Be gentle with self…

Some days it seems as though there is only ‘bad’ or ‘sad’ news in this world. It seems to me sometimes that almost everyone I know is going through so many difficult times right now. So many people I know and care about are struggling with so many things right now, including serious and life altering illnesses. The weather isn’t even behaving in the way we are used to and many walk in fear about what all of the weather changes mean. Relationships are in chaos. Communication is often difficult and fear is present in so many people who feel alone, isolated and forgotten. I do believe the world is changing. I also believe we all are changing also and though living through these times can be frightening sometimes, it is also exciting. I believe the human family is creating a transformation and evolution and it is important sometimes to shake things up a bit to have the courage to choose to change.

No one is walking this journey alone though I do understand it often feels that way. When someone is dealing with an illness that has the power to strongly impact their lives, and indeed even have the power to stop their life it is not surprising to see how alone they often feel. We may have compassion for what they are going through and it would not be true to say otherwise ~ and yet our lives move forward. We get busy with the issues in our own lives. We get so caught up in the every moment part of our lives that we will often go days, weeks or longer without reaching out to those we love who suffer from chronic or debilatating illness. We so often rely on the social media to communicate in general to people and often feel taking the time to do that is sometimes too much. Who has the time? Sometimes on facebook we will see a post from someone we care about where they are seen to be venting, communicating from a place of pain, fear and a sense of being forgotten. I feel it is important to remember sometimes a personal email, a letter mailed to them for them to hold and read or a phone call means so much to those who deal with illness on a daily basis. Communication with one another is important. I know I often get caught up in my own issues and before I know it too much time has passed since I last reached out to a loved one and acknowledged their struggle, their pain, their sense of isolation and their fear of being forgotten.

In my own life I also deal with many of the thoughts and feelings as the ones I wrote about in the previous paragraph. In the depths of grief I often feel those things. On top of that I add the thought that no one wants to be around me because of my grief. That is my script and may have absolutely no basis for what is happening with others. I live removed from a town. No easy way to walk to an area where people would be found. Unable to drive because of vision difficulties right now and limited to one family vehicle. Some days I feel overlooked, forgotten and rejected by everyone but one or sometimes two people here. Does that mean it is true? No. It means others are also living their lives, busy with children, work, spouse, activities, etc. It also means that perhaps I have not reached out to any one and communicated my desire to interact more with them and to spend time with them. If I am alone and do not communicate to others that I do not desire to be alone and would love to see them then it is my issue, my scripts, not theirs. When I do not hear from someone who is important to me for awhile and I know they are struggling, no matter why they are struggling, it is also up to me to reach out to them. In these challenging times we live in it is easy to put it off because we have enough on our own plate! We don’t have the spare time to give to someone else right now. We don’t have the energy to deal with their dramas. We are working so much to keep our own head above water, put food on the table, and we just don’t want to hear how much pain someone is going through right now. Our ego can keep going with all the reasons why we do not reach out to one another.

What happens once we realize how we have contributed to our own sense of isolation? What happens when we realize we have not gone that extra step to reach out to someone who is hurting? Own it. Acknowledge it within self. Do not judge, berate, ridicule, condemn or list all the reasons why. Merely acknowledge it. Be patient. Be kind to self. Be gentle with self. And if we are feeling overlooked, unheard, unseen, misunderstood, judged, or forgotten be the same way with those who assist you to see these feelings within your self. Reach out to them and communicate what you feel in a non-judgmental way. Let them know you miss contact with them. Communicate they matter to you.

Sometimes in my own life I find it necessary to acknowledge I ‘just’ feel miserable. I get caught up in the voice of my inner scripts. There is nothing any one else can do to ‘make it better’. It is during those times it is vital for me to remember I have the ability to have it be better. I have so many tools to use to help myself. When the inner dialog chatters away and is reacting to what is happening in my life then I do know the threads of one of my scripts has been strummed and it is up to me to transform it. It does not matter what stirred it up. It does not matter if I feel isolated, forgotten, etc., or if I have not reached out to another who yearns to be reached out to and seen, remembered, or loved. What matters is what I do with it once I am aware of doing it. In order to reach out to another, to hear them, to be there for them, to assist them and to share how important they are to me, it is often necessary for me to first take care of which script was stirred up. I will be writing much more in the coming weeks about the manifestation of scripts and showing how beautifully and yet at the same time, how painfully we do create upon the scripts we weave our lives upon every day. One of the reasons I am writing this today is to begin that journey. I choose to begin that journey by writing about some of the tools I use to lift myself out of the shadows and to be able to give to myself and to others from a place of love, rather than obligation or resentment. It is up to each of us to remember how to live, to love, to create with, and to celebrate who we are. It is up to each of us to fill ourselves up. No one else can really do that for us. When we fill ourselves up what we find happens is we have a surplus to give to others.

So what tools do I use to assist myself to shift from a place of shadow into a place of love? First, I acknowledge what I am creating and co-creating with others. Own what is truly mine. Let go of what is not mine. ( I remember if I am defensive, go into explanations of why I am doing or not doing something, seek validation or justification for the same, then like it or not ~ it is mine! Even if ‘it’ came from another person.)

Once I have acknowledged my part, my script I see what do I ‘need’ to do to begin to lift myself beyond what I am feeling? Sometimes I ‘want’ to scream, curse, rant, rave, vent and let the world, the universe know ‘just’ what I think and feel about it. I then do it. Usually I am quite content to rant, rave, curse, scream, etc., alone. Doing it out loud in the privacy of my home. Going outside and having a chat with the universe, with the Creator, or imagine the person who gave me the gift of seeing this part of me a piece of my mind without them being actually present. Other times I will call up someone I trust and ask if I may call them and just vent? Because sometimes I do not see my way past the moment or a resolution to what is happening until I hear myself speak about it.

I often use the tool of writing. For me it works. Sometimes it is writing and sharing it here and other times it is writing in my journal where no one sees it but me. Writing is one tool I have used most of my life to help me find a way past what is happening in my life. It helps me listen to the ego parts of myself which love to be heard and it helps me see the many options able to be used to help myself that I often do not see in any other way.

Another tool I use is the gift of music. If sadness stalks me and I find it difficult to cry and let it out I will often use music that I know will bring on the tears. If I am angry I do the same thing. I will often listen to the music, sing if it has words, and if not I often make my own words to sing to the music. I dance what I am feeling. I use the gift of music until the feeling has shifted and transformed. I use the gift of music until I feel cleansed, released and no longer held in the feeling I had been feeling, and the sound of the inner dialog has quieted.

Another tool I use is getting out of my house…getting out of myself. I have someone here where I live who remembers me when she goes into nature and takes me with her. It does not matter how ‘bad’ I feel before I go into nature. I always feel at peace after spending time in nature. What do I do when this person is not able to take me into nature? I can call and ask to be taken out into nature and if it is able to be done in that moment, she does it. If it is not possible in that moment then I walk outside my door. I look at nature around my home. I sit and feel the wind on my face. I watch the gentle or strong dance of the trees and plants in the breath of the wind. I sit on the ground, connect with the pulse of the earth and allow myself to let go of “I” and “me” and allow myself to connect and be part of the earth. My body begins to pulse with the beat of the earth and I feel connected to everything and everyone.

I also use the gift of the crystal bowl to assist me to let go of what I do not choose to hold and carry in the moment. I ring the bowl. I listen to the voice of the bowl build up and feel it move through my body. I speak the words of my shadow, my scripts, my pain, my sorrows and fears into the bowl. I listen to the song of the bowl shift as it absorbs my words, emotions and tears. I listen as the song of the bowl resumes it’s harmonic voice as it assists my words, emotions and tears to be released.

Another tool I use is my flute. I pray with my flute. I place my longing, my hopes, my dreams, and my sorrows, pain and fears into my flute and with the voice of the flute, I lift my prayers high and let them go. These are some of the tools I use to assist myself to be gentle with myself and to help heal the wounds of life. What tools do you use? Which tools help you the most? I really am interested to hear how you take care of yourself when your scripts come up that helps lift you beyond them even if for a moment or two. Sometimes that is the best gift we can share with one another. We are all connected even if we feel we are not. If by sharing my journey I am able to help you with yours then I am blessed. And if by sharing your journey, sharing some of the ways you have assisted your self to heal and transform then I am grateful, for it may one day be the very tool I am able to use to assist my self to heal another piece of my self.

When you feel overwhelmed by all that is happening in the world right now and in your own life, remember be gentle with your self as you remember we each have the key within our own self to heal and transform so many of our scripts so we are then free to respond to one another and life, rather than react from our shadows, scripts and fears.

photograph by Wendy Palmer

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