Monday, May 31, 2010

A Safe Place

Several months ago, as I was reading The Shack and dealing once again with my shame, it suddenly dawned on me that I was not a mistake. There was nothing wrong with me. As I stumbled upon the truth (once again), I was overcome with an unbelievable peace.

"There is nothing wrong with me!"

That is really not true on the every day level, but I meant it from the sense of my being-ness. I am who I am and there is nothing wrong with me as a person. I have always believed there was a critical flaw in my "being". I was mistake. "There is something wrong with me," has rung throughout my head whenever conflict in life found me.

Abuse left the branding seal on that lie. I have dealt with layer beneath layer of this false belief as I journeyed to the truth. What I have found in the truth is an amazing home inside of me where I am safe. I practice living in and out of this safe place. I invite the Holy Spirit to dwell there with me. And, I have found that my own brain can betray me and steal from me the safe retreat.

My mind has always created its own make believe world where I could find comfort, but it wasn't real and it lasted only as long of the imaginings. As I filled my dreams with being wanted by a man in leadership, someone looked up to and respected; my dopamine centers flooded me with comfort. My illicit thought life became my drug of choice.

I enjoyed my new found peace. Then life assaulted. Finding myself in a period of elevated anxiety, I leaned back into the dopamine filled fixes; only to discover that the make believe took from me the true safe place within me. I felt guilty for the thoughts that once again included my therapist. I tried to walk away from them but I hungered for the fix. I found it almost impossible to not return to my dream world even though I knew it was empty and just left me longing for more. I knew this internal battle was the battle of my life.
I shared my thoughts with my therapist. Stephen helped me to see that my make believe lives have been my way of coping with the internal anxiety, anxiety built upon the belief that there is something wrong with me. As I sought what I believed I needed, the dopamine centers in my brain released the fix. Comfort. So when comfort was not found in life and the infants internal axiety roared, I sought the fix.
"You will see the truth and the truth will set you free." Once again freedom comes with truth. Seeing it all as a chemical addiction has helped me walk away from the false and into the reality of my true self.