Monday, January 30, 2012

Jack White's First Solo Album!!

JACK WHITE IS COMING OUT WITH A SOLO ALBUM!!!!  YEEEEEHAW BABY!!!!  It's about time. I, including many of my new friends who are also Jack White fans, have been waiting for this from him for awhile now and it's finally here!!  The digital single will be available tonight, the 7" available on Feb 7th (of which I have already pre-ordered) and the full album, "Blunderbuss," will be out on April 23/24.  The first single, "Love Interruption"  is amazing.  I love it.  click here to have your first listen to the genius of his first solo single.  Jack has a unique creative talent that is undeniable and uniquely crafted.  Jack is unique.  He is my favorite musician, has been for 12 years now, and he can help get me through my darkest days with his music.  And if you don't know, or if you do, I haven't been doing too well lately and I've been spending a lot of my time in bed, lights off with a Jack White record spinning (be it The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, or the Dead Weather) and tears softly hitting my pillow.  And there are times when I'm in the darkest of the dark where I just want to take my record player into the bathroom so I can listen to Jack as I slowly fall asleep and end the fight.  But so far I've fought that urge with the help of Jack and my friends and family.

A quote from Jack about his first solo album:

" album I couldn't have released until now. I've put off making records under my own name for a long time but these songs feel like they could only be presented under my name. These songs were written from scratch, had nothing to do with anyone or anything else but my own expression, my own colors on my own canvas."

You have a way with words and music, Jack, cause that was perfect.  I love ya, man.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Unable to Wash Away My Grief

"There are certain things that attach to you that you can never wash off."  ~Matthew Gray Gubler on Criminal Minds

I think grief is something that has attached to me that I'll never be able to wash off.  And this isn't just your normal grief that I'm talking about.  What I'm talking about is a grief so deep and complex it cuts into your heart and torments your soul.  It comes to me in waves and takes residence for days, sometimes weeks.  And then it leaves for awhile until it returns again but even when it's not taking up residence in my heart, soul and mind I can never fully wash it away.  It always finds it way back into my life to torment and twist me again.

My grief works like an umbrella covering the everything that I have lost (and gained) because of the accident such as the loss of my way of life, the loss of a physical beauty, the loss of independence, the loss of mobility, the loss of a dream future, the loss of happiness and smiles and laughter.  And then there are the things I gained because of the accident like a body covered in scars, dependence, anxiety, tormenting grief and deep, dark depressions.

I don't know how many more years I'll make it to but I do know that this grief will never truly wash off.  I may find a snippet of happiness here and there but this grief is so deep and complex that it will always be there, even if only just a little bit.  Sooner or later it will manifest itself into full, robust form and send me spiraling downward into darkness like Alice down the rabbit hole.

This whole experience of the accident is something I'll never be able to wash off.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I had a breakdown last night.  It was a little bit of a hysterical breakdown like something from inside me came out that I couldn't control.  I was crying and shaking and yelling out all my frustrations that I deal with on a daily basis.  I just couldn't control it.  It was unleashed.  I've done this before in the past but it's been quite a long time since I've had a breakdown.

I cried out my grief for a loss of a life I once knew and for the life I know now.  I cried out my grief for the loss of beauty and the scars that now cover my body.  I cried out my grief for bad genetics and how bad I heal, scar and contract.  I cried out my grief for the trauma to my body triggering my diabetes.  I cried out my grief for the loss of my independence and becoming dependent to do the simplest of tasks like shower, dress myself and reach for things in a cupboard.  I cried out my grief of my tortured soul.  I just cried and cried out my grief over all my struggles and the fight that I'm tired of fighting.

And I am.  I'm so tired of fighting this fight.  And don't tell me I have to take it one day at a time because that doesn't work for me so I hate it when people tell me that.  I used to have a life, a big life, and to have it reduced to what it is now makes it very difficult to take it one day at a time.  I was burned later in my life, as an adult so I had become used to an independent way of living.  My dependent way of living now feels like I've gone backwards in my life's progress.  I am constantly in mourning of my past, my present and my future all at the same time.  It's overwhelming.  So overwhelming that at times I just break and break last night I did.

"My grief lies all within, and these external manners of lament are merely shadows to the unseen grief that swells with silence in the tortured soul."  ~William Shakespeare

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Feeling Broken

I sit here, quietly, with silent tears streaming down my cheeks and dripping off my chin to land softly on my shirt.  There are so many things I cry for but mostly for how the accident has changed my life, the scars that cover my body and face.  I also cry for the contractures that never let up and limit my mobility.  I feel broken in both body and heart.  It's times like these that I do wish I had not made it, as bad as that sounds.  What would life be like now, without me almost four years later?  I think it would be the hardest on my family around the date of the accident and maybe days like my birthday and holidays.  But I think as time went on, they would be fine.  I think my friends would be fine.  Life would go on without me and I wouldn't have had to suffer through all this physical and emotional pain all these years.  How would my family remember me?  How would my friends remember me?  Will my life turn out to be worth having lived through such a horrific accident?  Or will a part of me always wish the fire had taken me?  I fear the anger and anguish will never completely go away and thus I will never fully be at peace.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My 30th Birthday

Well, it's my birthday.  I am 30 years old today and I actually do feel it in a weird way.  But I also feel ready for my 30's, not like I really did any preparations but I feel a natural readiness for them.  When I think about it, I went through a lot in my 20's and I'm just ready to move past them.  I graduated from college, moved to Portland for a short time before taking the leap to New York where I gained more life experience than I think I was ready for, had my accident and been through 32 surgeries and all that goes with a very difficult recovery from a near death accident.  That's a lot to take in in 10 years and in your 20's.  I still have a tough and long recovery ahead of me but it feels almost refreshing to leave the 20's behind me.  They come close to being qualified as disastrous.

Everyone has been telling me how awesome the 30's are and I'm actually looking forward to them.  Maybe it's because of the hype of how awesome they are or maybe it's because they can't possibly be worse than my 20's were.  Or maybe it's both.  I think it's both.  I learned this morning also that it is the Chinese New Year and it's the year of the dragon, which means strength and luck so I'm trying to think optimistically that this is going to be a great year.  I'm going to be stronger in my recovery as well as emotionally and wondrous luck will fall upon me opening  up a whole new world of possibilities for my future as well as my present.  I'm hoping for that anyway.

Most of the morning my Facebook page exploded with birthday wishes and it made my heart happy and put a smile on my face with each and every one.  But there's one in particular I want to share with you and leave you with.  I have been described as one of the most real persons people know.  I'm not fake in my personality or my feelings and I don't hold back.  This little story has to do with that:

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Thank you to my dear, dear friend, Jessie, for sharing that with me today and for giving me such a sincere compliment. My whole body may be marred with ugly scars and I may not recognize or like what I see in the mirror anymore "but these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." I know there are a lot of people who don't understand yet and maybe they never will but I think there are far more people who do, more people who see a bold Realness to me that transforms my scars into something beautiful.  

Happy Birthday to me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


"Friends will keep you sane, Love could fill you heart, a lover can warm your bed, but lonely is the soul without a mate." ~David Pratt

It is an hour until my birthday and I officially leave my 20's and I guess I'm just feeling lonely tonight.  Another friend of mine just got engaged and with so many of my friends either with boyfriends or husbands or engaged I guess I'm feeling left behind.  It's been a long haul for me since my accident with the bad times far outweighing the good times.  And it's been even harder being alone in it all.  And I know I have my family and my awesome friends, the friends that are real and true, but I'm talking about the loneliness that comes with the lack of a significant other.  It can be so hard getting through times like this even when it's a time of celebration.  It's even harder getting through the tough times.  I wonder what love even feels like anymore I've been without it for so long.  Well, it's 30 minutes to my big 30th birthday now and tears are running down my cheek, rounding the corners of my mouth.

Where do I go?
When I'm feeling so lost and I don't want to be found.
When I'm looking and listening for that peace in my heart.
But I know I'll never hear that sound.
Where do I go?
Where do I go when I'm trying to laugh but all I can do I cry?
I'm trying to keep on living because I'm not ready to die.
Where do I go because the sun never seems to shine?
Can you give me my life back it's not yours it's mine?
How do I keep going, how do I fight this fight?
I'm tired of feeling beat down, but I'm trying with all my might!
Where do I go when my head hangs so low?
Please give me an answer because I just don't know!
Where do I go?
Does it take very long?
For me to find that peace and a place where I belong.
I need you to help me, help me to take a stand.
I'm scared to do it by myself, will you please take my hand?
Where do I go? Where do I go? Where do I go?
Do you know?

~Lisa Griffin

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Frayed Knot At The End Of My Rope

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

I am at the end of my rope today and I can't really tell you why.  And the knot at the end of my rope is coming loose so it's getting harder and harder to hang on.  People who can't say, "I'm sorry," really get to me.  Fake people get to me.  Mean people get to me.  Arrogant people get to me.  Superficial people get to me.  Dishonest and disloyal people get to me.  Ignorant people get to me.  People who can't fucking say they're sorry get to me.  Well, guess what?  I want a fucking apology from a certain someone and actually, there's a couple people I want apologies from.  One knows who they are but I'm most certain the others are so ignorant to their superficiality that they don't even know they owe me an apology.  But I'll never hear those words.

This is supposed to be a nice weekend as it nears my birthday so it's kind of a "birthday weekend" but instead it's turned into this and the knot at the end of my rope is almost loose.  It's getting harder and harder to hang on.  I've kept this inside for awhile now but then something exploded today and it's put me at the end of this crappy, fraying rope of my patience with people and friends, or so called "friends," I should say.  Is it so hard to throw out your arrogance and say you're sorry when it's called for?  Is it so hard to try and see that superficial part of you staring you back in the mirror and develop some character and say you're sorry and really mean so that you actually feel it deep in your gut?  Is it so hard?  Are you truly challenged by this phenomenon of being sorry for your arrogance and superficiality that hurt me and saying it to my face with true sincerity?  It sickens me that you are.  And what hurts me just as bad is that you make excuses for the lack of those words, the lack of friendship when I truly need it, the lack of love.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Wasted Decade?

"There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery."  ~Dante Alighieri

This was the end quote on a new episode of Criminal Minds last night, which was utterly wicked btw, and I found it to be so deeply true.  I know it's true in my life.  I do it all the time to myself.  I've blogged about it many times - talking about times of happiness when I'm in a miserable state.

Last night's episode not only brought that quote to the round table for discussion but also something else.  I have talked about how I feel I have let my mom and dad down with things that have happened in my life including my accident but I've never really talked about someone else that I feel I have let down - myself.  One of the biggest discussions in my therapy is my feelings of guilt, mostly just with my parents but we've never discussed my feelings of guilt towards my own self which I find odd now.  Because I do feel like I've also let myself down.  I do also feel guilty to myself over things that have happened in the past.  I feel like there's so much more I could have done with my life, that I was headed to do great big things with my life before my accident derailed me.

I'm coming up on 30 and I look back on the past four years since my accident and think, what have I done?  Nothing.  I've lived in my parents home where I've been taken care of and have had 32 surgeries.  But what opportunities have I had to do more?  None.  I have almost constantly been in surgery/recovery mode for the past four years so does that excuse me?  I just feel like I have barely lived these past four years and now suddenly I'm entering my 30's and it's like it snuck up on me before I could do something with my life.  I know I shouldn't be so hard on myself, that turning 30 is still young and I still have time to do something wonderful with my life but I just feel like the past decade has been a waste.  What really gets me is New York.  I really could have done more with my time in New York.  But I feel like the past two years spent there were wasted as well.  What am I doing to my life?  This is a decade I promise myself I'm not going to waste away like the last.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I realize I haven't written very much this month.  Not a very good start to the new year.  I kinda feel like my creative mind is being strangled with a new medication I'm on.  The new medication has certainly helped with other problems but it has most certainly affected my creativity.  I have written quite a bit in my private journal, the journal where I purge all my anger and frustrations but those are quite personal so I don't want to share those.  Then I was also sick all last week so I wasn't in the mood to do much of anything let alone blogging.

So how has my new year been treating me so far?  Well, it's been rather uneventful.  I am frustrated with some things right now, one of them being my body and the contractures that I can feel setting in.  As I wrote about, I tore my left axilla during a stretching exercise so I haven't been able to do a lot of stretching and even in the time, I feel tighter and more constricted.  Why?  Why must my body heal this way?  It is beyond frustrating.  One of the things that I think would help me is if my whole body were massaged EVERY DAY and then stretched and then massaged AGAIN.  I need to get back into physical therapy but it's hard for a burn survivor in this town to get the proper treatment.  That's something I'm going to look into as a goal for 2012 - getting the proper professional physical therapy to battle my contractures.

My diabetes was touch and go there for a couple days when I started another new medication.  One day I had three diabetic attacks.  In ONE day!  That was tough.  I've done better but I've also lost my appetite due to these medications which is good in one way - helps me to lose weight - but it's bad for my diabetes cause if I don't eat, my glucose levels can drop dramatically.  So I have to force myself to eat meals.

Another frustration is waiting on my doctor to call me to schedule a surgery date.  I'm trying to work on my patience as part of one of my resolutions but he's definitely testing it by waiting this long.  It's now been a month since I had my last appointment where he said he would get on scheduling a surgery date.  So I called yesterday to nudge him a bit and talked to his MA and she said so far nothing has been scheduled yet but she saw some notes on his desk about me so he's working on it.  When I saw him a month ago, he said  he was waiting to hear back from a couple other doctors about their ideas on what to do with my lip and mouth but come on, that was a month ago!  Let's get this scheduled already cause I want this one done!  I've been waiting a long time to get my lip fixed and the time has finally come so I'm ready and waiting!  Waiting and waiting and waiting....

And on a last note, my 30th birthday is next Monday.  I can't believe I'm going to be 30.  Leaving my 20's behind.  They weren't that great anyway so I'm hoping my 30's will blow my 20's out of the water.  So far, no plans for my birthday.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Small But Important Setback

I awoke this morning to dreadful pain in my front left axilla and I knew before looking what had happened - a skin tear from stretching last night.

I have several different stretches I do everyday, most I can do by myself but there's one in particular that I have to have help with and it can be dangerous in stretching too hard and causing a tear, which is precisely what happened.  It's a stretch where I put my hands up behind my head and my mother or father then stand behind me, grab hold of my elbows and pull them back until I feel the stretch enough to say "stop."  This stretches out my axillas.  I do it around 4-5 times for 45 seconds each.  On one of the pulls I felt a quick, sharp pain in the left axilla but I stupidly thought nothing of it and continued to let my father stretch it.  Then I didn't check it afterwards cause it didn't really hurt anymore.  Well, it sure hurt this morning and it's a nice sized tear in my newly grafted left axilla.  DAMMIT!!  That area, if it tears, is the hardest to heal because it's constantly in motion and it causes a lot of pain.  GOD DAMMIT!!  THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING!!  You know what this means now?  I can't stretch that axilla for fear of tearing it even worse so now it has to rest and if it rests contractures set in.  I mean, contractures set in no matter if I'm stretching every day so you can imagine how bad and how strong those contractures will form if I'm not stretching.  I don't want to lose ground.

I HATE MY BODY!!!  I just wish I healed like a normal, healthy human being.  Instead I have a surgeon who looks at me and says simply, "you're amazing," and he's not talking about me, he's saying I'm amazing at forming contractures.  They've even coined a phrase at the wound care clinic at the burn center so when someone is forming a bad contracture(s) they say, "You're doing a 'Sarah'."  I mean, I've been through hell and back, endured a lot of pain and suffering, is it so much to ask that I can at least HEAL nicely without forming contractures so bad?  "Oh no,  (this is my body talking now) I can't give SB that.  She's gotta endure all the pain and suffering I can pile on her."  Thanks.  I'll never be able to do a cartwheel on the summer grass again.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Beginning Restoration of My Faith?

"Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof."  ~Kahlil Gibran

A good friend gave me a book to read called, "Disappointment in God," by well known Christian author, Philip Yancey.  I found it to be one of the best books on God I have ever read.  It spoke right to how I feel, almost as if the author had interviewed me for the book.  It addresses three questions that many people like me have in our heart:  Is God unfair?  Is God silent?  Is God hidden?  And with those three questions it addresses the ultimate feeling of disappointment in God.  

The beginning talks about looking at God as a sort of "parent" and Yancey sums up Gensis as God learning how to be a parent.  With the rebellion of Adam and Eve, God responded with punishment and Yancey compares this to what it feels like to be a parent of a two-year old.  The beginning of the book twists your perspective around from what it feels like to be you to what God must have felt.  In the creation, Yancey writes of God as almost a "close, even hovering parent," not shy to intervene.  What did God feel when he was betrayed with the rebellion of Adam and Eve and a generation later when Cain slain his brother?  The Bible sums up God's feelings with the powerful sentence, "The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth and his heart was filled with pain."  I never before thought to turn the tables and try to see things from God's eyes.  That God could feel pain and grief, loss and anger. Toward the end of Genesis, Joseph is introduced and in Joseph's story, God works more behind the scenes as opposed to the beginning parts of Genesis where he stayed close by and often intervened.  Once again, Yancey compares God to a parent here again wondering if perhaps God "pulled back" to "allow Joseph's faith to reach a new level of maturity."  Could God be doing that with me?  Pulling back so that my faith may mature and eventually bloom?  Throughout Joseph's story, he learned to trust, even through the hardships.  Joseph learned not that God would prevent hardships, but that he would redeem them.

In the start of the book Yancey also talks about limitations.  He first compares the limitations of any creator whether it be a child with play-doh or an artist like Michelangelo.  Yancey states that every creator "learns that creation involves a kind of self-limiting.  You produce something that did not exist before, yes but only by ruling out other options along the way...pick up a pencil and start drawing; now you limit yourself to black and white, not color."  With the creation in Genesis, God imposed upon himself his own self-limitations and by giving freedom to man he also created the "moral capacity" for human beings to rebel.  One theologian put it this way, "Man is God's risk."  In a rendition of creation by William Irwin Thompson, he writes about God's worries in creating a universe that is free, free even of Himself: "What if I veil my Divinity so that the creatures are free to pursue their individual lives without being overwhelmed by My overpowering presence?  Will the creatures love me?  Can I be loved by creatures whom I have not programmed to adore Me?  Can love arise out of freedom?....But if I introduce freedom into this universe, I take the risk of introducing Evil into it as well, for if they are free, then they are free to deviate from My will as well...Ahhh, in a truly free universe, even I do not know how it will turn out.  Do I even dare take that risk for love?"  I wrote the other day about seeing myself through someone else's eyes.  I never imagined trying to see through God's eyes and what He must be feeling about happenings in this world.  C.S. Lewis once said, "Perhaps we do not realize the problem, so to call it, of enabling finite free-wills to co-exist with Omnipotence.  It seems to involve at every moment almost a sort of "divine abdication."  With the creation of free-will, did God also create His own self-limitation?  Did he give up some of his power to give us freedom to live our lives?

The book soon comes around to the subject of Jesus.  There is a lot to be said on the subject but one thing has always irked me and evidently it caught Augustine's attention as well: "If Jesus had the power, why didn't he heal everyone?"  In regards to this nagging question, Yancey takes the Gospel of John for example.  There was a certain pool in the city of Jerusalem that the disabled of all kinds used to flock to.  Yancey tells this story: "One day Jesus struck up a conversation with a pathetic man who lay there.  He had been crippled for thirty-eight years, he told Jesus, but he had never made it to the pool.  Whenever the water stirrs, someone would always push in ahead.  Without batting an eye, Jesus ordered the invalid to get and walk.  'At once the man was cured; he picked up his matt and walked.' But the storyteller, John, adds one significant detail: Jesus then slipped away into the crowd."  Why then, if Jesus was able to heal the disabled and lame, did he only heal one man?  He ignored all the rest of the crowd that day.  "Augustine wondered: 'There lay so many, and yet only one was healed, whilst He could by a word have raised them all up.' "  I just don't understand if Jesus had the power, why he choseto heal some and not others.  I might be able to deal with my accident better if he would just reach down and help me heal better.  But instead  I feel ignored.

I am not alone in my demand for God to show himself, prove himself, show some kind of sign that he is there.  Often times it is in anger.  Yet He does not.  Yancey talks about this as "divine restraint," writing, "God holds back; he hides himself; he weeps.  Why?  Because He desires what power can never win."  I have often cursed life, screaming up to God demanding an answer back to the age old question, "why is life so unfair?!  Why did this happen to me?"  Why do bad people often seem to prosper and good people get socked in the stomach with bad things that happen to them.  I have also often cursed God asking him why He is so unfair.  If he has the power to help me, why doesn't he?  But I never thought of this possibility that Yancey proposes:  perhaps God also agrees that life is unfair but cannot do anything about it.  I have entertained the latter idea, that God cannot do anything, that perhaps he is powerless to intervene but I never thought about God agreeing that life is unfair.  Yancey talks about some of the things Rabbi Harold Kushner writes about in his book, "Why Bad Things Happen to Good People, " (which I also own) and according to Kushner, "God is as frustrated, even outraged by the unfairness on this planet as anyone else, but he lacks the power to change it."  This is an idea I have thought about a lot; that there is a God and he may hear my cries, my pleas and my prayers, but he has no power to do anything about it.  And that leads us to the works of Karma.  But also to the idea that there is some kind of reason behind suffering that we have to look for in it all.  Many people have told me, "God will not make you suffer what you cannot handle, " "Concentrate on the blessings you still enjoy - at least you are alive, " and "Someone is always worse off than you so be thankful despite your circumstances," among other statements.  But as the Book of Job demonstrates, as Job's friends each offered some version of the sentences above, such helpful advice still does nothing to answer the questions of my pain - "Why?  Why me?"

I think the most profound part of the book for me was when Yancey talks about an interview he had with the person he found was closest to Job in this modern day.  He called him Douglas.  Douglas got dealt a shitty hand in life to put it bluntly.  According to Yancey, years ago, doctors found a lump in his wife's breast and subsequently removed it only for the cancer to spread to her lungs two years later.  Then one night, with his wife and twelve-year old daughter in the car, they were hit head on by a drunk driver.  The wife was thankfully unhurt, the daughter a broken arm but it was Douglas who suffered the worst with a massive blow to the head.  After the accident, Douglas suffered from severe headaches, would sometimes become disoriented and forgetful, and his vision was permanently affected with a wandering eye, inability to focus and double vision.  But when Yancey asked him what he has learned that might help someone else going through a difficult time, his answer blew me away and gave me something to think about.  It gave me back some faith.  Douglas said, "To tell you the truth Philip, I didn't feel any disappointment in God...And the reason is this.  I learned, first through my wife's illness and then especially through the accident, not to confuse God with life.  I'm no stoic.  I am upset about what happened to me as anyone could be.  I feel free to curse the unfairness of life and to vent all my grief and anger.  But I believe God feels the same way about that accident - grieved and angry.  I don't blame Him for what happened.  I have learned to see beyond the physical reality of this world to the spiritual reality.  We tend to think, 'Life should be fair because God is fair.'  But God is not life.  And if I confuse God with the physical reality of life...then I set myself up for a crashing disappointment....If we develop a relationship with God apart from our life circumstances then we may be able to hang on when the physical reality breaks down.  We can learn to trust God despite all the unfairness of life."  Wow.  That blew me away when I read that.  What an absolutely different way to look at life and God.  Not to confuse God with life and to develop a relationship with God apart from our life circumstances.  Those two ideas really resonate with me.  Makes me want to try a relationship with God again.

Lastly I wanna speak of what Yancey has to say of faith in the end.  Yancey writes that we as humans are bound by time and perceiving time in "something like a never-ending present....We do all our thinking in the present."  Even if we are thinking about something that happened in the past, we are doing the process of thinking in the present.  And if we think about something in the future, that process of thinking is still being done in the present.  Yancey writes a very powerful sentence, "Because I only exist in the present, I can only perceive the past and the future from the perspective of the present."  He also writes in relation to time, "Can we live now, 'as if' God is loving, gracious, merciful and all-powerful, even while the blinders of time are obscuring our vision?"  We are a people bound by the present, despite the old adage that "you're living in the past," or "You're living in a dreamworld."  We do everything in the present and thus we must make the most of that present.  Yes, life may be damn unfair and we may curse God for being unfair but maybe we shouldn't confuse life with God, like Douglas said.  It is simply life itself that is unfair.  And maybe God refuses to answer our demands and crying questions because we are unable to comprehend his answers, his light.  And when we are grieving and angry, God may be grieving and angry right along with us.  To think that God is angry and grieving along with me for what happened to me helps reduce some of that grief and anger actually.

One last word from the book: "Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse."  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Seeing Myself Through Someone Else's Eyes

"Sometimes the only way to get a good look at yourself is through someone else's eyes.  If you're lucky, you'll like what you see.  Or you'll learn from it."  ~Zach Braff in "Scrubs"

I love that show so much.  You have to have a particular humor to really enjoy it and understand it to laugh at it.  I've watched the full 9 seasons a couple times but I just recently decided to watch again cause it had been awhile.  They always have something enlightening to say at the end and this quote came from an episode in the first season..

What I see when I look in the mirror is nothing pretty.  I see a body and face I don't recognize anymore.  When I don't look in the mirror, I feel like the same person I was before the accident, maybe even a better person, but then I FEEL my physical body and my face and the scars that cover them and it brings me to tears.  But if I was to look at myself through my friends' eyes, I might see something else if only I allowed myself to see something else.  Some of my friends have told me I'm their hero.  Pretty much all my friends have told me I'm brave and an inspiration.  Many have told me how far I've come and how pretty or beautiful I am, how kind and generous I am.  But my anger at everything that has happened and continues to happen (ex. bad healing, contractures) clouds my vision through their eyes.  I just can't see what they see.  If I could be at peace with what happened and let go of my anger, maybe I could finally see what they see and be happy.

If I could see myself through my friends' eyes and my family's, I think I'd like what I saw.  I know I would.  Who doesn't want to be someone's hero?  Who doesn't want to be thought of as brave and an inspiration?  Or beautiful, kind and funny?  Those traits are like the gold stars of life.  But I'm no hero.  I just survived an accident.  How does that make me a hero?  Sometimes I wonder if these things are just said to lift me up so I don't get so hard on myself.  What makes me so brave?  Because I go into surgery after surgery?  A friend once blogged about me and said I was brave because I went into surgery after surgery knowing I'm a hard stick for the nurses and knowing that it's hard to intubate me and knowing that something could go wrong because it has so many times in the past.  But I go into surgery after surgery because I hope upon hope that whatever is being worked on will work.  I go into surgery after surgery because I really don't have much of a choice if I want to improve my life.  And I know I'm definitely not physically beautiful or pretty as I once was.  But I will agree on one thing that people see in me and that's kindness.  I would do anything for my family or friends.  I want to please them in anyway I can.  But I am still honest to a fault so I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.  But thank you to all my incredible friends and family who see me as all those things because I can't see them for myself.  I just can't.  But thank you for seeing such beautiful traits in me.