Throughout my 20-year journey I've been led by a dream I had in 1980. I'm sustained by a belief that I would survive and find abundant life if I keep putting one foot in front of the other and follow the narrow little path I found in the desert of my life.
Much of the time the way wasn't clear to me and I had to take it on my faith, which faltered many times, or on the faith of others who had made the journey before me, my healers. I had to trust that the many parts of my seemingly fragmented life had a wholeness to it, some kind of plan that ended in abundant living, not death. That there was more to me than holes that left me feeling empty; voids like black holes sucking all life into them. Emptiness I couldn't fill. Blackness where there should have been light. Nothingness that threatened to overwhelm my whole world at times.
I would get discouraged because it seemed that life brought a never- ending series of problems to deal with. I'd get one issue handled and another would take its place. My immune system, at one point, was so compromised, I quit therapy for a while and worked on my physical health. Thinking that if I worked and struggled enough, I'd get where I was going. Scripture told me that if I asked, searched, knocked and kept on, what I wanted would come to me. Isaiah 39:29,31 comforted me with:
"He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.....but they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary,they shall walk and not faint."
I was really faint. I was trying to fill those holes in me and couldn't.
The year 2000, the millennium, has been a hole-filler. I discovered that God loves me whether I change or not. He loves me just the way I am. What I hadn't gotten from Isaiah 39 was the waiting on the Lord part. It says, those that wait upon the Lord...It doesn't say, those that wait upon Lyn Carr...It was saying if I waited on the Lord, things would happen to me that would give me strength. At one point in the deepest part of my treatment, my therapist David said, "Therapy is also something that happens to you as well as something you do." I didn't understand then, but I do now.
This year, because of side effects from medications, I was forced to sit for five months and do very little except read, exercise, volunteer two afternoons a week, and reflect. Along with David Burns' book, Ten Days to Self Esteem, I read Danielle Steel novels, and books by women writers filled with women's stories and healings. I read a new version of the New Testament, and began to confront my fear of death, my mother's and my own. No one died when I read novels for fun! I found I am an enjoyable person to be around when I am alone. I am resourceful and, given enough time to reflect, know what I want.
Simple Abundance, a book on discovering my authentic self, recommended taking down all the pictures on the walls in one of the rooms of my house, removing the furniture and decorations, and waiting until I knew what I wanted to put back in that room. Since my inner room is the place where I start, the side effects of the drugs kept me still and gave me the opportunity to take down the decorations, empty the room and decide what to return. As the side effects of medications lessened, I put old treasures and new back in. I learned to discard, what was outdated, worn, or useless and make room in my new life and in my thinking.
Just recently, my therapist told me, You should have a feeling of greatness for what you have accomplished with the hand you were dealt. He also told me I was no longer like Swiss cheese and full of holes, but whole, now. He wants me to come see him only when I have an inkling I need to. He pulled his chair close to mine, looked directly into my eyes, and told me these things. He knew I needed to hear it from him and that I needed to know that I had indeed accomplished something really precious. He knew how many times I thought my past had been a waste. I didn't have a family, I didn't have children, I hadn't remarried. I was sick many of the twenty years, and lived with daily flashbacks and panic attacks that were a result of trauma sustained when I was very young.
He smiled and said, "Now we get to talk about the good stuff. You and I will talk about being well, instead of being sick."
It's taken a while to let all that he said sink in. At first, I wanted to tell everyone and shout, "I'm well! I'm whole!" What I realize now is that I have turned another corner where I can't see the past anymore; it's there, but, not a burden.
At one time I wanted a monument like the Vietnam Wall that signified and acknowledged what I had done. What I had accomplished. I was angry that there wasn't anything for women like me who had been traumatized in their families and survived. I thought we deserved something for our courage, determination, sheer grit, and perseverance in changing ourselves.
There's no monument. There's no stone to mark my accomplishment, but, David knows, my friends know, God knows, and I know from where I have come and who I am. I do have a feeling of greatness. It's inside me and feels like it's here to stay and not go anywhere, like it used to. It's that wholeness David talked about; a substantial me that is here to stay.
I told him, "I don't want to die not having lived my life."
He said, "You've always had things standing in your way, but, not anymore. You are free to live."
My journey isn't finished. The millennium year marks another turn in a road less traveled, and it has made all the difference.
Lyn Carr started going to movies while in her mother's womb. She's a film buff, has taken film analysis and gone to film school for a bit. Born in Dalhart, Texas during WWII, she was an Air Force brat and moved every two years. Lyn got a degree in Education and taught for 34 years until her retirement in 1998. "I've been called a renaissance woman by a number of people because of my broad interests. I love being an entrepreneur and operating my own custom floral design business out of my home. I'm a clutterer, love people, nature, flowers and anything to do with the creative process. Writing is fun, too, especially rewriting when there's an editing software program and an editor available and I have lots of time for redoing a piece."
You can write to Lyn at email@example.com.
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