When she asked me to invite Jesus into it, I felt that while I wasn’t ready for Him to be in the room with me. In my mind’s eye, Jesus came in and put a fuzzy green shawl around my shoulders while I sat in the chair. The shawl was a reminder of His presence, and it was comforting.
While there in that visualization, with that shawl, I worked on my feelings. I’ve been working on this for days. I returned to it again and again, refusing to turn aside. I was trying not to obsess about it because that isn’t healthy either. Just like with yoga, it is important to have rest periods in this work. As the composer Claude Debussy said, “Music is the space between the notes.” We need space in order to hear what is really there.
When I started drawing the room, I felt that it needed something extra. I was wary of putting too much in it. If I clutter it up with tools or toys then I’m being distracted from the work at hand. Often it is so easy to use noise and activity as an escape from being by ourselves. There is a lot of fear of silence in our society. We don’t like to be alone with our thoughts. This room needed to be quiet and clear so I can process this feeling.
When I was thinking about it, trying to remember what events made me feel abandoned, I felt that I had to draw a rug under the chair. While I was drawing it, the events came to me. While inviting Jesus in, I started to see things more clearly. I wasn’t ready to process this years ago. I’d put a wall around it because I wasn’t strong enough to deal with it. I don’t feel like I’m ready yet either, but I think that is normal. There are a lot of things that God calls me to that I don’t think I’m ready for.
One of the biggest things I realized was that I was taught shame about my body, and of being female, by my mother. Ignorance was masked by fear, which lead to more ignorance and fear. The body was always to be completely covered, and normal things like periods were embarrassments. Necklines were always high, and bras were always padded so no nipple showed. I learned about the mechanics of sex from a library book, not her. I learned about how to deal with periods by accident, because she never prepared me. I was taught that bodies and how they worked were disgusting, shameful, wrong.
Were you taught similar body-shaming by a parent? Invite Jesus into that feeling so you can heal. He wants you to know that your body is a gift to you from God, and God doesn’t make mistakes.