Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Good Grief

Two years ago, this coming Sunday, my funny, talented, crazy, beloved Mother was scooped up in the arms of Jesus and taken to Heaven...softly, sweetly, painlessly.  Two weeks ago today, her sister, my Aunt Ellen, went the same her sleep, quietly, swiftly. 

Today, I am sad.  I was sad yesterday and last week and I'll be sad off and on for a long while.  Some days, I give in to the voices in my head..."get over it", "move on", "stop crying!"  Then, my head and stomach start to hurt and the pressure builds until tears cascade down my face like a tiny waterfall...wonderful release!

You are not weak if you cry...YOU ARE NOT WEAK IF YOU CRY!!  The tears that come with grief crying have toxins that build up from stress.  Crying cleanses your body of these toxins and there are many more health benefits associated with letting your tears flow.  Not all tears are the same...when you chop an onion, when your eyes water from the sun, laughing hysterically until you cry...none of these produce healing tears. 

I have decided that I will not fight these feelings anymore.  I will not be stoic or try and force myself to hold my feelings inside. I will cry in the car, under my pillow, in the shower, as I walk to the mailbox or stand at my kitchen sink. I will allow myself time to grieve and I will not apologize for it.  Grief does not have to render me useless, so occasionally I can cry and wail and wallow in it and still walk among the living with peace and purpose.

God has been sad...when Adam and Eve hid from Him in the garden...when people wouldn't listen and missed the boat...when Jonah ran away...when Lot's wife looked back...when David couldn't keep his eyes to himself...when Moses had a temper tantrum.  And, the saddest of sadnesses...when God offered to the world the One that was most precious to Him and was forced to turn His back as His Son, who knew no sin, took the blame for every kind of ugliness imaginable.

It's okay to feel sad.  It's a good thing to cry.  Humans are the only creatures who cry emotional tears, though I read that elephants and gorillas might have that in common with us.  Don't let crying scare you, make you feel silly or out of control.  Grown-up people know that crying is a necessary emotion that, in the end, will cause them to feel better.  Cleansing tears keep our hearts open to living authentically. They purge our bodies of toxic stress hormones that run rampant as we experience this crazy life.  Our natural waterworks protect us from depression, heart disease and a slew of other problems.

Here are some lyrics to an old song that might come in handy (you know, for that one time some idiot tells you to "dry it up")

"This is my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to.  You would cry, too, if it happened to you!"

Monday, October 14, 2013

Does This Book Make Me Look Smart?

I recently read a book entitled I Still Dream About You, by Fannie Flagg, and it's been a long time since a book made me LOL, a lot, like even in bed at midnight.  I had to ignore a bit of bad language, (don't judge), but other than that, it was a great book.  Not one line, paragraph, page or chapter made me feel guilty.  It was a pure-pleasure read!  I'm a deep thinker and analytical, a little paranoid with a tad of insecurity left over from who knows what, so most self-help books just make me feel like crap. (Excuse the language, but it's all I've got)

Yes, I will continue to challenge myself with books and short stories written by extraordinary writers.  But I am always going to look for books that make me feel understood.  And, yes...I'm going to read everything that Alice Sebold writes and I will not apologize for or try and figure out this dark side of my psyche.

Before I end this post, I must include one more form of the written word that I love...magazines!  I am like a kid when one comes in the mail and for some odd reason, I always look at the last page first. Weird, huh?  Sometimes, I just want to read an article, a snippet, a "how to", a new recipe.  Many magazines are not worth a dime, but there are plenty of good ones to choose from...Oprah, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, MORE, Southern Living, HGTV, Food Network Magazine and Better Homes & Gardens.  If you want a Christian commentary on world news, current events, movie and music reviews, etc., then read the magazine, WORLD.

I just finished a book entitled Silver Star, by Jeannette Walls.  It's the story of two sisters who had to endure life with (and sometimes, without) their disturbed mother.  The spirit, guts and resiliency of these girls was heart-wrenching and inspiring.  I'm melancholy enough to embrace the fictional sadness and creative enough to yearn for inspiration.  I am called a Reader~