A New Year

photo by Patricia

Do better, be better. And, or, allow for my humanness which provides softening in one’s soul, a soothing that all is OK even when it’s not. Because it never is all alright. There is a pull of tension then the relief of satisfying peace. This ebb and flow is a part of life. Acceptance rather than fighting offers the peace you seek.

Why does one relationship drill me to the bone causing pain that keeps me awake in the night, even nightmares that ring in my brain days later? Is it the other person, or is it my reaction to them? It is only my reaction under my control, yet the same old reactions occur year after year causing the inevitable feeling of failure that I am not in control of at least myself.

If it’s me and only me that I control, then why can’t I do better? Why can’t I go with the flow and let the silliness of what’s going on fall off me like shedding water?  This dilemma doesn’t seem to soften or improve. Or if there are improvements, I’m not noticing them. Maybe this tension filled relationship is just here to stay. Lighten up. You’re not alone. We all have those who we learn the most about ourselves from.

It is not easy. It is often painful. But the work needing to be done is the same work everyone works on, to grow oneself. To expand, dig deep, and do better.

 

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GROWTH

Living a reclusive life doesn’t mean no opportunity for growth. No matter how I hide it comes knocking, and knocking me down. Those closest offer the greatest opportunity at overcoming long standing behaviors that keep me from my best self.

Instead of pouting, turning off and away with coldness from loved ones who hurt me, the pain and tears come. And come some more. Old wounds not healed, (can they ever be?) are easily made to open causing today’s hurt to compound into pain that doubles me over.

So this is healing. Tears, pain, then more of both. The damage done was that much.

And after the tears, though more leak out over time, there is a lightness and forgiveness for those whose insensitivities caused so much pain. Pain that did not match the circumstances. Pain that went much deeper.

Why does this affect me so? Going there, opening the wounds, allowing the tears even if I don’t at first understand them, frees pain to surface. Bitterness and vengefulness dissipate as each tear falls. 

The path is excruciating. There is a girl still hurting… a girl abandoned, a part of me locked up reacting today to anything similar.  It is only in going back to take her hand that all of me is present today, deepening the rooms where I dwell, offering a place within that feels good to be in. 

Yes, I Can!

My denial of winter’s annual take down will not chase the low mood away. The tendency to seclude myself even further, along with the inability to sleep as well, accompanied with the temptation to stuff in food to fill the holes, are challenges that increase without invite.

The lure of the once sun-warmed patio with soothing sunshine upon me is craved, remembered, and thirsted for. The full spectrum lights will have to do, and the morning ritual is adhered to with more regularity.

Winter depression is real, and though your harsh voice tells you that you are being a weak baby, you are not alone, and you are not weak and whiny. Wouldn’t you be sympathetic towards another who suffers it? And accepting that it is real?

Health has returned and with it gratitude for a body strong with mind and emotions stronger too. The ‘yes, I can’ button is on, though it may take a while to find it.

 

Keep It Simple

To go against the flow of other’s expectations according to how I’ve acted in the past, to make changes that are in my best interests instead of putting the wishes of others ahead of my own… it takes great energy and courage. It is scary as if the ground is shifting beneath my feet.

The uneasiness is unsettling, not a feeling to get used to, yet is a feeling worth identifying and managing because the changes are healthy ones. All eventually benefit from it though they might not know it now. The forces levied to keep me in my ‘place’ are difficult to resist, yet the instinct driving me is reliable, authenticating my being.

The more I change the more others resist too, and the pressure increases to keep things the same. Eventually, if I keep at it, my growth will be accepted, acknowledged and respected. I am the one that must do that first.

The mire of confusion this brings makes my brain weary with too much thought. In prayers to my earth mother I ask for help and guidance. The conjuring, or attempts to conjure a oneness with the universe in a form that feels safe to me, offers a minuscule bit of warmth. Contentment flows in with the surety of the whispered words, simplify, keep it simple.  Follow your whispers as they are your soul’s words of guidance and can be trusted.

My Life, My Body, My Soul

The days grow shorter, darkness consumes me, fears hover over every moment needing constant diligence to sweep away; fears of dying, doing wrong, being wrong. The kernel of warmth that began to soothe my being with self-acceptance all too quickly disappears, and only coldness is left behind. The same coldness I’ve lived with since age 8 when I left my body.

Go back to the body. Breathe. This moment matters. You’re alright. An area in my jaw where gum surgery took place ached again. It was probably unneeded surgery that could have killed me because I kept popping Xanax on the way there. She had to administer oxygen during the procedure.

The culprit for the pain might be from jaw clenching while sleeping when under stress. The stress of agreeing to come to a holiday gathering of the three siblings and their wives caused an extreme duress in the core of my being… but I didn’t know it.

I was not taught to be aware of my feelings, body and or spirit. I was taught to be in opposition of everything that is mine. I was taught to be a robot. Say please, be pleasing. Don’t be.

To come to myself, to my body, spirit and soul…. To say no? It unclenched that jaw and the pain is gone. I feel peace. I still wonder what I’m doing wrong that I can’t get along with them, or many others, yet what I’m doing must be right for me. My body tells me so.

Family is in Your Heart

photo by Patricia

It has been a difficult period with the bad cold, then the upcoming holiday and wondering whether Samuel and I will be on our own again. So now I know. And it’s OK. We enjoy our quiet life. What sent me over the edge, but was given less thought, was the invite from a sister-in-law who I have little to no relationship with, and I agreed to it.

Yesterday I emailed back courteously declining the get-together she planned. A huge relief occurred like a boulder lifting from my shoulders. The three brothers who have clung together, and grown closer the last three years after my acknowledgement of writing my book Shattered, are not people I suddenly want to see in a group.

I’d be willing to see each one by one, and have worked towards that goal, but no takers. Groups, even my two sons and families getting together, overwhelms me. With certainty, this group who have not kept in contact with me, would be an unhealthy, toxic environment. 

Where were you two years ago when I spent 4 days in the hospital? I thought it was my time to die, and I was OK. I’m OK now too. To act like we are a group is injurious to me. My heart has gone through periods of erratic beating lately. It’s my belief that’s due to not following my soul’s path, instead veering off to please others.

I have tried diligently to grow these relationships individually, but no reciprocation of worth is returned. My thought is that I’ve been kept at arm’s my entire life out of fear that I’ll talk about what is real. That I would be authentic. To pretend to fit in now, and be part of a group where it would still be three against one, would require I again become invisible, unworthy and bad.

Please to Survive

Life hones down to myself and Samuel. Yet even just one person pushes my ‘please you’ buttons. My tendency is to move around his needs neglecting my own at great consequence. He  seems unaware of me, and exists as if we are in two houses. At other times he hovers so closely, and is so in my stuff I can’t breathe. How can the gap be so great?

Rushing to go visit my son and grand-kids down the road for coffee because Samuel said he was ready, meant forgoing lunch. And that means returning very hungry finding it hard to feel satiated because care hadn’t been extended to my needs. It is up to me to do that, no one else.

This pleasing aspect so seemingly permanently embedded? It arose from pure survival. Stuffing tragedy after tragedy with the food Mother pushed my way pleased her, but not me. There was no me. Me didn’t exist except when and if it pleased others.

Becoming mindful of my body and its needs takes great and constant focus. The natural instinct of hunger and satiety along with all other body related functions was driven out at age eight when survival became desperate. Survival meant please others always. And eat. Eat to drown out the pain of non-existence, and the terrifying agony of living.

To take a stand for my needs feels so foreign, selfish, and even aggressive. As if I am doing something so very wrong and must stop. Yet in doing so, being demure, submissive, and pleasing, my body takes the hit.

Eating last night too close to bedtime hurt my stomach causing it to be sore this morning. Skipping lunch ignited the eating hunger machine. What was eaten was only a bowl of high fiber cereal, larger than usual, and after the 3 to 4 pm shut off time. But eating past then, except for cheese or an apple, causes digestive problems when lying down. It wasn’t eaten out of hunger, but out of the ongoing ever-present need to feel loved.

My mind believes that Samuel loves me but doesn’t see me, though that sounds contradicting. Maybe it’s because I don’t take a stand and stay stood. I give in to very little pressure. When he said, “I’ll go drop off the present,” my reply?

I wanted to go too? Didn’t you just hear me talking to Shane about us going over for coffee?

“I heard coffee and thought that you asked if he’d give me a cup,” Samuel replied.

My head shook in disbelief. Samuel was sitting not five feet away, his nose in the newspaper during my conversation with Shane on the phone. And yet when Samuel said he thought he’d go over now to deliver our grand-daughter’s get well gift my response was ‘I’m ready?’

My hair was soaking wet from the bath and I hadn’t eaten, but if Samuel was ready I had better be too. That pressure comes from within, not him, though it would be a great comfort to feel heard, seen, and known.

How does one lose sight of her own needs so quickly, and why? Fear of abandonment or rejection? What of abandoning oneself?.