Main Entry: 1ca·thar·tic
Etymology: Late Latin or Greek; Late Latin catharticus, from Greek kathartikos, from kathairein
Date: 16121 : purgation
2 a : purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art b : a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension
3 : elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression
i have been hearing the word cathartic a lot lately. it's just been one of those words that has been on my radar. thus, i have been prompted to use the word cathartic randomly, whenever i get the chance to throw it into conversation. further, i have been prompted investigate all things cathartic that happen in my life. ( and now that i have looked up the official definition of cathartic/catharsis, i feel prompted to investigate the word 'purgation'. great word. i think i'll try to use it in a sentence this week.) so like i said, i have been thinking about things that are cathartic. i know lots of people who are going through lots of stuff right now. and not fun stuff. the kind of stuff that sucks out loud kind of stuff. friends who have family with cancer or have cancer themselves. people who are loosing their homes to foreclosure. people have lost their health insurance. people who are out of work. (i love uplifting blogs!) so in this season of catharsis i find myself doing things like drinking hot tea because i like it and it's good for me. i make brownies on a regular basis and i enjoy them even though they are not good for me. i find that my home practice (that's yoga practice for those not in the know) is better and more consistent than it has ever been. i hang out with my cat and dogs. i laugh and sing with my daughters and i snuggle up to my husband when he is sleeping. the heat that comes off of him when he is asleep is like the soothing warmth that comes from a heating pad. it always makes me feel better. it is cathartic. but the definition of catharsis involves 'purgation' (see, i used it in a sentence. yay me!). so, when i get angry with someone, or i need to get something off of my chest, i write a letter that i will never mail. i sing songs at the top of my lungs. i cry. and i scream. in fact, if i find that slappey girls have been guilty of exchanging some bad juju with each other (ie. have been unkind) we scream it out. as this scenario usually happens in the car, we turn the radio up. loud. and proceed to scream. and scream again. and again. usually we end up laughing. occasionally, one of us has to stop and pee. but always, i end up snorting. and snorting my friends, is cathartic.
but mostly, i think that catharsis is about being kind to yourself. i think that catharsis is realizing that you are a child of god and then living in the grace that is available to all of us. especially from within ourselves. we all have the choice and then the ability to show grace to ourselves. catharsis is also about surrounding yourself with people who understand this principle and thus, live accordingly. it is about surrounding ourselves with people who are good for us. people who speak life and truth over our lives. much like a blessing.
about a year ago, a prayer grew from within the very center of my heart. i asked god to surround me with people who loved god and understood the principles about which i have been writing. i wanted to cultivate a community of individuals that could pray for me if i asked them to. i wanted a community, of women, especially, that, like i said, spoke life and truth. women who possessed wisdom. it hasn't happened the way that i would have expected, but i have that for which i prayed. and it is more beautiful than anything i could have created myself.