Hope your week is going according to plan. I find very little does in my world.

For instance, this blog entry was going to be a time for sharing autumnal thoughts – a nice, light, poetic break from the rather heavy issues I seem to have been covering recently.

Then something intruded on my thoughts and plans.

An unwelcome shadow cast itself over my week

And that shadow came from me. It was:

A painful jolt.
Emotionally challenging.
Begging to be noticed.
A blast from the past.
Impossible to ignore.

So what could I do except try to write about it? Well, maybe…

Read the bible.
Speak to someone.
Turn the thoughts into words –  a poem perhaps.

Believe me, I have tried them all and found a degree of release and help in each. Now I am sharing some of my story  here in the hope that someone can relate to it and be helped too.

Emotional pain, like any other, requires a trigger. All it takes is: A sight, a sound, a smell, a remembrance. Once triggered, it pops up genie-like to seek instruction.

And begs the question: Does it serve us or do we serve it?

For many years I have wrestled with painful issues from my past – a dysfunctional family, childhood abuse, complete mental health breakdown and other losses along the way.

I know that events from the past can cast a long shadow and are never that far away

When they surface it hits me with a sharp pang of remembrance. They seemed dead and buried. Counselling and therapy had their natural end. Closure was secured. Healing had come. Or so I thought. My life has moved on – hasn’t it?

Yet scars remain and may always do so to some extent, even when the wounds heal over.
You cannot see them on the surface but those who know me best are aware they are there.

I am free from the severity of their wounding, though still vulnerable to attacks that come from nowhere and leave me feeling wretched and drained, surprised all over again at the vehemence of the feelings that ensue.

Most of the time I can live heedless of their presence, with my memories-  like those of most – tinged with pleasure and nostalgia instead of anxiety, fear and pain.

I am only offering a tiny glimpse of my shadow self here – a peek behind the curtains to the inner sanctum. In time I hope to have the courage to share my story further if that is what I need to do. Sometimes that feels like a step too far. Can’t I just draw the curtain, bolt the door and let it return to the recesses of my mind?

The genie may refuse to go back in the bottle though and make me its slave instead of letting me be the master.

The main lesson I have learnt as a Christian through my years of emotional, spiritual and physical pain is that I am on a continual healing journey towards change, transformation, restoration and renewal.

Today, I seek to connect with those who are hurting. Another day I will share more of my story with emphasis on the way God is bringing His light, hope, help and healing to bear on my life.

 “Blessings alone do not open our eyes. Indeed, blessings by themselves tend to close our eyes. We do not come to know Him in the blessing, but in the breaking” ~ Chip Brogden

The poem below speaks of this shadow side infiltrating my mind.


You remain
like a blot on the landscape
A festering wound
beneath the surface.
Your presence lingers
threatens and devours.
I seek freedom
at any price
as you scratch
ink-stained etchings
on my mind.
Purple scars pooling
drowning out sense and sight.
Shadowy remnants
loom as substance
filling and spilling
leaking through tears
resistant to
brushing away.
Engulfing fingers
pointing, accusing
as they strangle
the fragile hope
I had gained.
How do you deal with shadows from the past?

What helps or hinders that process?
I welcome your comments.