My life is quiet in many ways others might judge as boring. Sometimes it feels restraining and a yearning arises for travel farther than the grocery store or mall and a larger circle of acquaintances. Then the reality of my challenges along with the freedom and ability to face them gently quickly dissipates the moments of despondence. And maybe it’s not others who judge, but me.
Push, push, push, do, do, do. There are things in a day to get done. Yet my body on some days resists and hurts. So disconnected to it and annoyed with its frailties, the tendency is to ignore it. Pushing through leaves me more disconnected by day’s end, confused, ungrounded and bereft. A great need swallows me voraciously looking for something to fill the holes where I’ve left myself.
Coming back to the moment and to myself is so simple and sounds easy yet for a person who has a lived her life with great disconnect it takes effort every time, and in every moment. Where are the eyes full of love and grace?
In the mirror there is only a tired ghost of a hard edged woman. When connections are made to the pathways of spirit, soul, body and mind, the reflection softens. The person looking back emits a light that is inviting, fluid and likable.
The tendency is to run, the work is always to stay.
Fall has come and gone, the trees are bare as wind whistles through the branches. Sitting by the fire cozily with the cat by my feet, thick fog fills the back hillside while the hickory trees nearby in the hedgerow sway dancing like black lacy tendrils entwined together. The bareness seemed to happen overnight but it really took weeks. Perhaps night winds took the last leaves. Dawn comes in a steely grey gloom, the sun cast away behind the smoky carpet.
Days like this tend to be more common than sunny ones in NE America during the long months of winter. One must make their own joy. Dragging the six foot fake Christmas tree up from the basement, a day is spent decorating the house with strings of lights a week earlier than usual. The brightness of color and sparkle lift the dreariness. As the gold shimmery tree skirt is gently tucked around the tree base, Molly the cat curls up under it in her favorite resting place, the echo of purring floating up to my ears.
Hunting season has begun, so bright red is added to outdoor gear for the usual meadow walks. And unless it is raining, the walks continue to boost my moral, invigorate the senses and keep my heart healthy. Keeping attuned to the needs of the heart- spiritual, emotional and physical, are what makes a day fulfilling and sustaining.
You are OK just as you are. Breathe. Slow down. Moving into the next moment before living the present one makes me hurried when there’s no need to. That is the injured brain operating from years of unprocessed trauma. Don’t judge it, befriend it.
You are a child of the Universe. You DO have a right to be here; and not by other’s standards but by your own. Remember what you have suffered, because it is with accepting the truth of your past that you can offer gentle kindness, patience and loving support to yourself now.
Does the light within burn with rage? Is it heated from resentments, or does it radiate outward with warm loving light? Love radiates from the core. When it cannot be found look to yourself for permission to provide it. It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK. It’s OK to feel OK, that you are enough too just as you are.
The tapes played since childhood say differently, but they can be challenged and over time success can miraculously occur. Maybe the harsh voices can be silenced only for a brief moment but with work over time the moments expand.
The high demands of self cause a rigidity and standard which cannot be met and is more than can be humanly accomplished. In one single moment relief can be felt once you let it causing the body to relax; muscles, ligaments, repetitive negative thoughts, right down to internal organs including the colon and heart. The stiffness of ‘must do’ transforms into a way of life worth living.
It is only myself giving myself a hard time. It is only myself that need give permission to offer gentleness, kindness and love.
With relief the weariness has lifted. Falling into a funk emotionally makes it an easy place to stay, the power of inertia or lack of it. A bit of sunshine does the body good too. So the meadow is now brown, dead and drab. It doesn’t mean I have to be too.
“Make your own light,” a friend suggests.
Yes, make my own light. Find it within, enjoy it, and it radiates outward naturally. A tendency to compare myself to others leaves me consistently lacking. Following my own instincts and needs is authenticity. Have the bravery and courage to discover that uniqueness and provide for its fruition.
I have been lonely for my own love and still work on it; not an everyday lonely but a cavernous crevasse to run from because the pain went so deep. Learning I was not worthy enough to be kept safe and loved by others who were ‘family’ became ingrained into my forming personality.
It takes daily effort to confront those beliefs and connect to what became so disconnected inside of me. I am still learning to connect and feel support for my own self. Some days are harder than others. Some seasons hit like a wall. This winter has slammed into me and it is not yet winter. On a dark, damp day my spirit dumps and the effort to move vanishes.
Restless yet slow moving like a sloth, it takes something as simple as a friendly email to move me outdoors where nature takes me to the core that seemed to have eluded me. Three deer scatter as my boots make sucking noises in the muddy path. The crisp fresh air revived my tired mood. The same little birds sing as they always do when passing their area in the hedgerow.
Pushing myself towards the wheelbarrow there are bulbs to release from the dirt in the outdoor pots to replant again next Spring. Feeling satisfied a job that needed doing was finally done, the day closes better than it started. As winter approaches there is a greater need to work much harder in order to retain balance and perspective.
Depression hangs heavy removing any interest in anything. Tiredness can cripple slowing one down to a crawl. An odd feeling persists of unease and disconnect. The hope was this would be a winter season without the lower mood so the full spectrum lights weren’t used. It is time to use them.
The light mimics the sun radiating a blanket of soothing rays. With some luck and a continuation of daily exercise along with meditation to combat the anxiety, the brain chemicals will even out and feelings of well-being will return. Sleep patterns will adjust too. The change of daylight preys on the brain, stirring chemicals, draining others. Some years are harder than others, but each is a challenge.
Trying not to have what one has, or trying to be someone other than who you are only leaves a ghost of a soul. Accepting this exists and has to be dealt with breaks an internal icy wall bringing tears down my cheeks during meditation. That is a good sign. Feelings are being felt not run from.