My posts have been spotty of late, and my critical mind wants to lament and wail about my lack of discipline. Then the practical adult in me recounts what I’ve been doing with my days and nights and counters the critic with Now just where do you think we’d find the time to write when we’re not even getting enough time to sleep? The critic then makes it a bad thing to change my routine, to have a different schedule. It’s addicted to feelings of shame, anxiety, and unworthiness. It’s saying I need to go back to the way things were. But things aren’t the way they were. Not even a little. Things have changed. I am glad about that. I am a part of all things, even though my ego would tell me I am separate. I have changed too. I am glad about that. I don’t need to feel guilty for changing, for adopting a different routine, for using my time in different ways. Therefore, I am glad to write when I can, and not a minute before. (Takes a deep breath and lies down on the floor, looks out the window at a puffy, white cloud floating in the blue sky, relaxes and sighs.)
Dear One, I know your heart hurts. I know you feel confused. I know you wonder if you will ever let yourself be fully seen by another. I know the world feels heavy. I know that the tears are waiting just behind your eyes. So let yourself cry. This world needs your tears. They are the holiest of waters, washing away the dust and dirt of countless injustices done to your precious, tender heart. Dear One, I see you, and I am grateful for your courage, for your willingness to show up on this day as messy and uncertain and vulnerable as you feel. Stay open, Dear One. Stay open and breathe. This too will pass. This too will pass.
I moved a bunch of stuff in my house today to revitalize the energy and give the space a pick me up. Translation: I moved a bunch of clutter down to the basement today because I couldn’t stand my living room anymore. Truth: Wow. I have so much stuff! Wow. I feel ashamed of how much stuff I have! And somehow, I need to be compassionate, because that works better than attacking myself. Gee. Life gets complicated sometimes. All I wanted to do was declutter my living room, and I end up contemplating ancestral trauma, the struggle for survival, and the belief that we need to hold on to everything, because we might need something later and feel regret if it’s not there. Takeaway: The deeper I go, the more significant everything becomes. Maybe I just need to lighten up!
As I continue to remain perplexed, and my mind resists the fact that healing isn’t linear, and so I cannot identify the end point— it seems to me that the key to peace must be acceptance. I accept that my healing is non-linear I accept that healing from trauma can be very messy I accept that there are no clear start and finish lines. And my mind expects that everything will change now that I have found acceptance. I accept that acceptance changes nothing except the way I relate to this moment. I accept this moment. I accept this life.
This is just a friendly reminder that you’re doing great, so keep going! In case you forgot, I’m here to remind you, that some days just breathing is enough, and it’s okay to be human and make mistakes and not know when this will ever end or what the new normal will look like. Just wanted to remind you that no relationship is ever wasted, because you learn something about yourself in every single one, and whether you’re alone or with a partner or in between or looking or branching out you’re exactly where you need to be to learn what you need to learn before you’ve outgrown that experience and it’s once again time to move on. Knowing that the one constant in the universe is change, let us take a deep breath together, and open our arms to what is to come.
I see you. I hear you. You’re going to be ok. I’m proud of you. I love you.
For the longest time I was waiting for someone to speak words of kindness to me, someone besides the therapists I was paying, or the people in my twelve step meetings, or the coach I had hired, or the guided meditations I was listening to… Sometimes I’d speak with a friend on the phone, sometimes a family member, but there were many, many times when I wished for words of kindness but I found myself utterly alone. It finally dawned on me one day that I am the one I’ve been waiting for, and I could speak kindness to myself. I also discovered that self-love isn’t experienced at the level of the intellect; it must be felt. So I began imagining what it would feel like if I could really love, respect, and support myself. I began speaking words of kindness to myself, just to try it out, to hear myself being kind to myself. Slowly, s l o w l y over time I began to feel a change within me. Slowly I began giving myself the same kindness, care and concern I would offer to a good friend. Slowly I felt compassion for myself. Slowly self-love become real.
********************************** If you suffer from feelings of inadequacy, anxiety for the future, or the pain of unmet needs, I highly recommend checking out the work of self-compassion researcher Kristin Neff. Her site includes information about self-compassion and exercises to get you started with a self-compassion practice. There is also a self-compassion test so you can see where you fall on the self-compassion scale!
Even though in the past I interpreted challenges like these as evidence that I was somehow deficient, today I deeply love and accept myself and I am willing to see myself with the eyes of love. Even though I find myself uncertain of my future, my AC has gone belly up, and now the outlets powering my refrigerator and freezer are no longer working, today I deeply love and accept myself and I am wiling to see myself with the eyes of love. Even though I never thought I’d be here, never thought that at the age of 42 I’d struggle with anxiety and depression, wondering where I’ll live and how I’ll make ends meet for myself and my children, today I deeply love and accept myself and I am willing to see myself with the eyes of love. I am willing to change and grow. I am willing to learn new skills. I am willing to stand in my power. I am willing to shift this situation. Now, God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.
I got upset this morning, lost it with my kids, felt guilty and ashamed. I interpreted this event as a setback. I spent some time wallowing in shame, depression, the belief that I haven’t made any progress at all. Then I breathed. Then the wisdom came. I remembered that I’m human, I make mistakes, and now it’s time for a reset. So I chose for the day to go better from that point on. I’m going in to the kids’ classes for Valentine’s Day; I’m going to help the kids celebrate, make crafts, have fun. I tied up some loose ends at home, finished some projects that had been waiting. No more dwelling in upset, in setbacks. I’ve reset…now it’s time to keep moving forward.
The voice stayed with me when the clock struck midnight; it followed me into the new year. It was quiet for a few hours, letting me take in the new year… But now it is saying, already, You should be doing more. You need to make phone calls, you need to organize your house, you need to earn more, you need to plan for the future. You could end up on the street. You could lose everything. Hurry up! No time to lose! Now I want to know, whose voice is this? Of course I want to be responsible, of course I want to take action, of course I want to do the right thing. But I don’t need a tyrant telling me what to do. I don’t need a frightened, abused inmate pushing me to be afraid too. I’m ready for a new voice, one that says, Breathe. You’re doing just fine. Let’s try this now. You are not alone; I’ll be with you every step of the way. Everything is working out just fine. You are safe. You can trust me. I got you. I’m searching for that voice. I’m wanting to see what my life will be like when I listen to it and act from it. May the voice of kindness rise up within me, and may my ears and heart and mind be open to receive its wisdom.