2

Restless Hearts Anonymous

Like a pendulum, the heart swings from calm to joyful to doubtful.

When I started this blog, its purpose was to build a platform for myself as an author, and that hasn’t changed. But I also want to use what I have experienced to help current and future readers to find a place here at The Broken Tea Cup Blog. In the last year, I have felt the Lord wanting me to speak more about living authentically. Not following the tide of the trends, but truly searching for the uniqueness of who I am, and who you are. Stripping away all that is fake, and coming to terms with you. For all of us to dare to take this road, it is not for the weary, for it will take us down paths we never thought possible.

So each post, I have tried to show I am living authentically, though I know I am still questioning what does that really mean to me. How can I best bring you on my journey, so that you will keep coming back?

So I tried to write a post ALL this week, and nothing was working. I did word association, I journaled, and I talked it out (in my head) as I cleaned my client homes. NOT A THING came to mind that would help. Ugh.

It wasn’t until yesterday that it hit me that I am feeling restless – well my heart is feeling restless. I honestly don’t know what this means. Is my heart bored? Is it needing a holiday? I am in a spot where I don’t really know where to turn to next. Yes, this is the time for prayer, but what happens when I don’t hear Him? Do I fill in the answer in the empty spaces in front of me?

I think I am needing a bit of honesty here.

Maybe I could start Restless Hearts Anonymous….

Maybe they’ll give me my own Wikipedia page about how the Restless Hearts Anonymous started, about its steps, how successful it’s gone on to be. I will be famous. Wow. But I am simply the girl who likes to stay hidden in the background so this could be a problem.

Would you join me in this new movement? I know I am not the only one who has a restless heart.

And I promise pulling the roots of your hair out will not be part of 12 steps to a restful heart.

2

React or Respond

 

When you can’t put your prayer into words, God hears your heart.

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On Wednesday of this week, I got an email from Eddie Bauer, informing that they were giving me a gift card for $30 since it’s been a while since I’ve bought from them. They claim to miss me! I haven’t bought any clothes in over a year, I like clothes, but I always buy way more books and food than I do clothes. For Christmas, my Mom gave me a $40 gift card for a local and very popular second-hand store, St. Vincent du Paul. Most people would probably agree with me when I say their selection and prices are better than Value Village. I am at the point where I really don’t like the clothes I wear. Maybe, I should go to the trouble of printing off this coupon at the library because I don’t have a printer or a mobile phone.

I haven’t found a perfect way to express what may burst into my life, but I’m realizing this is somehow linked to who I am. I am taking off the layers that cover the core of who I am.

Learning who I am

Just when it seems that I am doing pretty good, Lent and spring allergies pop up, like I haven’t experienced in years.

I want to be who I am all the time, but by not eating refined sugar it’s brought up anger that I didn’t think were still there and a situation I tried to push away. Even though I know that life isn’t perfect, I think I expected it to be, and I feel as I am waiting for it to happen. My invisible feathers get all huffed up when someone isn’t as kind or respectful as I would like, but who I am to determine whether I get kindness or respect. Instead, I am being nudged to be the one to show kindness and smiling when I am all out of playing nice with other people.

All of my struggles all of a sudden are magnified a hundred times. This isn’t what living an authentic life is supposed to be. – right?

The Real Deal

I want the real, unrefined, not going to slip through my fingers kind of life. I don’t want a processed life, so instead of a cheap version, it will be filled with the wholeness of who I am. I have this image of me running in an open field but I don’t know my destination. Becoming who I was created to be will not happen overnight. I grew up believing that I would know everything when I was in my twenties, but I don’t know where that belief came from. Becoming an adult hasn’t given me all of the freedom I sought as a little girl. Instead, I think I am realizing that it’s possible, but it may take some time, probably my entire life! But if I can get glimpses of what it looks like, I can keep going back to the map that’s imprinted on my heart.

 

 

 

 

2

Confessing Your Heart

The associate priest at my parish dispenses the sacrament of Reconciliation, or better known as confession every second Saturday. He’s been pastoring at my parish for almost three years, normally it’s two years for the new priests, but sometimes they stay longer like three or four years. I was taught that it’s good to have a regular confessor to regularly hear your sins so the priest might be able to see certain paths that cause you to commit a particular sin. So when I go to confession, I make sure it’s the week that Fr. Bryan is celebrating Mass, which means he will be in the confessional from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., Saturday afternoon.

Becoming acquainted with the language of your heart should be easy…right? Is riding a bicycle easy the first few times, not usually. I am trying to learn the ways of the heart, accepting what is in front of me and go! But sometimes I am left still watching everyone in front of me. Still trying to copy what they do, still not getting that the journey I am on is different. I might be similar, or have something in common with others.

Sometimes I don’t want to know what my heart or what the Lord wants of me. Inside of me, something is not right. Fear has leaked in, mixing in with peace and love. The tips of my toes wobble back and forth as something is played out in my mind. Am I ready to run or am I steady with courage?

What stops me from running the race?

Not knowing the end result even though it’s the depth of the journey that matters the most. In many ways, the destination doesn’t exist outside of a place to rest in His plan. Sometimes, it’s the running that makes me aware that I can talk about, and that I need to talk about why I keep my heart in seclusion. The language of your heart wants to live out loud, not in darkness or in anger.

I kneel on the one side of the grille, and the priest is on the other side. Most won’t look at you, but once I have listed the sins I remember committing, I will pick a ‘sin’ to discuss. There is no life, no fresh air in what I talk about. I am held back by doubts, fears, unknowns, and other people’s judgments on themselves. Maybe it is a judgment on myself, but the other is more likely acting something out that was planted in their life, long before you enter into it. Yes, I need to take responsibility for what is my part, but I also must let go, of my anger to see my part, my place in what is called this present time.

There is no man on the other side of your heart but Jesus. In the secret places of our heart, we render to what is God’s. Nothing that I take is forever. I may stash away what I believe are parts of my heart, but nothing physically can claim the language that takes an area in the place that is only hinted at.

But what if you speak and no one hears you… I mean really hears your heart

Do it anyway. It’s like a dialect with different clicks, nuances, and tones. Keep speaking it until someone, a small group of intelligent individuals nods their heads in appreciation.

 

2

Love My Dad

Who you were, who you are and who you will be are three different people –  Author Unknown

 

Your identity is the most valuable part of you, but most of us, some of us have no idea what it is. Knowing who you are minus all the titles we play day in and day out can blur out the truth of your identity. Confusion is a big deterrent and a likely suspect in losing ourselves to the constant swirl of life.

~

As a little girl, I loved the feel of the cool green grass under my bare feet. I believe at the time that I had the biggest backyard than anyone I knew. I could hide in our tree house that existed out of weirdly shaped trees that bordered our property. In the summer, I would walk over the cracks in the cement in our backyard because I never knew for sure if stepping on them would break my Mothers back. Clothes hung on the clothesline overhead. I could go visit my (Hebrew for grandmother) Bubi anytime I wanted. I remember the sand stuck between my toes and ants crawling over the big peony buds right before they would bloom.

Fear that no one wanted me

Ever since I started this blog, I have used each post as a place for my healing. It has become a place where I have been able to share who I am without fear of rebuff of any kind. Finding my identity and claiming it has been a long process. From an early age, I have been shy, preferring to stay close to my Mom.  When I met Jesus, I became more aware of myself, and at times it was extremely painful. Slowly, I would surprise myself at how well I would speak to others. Over time, the shyness that I assumed was a part of me disappeared, as I would go to reach for it. It was my protection over what I felt I couldn’t control. From the world that I had a hard time processing through.

Shyness is a reaction to feeling rejection. This was at first confusing because as that little girl with the ash blonde hair I thought knew who I was. I believed that the shyness was a part of the package of my personality.

If we lived in a perfect world, I would be living my dream. I wanted to be loved. I didn’t know if I deserved it but it was this silent, persistent need that over time gave my credence of what I didn’t see as acceptance. You see I wanted my Dad to see me as a lovable little girl, but what I didn’t know at the time was he didn’t have the skills on how to fill my emotional needs.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I learned that daughters’ need their fathers love as much as we need oxygen to breathe. The extreme anxiety and depression that I struggled throughout my childhood through to my early 30’s. spoke volumes of how I tried to teach myself on how to handle my emotions.  I can’t breathe unless I know my father loves me unconditionally. It was the root. I really believed I was a terrible person.  Desperate, I was for my Dad to notice me. To take an active interest in who I was.

Before I go on, this is not a post to bash fathers because they are hurting too. Too many men are being pushed down, or believe it’s not good to be masculine and to be as they have been created.

As I have learned about all my parts, or at least the ones He has chosen to show me, I have had many aha moments. He has brought clarity into my being, and a peace that is everlasting. And get this! People really do like me.

Knowing who I am, the peace can flow into every part of my being

As a little girl, I desired for my Dad to notice me, to see me and pursue me. I wanted him to be interested in who I was, but as time went by, he did none of what of what was in my heart. So I did the only thing I knew and I began shutting down emotionally, mentally and physically. Instead, I sought out my Dad, I asked him about the rules of Canadian football, what and why he washed his car. Nothing I did got the attention I was desperate to have from him.

It took me a long time to realize I couldn’t change him, no matter how many times I initiated something with him. I had finally got it, that it had never been my job in first place. It was his job as my father to delight in me – as his daughter. To show me his love, protection, values, and everything that was important to him. I wanted to know who he was and is, but that part of his heart to me has never been opened to me.

My Dad is without the skills I need. I believe his own father didn’t give him what he needed as a boy growing up. His own feelings about his Dad (my grandfather) aren’t the memories that you hold close to your heart. Rather they are the kind that you push away, and you let everyone else teach you how to be a man. Yes, we need our parents, a mother and a father to show us how to be a man or woman –  learned from their parents. A family is about love, trust and passing it down because it is good to know that there is a place where all of us can truly belong and be accepted. There is no cost to join, we simply need to be the product of our parents love that is between them. I believe how we are brought up determines a lot of who we become. It guides our perception of the world, it certainly leads mine.

I speak with my Dad once a month, we chat for about 15 minutes on the usual things. I would love to go to visit him but that just doesn’t seem to be his thing.  Does my Dad love me? Yes. I have no doubt that he does, he kind of gives it away in the way his eyes shine and sparkle when he first sees me. This could be a whole other post because I know my heavenly father has and is filling me with what I lack.

I’m not the shy, scared, self-hating little girl with ash blond hair anymore. Nor am I am the girl who hid from her peers. I am not the awkward adult who didn’t feel that she was a full-grown adult and just a child in disguise. Don’t get me wrong there are still times, the child in me comes out and gives a sly smile at those around her, and allows some of them into her heart so that they can see for themselves that God still saves.

5

Artificial vs. Authenic

 

Since February 27th, I have not eaten any refined sugar.

I’ve gone off sugar before, but this time I’m doing because I think this is what He asks of me. Do I do everything He wants of me? Answer: It took me over a year to get to this point. So with two weeks under my belt, I am scouring all the whole eating cookbooks from my library. I don’t want to feel that I don’t have a good supply of recipes that are mainly plant-based (with some meat eating) food.

All my life my Mom has taught my sister and me on what to eat and what not. She bought unbleached flour in bulk from Health Food Stores where only the earth-loving people bought from. She was always looking for ways to eat healthier for herself and my sister and me.  My sister and I were fortunate because there are a lot of people who don’t know how to eat what’s good for your body.

If there is a theme to be had in my life, it is to be authentic

Not everyone is on the whole food bandwagon, but I wish they were because we swallow way too many pills. Most people don’t eat this way because they’re not convinced, or it’s too much work. Anything that is of quality, or has the ability is going to require work. Even though I can’t see the inside of my body, I am hoping in years to come, I will be able to experience the beauty that comes from eating a diet that aims at nourishing the inside of me.

When we think of taking care of ourselves, most of us think of facials, manicures, pedicures, massages, etc. But what about the inside?

I’ll admit myself here first; it’s laziness. There are all kinds of words that I could use on the majority of us. Few of us have experienced the kind of food our grandparents grew up on, which I believe was a lot healthier. We’re busy, and I am too, but what about choosing your busyness? Yep, we choose where and when we are busy. It’s easy to skimp on the healthier choice because it’s cheaper. It usually tastes good, and it’s simple to prepare, which (not always!) means it’s probably full of refined sugar.

It’s important that if you’re going to live authentically in any shape that you need to look at what kind of food you are putting into your temple. All the points I have spoken about in the past, echo with what kind of food you’re putting into your body. Why poison your body when it’s the one place where we come to union with Him. Why consume artificial ingredients when you can have the real thing.

When we put down our masks and take off our costumes, and the next level of wholeness can open up to us. Lately the Lord has been encouraging me to stand up for my needs, and in particular voicing them aloud. It’s something I was scared to do in the beginning, but I know who I am and who I am not. It becomes a burden that isn’t mine to shoulder when I know there is a practical answer. I watch people all around me and I wonder if they know who they are, and do they want to know. I feel as if I’ve been given a gift by going below the surface to understand who I am. There is so much to us if we would just take the time to seek Him. What is put in our body affects the spiritual part even though some would not admit that it does. We are called to be a good steward of our land and our resources, but are we being good stewards of our body?

 

4

Connecting

 

connecting

 

We’re all connected in some way.

I spoke about isolating myself in my last post, and how easy it is for me to do.  Obviously, that’s the opposite of connecting. It’s in the relationships in our lives that we heal and grow, and connecting is just a link to that. I was scared of having it all wrong. I didn’t see how I fit into the equation. I wanted to be liked for who I was, but I felt awkward. All the girls in my junior high-class had it all together. They wore clothes from stores like Ralph Lauren, Roots, Esprit and Benetton. Their fashion style seemed so effortless, and the best I could hope for was finding a knock-off, or a hand me down from one of these stores.

I know now that they were likely just as scared as I was, but appearances can play all kinds of mind games. I believed that it was easier not to connect, easier to push away relationships because that meant being real but this scared me. Pain can do funny things to you, and out of that pain, you operate differently. So I choose isolation and the loneliness that comes with it.

Just the symptoms

Some of us are better than others at connecting the dots, starting up social clubs, starting up relationships, and allowing ourselves to be seen rather than run away. Being social is a part of who we are as humans, it feeds something that is needed by all of us. Instead of finding a connection, we hide from being relational because at some point it was just easier to not show your heart.

These are all these starting points that block our way that leads the way to our potential, our worth, the beauty struggles inside of us, and trembles at the glimpse of His light. Instinctively, I knew I wasn’t supposed to hide, but fear is very good at pretending to be the problem. Distressed at the thought of being social limits everything that you are.

I still think you need to unearth the memories that your heart holds because we may want the same thing, but that desire will be expressed differently, accordingly to our uniqueness. As long as I isolated myself, I never allowed myself to dream, to wonder out loud about what I would love to do. I kept it inside, but I don’t know if I even knew how to connect with others. There were a couple of things that I think blocked me:

  • I felt rejected because I had first rejected myself
  • I didn’t believe I had anything to give
  • Belief of lies fed through the lack of connection and communication with others

I wanted to give because we all have something to give, but too often the lies from childhood and adolescence take a grip in our hearts. It’s easier than the truth because we’ve told ourselves that we aren’t worth the time, but we give willingly to others who steal what was never theirs in the first place. Don’t ever give up on making the kind of connection that you know you need. Healing can come in many forms.

When you realize that pieces of you are lying on the ground, it is then that connecting becomes a real possibility. When the pieces of your brokenness leave you feeling raw, it becomes more than just a piece of something you hold in the palm of your hand. Connecting with others will always be a fragile process, and it becomes harder as you get older, but it never becomes impossible.

 

 

 

7

Seeking Life

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What are you seeking in this life?

Is it beauty?

Is it authenticity?

Is it a relationship?

Is it more money?

Some of us have given up, at least that’s what we tell ourselves, but do we know why? I don’t know about you but I am still trying to seek the life I imagined when I was a little girl. Nothing is turning out the way I had planned it. And somehow it doesn’t seem fair because some people appear to have it all. What do they have what you don’t?

I have this card which I bought years ago, it is a picture of a golf course with an orange-yellow sunset in the background. I had it laminated because of the statement that is below.

 

“There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…pursue those.”

 

Still, this speaks to me because this is what it’s all about, it’s about finding out what holds your heart and drives you to a place you never thought or even hoped could be possible.

Isolation is my default. I’m happy with a few friends, and I don’t want to be the centre of attention, but ‘people’ still worry about my lack of friends. I love spending time alone in my apartment after a long day of work. I’ve done all the socializing that I can handle for the day. Yet it doesn’t seem to be enough for others. Why do others seem to think if I only have a few friends that it just isn’t enough for them? And it is about them.

Yes, isolation has been a problem and became a safe place for me when I was being bullied in school. It is was also a place where I volunteered to belittle myself because I just couldn’t seem to meet my peer’s expectations of me. Their beliefs became mine, and I struggled to conform myself to their ideals, but I convinced myself somehow that they were right to have the assumptions they had of me.

It’s Easy to Get Sidetracked

Getting back out has shown me that often the people who may be well-meaning don’t necessarily have your best interest at heart because if they did they wouldn’t question what they think you lack. It’s not a want the way they may see it.

I’ve always wanted to live a life of passion, and not in the literal sense of being the typical writer living in poverty. I want to live out my desire as in, actively seeking to follow my heart’s song. What do I most enjoy doing despite everything else that is considered necessary? What do I do when I am supposed to be doing something I don’t particularly like? I want to stay in the sunset that is part of the golf course that’s calling to me. The color of the sunset is the eye of the passion, of your desire, and if you cultivate it – it will grow.

So then, no boasting about human leaders, all things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollo or Cephas or the world or life on death or present or the future all are yours and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

                                                                                                                                                      1Corinthians 3:21-23

This life of seeking is full of fear, excitement, doubt and hope. There doesn’t have to be a deadline of what you can accomplish, it doesn’t have to stop because you’ve turned a certain age. When it comes to what kind of potential do you have, it can be limitless because all of our desires are in Christ, who is of God. People die, flowers will wilt away, but life, a life lived in Christ never dies.