We all have something we want to progress toward. A small thing or a large thing it doesn’t matter.
Progress is not all at once. Rather progress comes in bits and pieces, fits and starts, ups and downs, forward and backward.
That is OK and in a way that is how change happens, especially if the change is going to be permanent.
So in your frustration, when your progress is not fast enough, please remember that progress is not linear, it never will be. Going with the flow and being patient, putting one foot in front of the other will get you where you need to go, in soon enough time.
Growing up with one of my caregivers being schizophrenic and the other an addict made my childhood a living hell. Mental illness was the elephant in the room that no one talked about. Relatives kept away, no one wanted to get involved and there were not many resources for a child protection back then.
I am here to say that if you are feeling unsafe in your home and you are under 18, reach out to a school counselor or your teacher even a police officer, you can even walk into a criminal court and go to the victim services office for advice.
If you are over 18 and you are feeling unsafe in your home reach out to a therapist, find supportive allies, start creating distance with those who are unsafe. As an adult you can move around easier than a child can. You can leave your situation.
Being closely involved with those who have serious mental illness can make you feel crazy and unsure of your own sanity. It’s not you. Protect yourself because your very sanity and life depends on it.
You will come up against some who don’t want to get involved, that’s OK. Keep reaching out and you will prevail and regain the peace you deserve.
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and many share their love and enthusiasm for our families, lovers, friends.
Let’s not forget to give a big Valentines to ourselves. After all we are very important too. Here’s some helpful ways to love yourself.
- Stop calling yourself names. eg. I am such a jerk.
- Stop thinking about the worst case scenario. eg. The world will end if I say the wrong thing.
- Identify negative beliefs you have about yourself and get rid of them. eg. I am a really bad cook.
- Rewrite and reframe your internal dialog. eg. I am a good dancer.
- Celebrate yourself. It’s OK to give yourself a reward.
- Visit a therapist. Self examination is healing.
- Support yourself with positive self talk.
Every day is a chance to take good care of yourself and be your own Valentine.
“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
I know how you feel. Betrayed and abandoned by someone who you thought cared.
If you can feel betrayal and abandonment you are the healthy one.
People who constantly hurt and abandon are the broken ones.
I know it’s hard to do but………….
Feel it – breathe – carry on.
An emotional trigger is reacting to a present situation with the pain of an unresolved wound of the past.
For example, road rage is never about the jerk cutting you off. Your rage is from feeling helplessness.
Getting lost and given the wrong directions. Your anger is from betrayal.
People being nosey or rude. Your annoyance is from your boundaries being violated.
Untrue gossip and rumors about you. Your trust had been destroyed.
We all have bad days and left bewildered by others behavior towards us. But why are we triggered?
If we have overreacted it’s a trigger from the past. To get past this energy sapping overreaction behavior go back to the time you think this wound might have happened.
Write about it, uncensored, exercise, ground yourself, get back into your body, do art. listen to music, talk to a professional about what you are feeling, meditate, talk it out.
It is not easy work uncovering our wounds, but once they are uncovered they begin to heal and overreaction ends.
It’s worth the effort.
Any kind of entrapment feels uncomfortable. You can become a prisoner of your own mind too. Do you have obsessive thoughts? Are you adamant about your beliefs and won’t listen to other points of view? Do you have self-defeating tendencies?
The good news is being a prisoner of your mind is mostly artificial. A lot these thoughts are based on fear and insecurities.
The work to open that cell door comes from grounding yourself in some way. Here are some suggestions:
- Redirecting your thoughts.
- Making art.
- Talking to a mental health professional.
I am sure you can add to the list. The idea is to be in the present moment for as long as possible so your mind does not hijack you back to being a prisoner.
This takes effort, consistency, and even scary at times to go into this new territory. The results are so worth it and will strengthen you. Go for it.
There are some pretty scary emotions that we run from. Our minds race with one disaster after another. Our society almost demands that we let it go and move on from tragedy or trauma. Letting go and moving on is not possible if we smother the very emotions we need to move closer to. Emotions like fear, abandonment, isolation and worthlessness.
Move closer to the parts of you that you exiled. Move closer to the very emotions that scare you. Move closer to approval for all strange events you survived. Move closer to being curious about your behavior. Move closer to the parts that are so hard to accept and love. Move closer to having compassion and kindness for yourself. Move closer to being intimate with our own courage. Move closer to deeply knowing who you are because you can’t help anyone else without helping yourself first.
It won’t be easy but so worth the effort. Your thinking will become more integrated and grounded. And an important perk to this effort is you will become more productive, understanding and confident.
Pain and shame are the hardest feelings to sit with. We will do anything not to feel them.
When we are willing to go to these frightening places something wonderful happens. We have the chance to witness past and present events and their impact with a new, clearer sight. Which illuminates our thinking about close relationships in the present.
You may even become determined in changing those relationships and becoming free to choose healthier alternatives.
All it takes is a little bit of curiosity and courage to look at those scary emotional places and a baby step toward a new direction.
It is common information about emotional trauma being trapped in the body. Google it or go to the library for reading material.
However, how do we uncover emotions without the long stretches in therapy or costly physical therapies?
Start with walking more, take the stairs, swim, dance, rent a bike, work out, walk your neighbor’s dog, garden, yoga on youtube.
The next step to exorcise those pesky emotions that sneak up on you and settle in your body, sit with paper and pen or open a word document and pour your mind onto a page.
By exercising you can release trauma from your body which is connected to your mind.
By writing you exorcise trauma from your mind which is connected to your body.
Find your balance.
If you have 15 minutes for yourself what would you do?
Call a friend, Mend some clothing, Paint a picture, Sing a song, Write in stream of consciousness, Meditate, Listen to you favorite music, Draw a picture, Write a positive note to your significant other, Feed your pet some treats, Gaze at the night sky, Sit still in the morning hours before daylight, Read something interesting, Count the stars, Sip a hot beverage, Send good wishes to those in need, Not complain in your voice or head, Just listen intently to your environment.
Finish the list of your favorites.
And you do have 15 minutes anytime you want. Indulge happily.