Angst. Hurt. Pain.
Joy. Forgiveness. Love.
Fear. Lack of Control. Sadness.
Unwarranted Trust. Self Loathing.
The chaos inside a kaleidoscope of all these emotions. Switching and swirling about; a stain glass window to my soul. The weight upon my chest forcing the breath from my lungs and the darkness seeking to suffocate me.
I lived in that place for years. I couldn’t explain it and I couldn’t release all that was inside. The more that I related and loved people, the more that I took on their weight the worse it became. Some days everything was covered in darkness; from sun up to sun down pain and tears reigned. Other days the light shone through and there was laughter and joy.
Through it all one thing remained: an eerie darkness in the middle of swirling emotions. There was so much to feel that I couldn’t feel at all. There was so much pain that I became numb. I wanted to feel so desperately; I wanted to feel because to feel was to be human.
And so in 2nd grade I began to cut. Not in the normal way that those who suffer from depression cut, not on my wrists or my arms or even my legs. Oh no, I cut in an accidental way. One day at school, while doing an art project I was given a pair of little kid scissors. You know the ones, they are for little hands with blades that are barely sharp enough to cut through paper let alone cut through skin. Well while watching others work on their pieces I played with the scissors. Unknowingly I put the skin between my fingers between the blades, wedged as far as my little hands would go. Suddenly the scissors closed, my skin was cut and I felt pain.
I felt. And in that moment I was human.
For the first time in forever the pain inside was given a voice; the pain within was being realized through the pain in my hands.
I felt. And so, every so often, during 2nd grade, when the pain inside was too much, I cut between my fingers, pretending when the teacher saw that it was an accident but all the time relishing in the pain that I felt.
To this day I don’t remember why it stopped. Almost no one knows this small fact about myself. I’m not even sure my parents know as until quite recently I didn’t remember.. It was something that once stopped was swallowed back by the darkness. Past 2nd grade it never happened again, and whatever brought about the stop to this destruction I am thankful for. As the years went by I went through friends self mutilating themselves in middle school, yet I didn’t remember. I went through high school and didn’t remember. I went through college where God brought to mind many instances of pain and depression that I had not remembered, yet this was never brought to mind. Then quite suddenly a few months ago, as I was discussing suicide, depression and self harm with some of my teens, I remembered.
For whatever reason the Lord brought this to mind and I believe that it was to be shared. For you see some of these emotions still swirl inside of me. There are days where I carry a weight around inside of my chest that forces breath out and creates tremors in my stomach. It is on these days that I create: write, sing, breath, read, dance, etc. For it is when I expel that I give voice to the emotions inside.
Emotions are not evil. Even the ones that we label as wrong. Anger, fear, angst, loneliness. Emotions are truth crying out inside of us. Emotions tell us what lies we have believed, what harm has been done to us. But emotions also speak God’s truth to us. If we lie about our emotions then we are lying about ourselves, but when we choose to be honest about our emotions and express them in healthy ways then we are being honest about our God given identities.
I know that I am not the only one with a chaotic kaleidoscope of emotions within.
The question is how do you create your release?
Do you become so consumed by the emotions that you are blind to them?
Do you hide from your emotions in music, in books, in social media, in relationships, in drugs, in alcohol….?
Or have you found who you are even in the emotions? Have you dug down deep and sought out the God given identity that you were created with?
When you choose this route then you will find your beautiful release.
My beautiful release is here. My emotions become words splashed across the screen. They bleed out onto my journal as the swirling thoughts and emotions are given a voice through poems, letters, blogs and songs. My emotions seep out through the act of creating.
What is your beautiful release?
Where do your emotions seep out…
Where do you hear the voice of the Creator whispering your identity?
Stop. Breath. Listen.