Unique Self: Part 1 This Addict’s Dark Side

You accept who you are by beginning to find your unique self.

I stopped drinking in March of 2007, but in the December previous to that I desperately wanted answers to life. I knew only God had them but how would I get them? I was having a daily quiet time with God and praying often. I had a systematic theology in place and hundreds of hours of personal Bible study and years of biblical instruction, but still… where were the answers? At 55 I felt like I was cracking up.

Pic from Prairiewoods.org

I was falling apart emotionally, suffering from depression and anxiety and hopelessness. The carefully constructed outer shell was cracking because my inner world was crumbling. Finally, I just lay prostrate on the patio boards of the hermitage at Prairiewoods and asked God to show me He cared about me. I wrote about how God responded to my desperate prayer here.

What I didn’t know then is that most people go through a similar existential crisis during their lives. Debbie writes about it in the series on Two Minutes of Grace.

In my journal from that time shows me that just a week after that answered prayer, I was driven to begin finding my unique self. It is often the persecution and despair from our dark side that prompts this crisis.

It began during a walk of the outdoor labyrinth. I thought the exercise was a colossal waste of time until I got to the center rock where I sat and just relaxed. While there I was struck by the ‘faces’ of the left-over brick pieces scattered around my feet.

They reminded me of Greek Tragedy masks—expressions of the agony of tortured souls. It was a little like seeing my inner experience arrayed around my feet in the sand. I had the profound impression that God was showing me something important. I began to think maybe this labyrinth exercise was more than futility. Suddenly my name came to mind. Heidi Hazel Orianna (the full story). What? My name and those faces. Something was going on. I got up and circled back out the labyrinth instead of leaping over the bricks and going back to the hermitage as I’d intended. By the time I wound out of it, I knew that what I’d been shown was the key to going forward.

I needed to learn more about my unique self and discover who my creator intended me to become. I had already been rescued once. This is the second time I would be rescued. The first time God rescued me it was from the destructive forces of abuse at the hands of others. Now He was about to rescue me from the destructive forces within myself—my dark side.