Monthly Archives: April 2014

Forgive Myself and Thank Myself for Yesterday

Forgive

For not allowing myself to rest yesterday.
For ignoring my sleepy eyes and tired head.
For keeping my mind filled with ‘stuff’.
For scaring myself with thoughts about how I am irresponsible
For letting my mind run circles around thoughts of G’s disregard for he and I through our relationship
For my self-care being so sporadic or piecemeal yesterday

Thanks

For the exercise
For the meditation time
For the attention
For taking me to the chirop, dr. and dentist all in one day
For feeding me well
For taking me on a quick walk through the market
For finding the bursary application for CPR and asl
For trying to recognize my fragility, sensitivity, need for love…when I am terrified and ashamed of all of those things…
For attempting to remind myself of my need for my connection to my higher power here and there

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Your Values Are Always Your Guide

Wow, thank you for sharing such a nice little self-reflection exercise. It’s so nice to expand horizons by being reminded how it is possible from day to day. I have a huge desire to learn how to be my own guide, in my connection with my higher power… If I don’t get to 10 I’ll be back…

Here is an attempt to identify (10) of my own values:

1) Honesty: self-acceptance of the gamut that I am…leading to acceptance of others

2) Learning: about self and about how to be in the world, throughout my entire life…

3) Connecting with nature: recognizing the interdependencies…

4) Participating in life; Contributing good and caring parts of me to others’ lives

5) Moderation: enjoying everything only in terms of what I need – no need to ‘chase’ excess.

6) Humility: recognizing the minute piece of the universe that I am.

7) Keeping connection (that genuinely suits me) with family and friends and always nurturing these connections.

8) Abundance: feeling the abundance in what I already have in my life.

9) Compassion: dropping regret and resentment from my ‘to-do list’ whenever possible, as SOON as possible– finding an appreciation for emotion and human fragility…as beautiful indications that we need to care more instead of dwelling on it as weakness or fault or fallibility.

10)

Abundant~Life~Initiative

Wonder what your values are? The answer lies in your desires and what you enjoy doing most.

I used to think values had more to do with morals than they did with desires. Values are what guide us towards what we truly want for our lives.

Each of us have values that are exclusively unique to our selves. If we are constantly doing things to sabotage or dim our values, we find ourselves in constant resistance to alignment with our Spirit.

When we dissect an area of our life, we should know what we value and always ask if what we are about to say or do is in alignment with our unique values. Our values are the key to our life’s purpose and the foundation to our eternal peace and knowing. Our values are divinely contracted by God to each of us, so we can live the best life we can and be the vessels of God’s purpose.

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“Too Many Mind”…

Which movie is that quote from? The Last Samurai…??

Today the yoga teacher’s little focus/meditative bit was about “the controller mind”, “the seeker mind”, and the “non-seeker mind”. I wish I knew where she had read this. I really like thinking about my mind in this way…because it is one of the few ways I get closer to hearing the quieter voices that are and have accepted being drown out. I am listening to ‘the controller’ pretty much every moment these days…if not the seeker mind. And today when she asked us to ask the controller if we could listener to the seeker, then the non-seeker…I was like, Yay!! I actually have a non-seeker mind. I mind that does not want to look for things to do, to think about, look for answers or explanations, look for distractions. I do have a non-seeker mind… And the image that came into my mind when the non-seeker mind was allowed the floor was a clear view like from a patio out into a clear golden landscape. Kind of like across a beach or desert…warm, with a breeze, but almost nothing could be heard, and the sun was a powerful but not overwhelming warmth. It was that temperature that makes you feel like you just want to lie down and let your body do nothing but breathe.

As I was sitting in my step study tonight…I heard myself and other people talk about how non-accepting we are of our feelings, our state of mind, our hurts, etc… And it occurs to me… Where is “the nurture mind”?  My “nurture mind”. I hear the voice faintly on a regular (but not enough) basis.

In me the nurture mind is ‘thinking’ about nurturing, thinking about ways to nurture, considering doing it, but is standing back waiting for other minds to give it the space to act. It is meek, passive, the nurture mind, in me. It doesn’t want to offend or impose… It makes big plans but sits back in its silent beauty and continues to be of potential energy. Saving it up. Not sure if it has enough power or influence to do the job. Not certain if it will have race back to its hiding place before it has done its job. It waits, thinking it is accumulating the power to take over. Whenever controlling mind moves over…

Me and the nurture mind have been exchanging looks more lately. Like we are getting to know each other a little. Smirking and sharing smirks about the same silly shit that ‘controller mind’ does… over and over….broken record. It is like nurture mind and I are beginning to conspire…”How are we going to do this?…Nurture and be nurtured? What will be the right moment? How will we know when it is the right time? How do we know that the strategy nurture mind has is going to be a lasting one…Is going to be able to stave off the rebellion and scary tactics of controller mind… And the distracting, freaky nature of seeker mind?

I know, I’m probably starting to sound a little batty…

Well, nurture mind will prove me wrong… Hehaheheha…. 🙂

This Is Another Day – Like Every Day, And Like No Other

I went to the 9:15 Alanon meeting this morning. After I had listened to an Alanon speaker on youtube.

How fortunate am I to have these resources.

In the past week, two things have been said to me by another person that were like passwords to my secret vault – so secret that I wasn’t even aware it was there.

It’s a vault of love. I think specifically of self-love.

1) “You did it out of love” or “Doing that was showing your loved him” or “That was a very loving thing to do.” On Monday Feb.7 – I think that was the day I told G to drop the car and go to his place. Twice in a couple of weeks (who knows if I missed an occasion or three) I had watched him show up driving with his kids in my car when he had been drinking. And the weekend previous to the day he went to take the dog for a walk but had found a bar that ‘took dogs’ so he disappeared for an hour and a half and drank… While he son turned to me asking “Where’s dad? It’s been over an hour…” The Monday I said we needed to talk, and his mind wheels started turning with panic and fear when he went to work. He called a couple of times, once to tell me how I needed to think about things before we talked. He was litterally telling me “how to think” so that things would go his way. I realized that wherever he was on that early monday afternoon that he was drinking… At work…or had he lied and gone somewhere else with my car… Anyway… I told him to drop the car and go home… I was getting to the end of my rope (who knows why after all of the time and events that had been equally if not more horrendous years previous…). I was not prepared to be another person in his kids lives (besides their mother) who watched their safety and sanity be compromised and did nothing. I was not prepared to be responsible for G’s mistakes. I was not prepared to be angry about stupid things that I can not control. I was not prepared to be scared things were going to happen…things that I facilitated by letting him drive my car knowing he was going to drink. I loved him and was sharing my car with him to share something with him. So that he would have a car for work and so that we could both save money. I want(ed) him in my life as much as possible… The point is that, I believed everything he thought and said… That I was a bitch for trying to control him driving my car. That I just wanted to tell him what to do. That I don’t love him for who he is. That it is not my place to say or do something to protect his kids. That I was criticizing him. That I was hateful….That I was doing it (for all the wrong reasons). It takes months for the feelings that have been welling up in me in response to his cruelty to settle so that I could believe that: cutting him off from using my car if he is going to drink is a loving and caring thing to do. Loving and caring for myself, for his kids, and for him too!! If he can’t make the choice to not drink and drive my car, to not drink and drive his kids…I can make it. He can drink and drive his kids in someone else’s car… God forbid. My sponsor reminded me… It is a loving thing for me to do. That just shifted my whole insides.

2) Today, after the alanon meeting, someone stopped me and asked about my situation, about leaving my ex. When I said a thing or two about our status (haven’t contacted him really in almost 3 months…longest ever I think), she asked me “do you still love him?” After I said I have been struggling with that question. Confused as to if what I have felt is love…or just codependent need The girl said, “It’s ok to love him still”. The tears just appeared. It was like an Indiana Jones movie where someone stood in the right spot or shifted the right stone on the wall and the door miraculously and matter-of-factly opened… Allowing me to feel. Like that is the right answer. I am right to love him.

I feel love I think, when I long for how his skin feels on his head, his back, his hands…Our skin feels magically matched in touch. I know the heat of his body, his smell. The weight of his legs or his head on my lap. The hair on his toes. The way our bodies fit like puzzle pieces. The feeling of cleaning together… and especially cooking together like a well-oiled machine, like we are two entities revolving around each other at a comfortable distance with a natural gravitational force. Anyway, I did say to the girl, “I am confused as to whether still I love him. I think I do. Because I feel all of the wonderful things that I long for. But I am also ashamed of the the way I just love him, without even trying.” How can my self feel so connected to him, so affectionate towards a man who triggers such anger…such devastation…such utter, bottom-dwelling sadness? And a man who thinks that it is ok to make someone he supposedly loves feel that way? Is love ok no matter what?

I think that I have been being comforted by those who want to me to love myself. Even love myself when I am loving someone who doesn’t love THEMselves… It is not my failure to love them.

 

Gradual, Gentle, Kind, Patient…

Alanon started out as a bit of a chore tonight. I had the best of intentions earlier today, and have been looking forward to my meeting since the last one… But I felt tired today. Felt like I just needed to sleep after hashing through feelings from last weekend, hashing through feelings I have had about discovering a lump earlier this week. And as I am writing this, I realized…I have had a sponsor for 2 whole weeks!! (How absolutely blessed am I!?!) and therefore I have been shifted into a new gear for 2 weeks!! I have been shifted into a higher, deeper, more exploratory, more loving, more self affirming, more personally responsible gear for 2 weeks!! Of course I am really tired! Exhausted…

Easter weekend was an emotional minefield and it took every ounce of self-love and guidance from my higher power (whether I was listening closely or not…) and others to not contact my ex in any way. Then Monday or Tuesday when I discovered the lump it took so much out of me to try and PUT OFF feeling something about that because I was tired and overwhelmed from the weekend…Then discovering more pain yesterday and actually going to the doctor about the lump today took so much out of me… I let myself cry in the Dr’s office when she said that it does not have the characteristics of a malignant tumor… Release…That was totally HUMAN of me… Woh! And totally new… Just a roller-coaster… This morning when I woke up and was still lying in bed I was thinking like a crazy person! Who would take care of my cat while I’m in the hospital?! Will I be able to finish my thesis?! All of my friends and family are so far away! I isolated myself to G. Should I call him? Will I want to spend time with him before I die!! I absolutely went on an emotional rampage without just sitting and listening to my own feelings. Giving MYSELF the undivided attention…comforting myself instead of thinking about a bunch of stupid circumstances and incidentals. I just went into “I am doomed and all alone…!!!” mode.

What a day — I even worked on my chapter when I left the Dr’s office. I am a nutbar… Fun? TV show. Not exactly a change of gears…

I would be disappointed in myself right now, but I went to a meeting and allowed myself to participate. Felt others’ shares, cared for them as they shared… And made sure i got mine in…even though it was the last minute. I didn’t let myself think ‘aaah, you don’t need to share, Shantelle’, there isn’t enough time anyway… Naah. I didn’t cop out like that. I dug deep for courage and left my little ‘footprint in the sand you might say’… I am only human. My hope was just to be human. And what did my higher power do but deliver me a new lovely gift of a human being in my life to learn from.

A girl shared how what I had said had resonated for her…and the things she shared and her ease with talking with me absolutely helped my feet to slowly fall back to the ground. You know, like Mary Poppins and her umbrella? But in a completely different context (hahahaha!). But seriously though…

The big sad issues are not the centre of things. My recovery is the center of things…  Like my sponsor, like my yoga guru connect me to life, energy, by virtue being what they want to be in their own life. If I give myself to the possibility of what I want to be in my own life…’poof!’ It’s like a door opens where you thought there was only a wall. People are so scary to me usually…I am realizing more and more. But I have places and moments in my life where people show me how I am safe and a strong presence here. They breathe life back into this emaciated spirit. They encourage me with there own self care and impart the how of how it will just take me time to feel life, discover it, mingle with it…get comfortable with that idea. Easy does it.

Not only is it necessary to be aware of who and what you have around you that/who will breathe life back into you (me) – it’s like borrowing others’ oxygen in a deep water dive until you ascend high enough to get your own – but also to believe in the fact that (I) am receiving such gifts because I am no less necessary than they are. No less able to breathe and live… Even when I am not feeling those things, I might want to believe in the Gradual, the Gentle, the Kind, the Patient…

Give Yourself a Break Today

Shantelle, you have been feeling bad for following patterns that you learned and have not yet unlearned. That is it. You are not wrong to be a trusting hopeful person. You are simply ready to trust on YOUR terms, give your hope and patience on YOUR terms and not the other person’s.

Be satisfied today that that is enough thought work for today!! And you can now allow help to come to you, help with discovering what YOUR terms are.

I don’t think you will have to look hard to find them.

Give yourself a break today…

“I blamed myself for putting myself in that situation, for being so vulnerable and so incredibly stupid to believe any of his bullshit.”

“I blamed myself for putting myself in that situation, for being so vulnerable and so incredibly stupid to believe any of his bullshit.”

via “I blamed myself for putting myself in that situation, for being so vulnerable and so incredibly stupid to believe any of his bullshit.”.

Allow Myself to Feel It…?~!

Allowing Ourselves to Experience Pain.

 (http://al-anonfilter.blogspot.ca/2011/08/allowing-ourselves-to-experience-pain.html)

From Hope for Today, page 227:

“It helps to keep in mind that getting better doesn’t always mean feeling better. When I need to walk through pain to let it go, I remember “This Too Shall Pass.” I tell myself that just as thinking doesn’t make it so, neither does feeling make it so. My life is going to work out according to God’s will regardless of how I feel, so why try to manipulate situations to avoid the unavoidable – human emotions? Such behavior only creates more pain, and I certainly don’t want more of that!”

————————————

This has been one of the toughest lessons for me to accept in Al-Anon: in order to work through a feeling, I need to allow myself to feel it. There is no way around this truth for me; if I don’t allow myself to feel my feelings, they will stay with me. If I want to live “lightly but abundantly” I need to let go of my painful feelings.

How do I do that? By sitting with them. Sitting through them. Or walking; I find walking an excellent way to deal with my feelings, and the dogs agree, they are more than willing to go for what I call “a burn around the neighbourhood” – a fast-paced walk for a long distance, during which I may start out with a feeling roaring hotly in my chest and head, but I am always returning home the last few blocks, feeling spent and at peace.

I allow myself to think the angry, or painful, thoughts, then I identify the feelings behind them, and I let those feelings flood through me, without trying to stifle or resist them. I may weep, if the primary feeling is pain.

Then, I look for my part – the character defects which drive my thinking. I ask my Higher Power to remove them, and then I ask for peace.

A friend once commented upon the way the dogs start out one of these walks with a focused intensity on forward, and end up looking around with noses always moving – the canine equivalent of sight-seeing. I laughingly replied that we were all doing pretty much the same thing, it’s just more obvious in dogs.

Before I learned that a hard fast walk is a great way to let out my feelings (or, if it happens to be bucketing rain, a ferocious bout of housecleaning) I used to numb myself out. I’d start repeating a little mantra of “it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter” and it would be like flicking a switch to the “off” position – shutdown, blessed numbness, no more pain.

Except it wasn’t working quite that smoothly and effectively below the surface – I wasn’t processing my feelings, I was storing them. I was, if you like, hoarding them, with new layers on top of old, so that the original landscape of my self became totally obscured from my view. That hoard of feelings was so overwhelming that I didn’t know where to start. So I didn’t, I just flung another on to the heap already there, and walked out of that room.

By the time I came into Al-Anon, I was pretty much living on the front porch of myself. The entire rest of my house of self, was stuffed to the ceilings: old moldering crap mixed with relatively untouched newer items, all mixed together in one giant seething mass. I tried not to go in there, if I could possibly avoid it.

In Al-Anon, I learned that if I wanted real recovery, I was going to have to do an inventory, Step 4, and sort through that massive hoard of feelings, thoughts, beliefs, unmet dreams and desires, expectations, disappointments, resentments, and unfelt, stuffed pain.

I was terrified that the pain would destroy me completely if I were to feel it – how was I to maintain mental stability while doing such a task?

By working with my sponsor and my program friends, by asking my Higher Power for help, and by taking it one small step at a time. I don’t have to deal with the entire past today. I can deal with today only. One day. How am I feeling right now? Why am I having this feeling? Is it because of an unmet expectation, or is it the result of an unkind choice made by another person?

If the latter, can I let go of my people-pleasing and my fear of conflict, and say that “I feel this when you do that?” If not, can I accept that I’m going to have to put up with this feeling until it passes, as they always do? Can I make the effort to see this other person as sick, rather than demonise them?

Feelings can be painful, frightening, intimidating. But I want to have access to my feelings, without being controlled by them.

One of the Al-Anon Promises:

“We will begin to feel, and will come to know the vastness of our emotions, but we will not be slaves to them.”

The Worst: When You’re (Feeling) Crappy And You Know It

Wake up this morning out of a dream where I was talking to G (ex) on the phone… TAlkjng with him about picking up money from him that he owed me somehow. His voice sounded squeaky… I felt sad in my stomach and in my throat…the feeling like when you’re going to sob. But I was composed. When I asked if he was home, so that I could go grab the money he said something like “home is where you heal”. I was confused… He would say that usually if he meant I was his home and he was not with me, but it took me a moment to think that… Because I just couldn’t/can’t trust anything he says anymore. In the dream and waking up from the dream I am so angry with him, but masking it. I am just quieter than ‘angry’ would sound… As I awoke from the dream I wanted to ask him, “where are you then?” But it was too late… I realized, I am home and I don’t feel healed… I don’t know how much I am healing. Is he somewhere else that he considers home? Or. Is he just not healing…? Does he wish he was with me? Or is he in his own hurt now?

And then I feel frustrated because I am thinking with such curiosity about HIM and how he must be feeling…not thinking about me, and how I am feeling. When I realize that, I try to pay attention to how I am feeling…I am just a big lump of feeling bad. And it’s like I don’t want me or anyone else to know how bad I feel. Because I want them to feel helpless to make me feel better. I want them to feel what’s that like and to PROVE they care how I feel in some ‘super’ way…show they are worthy of my happiness…Even I have to show that. I am playing cruel games even with myself… “I won’t be happy until you show you care! HA”

All of this before I am even 100% awake…

And the bad feelings that come with thinking about G and however I let that go so bad…reminded me of when I was about 15 or 16 and I babysat for my mother’s friends who had an infant. I had told this guy I knew, this ‘bad kid’ that I was kind of preoccupied with, where I was babysitting. He came to the house with two friends and they took wine and started to smoke, make themselves at home… They laughed at me and wouldn’t leave. I was panicked, terrified… So terrified at how helpless I was. So shitty because of telling where I would be. I felt like my whole chest could be simply dislocated from my body I felt so scared and stupid and shitty…

And then the people came home.

It was so traumatic that I barely remember everything that happened. I just remember not being able to breathe, wanting to be invisible and on the drive home I was afraid the father was going to hit me… And then hating my mother for being angry because of how I ‘made her look’ to those people. I knew what I had done. And I wanted to die. But ALL of it was not my fault. That bad kid ‘friend’ of mine showed up, brought two crap friends, stole wine from the house…

I could have called the police but didn’t even think of doing something like that because I didn’t think someone would be that ‘bad’…screw me over that bad…I just wanted them to go. Wanted the event to be ‘undone’.

I was so confused about trusting people and what is your fault and what is theirs when you trust someone. And confused at why I trust people who can not be trusted… I have let others blame me for things that happened because I trusted someone. Yet I have put trust in people that can not be trusted… I have learned to blame myself for the things that happen when I trust someone, but always set myself up for it…

I ‘lent’ a stranger money once and got ‘taken’. It was so devastating and humiliating. And the people I told…the first thing that came from them was ‘why did you do that??!’

Why did I? Why was I that ‘stupid’? Self-preservation…I don’t think I have that when it comes to other people asking me for things they need. When it comes to getting a message that I can be the answer to someone’s problem(s).

At this moment, it’s like my stomach is split in two. I don’t want to reject…I felt some ‘duty’ to give of myself so that I would not seem too ‘superior’, or so that I would ‘win the graces’ if someone…and in the process I am self-destructive and stupid.

The value of my own graces was lost somewhere…about 40 years ago. I think I am searching my memories for where I left it.
And resigned to feel crappy until it turns up.

Why did I take such risks? Why did I make such decisions? Why did I give G so many chances? Even still, in my dreams…!

Waiting for someone to see that it is not my hope that is bad… it is not my trust that is bad… Waiting to feel that for myself.

I learned to trust wrong. Now I have to learn it all over… So that I can love myself again.

What Is Your Athentic Self?

Yeah!!

Deborah Day M.A. Blog

authentic self
Can you describe your authentic self? Do you know what it even means to be your authentic self? Your authentic self is the real you; the genuine you. There are many contributing factors from your history that could have prevented you from being your true, authentic self. So, what do you think? Do you know your innate, authentic self?

Try listing the qualities of your authentic, true self. For example, here are some of my authentic qualities: outgoing, welcoming, encouraging, inviting, open-minded, loves being in groups, expressive. These are just some. However, in my history I was shamed for many of these qualities. I was taught that I was too much; that my personality was too big.

Therefore, throughout the years I have struggled to be whom I most authentically am and to learn to accept these parts of myself. On the scale of outgoing I am at the very…

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