In 1994, I watched Stephen King's The Stand, a television mini-series. It was the first time in my life (I was 42 at the time) that I understood the phrase "Thy will be done". I said it as part of a prayer but thought it was an incomplete phrase. What will be done? I didn't get it. It was an OMG moment when I realized it referred to MY WILL--my choices, my decisions, my will. My memories didn't surface until several years later so it had no greater meaning at the time. In reflection, I could see I was clueless about what my will was. It was a document for after I died. Obviously, having no concept of personal choice was a huge message I held subconsciously.
"Will" went with sheep to me in my artwork. After many images I realized I was the lamb following the will of someone else. In my internal system, Will was a person who was very tortured. In fact, many concepts of human identity were made to be literal. People often laughed at my responses to statements because of my genuine confusion. Soul went with a shoe and was walked all over. Heart was something that they took out if you told. Commitment is what happened if you told (committed to an asylum). Needless to say I was pretty effed up subconsciously. Metaphor was literal and concept was made reality.
In the later years of my healing before I fully understood the message of concepts as being made into something concrete to cause confusion, I surrounded myself with Philosophy products. If you aren't familiar with that line of beauty products, just search them on the internet or go to Philosophy.com. I had products called Hope in a Jar, When Hope is Not Enough, Grace (a perfume), Eye Believe, and Soul Owner. Philosophy products have wonderful inspirational writings on them. It was a neat discovery to my healing. I was subconsciously changing my internal messages by surrounding myself with concrete examples of my humanity.
What I know for certain about the religious aspect of the abuse is my still ongoing confusion between the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene. My best friend is Catholic and helped me through what I knew versus the Catholic teaching. I was consciously raised another religion. I did things that were Catholic but backwards or skewed. I don't know why that backwardness is so set into my mind to this day. When The DaVinci Code came out, I was, "See! It IS Mary Magdalene!"
As part of my healing, I embraced concepts of Native American Indians with some Buddha and Zen. I created my own rituals. One day I took my newly purchased white sage and decided to smudge the house. I had a special bowl to burn the sage. I walked through the house circling my hand around and over the smoke to waft it over me and over special areas of the home. That was fine except a young child part of me joined with me and began to say, "Hail Mary full of Grace". Grace was a person, not the lovely meaning it has now. I called my friend and told her what I was doing. She said her mother used to bless her house each year by burning frankincense and myrhh while reciting the "hail Mary". How did I know that? It was a lovely memory for my friend. Undoing religious confusion remains ongoing.
Grace is a name I took on as my own in the final stages of healing as I prepared for graduation with my counseling degree. I wanted my newly chosen name of healing on my diploma. I took ownership of my Grace...and my soul and my hope and my will. My will be done. My choices now. I choose to fight this battle against the world of evil. In doing so, I believe Thy will be done.