Embracing Uncertainty #susanjeffers

I’m learning to opt out of participating in human drama whether it be in my own head or participating with all of my senses with everyone else here on earth. This has actually brought me some peace of mind during the pandemic as I have removed myself from politics. I read the headlines in order keep up on what is going on in the country? What I am finding is when I actually “click” on the occasional news story nothing has changed from the last time I clicked. There is only fear-generating expressions of opinions!

Each fall, members of Unity Village Chapel read the same book….individually, then many of us join together in small groups to discuss the book. This one, Embracing Uncertainty Chapter 3, had me overwhelmed with insight. Thus the cut and paste project I worked on last night. It was a very effective way to concentrate on energetic phrases from the chapter to cement them on my heart and in my soul.

“Expectations create attachments…a hope something turns out a certain way”

Often we are unable to let go of our expectation….

“Expectations carry disappointments rigidity, anger, impatience and obsession”

“The moment expectations appear in the form of hope, desire or a wish, close your eyes, take out the imaginary scissors to cut the cord of expectation. Release it like a balloon drifting away from you.”

Namaste

We are magnets

I totally subscribe to the law of mind action. The key idea — that human beings create their experiences by the activity of their thinking. Simply put..if we think sad thoughts, we experience sadness. If we think happy thoughts we experience happiness. I think we can fill in the blanks with the emotions we often feel and the fact that we draw those things to us. I also believe the theory that the short temper and irritation we feel toward others is a mirror effect….if we examine our reactions to others, we most likely will see a reflection of the personal behaviors and traits we find offensive to match similar fears and traits in our own behaviors.

Similarly, I’ve found some mental relief by not watching, reading or hearing the news. Going from being a news junkie every waking moments and feeling panic, anger and hatefulness seemed to be drawing things to me which caused similar reactions. I was actually starting to feel gloom and doom all of the time. I was afraid! I finally figured it out. Savvy reporters know how to write a good 1st paragraph to keep us coming back with one new fear after another. It’s part of the news gathering and writing process and I chose to take back my power.

Instead I have recently been drawn to the smooth and passionate, soul soothing voice of Andrea Bocelli. I have never been drawn to this genre before but my soul knew what I needed to hear. I’m not suggesting that everyone start listening to Bocelli music…I am suggesting that turning up the music and allowing the tunes, the voices, the passion be the backdrop of your day and allow some music to replace the chatter and soothe the soul!

namaste

Traveling at night

I went to visit a girlfriend and her husband last night. They lived on a Canal with lots of activity and the husband teared up because he didn’t have a boat for the canal and his wife was upset because she couldn’t visit her brother and sister. I took the wife with me and as we walked through an outdoor area in another country, we met up with a bestie from high school who was there with her family? Entourage? She took us back to her home on a canal. Beautiful place with all of the accoutrements of wealthy living. At first I was overwhelmed and envious but as I spent time at the mansion on the canal, I realized I wouldn’t be able to stand the noise and activity and wanted to move on.

But I needed to make contact with my dad (deceased for 19 years). I had dyed my hair dark…he didn’t seem happy to see me…he was verbally short and very distant with me and I decided he was just depressed..it wasn’t because of me.

I woke up.

Are we untethered when we sleep. Do we actually go places in our dreams…there is no time elements in our dreams. Are life concerns brought to us as we dream in order to work out fears or difficulties we live in our wake states. Should we interpret dreams by the emotions they bring out in us. I say YES to all of them! I don’t believe we can go to a book that gives us a word or event that will interpret the dream for everyone in every situation. But, I strongly believe we would be remiss if we believed that dreams are just an insignificant download of insanity when we sleep.

And what do you think?

That’s not who you are now!

We all have those experiences with another human that have hurt our feelings, made us feel angry, royally pissed off, sad, knocked off center, unappreciated, embarrassed. For some of us, it fed our belief that we aren’t good enough, smart enough, skinny enough….We attached an emotion to that experience and added dislike, hate, anger, irritation to our list of how we feel about someone….or physical feelings of nausea, headache, stomach pain as a result of the emotional pain we felt.

We start when we are young…I remember being on an elementary school field trip to the Science Center in the 60’s. I was wearing a green and yellow cotton straight dress with a matching belt…a girl in my class told me she didn’t like the color and hated the belt. From that moment on I watched my reflection in the windows we passed and realized in my adolescent mind that she didn’t like the belt because in the window reflection, it made me “look fat”. I took the belt off and after that day refused to wear the dress again. It began a life long habit of body shaming myself and being judgmental of others because I had been emotionally injured in 5th grade.

At this point and age, I realize that I’ve accumulated a lot of emotional garbage and damage and each time I react by saying something hurtful, thinking judgmental thoughts or by being unkind, I’m only really just reliving the experience I had in elementary school when someone didn’t like the belt on my green and yellow dress. I’ve found that these judgmental thoughts, the jealous comments, the unkind words that come out of my mouth are just a result of a story I tell myself about something that happened in my past that I relive again and again….not the actual event but how that event made me feel. I know that by shutting down that non-stop voice narrating my life from behind the scenes, I am a nicer, kinder more loving person.

Namaste

Right now is the only moment I have

Because of my upbringing which I can sum up as do what you are told, no need to have a mind of your own because this is what you believe and this is what you will do, it took me a long time to realize that I was going to begin stepping out in my own direction. I still followed rules and, for the most part, laws, but I learned through experience that if you continue doing what you’ve always done and think with the same mind you used before, then you will have the exact same outcome. BUT…if you pay attention to nuances (which I now call intuition), speak with respect, do your homework and intelligently defend your case, then sometimes rules will be changed. I also learned that if the rules don’t change, you can either suck it up and follow the rules which MAY be the appropriate behavior or more likely for me, I would get mad…scream and holler in my head …. then organize like- minded individuals and go at it again…. being sure to attach some negative emotion to it so that in 20 or more years later, similar emotions about similar situations can rise up and before you know it you are overwhelmed in anger and hatred and vengeance which will probably be overblown for the situation…ie:road rage. There are many years and many experiences that have occurred before which exploded this workable problem into a full blown battle in your head. When they rise up, you will be reacting and responding the way you did 20 or more years ago to a completely different situation….the cycle just continues throughout life.

What did I just read or hear the other day..something to the effect….you can’t fix a problem with the same mind that created it.

My opinion as to the answer is not going to come from me in a 3 paragraph blog, or quite frankly, from me at all…I’m learning and all I can really share is what got me from there to where I am now sharing my thoughts on my blog, but I will credit the PRACTICE of meditation, the book Mastery of Self by Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr…his daddy wrote the Four Agreements, The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer or A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

Until next time…

The thing about Birthdays

Welcome to my therapy session…With the exception of the boys-grand babies, every birthday that comes and goes, I feel a little lost….not because of everyone being a year older but birthday celebrations created by my mother are missing! I wish I could ask her why birthdays and holiday celebrations were so important to her and why she knocked herself out making everything special. Always a meal of favorite foods, a birthday cake and presents. When it came to him and the girls, I always felt she was stacking more work on me because I had to think and let her know, for each birthday, what I thought they would want the most! I, now, understand what that “burden” represented to me in our dysfunctional relationship! Was this the way she showed us love or was she playing out through us what she missed out on as a child because her mother died when she was still a child? As the matriarch of our family, have I dropped the ball? After my mother died and my girls moved around, I stopped feeling the need to make everyone’s birthday a national family holiday….does anyone else miss it? This is making me tear up and that’s how I know I must recognize the memories for what they are which is a destructive thought pattern of the past lubed up with feelings and emotions that are in the past. And the only reason they are bothering me today is because I’m not centered and I’m allowing these thoughts and emotions to appear as a reality now instead of living right here, right now…

I’m so thankful to my mentors….and it takes a chorus of them….to teach me….or perhaps learn with me…how to live our best life today…. This post all happened because I wished the husband Happy Birthday this morning! No celebration today because our Des Moines kids drove down yesterday to surprise him and we all did dinner together at his restaurant choice. It was fun! There was love! In my heart I realize that’s all that is important!

Until next time….

Fear and Anxiety

I’ve been wanting to do this blog for quite awhile. I don’t know what is stopping me because in the last 11 years this blog has been a witness to world class disfunction. I’ve spilled my guts over the years for two reasons. Quite frankly, I needed it for my own therapy….write it out, Dear Diary, and heal; and the second reason is I always hope that I will connect with someone who needs to know that they are not alone. I’ve heard you!

Just for the record, I’ve been off anti depressants for 1 year and 8 months…but who is counting. I didn’t just go off anti depressants without a labor intensive backup plan! I’ve continued some in depth self healing….reading and meditating and doing positive affirmations, learning about spirituality and immersing myself in the love and acceptance at Unity Village….and I’ve also been doing some therapy with a licensed therapist who uses EMDR. Using the EMDR protocol, I’ve been able to quiet my mind and relieve my intense fear based anxiety. This treatment is used for PTSD and other flight/fight loops that occur in the brain when you don’t deal with your significant negative, fear based ‘stuff’ in a timely manner.

This treatment was foreign to me when it was suggested…and after one especially painful session, I told my therapist that I have no idea how it works but it works. So there it is. tools that are working for me.

Until next time….

When the scar tissue is too thick

I remember the first time I felt bad enough to seek out therapy, I was a well functioning mess! That was many years ago. The nice face and laughing, loving personality was a facade. I should have been in Hollywood….pretty much everything people saw was an act. Therapy helped…I was able to dangle low and could reach the bottom to tie on the knot. I got better and was on anti depressants…I felt like I had seriously dealt with my demons.

A few years later after an anti depressant change, I was going under again so same place, different therapist (a woman this time), I blistered the walls with fire and hate. I unloaded. I discontinued therapy sooner this time because I felt like I had seriously dealt with my demons. But I remained on anti depressants.

If you have read previous blogs, you know that in February 2017 I stopped anti depressants. It was difficult. It was ugly. It was good. But I’ve had to learn to live unmedicated. Mild depression waves in and out….anxiety seems to be my most serious complication. I chose to change my behaviors…I started meditating, living more spiritual and learning to be more mindful. But I also realized that there is sill more crap I need to deal with which I will describe as needing to do plastic surgery on the scarring left behind. It’s different. The scars not the injury is the best way I can describe it. So, I’m back in therapy. I feel good about it. I’m probably not going to share a lot about it. I’m more vulnerable now and not full of hate. It’s called recovery!

Thanks to you who have been along on my journey so far.

I’m revealing two secrets…one word – granola and trying to hide Baxter’s affair.

If you have experienced the effect of granola, I will not have to explain.  If you haven’t experienced the effect of granola, I encourage you to buy a bag of it and eat a lot of it!  Then you can pass on the knowledge so to speak.

After lunch with Brenda yesterday and a couple hours of shopping At Home and Hobby Lobby for chalk paint, I was parched.  I stopped at the highway 7 gas station for an ice tea before my 6 minute drive home.  I was parched, dammit.  and I wanted a snack.  I walked around for quite awhile…in fact, long enough that if I hadn’t stopped, I would have been home…anyway…I was looking at calorie count, labels and ingredients…seriously…did you know there is really nothing in a gas station convenience store that we should eat.  I finally chose a 9 x 9 x 2 plastic box full of Kimberley’s Bakeshop granola mix.  OMG is all I will say!

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This is Baxter, Minnie and Truman.  Baxter is my cat…so this causes me a lot of confusion.  Does he need therapy or have I just not been firm enough with his apparent affection for my sweatshirts and blankets?  I hide the davenport blanket when I go to bed and it is on the floor in the morning.  He will find my sweatshirt in the bedroom and somehow drag it to the living room.  This morning, I woke up to this in the dining room.

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What?

These were folded up in a pile in the purple room closet ready to be boxed for donation to DAV.  Things are no longer neatly stacked in the closet

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How does an 11 pound cat choose what articles of clothing he wants in a closet and a better question, does it take him all night to drag them through the house…

Just a glimpse into my Wednesday.

Until next time…

Ohio for Easter…

We are going to Kate’s house in Ohio for Easter…I told mom that we were going and she needed to go to Aunt Frances’ house while we are gone…she decided she would have Dana take her on the Wed before…like the 6th…she called me last night at work a little after 2300 and asked me to get her $200 cash Monday because she was going to need it when she went to Des Moines..she couldn’t quite remember when it was…I told her that we had over a week and I would get her money.  Today “he” was working on the boat in her basement garage and she yelled at him…asked him to take her to Aunt France’s house today because Dana is sick..but she had to get her meds etc…he agreed to do this…He is a saint.  So he took her to Des Moines and got her adjusted at Aunt France’s house..as adjusted as anyone can be in that situation.  Ahhhhh all is well.

2200 hours tonight (Monday which is the same day he took her) she calls to say she can’t find her meds…okay..she’s right – he missed getting them out of the car when he dropped her off…she asked if we were planning to go to Des Moines this week…I said, well, no we are working…but told her somehow we would get her meds up to her…she said…..well either that or come get me and take me home…I said..Why would you want us to do that…she said Aunt Frances was making her nervous and she didn’t want to be up there for 10 days.  I told her that it was no one’s fault but her own..she solely made the decision to go up early and we wouldn’t be bringing her back and then turn around and drive her back to Des Moines next week….I wanted to scream at her that out of the goodness of his heart, he took her to Des Moines today and spent an enormous amount of time chauffering her around when he wanted to be doing something productive and had his own agenda for the day.

You know, (rhetorical) I lived in a vaccum for so long wondering what was wrong with me…why did I have such issues with my mother..why couldn’t I just get along..this is not the way you should treat or feel about your mother…the times I made an effort to talk to her and see if we could work something out and she always said she didn’t know what she was doing wrong…ya, uh huh…not until my dad died, and therapy started and I did a lot of soul searching did I realize I just had a bad relationship with her and nothing was going to make it better.  She was the adult and I shouldn’t have had to take care of her…anyway…my girls would really like me to put all of this behind me and  not take her personally…it’s hard…I know this is what I should do…but the distrustfulness and pain and anger are very, very deep.  I’m better than I was yesterday and tomorrow I will be better than I am today…and that folks, is what it is all about….Onward and upward….

Until next time…..