“Breathing is the process that moves air in and out of the lungs, or the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the external environment into and out of the blood through other respiratory organs such as gills. For organisms with lungs, breathing is also called pulmonary ventilation, which consists of inhalation (breathing in) and exhalation (breathing out). Breathing is one part of physiological respiration required to sustain life.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breathing)
Yes, I googled breathing and I liked the Wiki description. I took an acting workshop a couple of weeks ago and was absolutely amazed that the theme the instructor was teaching us was authenticity. It was woven through everything he was telling us. People respond to authenticity, to realness. Especially in acting. Apparently folks don’t want to know you are actually acting 😉 People respond to authenticity. Anyone can act but not everyone can be good at. Not everyone can be real. I was blown away by his message and the way it paralleled what I have been learning on my journey to rediscovery. It was pretty shocking and when I got out of the class I felt heavy-hearted and overwhelmed and inspired and amazed that God used this teacher to continue to help me in my journey to authentic, transparent, real living. The next day I went to another class of his. It was Voice for the Actor and again he spoke about things that hit the core of what I have been discovering about myself. This time is was emotional blocks and how they stick with you unless you work them out and again more about authenticity. I mean I seriously could have listened to this man talk for hours, he really is a brilliant teacher. Anyway toward the end of class we did a breathing exercise. I didn’t realize how uncomfortable I was in my body until I did this. It was like I was standing in the room completely naked, totally exposed and all I was asked to do was to breathe. I couldn’t get comfortable, I couldn’t relax. I couldn’t just breathe. I wanted to cry I was so embarrassed that I was unable to just breathe normally.
I drove home that night listening to music the entire two-hour drive wishing that I could figure out a way to come to Asheville every week and take these classes. Mostly I was thinking how much it bothered me that I couldn’t breathe without feeling like their was a 50 pound weight on my chest. One I couldn’t swallow down regardless of what I did. In my counseling session the following week I was talking about it and my counselor suggested that I seemed anxious. I left thinking about it and then like every human I googled anxiety and started reading about it and then I started crying because I realized sure enough that these were “symptoms” I had been dealing with for longer than I could remember. Then that upset me. I was having anxiety about my anxiety. I was so deeply bothered by this and I couldn’t figure out why…so I went and saw my counselor again. Side note, I had no desire to go twice in one week because I a) didn’t want her to think I was crazy and b) well there is no b. I had this preconceived idea that counseling was for crazy people. I realize how judgmental this is. I realize that I am also very judgmental. Trying to work my way out of that. Ever since I started going to counseling I have realized just how not perfect I am, just how deeply I have lied to myself about my so-called perfect life and that I have a tendency to completely hide and stuff how I am feeling. It’s not wise and it’s not safe and facing it has been absolutely terrifying. Anyway…I am thankful I went again because I have been able to scratch the surface away to start to uncover and heal and work through my emotional baggage. I am learning to how be emotionally healthy and it has been an incredibly difficult few months trying to face myself.
I have never liked silence. I have never liked to “Be still.” I haven’t ever really like the scripture, “Be still and know that I am God…- Psalm 46:10” I liked the know that I am God part, just not the be still. That requires silence and silence is deafening and suffocating and to loud. It forces and requires me to focus on what I try to run from. This whole journey to authentic living, to being vulnerable, to be real is difficult. I would rather crawl in a hole and sleep. To lay your heart out and be honest is to risk getting hurt or to try and uncover things that have wounded you is scary and painful. I just am tired of running away. I want to hurry up and be better. I want to face things head on even if they are painful and really the first step was my first blog post. That was horrifying. Thank you for reading it, thank you for encouraging me. That was a huge step for me. I was so thankful for your support, your comments. To bring something ugly into the light meant it didn’t have power over me anymore. I am grateful. I am on to that next step of making sure I continue to journey forward, it’s hard and I am trying to learn to breathe without having to think about it. I am trying to learn how to just be. To be me, to exist and be present and real and me.
I am in the process of figuring out who I am all over again. For now I know these things about myself and I am sure as I continue on my journey of healing and self awareness I will learn more about who I am growing to be. I am a single mother to the most beautiful little boy I have ever seen. I have a wonderful family of strong determined women who have poured into me and built strength and courage that I didn’t know I possessed. I love to travel and explore and discover new places. Pink is my favorite color, unashamedly, pink and sparkles. I am strong, stronger than I give myself credit for. I am who I am by the grace of God, He has blessed me abundantly and far more than I deserve. I have a heart for people and my goal in writing is to encourage them to seek God not only when they have everything cleaned up and figured out but to know and reassure them that they can come to God in the middle of their mess, the broken and their yuck. He is waiting with arms tenderly wide open willing to embrace whatever mess you are in the middle of.