Can I invite you into my life a little? Can I be vulnerable enough to show you my imperfection, to let down the veil? I want you to know me and I want to be real with you. I’m looking around and seeing a lot of young writers coming into their own. And I am jealous. I realize I am not at the beginning of my life anymore. It’s well more than half over. What have I been doing with the limited number of days I was given? Wasting time? I have done that. I have wasted a lot of time being stuck in old issues that I didn’t even know I was stuck in. I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to get past those issues once I realized they were there. I’ve wasted a lot of time being afraid of my own power and hating the real me.

What really pisses me off though, is that after I’ve done all the hard work of getting better, I still have days when I am not better. When I sink back into all the shit and feel like shit and get panicky when I see my reflection and I don’t know what to do about it. When I’m sitting here holding my breath because it’s scary to breathe and let the planet in. I get afraid that maybe I’ll be stuck like this now; the healing part was all just a fantasy and this is the real life; I’m old and fat and if I don’t get Ebola the world economy is going to crash so either way I’m screwed.

But I can’t leave myself like this. I mean, I understand: there will be days that suck. Maybe sometimes weeks of suckage, when I want to crawl back into my hole and forget about words and people and love. But I can’t stay in this place anymore. I can’t live like this because I know better. I have to do more hard work. It might be even harder work than I’ve already done because the twin demons of muck and mire are trying with all their might to suck me back in; I’d caught them off guard before and slipped away from their grasp but they’re paying attention now and have vowed not to lose me again.

At times like this, when I am underwater, my feet sinking, holding my breath and foreseeing my death, it takes an act of will to look up to the surface and see the glow of light coming from the new places, the places where I was last month, last week, the places that seem so high and far away now. When I force myself to look to the new places, I can see God’s hand reaching for me; he’s there to lift me out. He’s telling me to stop listening to lies; he’s telling me to breathe; he’s telling me to let what is, just be. He’s telling me, once again, that I am safe and loved and whole.

Do I trust him? That is the question of the day.

Written by Tina Gasperson

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