EMDR: Fighting Monsters

EMDR always leaves me feeling like I’ve just come out of the boxing ring with the world heavyweight champion, and all the while I had my hands tied behind my back. I ache all over. I barely know which way is up. I’m like a doll who has had pins stuck in her all over and now they’re finally, painfully, being pulled out one by one.

‘He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.’

Nietzsche

I’m not a fan of Nietzsche, but he had moments of needlepoint insight and I think this quote is one of them. EMDR is fighting with monsters and gazing into the abyss, although I have been surprised by what I found there. Turns out this guilt complex is more deep-rooted than I thought. It’s a weed that will need to be dug up completely, roots and bulbs and all, and thrown on the fire, otherwise it will just pop up somewhere else (and that is a very good metaphor for PTSD too).

Today I looked into the abyss and, instead of fear and guilt and shame and anger and bitterness and remorse and self-loathing…

I found Jesus, sitting quietly. Waiting as He did for the sin-living Samaritan woman, to ask her for a drink.

He asked her.

He asks me.

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And then, instead of condemnation, the Messiah offers me living water; tells me I need never be thirsty again. Tells me the guilt is not mine, and never was. It was a lie, sown by the enemy, many, many years ago when I was too small to realise. I don’t know what I did expect to find as I looked into the abyss, but this I never expected.

‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

…all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.’

Romans 8:1,2, 14-17

From the Desert to the Moon

Negev desert, Israel

 

Sometimes when my mind is in such great aridity [dry as a desert] that it is impossible to draw forth one single thought to unite me to God, I very slowly recite an ‘Our Father’ [The Lord’s Prayer].

From The Little Way of Lent

by Fr. Gary Caster

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
    and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-12 (NRSVA)

Spring blooms in the Negev

The book of Isaiah uses the water cycle as a metaphor for God’s will, and followers of Jesus believe this was later embodied in Him:

All things came into being through him,

and without him not one thing came into being,

in him was life…’

John 1:3-4a (NRSVA)

‘Jesus… cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”’

John 7:37-38 (NRSVA)

Scientists searching for planets capable of holding life search for signs of water. It is said that life cannot exist without water. In the same way as life is said to need water, and is brought into being with water, the bible tells us that God sends Jesus as living water, creating all things, running through all things. Intriguing.