I (Christina) was a screamer and a pleader. A confronter. A cajoler. And a whiner. More often than not I knew I was right in an argument. And even in the few times I was probably wrong the whole house and I am sure the neighbors too, heard me plead my case to my kids or husband. I was an angry mom and wife for a while. I was “That Mom”, but all behind closed doors. In my house I felt like a superhero, able to stop an argument with my mighty yell at every infraction, small and innocent or big and damaging. I had the lung capacity to bark orders, file complaints and dish out punishments ad nauseam and until I was tuned out or spat upon with equally hurtful words and tones by my eldest son.
I was a storm that swirled about the house damaging more in my wake than what was already done by my kids and husband. Instead of twirling in joy and love as the dainty dancer I was trained to be I just spun myself silly, boring into a deep hole of regret.
I was following an old script. It was a script written in anger and fear and pain, penned by those whom have hurt me in my past. Those hurts, though many not fully remembered but completely felt, inked their indelible tattoo on me, the script I tended to follow.
More often than not I am a tender hearted person with kindness in my eyes and a soft smile. But under the comfortable cloak of marriage I found it increasingly easier over the years to voice my opinions louder and louder and meaner and meaner, all without trying to be spiteful and nasty on purpose. Though trying not to be mean while I am being mean adds up to nothing. Mean is just mean despite internal motivation.
This was my old script; the bite back when I felt unheard, the sting of a sharp comment, the one-two punch retort in retaliation and the guttural remorse afterward.
The bite and sting, punch nor remorse never once changed anything, though, it always seemed it would in my hurt and angry mind. Well, that’s not totally true. Everyone in the house changed, but never for the better.
No one ever had a moment of enlightenment or a come-to-Jesus moment because I yelled and stormed around. No one ever came to me ready and willing to change their behaviors because of the havoc I would wreak.
Until I was the one who came to me. I was the one who had to confront myself about my behaviors and my choices. I was the one who had to take the next step forward to change.
Through a series of circumstances I began changing my old, angry script. By choice I spent a year in a biblically based 12 Step program. For two and a half years I co-lead a recovery program for teens. Both of these gave me a clearer understanding of my past and thus helped me carve the way toward a healthier future. Holiday season tends to be a tougher time for me than the rest of the year. Now with my husband emotionally on my side I started back into therapy in November 2015. For three months I focused on the issues that plagued me. It was short but it was beneficial in allowing me to further work on my issues one on one (just me and my therapist) and it lead to the next stage of my life. I now take my son to therapy and we are currently walking through how my bad choices affect him and his bad choices. As all of these life situations and stages occurred and then began to bleed into each other, transformations in me and my family began to bloom.
Over the past three, maybe four weeks, I feel like a switch has been flipped on. I have been finding the joy in each day more consistently instead of being overwhelmed by tiny, yet cumulative frustrations. I have begun to feel more in control of my tone of voice and I know that anger is just an emotion, and like all the other emotions it too will pass. Knowing anger, just like excitement, pleasure, sadness, pain or depression will pass gives me a visual to hold on to. That visual shines a light as the end of the tunnel where God stands arms wide open.
I have a stronger sense of calm deep in me, a sense of order, organization, and relationship instead of destruction, timidity and isolation.
Everyone wants everyone else to subscribe to their brand of health, whether it be the latest fad on Dr. Oz, the newest book that swore promises that might actually work, or even posts on a crazy blog about a couple who went on an 850 night sex streak (and still counting). But what all our good intentions fail to make note of when we are trying to convince our family, friends and co-workers, neighbors and Facebook followers, is that what worked for you probably won’t work for someone else, maybe not even anyone else.
So why do we read all the books and watch all the daytime T.V., infomercials and YouTube posts professing health, well-being and life perfected if underneath we really know it probably won’t work for us and our specific needs?
Because we all want to feel optimal, we all want our slice of heaven on earth often times at any cost, even if that cost is our sanity or soul.
We are looking for that one take away that resonates with us, our Ah-ha moment, and our key that unlocks us from the bondage our life choices have put us in.
On the flip side are the writers, the producers, and the gurus who are out writing, creating and professing ways to reach you, the seeker. We (writers, etc.) aim our outstretched arm wanting someone to take hold of our hand and join our brand of health.
Because our brand worked for us and we want to share it. But we know it won’t work for everyone so we write and create and teach so someone, anyone may catch a glimpse of the healthy life they seek. So they too, will take one more step forward in the story of their lives.
I am a seeker and a teacher, constantly on the look-out for the next best move for me to take all the while attempting to implement or weed through and toss out that which doesn’t work. I take the steps forward, two step forward and one step back, all because I am desperate to change my old script to a new one.
The old script, though tried, it falls so short of being true. It was a script that I thought worked, and perhaps in each moment it did. But gathered together as a whole, the play my family and I were in was headed toward pure tragedy without the balance of comedy.
The new script coming from my mouth is more clean, more pure, more of Christ and less of me; change only possible because of my creator and because He loved me first. I figured it was about time to show Him just how much I love Him back, just as I always have but was not always showing. But you know actions speak louder than words and now it is the time to take action instead of only professing from my lonely mountain top.