The memory of you

From the memory of you comes the meaning our exchange had in my life

You provided a way for me to see myself from a new angle

From beyond the shadow covering my vision of my forgotten self

You whispered to me in the dark and the cobwebs shuddered as you spoke

You made visible what was unseen

To deny your meaning in my life, is to deny a piece of myself and my history

Your spirit and mine tangled for a moment in time danced in the wild field

I could sense the moment you would fade from me

that moment approaching like a very distant ship in the dark waters of the atlantic

But, I remained the course, as you brought me something tangible as I was grasping for straws

and still the sound of your voice stirs something deep inside of me

On Resistance…

You can resist what is, or shall I say you can try. 

With all of your might, fight that which exists in solid form.

It is there when you wake up, it is there when you sleep.

You can wrap it in brown paper and tuck it away in a trunk. 

You can give it away asking another to take it from you.

You can put a bow on it, so that it looks different.

Under the wrapping, under the bow, it is still what it is. 

You may even successfully put it away and “forget about it.” 

But sometimes when the wind blows, you are reminded of something, and you silently know it is that which you resist.

And it knows it is there. It is waiting there for you, ready for you to face it. 

And it seems the harder you try to resist it.

The more effort and strength you mount an attack against it, the stronger it seems to become. 

It becomes no stronger though, the strength of that which you resist is that thing plus your own resistance coming back at you.

Then, one day, you turn and face it. It hurts. 

It hurts so much deep within your soul, deep within your cells.

It dances and weaves it’s way through every part of your being.

You feel as if you might break into a million pieces.

This thing you now face is a part of you, and always has been.

The fear of acceptance flashes quickly. You sit with this fear, with this thing, with this resistance.

You realize if only you can understand this part of you, transforming that which you have resisted is possible.

You turn in the dark facing a mirror, and in the mirror it looks back at you and all the other pieces of yourself stare back from behind it, crying to be heard, to be seen again.

It is out of love for these other pieces, that you must love that which you fear the most.

Slowly with time you stop resisting.

But not like one who gives up hope.

You stop resisting with your heart and your mind open. 

You listen to this thing’s story. You feel what it is telling you. 

You sense within the fabric of your being that story for it comes in many ways. 

You draw it into your breath and for the first time in a very long time the pain subsides. 

Some realizations…for the morning.

Yellow Flower

I am writing a paper and am reflecting back on my life. I was doing this just this morning while sipping my coffee, sitting by the plants, watching the blue jays and letting the wind blow on my face. When, I thought of realizations…or quotes or something.

1. I am extremely sensitive. I feel the emotions of other people. I have binge ate many times just to dampen these feelings to a tolerable level. I am an open person, but I can also get tired interacting with so many people. I have had to create self-care techniques to combat this and learn to set boundaries. Not in a bad way, but a healthy way. So, I thought to myself, “Don’t be so open that yourself falls out.” I realized if I let myself open up so much, I have at times lost myself in the emotions of others. This is not healthy or helpful.

2. As a seeker of “information” I like to ponder things. I read and read and ask many questions. Which, of course, only leads to more questions. I realize I have to stop searching for the TRUTH and allow for the answers. This can really only happen when I am quiet enough to hear them. In addition, someone else’s answers are someone else’s answers. Can reading an inspiring quote offer a new insight? YES absolutely, but then stop and ask, “how does this fit into my life?” How do I personally feel about this. It can deepen the experience even more.

Just some morning ponderings!! Thanks! Good day!

Pondering the Subjective, the breath

What does the map of the land tell us of the smell of the flowers?
Or the song of the birds…or the fireflies lighting the forest at night?
What does the structure of the house tell us about the love that dwells within?
Or the memories witnessed by its walls…or the laugh of children as they lay down there heads on their pillows at night?
What does the objective tell us about the subjective?
What if all we had was the subjective? Knowing through experience…through insight and intuition. What if the summer wind and the clouds told us when the rain was coming?
What if our hearts and minds were so open to each other and radiated with such love that there was nothing it couldn’t conquer?
What if we stopped and listened in silence to the sound of our own breath, would we realize the miracle of life itself?

On Forgiveness…

To forgive, forgiveness….What thought’s come to mind when you think about forgiveness? For most of my life people have told me that I am too hard on myself, and perhaps they are right. What I have come to understand is that in some ways this has been a defense mechanism. If I am hard on myself, no one else will have to be. If I am hard on myself I am somehow controlling my environment so maybe things seem a little less out of control or “unknown.” During my program for binge eating disorder, I did a lot of work around forgiving myself for things. I wracked my brain, “why was it so hard for me to extend myself the self-compassionate gesture and say, “I forgive you self for not being perfect, for being human?” Why can I forgive almost anyone around me, but not myself? Again, perhaps the defense mechanism comes into play, but I also started to think about our society. We live in a very critical society. Even looking at the tabloids or the news, one comment someone says is taken out of context and bam they are soon the center of storm of hateful comments. People seem to want punishment. People seem to want to make people pay. I often wonder where the compassion is in these stories. Where is the human emotion of empathy? Sure, some things people do are horrendous and people shouldn’t just walk around without any consequences. But, that’s not what I am talking about here. When we judge people so harshly, especially without knowing the facts or a person’s true heart, it does something to us as human beings. I think it hardens us in a way.

So, enough blaming society…why else is self-forgiveness so freaking hard? Well, I can really only speak for myself. First of all, I had to take a look at myself and say, did I really do anything wrong? Sometimes I was blaming myself for things I had nothing to do with in reality, or I was feeling like I had to fly around with a cape on saving everyone. Sometimes, I did have to admit ok, yes maybe I could have done this differently etc. For example, I remember learning from someone, that comments I had made hurt their feelings and made them actually very upset. Learning this and admitting that I had caused someone sadness tore through me. I thought, “how could I have done something like this?” I beat myself up for that for a very long time. That is despite apologizing and learning new ways of communicating. Harboring those feelings towards myself in the long run really would not have helped my friend any, because most likely she had already moved on. Ahhh admitting life, and me, are not always perfect was hard for me. It meant admitting I was vulnerable and that people are vulnerable. This meant admitting that the world is not always a place of fairy tales and roses and days gone by. It meant admitting sometimes, things go wrong. Of course, I know all of this rationally. The imperfection of the world and myself are things that not only am I aware of, but are also realities that can be a bit scary, because again it means being vulnerable. I think my subconscious thought pattern went something like this:  if I allow myself to be imperfect, it means being seen, being seen means being vulnerable, and being vulnerable means the possibility of getting hurt, getting hurt means experiencing painful emotions…and you get the picture.

 

Grief: When I began to take an honest look at myself and really accept the emotions I was experiencing, a strange wave of something passed over me. What was this feeling? I began to ponder it, and then I figured it out. I was sitting with my emotions and allowing myself to offer me some forgiveness, when I felt some sadness. It was not just any sadness, but I began to recognize that I was actually grieving something. I had stopped using food to numb my emotions and things were coming up. I was grieving the fairy tale world where everything was “perfect”. I was grieving my childhood ideals that life is always sunshine and daisies, that everyone is always happy, and that nothing bad ever happens. Again, I knew all of this rationally, but I guess maybe I just didn’t want to accept it. I guess, I was actually growing up a bit. Soon enough, this feeling of grief passed,  and I was able to find a new feeling in its place: a sense of accomplishment, growth and resiliency. I knew I could face myself and accept my imperfections, and more importantly, I could grow and learn from them. As I write about this now, it is easier to look back on this and paint it as events happening sequentially. But, it wasn’t and still isn’t like that. Some days, I am more willing to accept imperfection than others. Some days, I am more willing to offer myself self-compassion. Some days, I still get mad at myself and set unrealistic expectations. These skills are still very new for me and I can honestly say this journey is a continually adapting process. But, I would not have it any other way. Allowing space for self-exploration and kindness has significantly changed my life. Although it has been painful at times, it has also been beautiful and rewarding. Maybe perfect isn’t wrapped up in pretty little bows or presents under the tree on christmas morning. Maybe perfect is about staring life in the face and saying, “I see you and I see me and we are in this thing together.” Perfect is all of the little beautiful imperfections dancing in harmony creating our authentically constructed reality. Perfect isn’t about avoiding “the difficult” or pretending the mud doesn’t exist. My perfect now is facing the difficult and taking the mud and building a mud fort and staking my claim in this world. There is nothing really that exciting about perfect anyways. 

Yes, it is 3 am. Yes, I had double espresso at 6pm. This is something I never do, and will abstain from in the future as a rule, I require a lot of sleep. Thanks for reading. 

No one said healing was easy. A letter to myself.

Heart

Dear A Mermaid Named (E.D.),

As you reflect on your healing journey, does any of it feel easy? Maybe some of it does. Maybe some moments of surrender and truly learning to let go feel easy. Maybe these moments were the culmination of a lot of other moments that weren’t so easy and you were just ready. But, overall I know this process has not been easy for you. When you began this journey, I don’t remember anyone saying, “this will be a breeze.” You probably also thought it would be a lot harder than it was. You are stronger than you ever knew. Is healing hard? No, I’m not sure it is not the healing in itself that is hard. For you, it has been learning how to face the fact that, “not everything is always perfect.” It has also been learning to deal with the fact that painful emotions are apart of life and that you actually can experience them and not break in half. It has also been about accepting that your loved ones are also not perfect and may also hurt your feelings sometimes. Most of all, it has been a bit challenging at times to stop avoiding and start accepting. I think it took courage to say, “I want to heal.” Today, as you look back on a few challenging days and conversations you had this weekend, what do you notice? What I notice is that you have found so many new ways of dealing with difficult emotions. I know that maybe not everything went exactly as you would have liked these past few days and maybe a few times you used food in a way you have been trying not too. But, remember Mermaid, it is about progress not perfection. What I notice is that you stopped to ask yourself why you were feeling these urges again, and that you came from a place of reflection and really took the time to understand your emotions. Way to go! What I also notice, is that this morning, you woke up in a positive mood. You woke up eager to see what the day would bring. This is such a shift, for a few small months ago, you would have woken up and beat yourself up for not begin perfect. You probably would have carried a feeling of shame and desperation throughout your day. But you didn’t. How do you feel right now? I know. You feel positive. You feel like you can make mistakes and learn from them. You feel resilient. This does not mean you were not terribly sad or lonely last night, because I know you were. I know you had some difficult emotions to process. But, Mermaid, no one said healing was easy. Beautiful, yes. Easy, no. Do you want easy? Maybe sometimes you do. And, things are getting easier, just have patience. Healing this might be the hardest thing you have ever done. However, it might also be the single most life changing, rewarding thing you have ever done as well. Is facing the pain not a challenge? Once you see it you can heal it. Well done, today.  Now, read this, when things feel hard. Read this when you feel alone or sad. As the tide rises and falls so will the pain. It does get easier. It also gets brighter and the feel of the sun’s rays on your skin feel warmer. I know you would never trade these days for anything because in them you have seen your potential. You have seen the magnificent beauty of imperfection and you feel grateful.

-ME

 

Sometimes change feels as slow as molasses

Am I a patient person? I would say maybe about some things. I would not say I am naturally patient. I am patient with children and people out in public, but when it comes to myself, I’m not sure that I am all that patient. I have been working and growing and changing. Sometimes, it feels like nothing has changed, but then, I realize it has. Sometimes, change is slow. Sloooowwww. I think when you are putting so much effort into something you want big rewards.(A big bang for your buck so to speak) This is why it is also important to have fun. I have found various activities that I find fun and nourish me in so many ways. I try to do these as much as I can so that I’m not just sitting around “being self-aware and processing emotions all day.” I try to add things to my life besides work and the daily grind that throws a splash of color onto a white canvas. I try to dance when I can and cook to the sounds of spanish guitar.(on my iPod) I try to laugh with friends, garden, and soak in the sunlight. But sometimes, I grow impatient. I see what I want, and I want it now. On the other hand, if I knew it was coming in a week, I could wait. If I had certainty that change was coming and coming in the way I want, I would be fine with that as well. But, do I know change is coming? Can I control every outcome? No, all I really can do is work on the here and now, on what I can control at this very moment. So, I slooooowwwlllly move towards acceptance, dragging my feet every step of the way. Tonight, I celebrate the small victory that is me reaching out to type my emotions on the keys of this computer instead of sulking in a corner.(Like I actually feel like doing)  I celebrate what I can not see, touch or feel. I celebrate the invisible web that weaves together the small victories and creates big victories. I accept that this is not easy, no one ever promised me easy. So, am I patient? I guess I am learning how to be.