Every now and then I get a glimmer of how this whole life thing works when fear is released and I am able to experience the one precious moment…….right here and right now.
I have a history of making myself miserable in thinking and in action taking care of everyone. I have caused myself a lot of work and grief and resentment ….. with the best intentions, obviously…but living blindly thinking I know what is best for my friends and family and then proceeding to do everything in my power to see it through to be sure everyone is happy. I know this is a learned behavior from my childhood…if someone is unhappy, hurt or angry, I feel the need to make it ok…..it’s exhausting!
Being human, I still often think I know best. It’s those moments when something unexpectedly just work out and I have not had an opinion, judgement, fear or hand in it, that I realize this is how it works. It’s not easy to release control when fear is served up frequently. Digesting fear and reacting from fear gives the illusion that somehow I actually have control. Nope, nope, nope.
Staying in the moment. Not reacting from judgements of the past. Not spinning the dial to figure out the next move for the future. Quite the contrary… just stopping and feeling the right now. Centering with 5 things I hear, 5 things I see, 5 things I feel. Right now…being in the present…where this is no fear of the next minute and no history to react from.
No planning, no commitment to do better, no promise to stay in the moment…just being aware when my small self starts thinking and planning and judging. That’s the moment it’s possible to just stop and center!
A Facebook post by my friend, Tami, woke me up this morning. She is “healing” from back to back years of family deaths including her husband who was her soul mate, her love and Half of Her. Over the last few years she has included her authentic healing thoughts and fears and anger through her blogs and to and with her friends. This morning she posted the song, Dirt Road Anthem by Jason Aldean. It wasn’t a song I knew even though I think it is a decade old. But to make a long story shorter, I YouTubed it and these two lines stuck out to me:
“Memory Lane up in the headlights. It got me reminiscing on the good times”
I have meaningful loving experiences on a day to day basis. Often when I take a memory photo of my experiences, I feel like I am one of the luckiest people I know in spite of the hardships and the mental fears of the future that I continually give energy to as I go into battle with them. But I often look back at my younger years…say my early 20’s or 40’s and have wistful longings for the good ole days.
…..and I know I’m not the only person who lives a good bit of life in my memories….including the hateful ones I have not yet healed from. Tami’s post hit a trigger nerve and brought clear realization that I love to think about those good times but when I have a negative memory pop in, I often immediately go to anger and hatefulness and then realize I’m doing it again and Force myself to STOP thinking about it…but, maybe the answer is to just sit with the emotion for a few moments. (Not the story but how it made me feel). Perhaps then I can mute the trigger.
The good memories…let them come, I love to smile and laugh and remember those who made me feel love and joy!
From an early age (childhood) I learned that I had responsibilities. Not for just cleaning out the dishwasher but to rinse the dirty dishes, load the dishwasher “correctly”, run the dishwasher, empty it and begin again. This duty was not totally my responsibility but a metaphor for my childhood. From an early age, I felt responsible for my mother’s happiness and if pledge and dusting the living room furniture every other day was what kept her mental health intact then that’s what I needed to do.
Fast forward 6 decades. I’m very responsible. I do what needs to be done. I people please. I consider myself an empath and wear other peoples moods and emotions under my own clothes. This is a curse or a gift depending on how I experience it in my life.
A coffee date with a couple of girlfriends (who are like my Siri navigation giving me options of which route to take) reminded me that I need to set boundaries. I need to listen within to navigate what is mine to do. What brings me joy and contentment? What causes me to want to run fast toward or away from experiences….and the best advice….to seek answers from my inner guides before I close my eyes to sleep. So many life decisions are made as we slumber, when the ego is asleep and the deep inner soul has peace and quiet to figure it out.
Recognizing the emotion. I remember myself and my history as having 3 recognizable emotions and I knew what to do with them…Sob/cry, let it all out laugh, and that feeling in my forehead of rage which I would not normally let out. Everything else (the initial build up) just felt like discomfort…and most of the time I was able to distract myself from that feeling by eating…yes eating….that always felt good….
It wasn’t until I learned and started applying “new thought” “Unity” principles to change the way I think that I began to notice the uneasiness that normally preceded one of the described emotions. The little tickle of laughter as I began to smile was easy because I could belt out a loud laugh that could be heard round the world (it used to embarrass me because it was loud). Second came recognizing the irritation and anger….that was also easy because I carried it around so often and for so long before it burst….but the uneasiness that would make me cry…that was different.
The uneasiness of violence (perhaps because of my mother and the yardstick), witnessing sadness in my beloveds and the world, witnessing murder and death of animals (this is actually the most difficult for me). This uneasiness I felt this morning watching the geese on the frozen pond and thinking…just stop….it’s time to go where it’s warmer…why won’t you go?
It brought that feeling of fear, uncertainty, grief, this doesn’t feel right to my heart. I snapped this picture, stepped back and was grateful that I was actually able to identify the feeling/emotion so that I could stand with it a moment and release it rather than letting it be the first block in the tower of emotional blocks that could/would stack up in my day until I burst free with sobbing, laughing or screaming about something that had nothing to do with anything!
If you are doing the work…working through habits and emotions…you are not alone….sometimes feelings hurt but ignoring them does not make them go away. Eventually they burst forward!
When my 92 year old mother passed in 2009, I expected to have instant healing from a lifetime of a dysfunctional relationship with her. That’s not the way in works.
Christmas Season was the good month in my growing up years….it’s what my mother did well. I am an only child and Christmas was magical as my mother showered me with many things from my wish list. I did not realize it at the time but this was the way she showed me that I was loved. This recognition and realization was a huge beginning for my healing…..I WAS loved…because her love did not resemble what I expected in our daily experiences together, I totally missed it.
Every Christmas since 2009, I have been on an emotion roller coaster, of unmet expectations…until I worked through the details of those emotional expectations …. until I figured out that The Christmas season does not mean the same thing …. Love….to everyone around me….until I have my Annual Christmas cry because I miss my mom and dad and Aunt Frances….until I make Scalloped oyster with my mom …. Her recipe anyway….
Making scalloped oysters today, with my mom in my heart and a good ole Christmas cry!
It seems I may have dumped a lot of something in my dream state last night…I woke up recognizing a clarity I have not had for the last few weeks…it’s not like I haven’t realized where my irritation, anger, judgement, hopelessness, and fear were percolating from…but, quite frankly, the more I rationalized and gave my thoughts a safe place to “think” the more miserable I was….and I knew it…I knew what was going on.
I don’t know if Albert Einstein actually said this but this life changing phrase was shared from someone’s consciousness and I am grateful!
A few years ago, I took a wild kinda route to changing my experience. I packed up and moved from everything I had ever known. I recognized I was circling the drain physically, mentally and spiritually a few years ago….and I also knew that if I continued struggling my way to air every single day…trying to make the same thinking work in a different way, I would succumb to becoming a lonely bitter old woman with negative, joyless and angry thought patterns just like my mother taught me. My breaking the glass to escape moment was not easy but I believe it was much easier than daily doing and thinking the same hateful, destructive thoughts. Fear of doing nothing finally became the worst possible life scenario.
If we are strong enough to get outside our head and breathe where we are planted….that does seem like the most comfortable route…but often that is not possible. The knowing is within…the solution is there and We know what the solution is….but the remedy of kicking away the blocks, of changing from the inside out can be daunting….until you know in that second that there really are no rules except of our own making and those rules manifest from fear that keeps us locked in and locked down.
The whole “chore” of washing sheets (it’s not like I had to use a washboard in the stream) and remaking the bed became a mindful experience for me. Instead of focusing on the facts associated with this chore, I was shockingly finished and walking out of the room without thinking “why am I the only one who knows how to wash sheets in this house”. This takes nothing away from all of the things He does on a daily basis…it’s merely an historical triggered reaction.
Right after I rejected the common habit of yelling down and asking him to help me so I don’t have to walk around the bed myself 4 times, I recognized that this was another facet of the poor-me trigger I had learned so well. The good news is while putting the pillow cases on, I realized that I really did have a valid reason for not making my bed everyday because seriously, how does the bed go about breathing and airing out when covered with sheets, blankets and comforter all day. You are welcome…you may use it!
As I was walking around the bed on an unexpected trip (making it 6 times) to measure the distance of the top sheet to the bottom of the mattress on each side, I realized that every time we make the bed together, he gives me a reading of the sheet level to the mattress on his side…and, of course, this irritates me. Because it is an historical triggered reaction to those times when we slept in a small bed with smaller sheets and every time someone turned over, it could mean one person lost the sheet. As the victim in my own story, it was always me!
So, I share this insight as encouragement for bed makers out there to use the experience as a calming, counseling session with yourself. Finding gratitude in the mundane daily activities….even making the bed…..CAN be a spiritually enlightening experience……
Or at least I think its Friday…quite frankly, I really have no idea what day it is anymore. COVID quarantine on the heels of retirement joined together with a personality that was always busy living my job and filling my day’s off with sanity recovery, chores and rules. One would think having no rules, no need for sanity and time on ones hands, one might do all of those things I complained I couldn’t get done while I was working. I frequently go to bed and have stress filled organizing dreams because I don’t really want to go to bed…I have things I want to do… I work harder in my dreams that I do during any other time of the day.
Some might say these unstructured days are good for the soul and I don’t argue that point. The difference is when I fail to do the things I want to do because I have an overactive mind and the glimpse of something shiny has me googling, shopping and looking for books to read on Amazon or scanning Twitter and Facebook, watching YouTube videos and in the blink of an eye clicking on my next second of unstructured entertainment.
Today while doing the recommended “homework-exercises” from my Heartmath.com class from Saturday mornings, I was able to go within using a technique “Heart Math Point 0”. Asking my heart “What clearing for a mental, emotional or physical healing would be fulfilling to invest my energy at this time”. Writing down my hearts intention became this blog post. I will endeavor to go within and listen to myself on a daily basis. Listen within to quiet the monkey mind and fill my day with intentional joy rather than being controlled by the next sparkling thing that passes before my eyes into my ego mind.
I’m a long time student of “TRYING” to give up enough fear per day to allow me to release opinions, judgement and those things I have no control over. A few years ago I embraced the fact that I really have no “control” over anything. Thinking we have the ability to control everything is an illusion. Might as well order a “safety cape” which can be purchased online for $9.99.
Judgements….we make judgements on how people look, their gender, their eating habits, their living habits, their ancestors, what car they drive, how they drive, how often they mow their grass, how they parent their children, why they don’t paint their house, how many children they have, how their children behave, their marital status, their sexual identification. Not leaving out the judgements on why people have ill health, “I knew this was going to happen to them!” I saw this coming because they….. I believe first we must become aware that we are making judgements. And how often in our day we are feeling safe and satisfied because we know “they” are wrong. Doing this work, I’ve often asked myself why does it feel so good to be right? Why does it feel so good to elevate myself to a higher position of knowing what’s right for everyone else in my own thinking?
Is this a learned behavior from our parents, our grandparents, our politicians, our teachers….in other words are we adopting our attitudes and judgements from someone else and often don’t even know why we judge or hold tight to “our” beliefs the way we do? Or are these judgements born out of fear….we are afraid…we judge other as some type of control maneuver that protects our physical bodies…our mental health…or the kicker we don’t even know what we are afraid of but what “they” are doing just cannot be right.
It’s a struggle!! But, moment by moment we need to be aware of our fear thoughts and judgements and heal ourselves from the inside out!
Being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness or the enduring fear that there is something wrong with me. Allowing authenticity and vulnerability to surface is actually an indication of knowing who I am and making no apologies for who I am. In fact, by being authentic, I save myself that inner discomfort that someone outside of me can define me!
By working through some (childhood into adulthood) triggers in my life, I know I have often hidden who I am with defensive behavior by going on the attack before I am attacked. We live our life assuming that everyone but me has it all together. We see the weakness in someone else which feeds our ego and that sense of being superior bolsters our self esteem by searching and/or finding vulnerability in others…. manifesting unkind words/actions or irrational anger.
By healing the victim mentality within ourselves and by understanding that nothing outside of ourselves has anything to do with our divine nature allows us to be genuine and authentic in our relationships. One moment, one interaction at a time!
The bottom line for me is the quote from the pen of the Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better”