Ribs (Broken; no slaw, no sauce)

In preparation for Lent; a free mind is a wonderful thing!

“I’m all right, I’m all right
It only hurts, when I breathe”
(Melissa Etheridge)

When I first heard this song, I could sing along with it after just that initial hearing. The imagery really made my brain pulse. Aside from grunting out those last few reps at the gym or that silent (you’re mother popped you so hard that the audible reaction is trapped deep between your vocal chords and the part of the brain that allows you to react) cry; we don’t have to think about breathing. I imagine, just based on my own analysis of the lyrics and earthly application and interpretation, that those who commit suicide must feel this way. One theory I have is, since breathing is controlled by the brain, it must be something in the brain causing undue ache on the respiratory system. Burdens, ideas, thoughts, memories, responsibilities, fears, failures, achievements, slurs, anything negative or positive, etc.,, that the brain can hold on to can put pressure on us, making it difficult to breathe.

Free your mind and the rest will follow (En Vogue). Freedom, the way to it is often difficult and lengthy. But if one could somehow ease the difficulty along the journey, why not take it? The bible talks a great deal about confession and how doing so will set you free. We all, believers and non-believers need to confess and we do, just not enough. Confess means “to bemoan something by the wringing of the hands” and also “to throw away.” Most of us, when worried, concerned or preoccupied with a matter, often complain (bemoan) about it and demonstrate our frustrations by positioning our arms/hands in various positions (wringing of the hands) until we realize that whatever is troubling us is either beyond our control or nothing can be done about it at that particular time so we move on (throw away). If you’re a decent person, and I know those who read this are :), your conscience prods you to confess, regardless of how big or small the offense/issue. Confession isn’t always about the big things either – stealing, lying, cheating, killing. No, confession is, as I apply it, saying/acknowledging anything that would weigh you down. Example – losing a job can cause one to feel a great deal of shame and guilt. That shame and guilt can lead to depression, which can lead to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness because it’s so hard to get back up when life has knocked you down. Instead of asking for help (confessing that you need help, that you feel how you feel, have a right to feel the way you feel and throwing our hands up and saying enough!) we, in proper military fashion, put our feelings/actions to bed with all the corners and edges tightly tucked in, ensuring nothing escapes.

Did you know that it is said that after age 30 your brain shrinks? So, if you’re over 30, you’re responsibilities, actions, feelings, etc., have increased and now the place you store them is getting smaller. Are you a candidate for Hoarders? I wholeheartedly believe in the phrase “getting something off your chest” because the rising and falling of the chest (outside of machine assisted) is the indication that one still has natural breath. So while you still have breath, get those things off your chest and mind. Yelled at someone at the light, in anger, called someone a name or wished something bad upon them and felt bad afterwards? Apologize. You may or may not be able to apologize in person (but if you can, you should try) but you put it out there. You acknowledged that maybe you didn’t handle it the way you would have liked or said something in anger that you shouldn’t have said. Having trouble meeting your responsibilities, having marital, financial or family difficulties?, tell someone. Don’t trust anyone enough?, then say them out loud (God and the universe won’t judge you, tell your business, look at you funny or think less of you). Sit in the car, go in the closet, bathroom or anywhere you can be alone and just spill your guts and get it off your chest and mind. Free your mind so it will no longer hurt when you breathe.

“So tell me what you want to hear
Something that will light those ears
I’m sick of all the insincere
So I’m gonna give all my secrets away”
(One Republic – Secrets)

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