of my life, up until now.

I am uprooting lies I have been told and replacing them with Truth. Truth is a person named Jesus.

I am more mindfully parenting my children like never before.

I am learning to treat myself with love, compassion and care. I am angry at times that it isn’t easy at all.

I am paying attention to the knot that develops in my gut when I feel a boundary has been or is in danger of being trampled. I am gaining more self respect as I honor my feelings and observe my boundaries.

I feel I have an invisible, but very real muzzle on. I think it is coming off. I am exploring my feelings about this.

I’ve Not Disappeared, Well Maybe I Have

It’s been a very long time since I’ve written anything.  I’m writing now to simply say that I don’t really know what to say besides saying that I am on a very hard journey to healing childhood wounds.

I implore you, if you have any of your own, seek help.  It is unreasonable to think you can just go on and not pass on some or a lot of your own pain to someone you care for. Something I saw on Facebook from Christine Caine said it best, “If you never heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.” This makes me angry, actually.  I find it difficult to fathom being so unaware of oneself, that one leaves a path of destruction in their wake, completely and utterly oblivious.  I especially have a hard time when it’s children who catch the brunt of that destruction.  It isn’t fair.  I am intent on ending abusive cycles.  The buck stops here.  What I find even more disturbing is the covert nature of it.  When it comes to people, I have an easier time taking those blatant, in your face types.  Covert behavior bugs me because there’s such an insidious nature to it. It’s so ugly and despicable. Also, when one displays covert tendencies, it makes me feel that they have more control than they’re willing to admit, being able to behave one way here and another way there.  I don’t handle that well.

So, I pray you are well while I’m going through all the emotions and what comes with healing.  It’s hard, but it’s great and so very necessary.  I am already a very different, healthier, more alert me than ever before. I am happier too, actually.  As I said, it’s difficult at times, but this is a good thing.  God is with me and I know it.  He started me on this journey, after all.  I will aim to write again soon.  With love, Patrice.

To Share, Or Not

I have written several blog posts, only to put them aside.  I am not sure what to share or how much to share these days.  I understand all the reasons why I should be quiet right now and just deal in secrecy, but, what if keeping quiet is harmful?  What about the opportunity to have my issues be a source of comfort, relief, validation or joy for others?  What if my opening up could help more than my being quiet? My friend Juli recently told me that my super power is my transparency.  I agree.  I enjoy being honest and open.  I love the idea that simply sharing my journey can help others in ways I haven’t considered.

I have been on yet another life altering journey of self discovery and healing.  The Lord seems to be moving through all areas of my life, cleaning, pruning and making changes.  It makes me think of a time when my oldest daughter unknowingly gave me a word from God.

We were in a prophecy 101 type of class, and had chosen one number from a cup, twice.  The first number was to be our number, the second was the number of the person we would be prophesying over.  When it was her turn, my daughter said something along the lines of, “I see a person being molded and shaped, like bread.  They are very uncomfortable and want to fight against the molding taking place but God is saying to stop fighting against the molding and shaping, because it’s Him.”  I could only smile in awe when she announced the number and it was mine.  I haven’t forgotten that word she gave me.  It is very true of the process I am in right now.

God has brought to light things that weren’t exactly done in the dark per se, but they were done in ways and at a time where the truth of it all escaped me because I was a child, conditioned to think and believe in very specific ways.  I have learned that because of this, I am what the world of psychology calls, co-dependent.  I have empathy for everyone except myself and tend to be overly concerned about caring for the needs and wishes of others, even to my own detriment.  I have believed so much about myself and my personality that simply aren’t true.  He is teaching me who I truly am and healing me of past wounds so that I don’t continue the cycle of abuse with my children or anyone else for that matter.

I am working through a lot of rage that I have carried since childhood.  I used to fight, and when I did, it was pretty awful.  Looking back, I am surprised that no adult picked up on the obvious rage in an otherwise mild mannered, kind hearted little girl.  I am especially surprised this didn’t happen when I was suspended in 5th grade, for fighting after school, off school grounds.  I will just say, that poor girl has evidence of that fight today and what I did to her wasn’t at all warranted.  Let me explain…

As I walked home from school with friends, two of them suddenly began fighting.  One friend, got in a good hit on the other and without thinking, something inside of me snapped, and I was suddenly fighting the first girl.  I later went to her home and apologized to her and her mother.  I didn’t know what happened or why I did what I did. I messed her face up badly enough that when we went to school the following day, teacher after teacher was outraged at the sight of her face and, learning I was at fault, I was sent to the principal, who, also outraged, suspended me for 10 days.

Every single fight I had, I remember one common theme.  I would seem to leave my body, fight viciously, and suddenly come to myself, wondering how I got there.  Sadly, there were several people who were left with permanent scars, all undeserved.

The Lord is helping me sort through all this and more, and it’s not fun or comfortable. It’s very hard, actually. I see and understand the reason for it all and am grateful, nonetheless.  I know that, on the other side of this, I will be a better, stronger, truer version of myself. I will set boundaries and have consequences in place if those boundaries aren’t adhered to.  I will no longer quietly assume any roles  God Himself hasn’t designated for me to play.  I am done with it all, and I feel more free having just stated that.

With love, Patrice

 

Flowing With the Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Changing my hair has been a catalyst for some serious transformation and major insight in my life.  I decided back in February, at the start of an extended vacation, that at the end of it, I’d start the process of loc’ing my hair (dreadlocks).  I remember how I kept thinking and saying, “It’s time (for change).”  I had no idea what I was in for.

It’s funny how something as seemingly simple as hair, can affect such major change in one’s life but it does (ask Sampson, lol), and with locs, I hear many, many people echo the same sentiments. Not to sound all exclusive, but starting this journey, I feel I have joined the ranks of a group of people who are in touch with themselves in a very different way.  It’s a new level of inner knowing.

I think, in part, it has something to do with going off the beaten path, especially against others wishes, and coming out stronger than ever.  I experienced this when I started unschooling my then, only child.  I literally had the unflinching support and cheerleading of one person, my grandfather, and he passed a month before I officially took my daughter out of daycare 16 years ago, and began our journey.  Setting off on a new and different path that I’d never seen modeled, changed my life in many extraordinary ways.

When I decided to embark upon my first birth without medication, I caught the same flack.  When I decided to give birth at a freestanding birth center with a midwife for my second birth, then at home with a midwife for my third, I learned something about myself.  I learned how very powerful and capable and strong my body is and I went on to give birth twice more, at home with no midwife, doctor or doula, just my body, baby and family present.  My husband learned how capable and strong he is, as his hands were the very first to touch his sons as they were born.  My children, all present at each other’s births, all learned how beautifully boring but also magically amazing birth can be; they aren’t afraid of it at all.  Lol, people like to say, “Why give birth naturally, you don’t get a medal for it.” Those people have no idea what one gets from such a birth.  No “medal” can compare.  I got so much more.  I gained something that no one could begin to try and take away.  Even with having earned medals from running races, I am not certain where those medals are as I type this, what I gained from doing it is far more valuable to me than the “bling” I gained and still gain from running.

My hair looks wild right now.  It looks rough and “unkempt” and unruly and not only do I wear it proudly and boldly, I absolutely, unequivocally love it.  It mirrors the part of the journey I am on right now. Some days have been hard, filled with tears, anger, and even guilt and shame as God reminds me of things past. He is teaching me through so many entities, to face the ugly truth about things I was once confused or deceived about. He is walking me along a path that I must travel to subjectively realize complete healing, wholeness, and forgiveness. On the harder days this week and last, He gave me my beautiful friends, Evelin, Julissa and Lissandra whose support and love I can’t imagine doing without.  He gave me frequent “kiss attacks” from my 4 year old son and the beautiful closeness that comes with breastfeeding my 1 year old.  He gave me the beauty of having a cousin over for a few weeks and her laughter joined with my other children is so stinkin’ cute.  He gave me my doting husband, who insisted on taking me on dates, surprised me with flowers and a massively loud dance party on a Tuesday night, starting after 11pm. He and our children danced, screamed and had a blast until we were all drenched in sweat.  I would have called the police on us, lol, but Abba knew it was so needed, and no one did.

This journey I am on is very hard but I see so much beauty and freedom in it. I am choosing to flow with it unapologetically. In the past, I’d fought hard against it when the Lord was doing something new in me, for my growth. Not this time. I am done fighting against Him, I can’t win anyway, lol. I will flow with the unforced rhythms of grace and come out more glorious than ever. Many blessings to you, dear reader.

What’s On Your Plate?

It’s been a little while since I wrote last.  At least it feels that way.  I haven’t really known how to say what I want to say at times.  Other times, I simply haven’t had much to say, and I won’t write if I have nothing to say.

I am on a journey to greater awareness of myself.  I am learning what makes me tick.  I am learning what triggers me to emotions like anxiety, anger, fear, sadness and my favorite, happiness.  I am good some days, and some days I am not doing well at all, but, God is here, taking me along this path that I must travel in order to get to a place where I see myself not as my parents have taught me to see myself, but as He sees me. He knows me best and His view of me is what will ultimately help me to be the best Patrice I can be.

A group of friends and I do prophetic assignments together every now and then.  One assignment had us envision a plate on a table.  The plate was filled with many things and so was the table.  We were to ask the Lord what, if anything on our plates, should be removed, decreased or increased, and what on the table that perhaps wasn’t on our plate, should be added.  I got a one word answer and then a moving picture.  My answer to what needed to be removed from my plate was simply, “People”.  Then, I saw the Lord remove the people from my plate and He got on my plate, arms outstretched, smiling, until He filled my plate with Himself.  Then, as He filled my plate, I saw all kinds of things go back on my plate but through Him, because as I said, He covered the plate.

I don’t consider myself a people pleaser, but I do love people and am very much an empath who has no problem at all feeling compassion for others.  My issue is that I lack compassion for myself.  I very easily leave myself out of the equation and that must change.  I need balance.  One dear friend, Jackie, has been pretty much saying this for a few years now.  Mothering and nurturing others is a skill at which I am a natural.  I love it.  I am learning to turn some of that mothering and nurturing onto myself and see myself as worthy of the time, attention and care I so easily give others.

He is to be the lens through which I see and do everything. I believe wholeheartedly that He is all in all anyway.  Nothing is changing on His end with this.  It’s my perspective that’s changing.  My subjective reality is matching up with what is and always was, because of Christ’s finished work.  I am healed and whole and waking up to that realization more and more.

I encourage you to do the assignment my friends and I have done.  Ask the Lord.  What’s on your plate that needs to be removed, increased or decreased?  What’s on the table that isn’t on your plate at this time but should be added?  Take time to dialog with the Lord about this and journal what you get out of it.  I’d love to hear about it too.  This exercise started a very serious and deep look at my life, like how my past affects my present.  It has highlighted different traits about my personality, habits and more.  Do this for yourself and see what God does with it.  It could very well change your life as it has mine.  I love you dear reader, Patrice.

Building Strong Children

I am going through something that I honestly don’t feel as free to discuss as I’d like to.  This fact makes me very angry.  The problem is, I am unfamiliar with exactly what to do with my anger, as I never felt able to express it in a productive manner.

Something happened that made me cry.  My 4 year old son started to cry in anger because it was time for him to get ready for bed and he wanted to keep playing a game.  Most parents (that I know), when faced with their child’s anger, seek to shut it down immediately.  There is no room for a child to even learn to express their anger or process it in a productive way.  Perhaps this is why there’s so much rage just beneath the surface with so many adults- they weren’t allowed to express  and work through their feelings as children.

I hate how boys aren’t “supposed” to cry.  What are they supposed to do with their feelings, then? I hate how anyone who cries and makes others feel uncomfortable must stop, suck it up, shake it off, or get over it.  That is stupid and I am tired of it.

I don’t know how, but I believe God will help me to help my son learn to manage his feelings appropriately.  I will not shut him down.  I won’t make his moods or behavior about me and take it personally.  I will help him as best I can and I will do my best to protect him from other adults who have faulty thinking in this area and are broken themselves.  I will not allow someone else’s insecurities and inabilities to break my son.  When he needs to cry like he did today, I will do my best to be available to help him through it in anyway I can.  I will hold him as long as he lets me and talk things through with him as best I can.  I will remember that he is, after all, a little boy (of 4) right now.  He is learning and growing.  I want to help him along. Lord help me to do this right.  We don’t need anymore broken men.

As Frederick Douglass said, “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Let’s build strong children.

 

Early Perceptions of God

A dear group of friends and I are having a discussion today (as we do most days) and my friend Juli said the following: “I remember that before I was a ‘born again Christian’, I used to believe that by default God loved me, no matter what.”  She went on to say that at different churches, she learned things that she is now needing to unlearn. We all began to chime in saying we have felt the same way.

When she said this, it really struck a chord with me and took me back to my own childhood.  I remember very clearly feeling that not only did God love me tremendously, but I was and am somehow, very special to Him too.  I never felt it was to the exclusion of anyone else, in fact, it had nothing to do with others.  It was just me, and Him, and in that context, He absolutely adores me, period.

Some of the ideas I have had throughout my life, I am only now beginning to give voice to, with certain people. I have oftentimes felt that the God I felt drawn to, close to and loved by privately, was an altogether different person from the one I was taught about in church.  The one from church was wishy washy and temperamental.  He might strike me down at any given moment.  He was scary, never laughed, was very far away and too busy to be bothered with my stuff on a daily or even weekly basis.  As my daughter Jaiela says, the god from church needed a certain level and type of prayer, fasting and effort to even hear you, let alone answer your prayers.  In order to get an answer from this god, there’s a certain amount of time one must wait to hear back from him, if they ever heard anything back at all.  It was all so strange.

The God I know and love is the one I met in the innermost parts of my being.  He made me know I was and am special to Him.  He isn’t angry with me at all.  He’s not waiting for me to mess up so that He can strike me down.  He loves me without conditions.  I can’t do anything to diminish or increase His love for me.  He just loves me, and you, plain and simple.

I wonder if my friends and I are alone in our experiences and feelings.  Outside of all the teaching, good or otherwise, what were your feelings about Him?  Have you always seen Him as distant, or close?  If you don’t know, I pray you come to know Him soon, in a real and tangible way.  No one has or will ever love you more.