One of the things that I determined to do after my “Um” post was to talk to someone about my angst.
Besides you, I mean.
I made an appointment to see a woman trained in Theophostic Ministry. “Theophostic” means “light of God,” and the difference between this method and traditional therapy is that, rather than having the counselor provide the insight, here the facilitator asks God to be the source of truth and healing.
In a nutshell, she (and God) are helping me deal with the lies in my life—which is to say, everything that I believe about myself that is not true.
Well, let me tell you. It’s working. I’ve seen this woman three times so far, and it’s been a long, hard, tear-filled process. After the second session I did not want to go back, but thanks to a hardy nudge from my husband, I did. How did he know that the third meeting would be the charm?
Together we visited a painful memory, and she showed me—in prayer—that Jesus was there. When times are darkest, when life is hardest, Our Lord is there to love us. Anxiety and doubt are not His will for me! It wasn’t then, and it isn’t now.
Needless to say, this was a very helpful realization.
One of the most unexpected perks of this process, I’m finding, is that it’s helping me to be a better parent. In visiting my earliest memories, I am learning all over again what it’s like to be small and vulnerable and head-over-heels in love with your mama and your papa. These little hearts are so very tender, so prone to be hurt by a word spoken carelessly or an angry glance sent their way.
I forget, sometimes, how deeply felt are our reprimands.
Here’s an example. I realized, during the last session, that I have been particularly hard on one of my children. This little lovey has a bad habit, you see, of picking his/her nose and then putting said finger straightaway into his/her mouth. It’s hard to watch, and I have—in the past—let this child know in no uncertain terms that this habit is unsavory.
Which it is, but do I need to be freaking out about it?
I realized that this little person has a nervous habit. I realized that my sharp reproaches were doing nothing to help this little person’s nerves. And I realized that I was not loving unconditionally.
So here’s what I did.
My sessions are held in the same building as a Caribou Coffee. Providence? You betcha! On the way out I stopped for a decaf (with an inch of the real stuff to get me by) and I saw, on the counter, a display filled with fluffy little caribou. (The animal kind, not the roasted bean variety.)
I purchased one for this child of mine. When I got home, it was bedtime—the perfect time for making deposits in one’s emotional bank account, by the way—and we sat on the bed, just my lovey and me, and I apologized for being so hard on him/her. “I am proud of you for trying so hard not to pick,” I said, “And I am sorry for making you feel bad about it.”
My little one listened intently, stroking the fur on the small, stuffed caribou.
“Everyone picks their nose,” I added with a smile. “We just try to do so in private.”
This new little bedtime buddy has since become a favorite among all my children. Most of all, I hope, it is a reminder of Momma’s love to the one that needed this reminder the most.
I’ve talked enough for now. Have a blessed day and remember that you, too, are loved deeply.
Ad Jesum per Mariam,