“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. ” ~ Elisabeth Kubler Ross
How perfect. I’m writing this on a rainy day. A day where the sun is hiding but will show her smiling face again, after she has had her rest, after she has allowed herself to regenerate. Much like times in our own lives when we need to feel feelings of sadness, grief, or just plain exhaustion from life. Your body, spirit and mind (conscious and unconscious) will give you signals when you need to go into the quiet and experience all that you are feeling. If we don’t pay attention to these signals it will come back to bite us harder down the road. Deal with it NOW and your path will be paved for a brighter future.
I had a recent meeting with a client whose son passed tragically just weeks ago. None of us can really know her pain. Excruciating doesn’t even begin to cut it, in my opinion. We were discussing the stages of grief, as created by Elisabeth Kubler Ross…denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. My client asked where she should be in her grieving. The only “right” in grieving is that you allow yourself to experience it. Pushing aside and pretending it didn’t happen won’t help you or loved ones in your life. This includes many types of losses in your life; a job, a relationship, moving from your home, traumatic experiences that have attempted to steal a piece of your being, the list continues. You must jump into the abyss of darkness to emerge with a lighter heart. Running away from what you must feel only accumulates a dust cloud that will keep you blinded from yourself. As I told my client, everyone grieves differently, most important is that you grieve. One may be in the stage of anger longer than depression. Some people go out of order in the stages and mix it up, while others stay right on target. Some people grieve for months, some for years. Your grieving process is your own, the main thing is that you allow it! I do recommend that as you grieve, and your wounds are open, you seek the help of a professional counselor to guide and support you. If you choose not to go that route, keep those you trust with your feelings close. Those that will listen and JUST BE there for you. One who will hold your hand through your tears. And remember, if the tears don’t come, that’s okay too. They will eventually IF you allow the hurts to emerge. Surround yourself with those you feel safe. Healing will come.
Keep your light from within. Allow the rain to clear the dust, allow love to hold you as you work through your pains, the sun will shine again.
One of my clients brought this poem to our session a few months ago. As I read it, so much rang true in the scheme of real life and real people. When I work with couples, I have them practice these skills. One talks, the other listens, then I ask them to repeat what the other said. Often, so much is misinterpreted or missed. Listening is a skill unto itself. It is its own tunnel of communication between two people, and when one truly tunes in to the other breakthroughs and healing take place. It’s miraculous to watch paths unfold as one feels supported and HEARD by the other. There are many bumps in the road but the direction clears as one works through their challenges in life. There is a saying, “Don’t just stand there, do something!” Well, there’s also a reverse to that saying, “Don’t just do something, stand there!” Just BE with someone you care about. Allow them to feel your presence, not your preaching. They will come to terms with their life lessons. Give them love, allow them to fall, and reach out your hand when they ask for a lift to their feet.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you start giving advice
you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way,
you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem,
you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I asked was that you listen,
not talk or do – just hear me.
Advice is cheap: 10 cents will get you both Dear Abbey and
Billy Graham in the same newspaper.
And I can do for myself, I’m not helpless.
Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself,
you contribute to my fear and weakness.
But, when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel,
no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince
you and can get about the business of understanding what’s
behind this irrational feeling.
And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I
don’t need advice.
Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s
Perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes, for some people
because God is mute, and He doesn’t give advice or
try to fix things. “They” just listen and let you
work it out for yourself.
So, please listen and just hear me. And, if you want to talk,
wait a minute for your turn, and I’ll listen to you. ~Author Unknown
Denial. Don’t Even K(n)ow I Am Lying. Great acronym, isn’t it? When we repress the hurts that have happened in our lives they continue to live inside of us. Whether you are conscious of it or not, these painful experiences will manifest their way into your life, causing more harm and roadblocks to your recovery. In order to open the pathway to healing you must face these demons. As difficult as it may appear to you, you will discover that confronting these fears only shed light on what you need to move on. Running from your past keeps you stuck as the pattern continues over and over again.
When you are ready, reach inside and find the courage to make peace with that burning dragon. Make peace with your pain and the pain you have inflicted upon others. Yes, not dealing with your emotional challenges not only hurts you but also loved ones in your life. Uncovering all that is buried can be difficult but in the long run it is a road worth traveling. When you discard the dead weight you make room for a beautiful garden to flourish. Only then will you be kinder to yourself and those around you.
You will know when you are truly ready to make these changes. Some people reach “bottom” before they break the earth. Some are at death’s door. Some never make it. For those of you reading this who need to make changes, you know who you are. Denial or not, deep inside, you know. May you find the strength to conquer the darkness that lies within. There is a light inside of you that is yearning to shine upon you and brighten your path. Find assistance, do the work that needs to be done, and life will hold a whole new candle for you.
” In these if the body will accept it, there is the meeting of self–or karmic conditions. Can it be healed? Yes, but the attitude of the body, the faith in the Divine, must not merely be assumed or proclaimed–it must be practiced in the daily life with others.” ~ Edgar Cayce
Recognition of unhealthy habits opens the valve, but it is action that fosters the flow of change. This is why we all need to practice patience as we initiate change in our lives. When you consider how much time you’ve put into developing unhealthy habits, know that it will take time and perseverance to replace the unhealthy with the healthy. As spiritual beings living this human existence, expect that you will fall off track at times. Forgive yourself, wipe yourself off, and get back on track. In time, as you persist, the healthy will begin to outweigh the unhealthy. As you experience the feeling of positive choices you will begin to feel lighter, happier and more joyful inside. You will begin to like YOU! As we learn to treat ourselves with love and respect, we will naturally treat others in the same regard. Just remember, true change takes time. A firm foundation keeps you grounded, a quick fix keeps you stumbling.
An important piece to change is forgiveness. Forgiveness of self and others. Oftentimes, we tend to blame others for our choices. No one makes those choices but you, and until you truly see this you will not move on. Maybe your parents didn’t give you what you needed, but they gave you what they were able to give. They became parents still carrying their own baggage, and if it was packed with abuse, neglect, and personal hurts it very likely got dumped on you. Do you want to continue this chain, or do you want to effect change? Until you are able to truly let go and forgive others it will be very difficult to forgive yourself. An open heart manifests a smiling soul.
Lastly, but certainly not least, the key to all change…faith in God, Spirit, Goddess, Source, the Divine, you choose. You must believe in a power greater than yourself. The ego is a cocky entity and will knock you upside down if you invest in its false promises. When you reach only for outer fulfillment, you will ALWAYS come up empty. You must reach inward to your own soul and connect with Source. Pray, meditate, ask for guidance. Go for a walk and take in the beauty of nature. Breathe in the scent of the honeysuckle on your path. Recognize the messages that come to you and follow them. Have faith that you are being guided and KNOW that you are. Gather the support of friends that carry their own truth and caring. Confide in those you trust as you work through your own challenges, as we must speak our own truth to heal. Never forget to give to others as they give to you, for it is in giving that we absolutely receive.
Are you ready? Let’s get started….one day at a time.
Don’t give up
‘Cause you have friends
Don’t give up
You’re not the only one
Don’t give up
No reason to be ashamed
Don’t give up
You still have us
Don’t give up now
We’re proud of who you are
Don’t give up
You know it’s never been easy
Don’t give up
‘Cause I believe there’s a place
There’s a place where we belong”
~Music and lyrics by Peter Gabriel
I’ve always loved this song. My favorite Peter Gabriel. It is a reminder that no matter what struggles you encounter in your life, there is still hope, still love that surrounds you. You just have to make the effort to open your eyes and SEE. Whether you struggle with mental illness, addiction, depression or life situations that bring you down, keep your FAITH. Reach out and call your closest friend, pastor, sponsor, therapist, sibling or parent. Who ever it is that you know you can TRUST to be there for support. Accept help when it is offered, even if it is forcing that first step. It may be the first step to saving the rest of your life.
When my clients are in this state I’ve heard it described as, “the black hole I just can’t climb out of.” No matter how hard they try they are frozen in a warped, painful time. If you have someone going through this in your life, be patient. Encourage that first step but know that only the person suffering can make that first step. This of course negates those that are severely suicidal and require admission to the hospital. In that case, a crisis team is required and you can call your local crisis hotline for assistance. In most cases, however, the time will come where they’ve reached their own bottom and they accept help. Prayer is very important during this time, asking for guidance from God, your angels and all universal energy.
Sending many blessings and rainbows to all that think about giving up and their loved ones that feel pain watching their pain. My heart is with you. May you find your way…..
*For those of you interested in listening to the complete version of “Don’t Give Up” , click this link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiCRZLr9oRw Notice how they hold each other through the whole song. You are being held. Our souls heal one another. Sending love and blessings, always.
If you were to invest your money would you put it all in one account or would you diversify? Which do you think would be the wiser choice? In our current economy, we have seen many individuals and businesses take a nose dive because they put all of their eggs in one basket. Think of your own spiritual and emotional basket. If you put all of your energy into one person what happens when that person dies, or leaves you, or lets you down? Where does that leave you? As I’ve discussed before, you need to fill your own basket first, but what about your other social networks? Your friends, family, extended family, coworkers, spiritual congregation, etc. are all a part of you diversifying your spiritual wealth. What happens to you when someone you are close to shows their “human-ness” and disappoints you? Do you fall apart or do you find your own inner strength and reach out for support from other people? If you don’t have this inner strength and outer support you will feel very lost and empty.
Additionally, when you rely solely on one person you drain that relationship. Eventually, it will very likely become a partnership of burden and resentment. Always remember to allow others the space to find their own way in life and learn to fill their own basket, without your help. You will be doing yourself and them a huge favor. Allow growth to happen and then bring to the table what each of you learns on your own path. LEARN from each other, don’t LEAN on each other for every little thing. Don’t stifle growth, encourage growth. Diversify your spiritual wealth and you will glow from the inside out!
I just spoke with a client who was very distraught over a family situation. She states that her husband is extremely selfish, yells at their children constantly, and she continues to try to hold them all together by meeting their every need to keep the peace. Meanwhile, my client’s so depleted that she’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown! My first question to her was, “What have you done to fulfill yourself lately?” She has been working on this but old habits die hard, and she has been slipping back into the “savior” mode. I gave Mother Mary permission to go sit down. I do smile as I tell her this, and she knows as well as I do, where her focus needs to be. Dare I say on HERSELF! Is it selfish to focus on ourselves? Women especially have a hard time with this. They are so used to nurturing everybody around them that they forget themselves. What happens when we are depleted? Do we have anything truly of value to give out to anyone else? Are we doing our children, friends and family any good? No, we are not. But most importantly, we are doing ourselves no good at all. In addition, when we feel responsible for everybody around us we do them a disservice. I suggested my client allow those around her to “fall on their faces” in order for them to learn their own lessons. If we jump in and save those scrapes before they cut we get in the way of the learning and healing to be experienced. Those experiences are what create strength in each individual and teaches them the ability to deal with the next difficulty with grace. It is very hard to sit back and watch, especially with our own children, but in the long run all will be in a much better place.
Another important piece to this is remembering that we do not have to stand alone when we self nurture. There is support, love and energy beyond just us. Call it God, spirit, the universe, our angels, whatever feeds your soul. Give in to it and ask for guidance. Meditation, prayer, sitting in the quiet will always answer your call. It may not be in your time, that’s okay. Be patient and it will come to you. The main lesson here is to remember that you are a child of God and spirit wishes for your happiness. Desire your own happiness. You deserve to feel joy and have your needs met. Only you can truly request this and ask for help. You are not alone, ever.
Remember to ask yourself everyday, what have I done for me today? Fill yourself with all the treasures that are out there waiting for you. The more you fill yourself, the more those around you will become filled too. The energy around you will be full of light and happiness. Soak it up. Enjoy those rays of sunshine and love every moment!
Are there certain personalities you spend time with, and when you leave them, you feel depleted? Do you feel drained and begin to take on their negative energy? If you answered yes to these questions, you are very likely spending time with an “energy vampire.” They are people who feel so empty within themselves that they pull from your energy in an attempt to fill themselves up. They have no consideration for others and will gladly take your energy at any opportunity. Your kindness may fill them temporarily, but they soon return for a refill before you can catch your breath, and you become the empty one! You cannot, and will not, “fix” this person and make them feel better, they have to do the internal work themselves.
So how do you keep your own energy tank full while spending time with these personalities? Boundaries, boundaries and more boundaries! Tell them NO, guilt free. They will very likely not listen to you, and attempt to cross the boundary anyway, but you need to stand your ground. Don’t answer the phone when that tenth call of the day comes in, tell them it’s not a good time when they come to your door, stop the conversation when you’ve been listening nonstop for hours. These are just some examples, I’m sure you have your own experiences. The main thing is that you set limits in order to preserve your own healthy balance.
Don’t allow ANYONE to steal your peace. It is your birthright to live a life full of happiness. Embrace it!