Saturday, May 25, 2013

"I get knocked down, but I get up again..."

I have to say that I love this song.

Yes, I know that it is about drinking, and I don't particularly like that part of it, but it reminds me of my college years, since it came out the year that I graduated with my BA....Considering that I really didn't emotionally become a rebellious teenager until after I graduated with my BA, it is part of what I would consider my youth. 

It also has a very good message to it--kind of like one of my favorite songs from the Fred and Ginger movies...(it isn't my favorite dance scene with them, though...if you want to see that, click here).
While I have been here in San Antonio this past week, I needed to go to Confession, and these 2 songs are really part of the reason why I think that Confession probably ties for my favorite Sacrament with the Blessed Sacrament.  I always dread going, but I'm always so incredibly blessed in having gone.  What always strikes me is that, even though I almost always have a different Confessor when I go, the Lord seems to always speak to me through the priest, and will often get to the heart of what I am struggling with. 

When I was still in the process of converting from Protestantism, my sister Sarah asked me about confession, and her big question was "Why do you have to confess to a priest?"  I could have whipped out my Bible and showed her in John 20:21-23 where Jesus Delegated/gave the power to forgive sins to his Disciples, and then explain how that Authority has been passed on from them to priests.  I could have explained that, when a priest says, "I absolve you,"  He is acting "In Persona Christi" --he is a flesh and blood stand-in for Christ in that moment--While I am sitting across from the priest, I am not only telling them to him, but to Christ who is the one who forgives my sins.  I could have talked about how there is something incredibly powerful to physically hear that my sins are forgiven--I don't know about anyone else, but as a protestant, I tended to ask the Lord to forgive me over and over for each incidence of my sins.  When I confess to a priest, the physical act of doing so helps me, more than anything else, to truly leave my brokenness and sinfulness at the foot of the Cross. 

I could have talked about how humbling myself to admit my sins to another person acts both as a change agent and as a deterrent in the future--and the nice thing about doing so with a priest is that I don't have to worry about it going viral (I've actually read blogs and heard talks by priests about confession, and one thing all of them seem to say is that God gives them the gift of forgetfulness--they don't remember what we say in the confessional).  Instead, I talked about the fact that part of the confession process is to get a little bit of advice from the priest about how to get out of the habit of sinning.  For me, that is probably the best part of Confession--I'm getting help to break the habits and behaviors that strangle or cut off the Grace God wants to give me daily.  I actually correlated it with going to a psychologist, and I have to say that I found her response rather humorous--she changed the subject because I was "making too much sense" for her comfort! 

I also think that I am naturally gravitating toward songs like this because of my divorce...I feel like my life is kind of starting over--and I've been going a little crazy with trying to catch up on things that I have always wanted to do but never have...this past week, I danced on the bar at Coyote Ugly, for instance (and no liquid courage was involved: I got up there of my own volition, and had a blast jamming out to the music)--the evening didn't end as nicely as I would have liked, but the beginning of the night was just a lot of good clean fun.  I also sang karaoke for the first time in my life (and I want to do it again!!!)! I'm beginning to learn that it is okay to be a little crazy at times, and to let my crazy side out, within reason.  I'm learning to figure out my own boundaries again as I get re-acquainted with myself. 

It is funny, because I thought that my suicide attempt 12 years ago taught me about all of my limits and who I was--where my rock bottom was, and exactly how much pain/hurt/anguish I could handle.  Now, I'm beginning to learn about the boundaries on the other side of my life--things like what is and isn't fun for me; whether getting buzzed should be a part of that equation (it isn't--life is more fun when you aren't buzzed, IMHO), and how much I'm willing to drink socially (the usual limit is 1 drink, although I will extend that to 3 over the course of a night if we are out for a long time or it is a special occasion).   I'm discovering that I am more than the internal commentary in my ex's voice about how I have no sense of humor, that I'm no fun, and that I have no singing voice.  I am enjoying going out with friends and colleagues, especially when we go dancing or singing karaoke, but I also know that things will eventually calm down some--I'm not really a true party girl....Too often, I still feel like the awkward teenager who doesn't know how to react in social situations! 

Even so, I want to get out and do things more than I have in the past.  One thing that I've really been working on doing is increasing my circle of friends and reconnecting with old friends.  I will probably never have a huge amount of really close friends, but it would be nice to have people I can call and plan stuff with, rather than spend most of my time sitting at home and reading.  Honestly, I don't want to spend every night out doing stuff, but it is nice to have one to two nights a week where I am doing something social.  That is why I love my running club so much, and why, even before I got divorced, I wasn't willing to miss my monthly book club unless I had a very good reason.  At running club, I still feel very much like the awkward 13-year-old me trying to hang out with the cool kids, but I'm finally beginning to make real connections, so that feeling is slowly dissipating.  Who knows?  Maybe I will BE one of the cool kids by the time that I quit feeling like 13-year-old me!

So, I will leave you with two songs that have become my personal anthems lately, and are along the lines of the original song that started this post...

This is a song I fell in love with while playing Singstar at a friend's house.  It also has the benefit of being a GREAT song to run to!

And this is just a great song about starting over, and about having hope that there is life after the pain.  It is this song that makes me love Taylor Swift.