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My shoulders were tired of carrying the weight of my ear lobes so I gave in and went in for a massage. No longer could I pass off the grimaces from literally stabbing pain as ‘nothing’…it was something and I needed relief.

Referrals do wonders and I went to see Leti Mathews at Integrated Bodyworks. While mixing a special concoction of oils for the massage we got the usual niceties out of the way. When I told her what I did ‘for a living’ (which is somewhat of an oxymoron because it is what takes up most of my time besides being a mother and yet I don’t get paid for either job … so it’s not really ‘for a living’ ;) ) her interest was piqued.

She had always wanted to help survivors who were not comfortable with touch due to the abuse(s) they incurred. She explained how she had massaged someone who had been through years of physical and emotional abuse, this person had never really known a gentle or tender touch, and it took years for this person to be convinced to get a massage. When they finally consented they cried throughout the entire massage…tears of release and acceptance of receiving gentleness. In the end the person voiced how healing the massage had been not only physically but emotionally and spiritually as well.

Immediately I knew this person’s emotions. It is how I felt when I first received a massage. It was a mixture of emotions to be touched in such a way that was therapeutic and healing rather than sensual and demanding. I’ll admit I still don’t do well with male therapists but that is why we can take the lead and request a female. ;)

It is my prayer that Leti and I might work together to incorporate some type of healing touch program. God willing we will see what that pans out to be soon.

While in the building I went to the restroom before the massage and saw this poem on the wall:

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It is the Desiderata a poem written by Max Ehrmann and a few phrases in the short time I was in there captured my heart. I tried to find a better way to show it on here so you could read it phrase by phrase but there was nothing more clear than this YouTube video. If you are in need of encouragement let spending this short 4 minutes reading this poem be your joy.

The phrase that caught me for today was: “Be gentle on yourself.”

I needed to allow this saying to pierce my heart. In my mailbox daily for the past five days were comments on a blog that was not mine. About a personal story that was very much close to my own and yet mine felt ‘unnoticed’ in regards to this response. Why does this matter? Why does this make my heart sink in one breath and applaud in the next to see the outpouring of survivors scrambling to respond to this one post?

God spoke to my heart earlier today: ‘Be gentle on yourself, this is their path, not yours. What I have for you is for you and what I have for them is meant for them.’

I know this. And yet it is easier to believe ‘I’m not as good or good enough.’ than it is to accept ‘That isn’t for me…mine is yet to come.’

Seeing the phrase ‘Be gentle on yourself’ solidified this moment I had with God.

We are often harder on ourselves than even our worst enemy. There is enough to keep us struggling, let’s not add our own internal insecurities and degradations to the list.

Enjoy the weekend.

Blessings

Shannon

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