As I reflect on my year, I see many tendencies about myself I never saw before. It’s empowering and daunting all at the same time. One thing I never knew about myself is how I orbit others (classic codependent move, darling!) I wrote a poem last Fall about this tendency. I am finally feeling courageous enough to post it.
I’m now aware of your gravitational pull.
The power, the force, the electromagnetism blinded me for years.
Orbiting you, obliterating myself.
Me, hardly conscious.
We were happy!
Until I saw the truth.
I fought to free myself.
I disrupted the flow.
I asserted my power.
You pulled harder; I resisted.
I plummeted, seemingly out of control.
Painfully, I slipped out of orbit.
Free! I’m free!
Freedom is lightness, incredible lightness.
Written by Megan Burmester
September 6, 2017
Writing poetry became a surprising way for me to process the pain and wonder of recovery from codependency or as I like to say, the process of becoming myself. Lately, I haven’t felt very poetic at all. Recovery is hard work, plain and simple; most of the time, it’s one day at a freaking time. One step forward, two steps back. Keep coming back.
One wrong step; I’m falling, falling, flailing.
I land hard on the flinty surface, wind knocked out of me.
Bedrock beneath my broken body,
the lowest point…
Shaken, I survey my surroundings.
I sense a solidity, a sure foundation.
Bedrock upon which to build.
May 27, 2018
I’ve been off social media for quite awhile now. It’s soul care, plain and simple. The other thing that I’ve drifted from is photography. I can’t really explain why. Recently, I joined a photography seminar held on our campus. It sparked the love of photography again. I think what really struck me is the concept of communicating with integrity, dignity, and courage on social media, through photography.
Our first assignment is five self-portraits. Not just any self-portrait, a self-portrait that answers the question, Who am I? A self-portrait that can answer these questions: What do I like? What are my dreams? Who did God create me to be? What are the things that scare me? What is a challenge I am facing right now? What are my hobbies, passions, desires? These questions are so timely for me as I discover my brokenness, my codependency, my strength, my voice, my self.
Here are my five self-portraits:
I’m a writer
I’m a runner
I’m Megan, Megan Colleen, Megity Peg, Meg, Phlega, Megs, Meggers, Meggie, Nutmeg, Bagel, and Bun
I’ve been listening to an audio book by Russell Brand called Recovery. It’s effing brilliant and not only that, quite hilarious (has lots of F bombs). I recently heard a quote from him; it struck me to the core.
“The opposite of addiction is connection.“
As a codependent, my addiction is more subtle than drugs or alcohol but no less destructive. My addiction is people; my addiction is a love addiction. I have a love deficit! I try to heal this deficit through love from people. Addiction merely numbs (or masks) the love deficit or whatever pain I’m currently dealing with on a minutely/hourly/daily/weekly basis.
I try to avoid the pain by looking to other people for my value, worth and lovableness. Just so you know, this leads to more pain, not less. Instead, I’m learning to find my value, worth and lovableness from the Lord and from within. By connecting with the Lord at times when I feel shaky or uncertain or in pain, I can address the issue head on in a healthy way instead of trying to numb the pain. By reminding myself that I am indeed valuable, worthy and lovable, I connect with myself in a way I never have before. This leads to greater connection with others because my freaking love deficit/addiction isn’t getting in the way of true love and intimacy.
I’m grateful for those who have gone before me in recovery to lead the way to healthy, loving relationships. The journey is NO JOKE but entirely worth it because I am worth it. SO ARE YOU!
The Road may be smooth and easy to traverse; but often the terrain is rough, full of obstacles and effing painful. What I am learning right now is to keep moving forward, though I’m tempted to give up. One day at a time, towards health and wholeness. I love this line from the Serenity prayer, a prayer that’ s been my mantra these days: Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace. Oh yes.
Here’s the full version of the Serenity Prayer
I’ve been walking towards health and wholeness for a few months now, learning to truly take care of myself as well as go inward to my emotional health which I’ve neglected over the years. If someone asked me about forgiveness, I would have said I forgive easily! After all, I am a freaking Bible teacher! Forgiveness is my bread and butter. Oh, how easily we deceive ourselves.
A wise woman confronted me with my own hatred, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. I sat stunned, weighing the truth of this revelation. I knew in my gut she was right. In that moment, I felt loved. I knew the Lord was speaking through her directly to my heart. I’ve prayed the Lord would show me any blind spots. Boy, does He answer.
I learned two things through this encounter. I sat with the Lord and listed the offenses/wounds I’ve held onto; I felt the Lord’s deep compassion. Facing the hurt head on is imperative, rather than offering a blanket forgiveness. The most powerful thing I felt was understanding from Him. The Lord didn’t minimize the hurt, He acknowledged the pain. Silence ensued. I waited quietly. I knew He was waiting as well. You see, in God’s Kingdom, forgiveness is commanded, expected, required. It’s a standard the Lord upholds. If I am truly a Christ-follower, I must forgive. It’s one of the most loving expectations I’ve ever encountered. He actually believes I can do this.
The other thing I learned (again) is that forgiveness is truly caring for myself. It is the ultimate in self-love. When confronted, I knew the huge block of unforgiveness inhibited me from receiving love. Unforgiveness disables us from truly loving ourselves and obviously, others. Forgiveness is a process. I’m so grateful the Lord is with me in the process. Forgiveness is freedom; freedom to acknowledge pain, freedom to let go of the pain.
Me circa 1970
Little girl all alone
Unaware no one there
Little girl all by herself
Oblivious to the absence
Does anyone notice?
Does anyone care?
Little girl on her own
Summoning imaginary friends
Little girl in solitary
Music her only companion
Does anyone notice?
Does anyone care?
Little girl seen and loved
By her grown up self
Little girl nurtured and held
By her forty-eight year old self
Little Girl All Alone by Megan Burmester
October 1, 2017
Salmon-tinged clouds rimmed with love.
You wait to surprise me.
Mid-run, I’m arrested by your beauty.
Elated, I commune.
October 16, 2017
“Circle” by Megan Burmester
Our culture is obsessed with beauty, outward beauty. What makes a woman truly beautiful? I’ve encountered beauty in women. Here are my observations.
Women that hold their scars (visible and invisible) gently, knowing they are beauty marks. Women that can laugh in the face of adversity. Women that aren’t afraid to feel and validate all of their feelings. Women that choose not to color their hair after chemo and let the “hair glitter” crown their glorious heads. Women that face their own brokenness with courage. Women that accept their limitations. Women that come alongside others, encouraging and cheering. Women that head into the darkness of their own pain and keep walking, despite the fear. Women that are honest with themselves and others. Women who love themselves, just as they are.
When have you observed beauty, true beauty in women?