waking the dragon

I’m reading Tears to Triumph by my favorite spiritual author, Marianne Williamson. If you’ve not read her before and you want more than just spiritual platitudes, her books are worth exploring. She writes of a closeness to God that goes beyond what most authors I’ve read and some of the stuff she writes is beyond me – at least for now.

In this book, Ms Williamson focuses on depression and the accompanying drugs that physicians prescribe versus spiritual healing. I have been on Zoloft for at least 25 years – from minimal doses to higher ones (usually it’s me upping my own dose) – and now I am beginning to reconsider. Oh, I’m not going off it cold turkey – that would be stupid – my brain is used to it and if I ultimately chose to go off, I would do so with my doctor’s assistance.

The reason I’m reconsidering is my own desperation to stay on it. When I’m on Zoloft I am in a consistently better mood, I sleep better, my emotions are more stable and life is better. I still have sad and frustrating days but they are short-lived and I move on. When I’ve forgotten to get the prescription filled (how can I forget to get a refill for a med I’ve been taking for 25+ years? I don’t know but I do!) the changes are immediate for me. Okay, maybe some changes are psychosomatic, but they are nonetheless very real and scary.

The first symptom for me is tears – I cry at anything – ads on TV, what people say to me, and so forth. Then comes the rage – it surfaces like a long asleep dragon being woke from a slumber of a thousand years. After that come the dreams – intense, vivid and remembered well after I wake up. All that emotion is scary and I don’t like to feel it.

At first glance, it seems like I need some serious therapy. But I have had therapy – over 12 years of it in my 20s, 30s and 40s. I don’t want any more therapy. What I want – and need – is spiritual healing.

God is ready, willing and able to heal the wounds inside me – inside spiritual me – wounds that only He can heal. Man has done his job – therapy worked well for me and I would never discount the use of antidepressants.

But, I believe for my continued spiritual growth, I need to rethink this whole Pablum-thing for what are spiritual wounds, not psychological ones.

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Compassion, Mercy and Doubts

I’ve been away – this time, not from God, but from the blogging world. And I am only just now beginning to want to blog again. I suppose I needed a break – but maybe it was more that my attention has been diverted.

There was a time when to not blog every single day would have driven me absolutely crazy and filled me with soul-crushing anger for not being the perfect blogger.

But through God’s grace and mercy – and through life’s sucky circumstances – I have learned to be more merciful and gentle with myself. I have learned to have compassion for me.

I know that sounds a little weird – having compassion for myself – but if I cannot love and forgive myself for my failings, how can I even begin to expect to love and forgive everyone else for theirs?

As humans, we all struggle with the basics – love and faith in an Unseen God and love and faith in ourselves to be true to who God created us to be. I have believed in the Unseen God since I was a very young child and even today I still feel, as I did in that singular moment, the whisper of His wings about my shoulders.

And yet – despite knowing that I know that I know that I know the existence of a loving God, I still doubt not only His existence but His love and mercy for me. Why? Why do I still doubt? And that is a question I have struggled with for-it-seems-like-ever.

I’ve decided that the reason I continue to doubt God is because I am as God created me to be – human. And as a created human being I am filled to overflowing with conflicting emotions, doubt, and faith which I am learning is just fine. Were it not for the doubts I would not turn around and go looking for God. And if I look for Him, He will be found by me.

Jeremiah 29:13-14 – You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.  ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD.

So, in this light, having doubts is a good thing.

I may not like myself very much when I am doubting, but I am learning to have compassion for me, as God has compassion for me, just as He has compassion for all people, everywhere. And, if He has compassion for everyone else, then, I, too, am learning this compassion-thing for everyone. It’s not easy, but with His grace and mercy I will dig deep and find the strength to move forward.

 

 

 

Ave Maria

Ave Maria! maiden mild!
Listen to a maiden’s prayer!
Thou canst hear though from the wild;
Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
Though banish’d, outcast and reviled –
Maiden! hear a maiden’s prayer;
Mother, hear a suppliant child!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! undefiled!
The flinty couch we now must share
Shall seem with down of eider piled,
If thy protection hover there.
The murky cavern’s heavy air
Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled;
Then, Maiden! hear a maiden’s prayer,
Mother, list a suppliant child!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! stainless styled.
Foul demons of the earth and air,
From this their wonted haunt exiled,
Shall flee before thy presence fair.
We bow us to our lot of care,
Beneath thy guidance reconciled;
Hear for a maid a maiden’s prayer,
And for a father hear a child!
Ave Maria!

 

“Hymn to the Virgin” by Sir Walter Scott; It was later translated into German/Latin and set to music by Schubert.

Please visit THIS Wikipedia page for more information.
I found this version, as sung by Celine Dion and loved it.