Loving Deeply

The problem with loving people deeply is that, at some point, the relationship changes or the person leaves, and you have to adjust to the change.

The problem with loving a place deeply is that, at some point, you will have to leave…and adjust to the change.

The problem with loving your work deeply is that, at some point, the work you do will change, and you have to adjust along with it.

I realized today that, after this week, I have four weeks left of my internship. I’m working to soak it all in, knowing that I will move on to something different in a different place and with different people. I am thankful for the ways in which I have been able to love and be loved deeply this year…for the many things I’ve learned along the way…and for becoming a better person and practitioner for it.

But in about four weeks, I’mma need my own box (or three) of tissue.

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Six Little Minutes

For long distance runners, the Boston Marathon is the stuff of legends, dreams, and running bucket lists. In some ways, it’s the Super Bowl of the running world…not because it’s a competition–though it is–but because of the excitement and camaraderie that unites everyone at the start line. It’s a race you have to work for…because the only way in is to qualify or raise money for charities. Period.

Last year, my best friend worked her butt off to qualify for Boston. For the first several months of the year, she ran a marathon a month to make it happen. Each time the race started, I held my breath a little and waited for texts from her husband or some other form of live update. I waited for her to cross the finish line and see if she made it in time. And each time, I started making plans in my head for being her support staff on race day in Boston this year.

She missed qualifying by six minutes.

When the story broke this afternoon, I couldn’t help but think of her and her efforts to qualify…to say nothing of the people I know who live in Boston, the people involved in any way in the race, and the city itself which I so desperately love. I sent my friend a text to say how thankful I was that she didn’t qualify last year for this year’s race. Her response was, “Me too! 6 little minutes!”

In a world where things change in a matter of seconds, I am thankful for the time that has been extended because of those six minutes. I am thankful for the beauty of the running world and the ways in which we all find hope and peace and clarity and excitement and enjoyment and camaraderie in the sport. I am thankful for the ways in which people have responded. And I am thankful to love and be loved by such incredible people…and that I get to hug some of them a little tighter tonight or the next time I see them. Because of six little minutes.

A Healing Prayer

Dearest God, you hold the secrets of our hearts,

the aches of our wounds, and the brokenness of our past.

You carry us through hardship, and bring us to birth each and every

time we need new beginnings.

You breathe with us and into us in the pain of awakenings,

and let us rage into the dark nights–even and especially when

we rage against you.

Wash over us with your love, invigorate our souls, and give us

strength to rise, again.

Let us be inspired by your Spirit, which

comforts us and reminds us it is always present, in both life’s peaceful breezes

and ravenous flames.

Grace us with the ability to love ourselves completely,

to love you completely,

and make us capable of carrying that love into the world.

We ask this as one human body,

interconnected throughout time, in every culture and race and creed,

woven together with the thread of hope.

Give us the capacity to have faith in ourselves, in others,

and in the world as a whole,

which has the potential to be mended and made whole again,

and always on the precipice of regeneration.

We ask this with you, in you, and by you, as the one

God of all

Now and forever.

 

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From Mending Broken by Teresa Pasquale

Mending Broken: A Book Review

One of my longstanding professional interests is trauma and working with those who have experienced trauma. So, when SpeakEasy offered up Mending Broken by Teresa Pasquale, I was quick to request a copy.

Pasquale is a therapist who is trained in working with people who have experienced trauma. As is often the case, therapy (from the point of view of the therapist) is often self-discovery, and it is clear that Pasquale’s own work as a therapist–as well as a survivor of trauma herself–has informed her own healing as well as how she works with others to find the same. This book seems to come out of that work as well.

Pasquale’s writing is easy and accessible–especially the technical parts regarding trauma and how traumatic experiences affect our brains. She makes it less technical and more metaphorical in a way that is incredibly understandable. She then weaves in her own experiences of trauma in a way that the reader understands where she’s coming from but not in a way that is over the top or turns off the reader. Pasquale presented a self-developed (based on her experiences and the shared experiences of others) stage model for recovering and healing from trauma–based primarily on her own experience as opposed to tying the model to research. It is clear that the ways in which Pasquale integrated her experience of trauma with a variety of contemplative and faith-based practices was instrumental in her ability to move forward.

Beyond the primary subject of the book, the thing I appreciated most were Pasquale’s statements about being a wounded healer and the reminder that “we cannot repair in others what hasn’t been repaired in ourselves.” However, when those broken places are mended, we have a gift that can be made available to others–the gift of understanding what it’s like to sit in that lonely, dark place and being able to articulate the experience for others in a way that makes sense…and often assures them that they are not crazy.

Although I have not experienced trauma to a level that leaves me experiencing the disorder that is associated with it, the parts of this book that resonated with me included the ways in which a person integrates faith into the healing process and the ways in which we can take the lessons we’ve learned in our own healing processes and give those away to others.

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Note: Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.