I have had much opportunity over the past six months to face again various emotional wounds that I sustained in my marriage. It seems that every facet of my life is offering the chance to test the limits of my healing. I have been disappointed with my inability to easily shake off the frustration and the fear that these challenges bring. I'm perfectly fine 99% of the time, but then something comes up that triggers all the old muck, and I feel like I've made no progress at all.

But as I have prayed about this and discussed it with two friends patient enough to listen to me, the Lord has shown me that I AM over it. I AM healed. I'm just going through the physical therapy part of my recovery. When something happens to stir up the muck at the bottom of my clear and placid pool, I realize that the muck is less and less each time. It settles more quickly. The twinges of pain from my healing emotional bones are becoming less, and they fade much more swiftly.

That is something to celebrate!

When I first began to recover from the nightmare I had been living, I vowed to myself, my children, and my God that I would NOT allow another dysfunctional relationship to take root in my life. I knew then as much as I know now that I have a responsibility to provide a safe haven for my daughters.

But I also vowed that I would not shut the door on relationships altogether. It is important to show my daughters how relationships SHOULD be, that it is not healthy for a person to rapid-fire from one relationship to another. That relationships should take time to grow, not be a whirlwind of infatuation spun by deceit or ignorance. That love is patience, consideration and caring, not attraction, hormones and a desperate need to be loved.

Do I need to be loved any less? Of course not. But I refuse to allow that to run my life.

Opening myself up to relationships (whether romantic or otherwise) is guaranteed to force me to face the pain of my past relationship wounds. I am guaranteed to make mistakes, to push the healing bones a little too hard. But it is not only okay, it is necessary to allow my heart and soul the time it needs to recover. Otherwise, I will just continue re-wounding myself.

While others might look at my slow pace and my grunts of pain with a critical eye, calling me hardened or overemotional, I don't need people who have never gone through what I am going through to tell me how I should be.

If they don't care about the depth of my wounds, if they are uncomfortable by the unpleasant aspects of my healing, that is not my concern. My concern is to be careful, rely on my Lord and God for support in the upcoming battles, and to do what I can to share what I feel and think so that others who live it can know they are not alone.

Someday, because of the Atonement of Christ, I expect I will wake up and realize that the pain is gone, and my recovery is complete.
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