“Before you can forget, you first have to remember.”
From: “News from the World”
Maya Angelou once said, “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?” But what does to be “good to myself” mean? Sometimes it can mean doing a hard thing, naming a hard thing, telling the truth—the deepest truth—about your experience with someone you may love. Maybe even yourself.
The trick is to do it with love, even if you are sad, angry, and hurt. Love is not the absence of any of those things—even anger. Love is telling the truth even when it hurts and scares us while simultaneously wishing Good for the ones we need to confront.
This is especially hard with family. As the above quote says, before we can forget, we first must remember. With family we often suppress hard truths. We fear hurting them or being abandoned or shamed by them. We fear they will deny or excuse the hurt.
As Dr. Dan Allender recently posted, “Living a life of obedience demands restorative truth telling. God created us in His image, designed to desire community. Only in acknowledging our weakness can we experience how the power of the resurrected Christ provides healing and growth. To feast on this gift of restoration, we must first remember our experiences of disruption.”
A story, La Loba, by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes describes this beautifully. There is an old woman who is rustling through the forest gathering old, dry bones. It takes her a very long time to find them all. When she has enough to form a complete skeleton, she sings over them until life and breath fill them once again. It’s an ancient version of the prophet Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of the Dry Bones.
For us, this may mean spending time in our own Valley of the Dry Bones. Lost stories. Lost experiences. Not blaming. Not hating. Not raging. Just remembering. Sitting with these bones we’ve let dry up because it’s painful to remember and sit with them.
The longer we sit, the more we begin to rediscover our voice. The one that was true before the disruption. The one that is still true. Our life-giving, flesh-filling, singing voice. And, like Maya, we understand why the caged bird sings.
This is difficult to do alone. We often need others to sit with us as we dig for these dry bones. We are made to be connected with one another and all God’s creation. We often need a community to hear our singing.
I’m here for you. You can PM me or email me at
To receive Kimberly’s blog straight to your email box: www.KimberlyHighland.com
Follow Kimberly on Facebook
Love, your sister along the journey,
Go to: kimberlyhighland.com for more information or to book a private session