Today, we are gifted with a guest post from my darling sister Kathryn. Here are her good, good words for you about letting things get Untangled:
"I was the mother of a two-year-old and an infant. At only 28 years old, I had had a major postpartum breakdown that landed me in the psychiatric ward of a hospital for a week and which required months of bed rest to adjust to my medication.
I really wasn’t sure that I would be able to drive myself to my first-ever appointment with a therapist. The thought of remembering how to operate a car and follow directions to a new location felt completely overwhelming.
By the time I reached her office, I simply broke down crying. She asked what was going on for me. I had no words. At all. Just tears.
She said to me, “Why don’t we start to unravel some of this.” She gave me the image of a ball of yarn that has become completely tangled and with her hands, she made the motions of gently pulling apart and observing the threads.
To this day, decades later, I remember that moment as one of the most beautiful things anyone has done for me. She gave me words. She gave me an image. Words and an image at that moment were a glimmer of hope. Her name was Barbara.
She gave me another word that bothered me, saying that I seemed to have thoughts that were "niggling" at me from the back of my mind. I can’t stand the word “niggling” and yet it was exactly what was happening. The thoughts were niggling around and I had no words for them.
Maybe you recognize that our world sometimes feels depleted of soul words and imagery. For anyone who has lived cross-culturally or speaks several languages, you know how deeply language can affect perspective, worldview, and even basic understanding of how things operate and relate to each other. Sometimes we desperately need words that we just haven’t been given. Words that, in their lean and appropriate use, can become a glimmer of hope and build a wellspring of gratitude.
Yesterday, my sister Christi said to me “All of nature loves you.” It was exactly what I needed to hear, tell myself, and pass on to someone else in case it was what they needed to hear.
In my spiritual direction training, I was taught to read scripture with the age-old method of lectio divina, noticing words or phrases that pop off the page at you, drawing you in, making you curious. Later, I learned to read my life in the same way. Move slowly. Notice."
Thank you, Kathryn. I join you in remembering the kindest words people have spoken to me. They include, "I see your tender heart." "You are a blessing - that is your nature." "You were designed for goodness and for fullness of life."
And we two sisters would like to ask you now, What are the words or phrases that popped out at you today? What are the words of blessing and hope that you have received? What are the untangling words that you can bring to others?
Your life is also a piece of the ongoing Holy Word. Your life is inspired by the Spirit. When you notice the images and words that have become your glimmers of hope, speak them often to yourself and share them freely. Sometimes a word or image is a lifeline to a lonely soul.
I see you.
You are a blessing.
Your life is so valuable.
With great love,
Christi and Kathryn