Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Short Story About Healing

I could hardly wait to get to my blog today. I have a story I want to share. Last night, I believe I had one of those "ah-ha" moments of clarity and I want to put it in writing. For months now I have been praying a short and simple prayer to God, "please heal me because I am broken". It occurred to me last night that maybe, just maybe I am already healed. Kind of a weird way to put it. How can one be healed and not know it? Well, for me...maybe because I was too busy feeling sorry for myself to notice that I am, could be the answer. Now for the story. Sit back, relax, grab a cup of coffee, it's going to be a long one.

Growing up, I was forced to listen to the likes of Roy Clark, Buck Owens, Loretta Lynn, Charlie Rich, George Jones, etc. My Dad always had the stereo blaring with one of those great country legends on Saturday mornings. As a young girl, I DID NOT appreciate being forced to listen to music I'd rather not. Growing up in the 70's, I also had influence from my older siblings that turned me on to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Nielson, Pink Floyd and the likes. NOW THAT was music!! That kind of music made my heart sing. To this day, I love rock-n-roll....even the heavy metal stuff. I love how it speaks to my soul and rocks me like a baby. That is my music of choice.

Over the years, I have developed a love for other kinds of music like disco, the blues, jazz and even rap. To me, there is always a song being sung somewhere that can describe a person's mood at any given time. I love how I connect to music of all types. Somewhere in the late 80's, country music sort of took off like a rocket and suddenly it was almost cool to be country. I was living in California at the time and I was making a weekly trip from LA to Bakersfield to see my sweetie at the time. I remember my Mom making me a couple of tapes to listen to on the way up in my old '66 Mustang. She told me that music was not all about Guns-n-Roses and Bon Jovi...that I needed to experience some good 'ole country music too. The two tapes she made me where KT Oslin and George Straight. From the minute I put George into my tape deck, I fell in love with his music. I wore that tape out. There is nothing like listening to the sweet melody of a George Straight song. I bet you can guess that lead me to my love of country music for the next several years. I mean I was crazy in love with country music. I had all the CD's, knew who was hot and who was not, learned to 2-step and wore my Wranglers and Ropers and was a country girl at heart. I never gave up my rock-n-roll roots, but it did take a back seat for a while while I was having my love affair with country music.

Then one night, I meet the man I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with. He seemed to complete me and he loved country music too. So we often listened to the music together and would swap CD's and keep each other up to date on who was our faves for the moment. We spent 4 years together. I thought it was a match made in Heaven. I had never been in love so much before. I was absolutely head over crazy heels in love with this guy. I loved his family, they loved me. It was really, really perfect. He told me often I was beautiful and that he loved me and wanted to spend his life with me. He called me daily at work, just to say "I love you" and often would surprise me with flowers at work for no reason. I thought life couldn't get any better. This man was for me. I knew that God had sent him to me and that we were going to live happily ever after. .

On February 2, 1995, he surprised me with a beautiful birthday dinner and a lovely gift. Could this guy get any better I remember thinking. Then, out of nowhere, he calmly explained to me that he no longer wanted to be with me and that we were not going to be getting married after all and he didn't want to see me anymore. I was devastated. I was crushed. I couldn't breathe. I wanted to die, it hurt so bad. I couldn't understand the sudden change of heart. When I told people he broke up with me, they thought I was joking. His family and our friends tried to talk to him and all he would say, was she deserves someone better than me. WTH???? What does THAT mean? I deserved someone better? It left me hurt, angry and confused. All I wanted to do was wake-up from my nightmare. I would sit for hours and stare into nothing and I ached like nothing before. I wanted to just die. Consequently, at that moment, I could not bring myself to listen to country music. It became like fingernails down a chalkboard to me. It made my stomach turn to listen to it and I instantly hated it.

Enter the new sounds coming from out of Seattle like Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana and Pearl Jam. That music sang to me like no other music ever had. It was deep, dark, hypnotic and mysterious and all about PAIN. I clung to it like a wet blanket. It eased my pain, if only temporary. Yes, I sure had a new love, and it's name was Seattle Grunge. I soaked myself in the grunge scene, because I had some pain buddy. I had pain to share and I had pain to give back to it. Pain was all I knew. I was forcing myself to get up and move everyday and work for money to pay the bills. By night, I would smoke and drink and ease the pain to the tune of Down in a Hole and I would marvel at just how much I felt like the lyrics that Layne Staley was belting out to me. I had a HOLE as big as the Grand Canyon inside of me and I needed to fill it with something. I filled it with cigarettes, booze and sex. Not proud of that fact, but it's who I was at the time. I just wanted to ease the pain, if only temporary. I knew one thing and that was that I HATED country music. It was a lie and I no longer believed the promise that it offered. I decided somewhere in the summer of 1995 that I would never, ever listen to country music again because it reminded me of HIM.

From 1995 up until last night, I have kept that promise. Country music has been hated by me (I can really hold a grudge when I want to) and I have been faithful to my promise to myself, that I hate country music. Country music has had nothing to offer me. I refused to even let it into my heart, so why bother. Over the years I have heard songs here and there that I was able to give credit to where it was due and acknowledge that country music stars are talented and they deserve recognition. But that kind of music was for the other people in the world, not people like me, in pain. I really believed that with all my heart. As you know the story, I met and fell in love with Ed and I moved on from the pain somewhat, but never letting Ed get too close to me. Even after 12 years together, I have never really ever let him into my heart all the way, it's too risky. It was so much easier loving him from afar I thought. No chance of being hurt again. Probably not the best way to live ones life I guess. Totally not fair to Ed as well.

Last night, while flipping through the channels looking for something to watch, I came across the CMA's. I decided to watch for awhile at Ivy's request. So we snuggled up and began watching and guess who performed right after we settled in? You can probably guess that it was George Straight. I remember thinking after he was done, "wow, that man still has it after all these years". But then as quickly as that thought came out, my next was "well that was just a fluke, then next song will suck". But I kept watching and while I didn't get much out of Kelli Pickler and Taylor Swift's new age country performances, I was thoroughly entranced with Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Trace Adkins, Brooks and Dunn, Reba, Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban. I found myself still watching long after Ivy had succumbed to sleep. I remember asking myself, "why are you STILL watching this stupid show Lisa??? You don't even LIKE country music, r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r???". But I kept on watching and then Carrie Underwood came out and sang this beautiful and very powerful song about loss and the flood gates opened when I heard her belt out one line that said, "I could hardly breathe.....this can't be happening to me" and all of a sudden for the first time in 13 years, I connected to it. It was like electricity running through my body. I was alive and at that very moment, it occurred to me that my heart was actually healed because I had let country music back into and it felt so right. I knew in an instant that my prayers had been answered. My simple, little prayer: please heal me because I am broke. God knows that I am too inattentive to hear him speak to me softly. He has to speak to me with ways that I can connect to and for me last night, it was through music that I love so much and connect to so well....even if it was "country" music in the end. What a day to be thankful for. The hard part is now moving forward with the knowledge that I am healed and I now need to move on. I am sure it won't be easy, but I love that I have finished with what seemed to be an excruciatingly painful growth process here. Move forward, keep breathing, move forward, keep breathing......


Heather said...

wow lisa! i don't know what to say because i'm still stuck at wow! right down to the 66 mustang. wow! the music, i understand. and it's so funny because i don't like country music either. i always have to TELL myself that. except during some of the darkest days of my illness it was country music that got me through. wow! the prayer, yep that's mine too. wow! and yes...keep moving forward lisa i know that there are many bright sunny days ahead for you. YOU are the bright sunny days!

notjustanylisa said...

Heather, I've said it before and I will say it again...we are so much alike it's SCARY!!! Love you right back XOXOXOXO