Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cosmetics Only Cover So Much

Hi Dear Friends. I guess I kind of fell off the face of the cyber world the last week and a half. It's been a busy, and tiresome 2 weeks. We've been making costumes, visiting family, visiting friends, going to a movie, working, walk a thons, church events, and let me tell you I'm pooped. My illness gives me very little room for activity, and the last 2 weeks I've been running on empty. Which is not good for me. It causes me to sleep entire days away, and I've done that for 3 1/2 days over the last 2 weeks. I've also caught a bit of a cold, which is no good since the average cold takes me around 5 weeks to get over because of my medicines.

So here it is Thursday afternoon, I'm home and I've been going over and over again about the weeks Yes To God study which I normally post on Weds. So we are up to chapter 6 and 7 this week in Lisa's book Behind Those Eyes. Lelia and Lisa thought we should combine them because they work together. So Chapter 6 is Cosmetics for the Soul and Chapter 7 is The Feelings We Conceal. (deep sigh) If you want to read more posts or know more about the study click on the Yes To God icon in my side bar. If you want to know more about the author click on the book in my side bar.


So you may have noticed a slight alteration of the cover in my post. Sorry Lisa had to do it. I actually took this picture for my photo blog, as a picture of one of my favorite books. The picture next to it is me. Yep me at 19 years old in 1983. They were from my modeling days, and it was a shoot for jeans of some sort. Anyway the photographer took this close up for me for my portfolio. I found it while cleaning out my scrapbook room right around the time we started the study. So why included it here, well it was something my daughter Brinn said about the picture when she saw it. She asked me who it was, I said you can't tell. She studied it a bit longer and she said is it you? Yes I said I was 19. She said I don't like it mommy it scares me, you look angry, mean, and a kinda sad. I said you see all that in this picture, she said mommy it's your eyes, your eyes don't look like that anymore, they look happy now. All that from a 9 year old.
I told her that I didn't know Jesus then, and that was a part of my life that was very empty. That's why my eyes look that way. In Chapter 6 Lisa writes, "How may of us are trying to cover up or broken souls? We do this so others will see on the outside what we want them to see." I've been struggling with this lesson, because I keep going back to a place of great sorrow in my life, and when I do I just don't want to go there, but God wouldn't let me quiet the memory this time. That's what usually happens when He wants me to share it.
Cosmetics to the soul is just like putting on your make up before you leave the house. You cover up your flaws and enhance your best features so people will be drawn to see what is your best feature and hopefully not see the flaws. The more experienced you get at applying the makeup the better you get at covering the flaws and scars.
Concealing our souls we guard our hearts not letting anyone get to close to see what's inside or to keep it from being hurt. Impersonating is just pretending to be something to fit where you are at the time, at school your the loving and together mom, work your the super employee, church your Ms. Spirituality, the conversations are surface oriented never letting people past your facade. But at home alone you have to deal with the concealing of the soul, and that for me is done in what I call the dark night of the soul. When your all alone and it's just you and God.
Lisa asked us if we have had our emotional identity robbed, and to tell the story. So here goes. I've shared with you all that my dad died when I was 12. When daddy died my whole world changed. I was closest to my dad I wanted to be around him all the time. Daddy's little girl. I sat at his work bench at the shop we owned, went with him to the dump, sat on his lap at home, I just liked being with my dad.
Dad died of a heart attack while in the hospital for some tests. He was sick but I didn't really understand what that was. He'd gone in on a Thursday to see the doctor, and because of the military hospital visitation restrictions they had to get permission for me to see him because I was under 14. By the time the permission came it was Sunday, and Dad died while we were on our way to the hospital. I remember having a poem I'd written him that told him how much I loved him, but I never got to give it to him. I never saw my dad again. The rest of the night was a blur. It seemed like it went on forever, people coming to the hospital and then getting home people were there. I remember locking myself in my room only letting my cousin Darcy in, she'd lost her dad in 3rd grade. Then late that night after everyone was gone, I heard deep sorrowful cries, I came out of my room and found my older brother he was 23 sobbing while sitting in my dad's chair. I climbed into his lap, and we both sobbed, that's when I knew Daddy wasn't coming home.
After that night I didn't know what to do with the emotion, I was sad, mad, empty, and felt very alone. I went back to school after a week (I was in 7th grade) and kids would ask me where I was. I tell them my dad died so I didn't come to school in a very detached robotic way. No one asked anything more, no teachers asked anything. This was not an after school special with the caring teacher that took you aside, life just continued. My cousin Darcy knew, but how do two 12 year old girls explain it, it was more of this unspoken understanding. How do you talk about something you don't understand.
So you learn to conceal the emotions and lock away the pain, letting everyone think your okay, your strong. Don't look back, because it's still to painful even 31 years later. The identity of a family whole and complete gone. Over the next couple years life changed dramatically, my mom went from spending all her time at our store and spending the evenings with me to having a boyfriend, and never being home at all. By the time I was 14 I was raising myself, my brother's and sisters all married and living away from home, I was on my own. I felt forgotten and unwanted. Terribly insecure, and jealous of the people who had a dad, and starting to look for ways to fill that missing piece.
My ability to cover my pain and insecurities is lightening fast. I have perfected it as I have learned to apply my makeup, I can cover my flaws and distract people with my positive features so they don't see my negative.
In chapter 7 The Feelings We Conceal, Lisa talks about the feelings of ugly that we hide. Feelings such as insecurity, jealousy, loneliness, and fear, and how they play out in our lives.
Lisa writes "All of us have had moments of insecurity some lasting longer than others and of varying degrees. Women are insecure over our bodies, our abilities, our mothering, our relationships with our husbands, our reputations in the church, and our standings in the community. It is really no small wonder as to why we try to cover up our insecurities. "
So as I went through these two chapters (well actually all the chapters) God kept leading me back to this place in my heart as the beginning of learning to conceal. From that point in my life I learn to I guard my heart and emotions.
From this place I've created loneliness, not letting people to deeply in, and then when having done so I'd find myself hurt, or hurting someone else. I know now that Satan spins these lies over and over in my head, of me not being good enough, smart enough, they have a better life than you, they wouldn't like you. These are the lies that God is now telling me aren't true. But I had to trust and believe in Him and His love for me before I can let others in.
My life and where I am today is a result of the building up and covering up of these emotions for years. The hard part is to start letting them out. So I'm brought to Ephesians once again, the place God always leads me in my deep despair to remind me of his love for me. This verse "But because of his great love for us, God , who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead i transgressions - it is by grace you have bee saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2: 4-7
In Chapter 7 Lisa asked us: How much of your life have you spent trying to conceal things from others? I choose Most of it. Then she asked: How has insecurity manifested it self in your life? It has manifested in the starting and never finishing of schooling, jealousy in relationships, lack of trusting friends and others, feeling of being unwanted or a burden to people, and ending relationships to prevent myself from being hurt. Do others see you as insecure, or do you think you hide it well? For the most part people find me to be self confident, but I don't believe they would label me insecure, I do hide it well, I know how to play the game and manipulate situations so I don't come out looking insecure. I can only think of 2 or 3 people that can see past my cover. I'm just tired oh so tire of being that way.
What is the most painful feeling for you to conceal? I am lonely. Why? Not because I have a lonely empty life, I'm lonely for a close girlfriend. Don't get me wrong my husband is wonderful, he's caring, loving, giving, and we are very close. He's not a girlfriend though. Lisa said this: "We tend to wrongly believe that if we could just get married, our significant other can and will be our all and everything. And sadly, many married women treat their husbands as we do an order of bottomless chips at our favorite restaurant, asking him to continue to fill us up when we are empty." It's been a long time since I had a best girl friend, one I can confide and tell things to and not worry about whether she'll still care about me or like me. I miss that and I pray for it.
I'm sorry this has been a long post, and I have to tell you an emotionally draining one. So I'm going to leave you with this prayer that I found when I was in the grips of the feelings of rejection and inferiority after discovering Brett's addiction to pornography. I found this on an Internet forum dealing with spouses of addiction:
Jesus, I acknowledge you as my High Priest. You understand and sympathize with my weaknesses and this excruciating pain of rejection and inferiority that I have tried to bury. In Your name I approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that I may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Father, be merciful unto me and forgive my sins even as I forgive others. I cast down the wrong perceptions, self-talk and mindsets that have exalted themselves above the Word of God. In the name of Jesus, I thank you for your healing grace that dispels the feelings and thoughts of self-rejection that I have carried most of my life. I am tired of suffering because of the false accusations I have brought against myself.
Father, these feelings have been like a cancer in my soul, and I choose to replace self-destructive thoughts with your word, which is able to restore and save my soul. In the face of these feelings of rejection and inferiority I choose being extraordinary and "equal to" others. I choose being accepted, loved and highly favored of the Lord. Whom the Son has set free, is free indeed. I am free to choose being the true self that your created me to be.
Thanks for listening, you all have been such a true blessing in my life.
Love,
Carol

13 comments:

Tammy R said...

Carol,
Thank you for sharing another area of your life.
I could feel your closness that you had with your dad and the emptiness that took place duing that time.

I have learned by concealing our pain,Satan is deligthed but it is when we start to confess our secrets that he becomes confused and defeated!

Blessings my friend,
Tammy

Janice Lois said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paula (SweetPea) said...

Sweet Carol, my heart broke for you throughout this post. I have to say I bonded with you though on your one statement: "I am lonely." I thought wow...how? She has a hubby, kid. I guess I relate loneliness to those. But, I am like you, I am also lonely for a girlfriend. I once had a girlfriend who I called my soul friend kind of like soul mate. She's since abandon me. It was about five months after beloved left me.

I just wish we lived close. I would LOVE to hang out with you.

The best I can offer is my love and friendship via email. I hope you know you can lean on me for anything and I will not turn from you.
Love you,
Paula

Liz said...

Hi Carol,
While reading your post, I felt like I was with you, hearing your story. My heart aches, but also rejoices in the truth that God is faithful to take these places and heal them.
Like you, like Paula above me, like many of the others who are feeling this same lonliness, I am lonely. And like you, I don't have a lonely life, I am with people all day long, many of whom are near and dear to my heart. My husband is great. My kids are great. My mom is great. And my friends are great. Not to hurt any of them who read this because I love them all dearly, but I also long for that best girlfriend who I can confide in and tell things to without worrying. The worry. I had that in that one friendship, but the pain of how it turned out is sort of terrifying right now. I want to trust, I know I can trust, and I long for it...but I am still afraid. And, we all know that not just anyone can be THAT friend, there is a special something that is there when we meet THAT friend...that soul sister connection that makes our heart soar with joy and love.
I am sitting her in sort of a shock at how many of us are struggling with this same thing and we are all over the nation! Where are the women that God has for us in our cities? Where is my Colleen? Where is yours?
As we wait for the answers, I am your friend, Carol. :) And I know that sounds silly, but I love the person that I read about on this blog. You touch my heart. You are beautiful...even with all the bumps! You are insightful and you have a heart that loves our Jesus!
Love,
Liz

heh heh! the word verification is

blegliz

That reminds me of blog liz! silly smiles!

Liz said...

oh yeah...and I hope you are feeling better.

Connie said...

Hi Carol, I hope you are feeling better...seems we've all been super busy this week. I haven't even had time to write out my study. I am here for you too and glad you are getting these things out in writing. I think there are many of us that are lonely at times because we are so busy, we have jobs....we aren't good at taking time for ourselves and believe me...I'm there with you. I have a good friend but she is so busy right now with family illness, etc that we just don't find the time and I miss that time of friendship too. Hang in there....your friend, Connie

Leebird said...

Hi Carol,

"I can cover my flaws and distract people with my positive features so they don't see my negative."

That statement stepped on my toes. Thank you. :)

Sweet friend, I am so sorry you lost your sweet daddy all those years ago. My daughter heart twisted as I read it. As much as it hurts me to be graduallyl losing my dad right now to dementia, I am so thankful he was there for me through my growing up years.

I'm in AZ and you're in CA, but you have a friend in me. I take all kinds! :) Especially Jesus-loving, work-in-progress, leaning-on-Jesus kinds! :) Love you, Lee

hkudla said...

Carol,
thank you so much for your comments on my blog, and I am grateful that my short one made you laugh. Laughter can never be underestimated!

Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself here. I can understand why this post was so draining for you to write... but I never even realized the length. Talk about being riveted to someone's post!
My dear friend... I have come to love the woman I have gotten to know through this study... you. You are open in your posts, and open in your comments. I have been praying for you.
I am so, so sorry for your loss, I can't imagine how hard it was to lose your dad at that age. I have never lost one of my parents or someone close to me even, so I have no experience of it at all...
I so relate to your comment about where you are today being a result of the building up and covering up of your emotions for years. That is what put me over the edge last year... for me it was more anger... buried deep... never acknowledged except in self destructive ways.
Those lies, once they get hold of you, are really hard to root out aren't they? I pray that you will will be able to continue to trust and believe in Him and His love for you... so that eventually you will be able to let others in... and your emotions out.
Thank you for letting us in... for trusting us enough to be open for us to read.
I am praying for you,
Heather

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

What a sad bu beautiful story related to concealing our emotions, our feelings. Like you I miss having a "Colleen" and I am praying God sends her to us!! Thank you for sharing such a moving post here.

In His Graces~Pamela

Naomi said...

I trust you are feeling much better now. Thank you for a this post... I know I'm all the way over in Australia, but I'm loving getting to know you... Even though we can't do spontaneous coffee shop get-togethers, or have 'Chocolate nights' in front of old movies, or scrap together (!!!), I feel blessed because the written word allows us to express ourselves in ways that we otherwise might not were we all face-to-face. I appreciate all the emotional energy that you are expending on this study, and am so very grateful to you for exposing your thoughts and feelings and experiences, as it is really impacting me, and obviously others, and all for the glory of God... You are beautiful!

Naomi said...

Hi again! I just found a note I wrote after one of your comments on my blog. You asked about the header photo of the Kookaburras... my Dad takes credit for that photo. I have used one of his photos before - he's getting really good with a camera my sister gave him last year. I love using it too!!! Oh to have a 'long-lensy' camera! I was chuffed to read that you and your daughter drew the birds... Dad has a recent photo of a Koala down low in a Gum that he came across while he was mowing. I'll put that on my blog soon too, 'cause I know little girls love Koalas!!! I'm off to pop over to your photo blog... Ciao!

Cindy said...

Carol,
Just this morning while reading the scriptures and journaling, I found myself writing about loneliness. Why are we all so lonley? I wrote that I am trying to fill my empty hole with anything except the one who was meant to fill it. I don't know why I cannot allow God to fill the hole in my heart.
Thank you for speaking to me through your blog and leaving such encouraging words on mine.
I too long for that close personal friendship. My best friend lives in Texas so I never see her. There is just something about having a close girlfriend that is close by ~ I miss that too.
Thank you for sharing your story. We are all seeking to be real, and whole in Him.
Blessings,Cindy

nothingcanseparateme said...

Carol,

You must have been exhausted after sharing all of this. But thank you for being so real. Losing your Daddy at such a young age must have been terrible! I can see how the time of "concealment" would have started then. Praise God for our heavenly Father to fill in the gap when are earthly fathers are no longer here or just do not know how to parent.

The prayer that you included in your post was very moving. I have copied it for my file.

hugs,
Kim