March Madness | by Bethany Luchetta
Do you ever feel like you’re trapped? Or like the fire-in-your-heart went out? Maybe because you didn’t get married at the ‘right’ age. You never had kids. Had kids. Got divorced. Never finished college. Work too much. Don’t have enough money. Aren’t as smart as the next person. Are too tired. Have physical or mental limitations that prevent you from moving towards your dreams. Or maybe you just feel like you don’t own an original thought/emotion/creative bone/spiritual idea that is worthwhile. I am here to inform you, you are not alone. And IN your story, there is greatness.
I had been percolating on this March Madness blog for some time and nothing was coming to me. I wanted to assimilate it with the Daughters Event on March 17 – ‘Miracles in the Mess’. I even contemplated changing the blog title to March Messness. I thought about outlining people who failed and got-back-up-again to find success. I wanted to tell you about women in history who were faced with adversity, yet still accomplished greatness. Then, I switched to “you’re never too old”; she did something noteworthy after mid-life. Maybe write about ladies who, even in their storm, were able to pursue their heart-call. But after spending way too much time reading about people and things, I decided that I wanted you to be the story.
I am in the middle of a life transition, or several. I am starting to think we are always in one, or coming out of one, or about to go into one. The more stories I hear from other ladies, the more human I feel. We all have ‘stuff’ – none of us get out of childhood unscathed. Once adults, we seem to have seasons of feeling great, and others ‘not so great’. Is there anything we can do to limit the mess and madness?
HOMEWORK: Ask yourself the ‘why’ question.
Why am I overwhelmed right now?
Why am I filled with anxiety right now?
Why am I sad right now?
Why am I frustrated right now?
Do tell! What does this have to do with March Madness-Messness? You may find that as you ask yourself the outlined following questions, you begin getting in touch with deeper feelings (which may or may not cause some messiness). The deeper feelings almost always dwindle down to shame. Shame has a way of robbing us of our potential. The real answers, and the real healing within them, are where the ‘Miracles in the Mess’ happen.
I made this chart from the things I have learned in my readings and courses on this process. This is a very basic chart, yet I have found it helpful (there are several other steps, if you have interest, reach out).
I will use a personal example to show you how to work these steps:
The Feeling: A sales lady at Home Depot ‘sells’ me with some lies and deception when purchasing shutters. I get frustrated. Like, lose-my-emotions-all-the-way-home frustrated. Like, can’t play with Livvy or talk to Vince frustrated. Like, I feel like crying or posting a horrid one-star review on yelp frustrated. Like, I am looking super cool, calm and collected, yet stuffing all my feelings, but wanting to scream out loud frustrated. Outlandish emotions sound familiar?
The ‘Why’: I can go about my day and try not to be frustrated, go for run, have some wine, call a friend to vent, or try to pray it away. #2 Or I can ask myself ‘WHY’ am I feel so out-out-whack frustrated with this lady.
Deeper Feelings: So, then I analyze how I felt when this happened. I felt: abuse, used, coerced, domineered, played, bad, unworthy and unimportant. You may think that these are some pretty intense feelings for being lied to by a sales person at Home Deport. Some people may have just brushed-it-off, taken business elsewhere, or told the person how they felt. But I was not in my adult mind, so that’s not what happen.
Associated Situation: When I say this, it is very specific to the reduction of the situation. Dr. John Bradshaw (theologian, psychologist, philosopher) explains that our foundation is set before the chemicals change in our body (before puberty). In circumstances where your emotions outweigh the reality of the situation, it is an indicator to look back on your childhood and identify what part of you was stuck in your current interaction (lady at Home Depot). The easiest way to do this is to look back on the deeper feelings you identified and ask yourself, ‘when I was young, in what situation did I feel like this?’. Bradshaw says in asking this, you will find the part of you that is wounded/stuck. My deeper feelings immediately echoed when I was abused at age 4. As soon as I reduced my current feeling to an unhealed wound, I began crying. Until I heal this shameful wound, I will repeat these frustrating situations in my adult life that rob me of potential to ‘Grow up in Christ’.
Forgiveness: The last part isn’t always easy or popular. I am not talking about forgiving the sales lady. I am talking about cutting myself loose from my perpetrator. There are tons of resources out there on processing forgiveness. I am defining forgiveness as cutting yourself loose from strings keeping you tied to the thing or person. Sometimes forgiveness requires forgiveness of self, and in this case, you may need someone else to help guide you through that process.
These discoveries may be messy, painful, and sometimes, unbearable. If you get stuck, come back to them later. But, commit to your whole healing. Once you are able to heal through the wounds you identify, then you will be more capable of dealing with the reality of your adult life in situations. I was able to go back and confront the sales lady in a calm manner. I didn’t have to stuff my emotions inside, allowing them to eat-away-at-me. I used the truth to encourage myself; I am an adult, I am not a child, I have choices, I am capable, I am not stuck and I won’t be used. This indeed is God’s miracle working power in our lives, in the mess.
Bethany Luchetta is a writer of life and reality. In hopes to connect with the humanity around her, she writes from her heart. Bethany just celebrated 7 years of marriage with her love, Vince Luchetta. They are both on their second marriage. Life has not been without challenge in their personal lives and career lives, yet they strive for growth in love and tragedy. They share three beautiful daughters, Makayla (17), Paige (14), and Livvy Lou (3). If you see them, reach out and say hi!