The 23rd Psalm “The Lord leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.”
Psalm 23, King James Version
Just after I graduated from high school, I got a job at Giddings and Lewis Machine Tool Company (this was the factory where my dad died in an industrial accident ten years earlier). I was 17 years old and moved out of my mother's house for the first time. I moved with 3 girlfriends into a small house right near St. Mary's Catholic Church.
I remember I was bereft, lonely, depressed and anxious. I thought that was 'normal'. It was certainly the norm in my own mind for the past 10 years.
Back then the idea of speaking to a counselor or considering medication was not part of my midwestern background. You only got that kind of help if you were 'crazy.'
I don't remember if there was an event that triggered my despair. I do remember getting up at 5 am and walking up and down the street reciting the 23rd psalm to myself over and over again. It really didn't comfort me but it did give my mind something to do so that I could stop obsessing.
I look back on that 17 year old girl that is now my teenage inner child and open my heart to her. I let her sit down beside me and put my arm around her shoulders so that I can comfort her. I use my ho o pono pono' forgiveness practice. Translated from Hawaiian, ho o pono pono' means I'm sorry and I love you. It's not about forgiving anyone else but rather it is about forgiving yourself and forgiving the part of you that lives in everyone else. For example, rather than forgiving someone else for being angry, forgiving myself for the anger that lives in me.
I'm also thinking there may be readers out there who did not know that an underlying depression or anxiety was coloring your lives like mine. If you know that, it is so much easier to have compassion and forgiveness for yourself.
All honor to you dear reader, Patricia