Saturday, March 30, 2013

A not so short story...

I've had something on my mind for awhile now and the "Easter spirit" seemed to just add to it. For whatever reason I decided to share so we'll dive in to a personal aspect here...

Growing up I always heard about 'the Atonement' and all it could do for us, how special and amazing it was etc. I think any LDS kid can relate to hearing those talks over and over again... It never meant anything to me. And I also didn't understand why people seemed so passionate or grateful for it.
It took me until a few months before I turned twenty-two to get a glimpse of it.

When I was fourteen, I experienced something none of my friends or family had ever gone through. I kept it to myself and buried it, repeatedly trying to tell myself it didn't happen; I felt awful anytime I thought about it or had it stirred up. Although it got to the point where it wasn't point blank on my mind anymore, it definitely impacted my life in a huge way and it wasn't hard for it to get stirred up. For years I "carried it" alone.

I was leaving class at UVU one day when I saw Project Clothesline set up. I didn't know what it was but it looked pretty cool and there was a bunch of people so I wandered over. People wandered in and out pretty quickly and only read a few shirts. There were whistles and gongs going off representing how frequently a woman was raped or abused; naturally people were disturbed by it.

I don't know exactly how long I stayed but it was at least two hours walking the aisles and reading allll the shirts. As sad as it was, reading these shirts and realizing there were other people who had gone through the same thing gave me comfort and I felt good! When I left, there was a lot on my mind. Raw feelings of hurt and disgust for what had happened were back and I wanted to feel good again.

I went back the next day and still stayed way longer than normal; feeling that same twisted sense of comfort. I realized there was a LOT of negativity! Lots of 'burn in hell', 'you ruined my life', 'I wish you were dead' type of talk and more f bombs than I could count. Something kinda broke inside of me.

Seven years of burying things did not help and it certainly didn't fix things. As much a I don't want to talk about it or bring things up, I didn't want to be one of these girls who were stuck in their feelings of hate and maybe even loathing. (At least for me..) and I REALLY didn't want to be the girl who enjoyed hanging out in such a sad place.

I remember the first of many blessings I got in dealing with this. From the very start of saying my name, I instantly felt a comfort ten times better than Project Clothesline could offer! It was a feeling of complete and total understanding that NOBODY around me could ever do. I bawled (of course) through hearing promises of love, healing and learning to trust and I actually believed it.

That was the first time I really understood how great the Atonement could be and why people loved it like they did. And it really is amazing! I've since used it more times than I'd have cared to and it never ceases to amaze me how so many negative or hurt feelings can be taken away from us no matter how strong they are.

This year I have felt it stronger (and needed it more) than ever! It's been such a relief to go from feelings of hopeless or total loss and be able to just let go of people or things who have hurt us and feel at peace with it. I am so grateful for it. And I am the happiest I have been in a really really long time! HAPPY EASTER!

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