All I Need to Know I Learned from “Sorry”…

This Christmas Day was the first my son and I have ever celebrated with just the two of us. After breakfast and gifts, we started playing board games.  One of our favorites is Sorry.  I loved it as a kid and it’s one of the few I can enjoy as an adult.  We had a couple of riveting rounds of close calls and several times one of us came up from behind to win it all. It was exciting enough I realized how much I learned about life from playing the game as a kid.

There is no single card in Sorry that is always good or bad.  It all depends on where you are positioned at any given moment and where the other pieces are on the board in relation to you.  ‘Backwards 4’ can be a terrible thing if it takes you out of the ‘safe zone’ right before the other person gets a SORRY card they can use.  But it can also be a golden ticket if you have a piece in start and pull a ‘2 draw again’ card right before it.  The exact same card can mean being taken out next turn or closer to ‘home’ than you’ve ever been.  It’s not the card itself that makes the difference.  Such is life.

There is an itty bitty bit of strategy to the game but most of it isn’t controllable.  How much the cards got shuffled between rounds, who went first, what colors were chosen to play, etc. all add their own element of chance.  Every little detail impacts the end result but none of the details really matter that much.  Everyone playing with enough knowledge to understand the rules has the same chance of winning.  Such is life.

The high numbers of 10, 11 and 12 are WONDERFUL if you are trying to get around the board but they are worthless if you are almost ‘home’.  The ‘Sorry’ card is WONDERFUL if you have a piece at the start and the other person has a piece close to your safety zone but it can mean losing the game if you have all your pieces in play and the next card is exactly what the other person needed to win.  Only a few decisions are clearly ‘right’; everything else is just your best guess with the knowledge and understanding you have at the time.  Sometimes it works out in your favor; sometimes it doesn’t.  Such is life.

Today, my son and I had a game where I went through almost an entire deck without getting out of ‘start’.  I couldn’t use card after card after card.  I remembered how panicked I would get when that happened to me as a kid.  I hated losing.  I hated being stuck.  The thought of it was emotionally traumatic (can’t say I have completely overcome that (Ha!) but I’m much better at coping than I was as a child).  In the end, after some cards ended up in my favor and some cards held my son back, I won that game with a significant margin.  There was no way to tell at the start of the game how it would end up.  Such is life.

The last round we played inspired this post because I realized every moment we draw a figurative card.  None of those cards are inherently good or bad.  We all just make the best decisions we can with what we see at the time.  Sometimes what seems like a setback is actually setting us up for a win and sometimes what seems like a sure thing won’t be.  The best chance we have at living the lives we want is to let go of what we can’t control and do our best to position our energy in the direction we want to go.  Whatever this moment brings, another moment is on it’s way immediately following.  If life doesn’t seem to be going our way, let’s not stress. Let’s just breathe through it and pull the next card, it might be exactly what we are looking for.

Please affirm with me: I am open to receiving the best I can imagine and anything better.

Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous Winter!

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Real Can Be Messy

Do you know why I create a roller coaster? Do you know why I withdrawal and tune out when someone is trying to be close? Do you know why I sabotage myself?

I do.

I say I want real and authentic. I do. Because anything less than isn’t satisfying.

But…..

I want “real and authentic” packaged in a pretty little box with a perfectly tied ribbon. I want just the good, sweet, fun parts. I want sunshine and rainbows and kittens to be real all the time.

But it’s not.

Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes all of us are less than stellar in our thoughts/behavior…and that’s real too.

Real isn’t ever going to be as convenient as plastic. Real isn’t predictable. Real isn’t controllable.

I don’t get to pick which parts of real I want to feel any more than I get to pick which feelings I feel. It’s an “all in” or “missing out” proposition. Any attempts to numb the uncomfortable or prune away the inconvenient, comes at a steep price… it also numbs the good.

Same as I don’t get to feel happy all the way unless I feel sad all the way….. I can’t get the rewarding, euphoric,
wonderful parts of real unless I am willing to experience the messy, hard, painful, miserable parts of real. Denying the latter doesn’t make it go away, it just blocks me from the bliss that’s possible.

Much of what I thought needed to be fixed isn’t actually broken. It just isn’t fun or convenient. Much of what I question if I can live with are things I am going to experience with anyone being real…. at some point, anyone being authentic and true to himself/herself is going to do something I am not happy about. The parts I don’t like in others are parts I don’t like in myself. I can break up relationships but I still have to live with myself.

If my last husband couldn’t figure out how to make me happy all the time, no one can. He learned how I operated so intimately, he could side step conflicts before they could even start. He knew exactly what to do so I always felt safe. His only mission in life was to support me and make me a happy wife. And you know what? That wasn’t enough for me…. it wasn’t satisfying any more than aspartame gum.

Shit……

That’s why I want catch phrases and “rules”. That’s why I try to dissect meaning out of every little thing…. I want to try to figure REAL out so I can genetically modify it into just the part that’s pleasurable to experience. But then all I get is the equivalent of a Stepford husband. It’s not real anymore.

(Sigh) ……..

I want to learn how to speak up for myself when responses aren’t guaranteed. I want to learn how to be unconditionally loving and accepting. I want to give wholeheartedly from a pure place.

It ain’t always going to be easy…but I believe it’s worth it.

 

From my heart to yours,

thanks for reading

Belonging

It is impossible to make someone else feel as if they belong. The best one can do is provide an environment where it is safe to accept one’s self, where it safe to have the full gamut of feelings, and model how it’s done. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance (Brene Brown in “Daring Greatly…”) .

Louise Hay, Brene Brown and many others have expressed the same concept of being ‘hard wired for love and connection’ using slightly different words. We do not have to earn the right to breathe and we do not have to earn the right to be loved. Both are necessary for our survival and they are our birthright. I truly believe at the core of all dysfunctional relationship issues in the world is a lack of self acceptance with one or both parties.

At this moment of life, I feel the most loved, appreciated and in sync with the world I have ever felt. Last weekend, I finished writing a song with a friend and was part of making music with some very talented musicians all evening. I had more than one moment of “Wow! I am SO GRATEFUL FOR MY LIFE!”. My band mates tell me my enthusiasm is infectious and I tell them they make it possible!

My home is coming together. My work is coming together. The relationship with my soon to be ex husband is better than I could imagine. My son is getting his life figured out. There is even hope of mending estrangement with my birth family. Every single thing on that list has been a HUGE stressor over the years. I worried about every single item because I couldn’t see how I could make it work out.

But I started living in a new way. I started believing the best is coming to me. I started believing the world is a loving supportive place and I belong in it just as I am. I started believing I have a purpose as me in this world. I started letting go of other people’s perceptions of me so I could be myself all the way.

I gave myself permission to daydream. I allowed myself to imagine an existence where all my relationships are supportive, I live in a beautiful, cozy place surrounded by trees and have access to all I need to live comfortably with enough to share. I set the intention to trust spirit, love myself, do the next right thing and embrace the process.

It’s happening, folks! And it’s not because I “made” it happen. It’s because I have been working on releasing the blocks I put up to protect myself but instead kept good out. It’s because the world is full of loving, supportive people when I believe it is! It’s because the universe conspires in my favor when I believe it does! It’s because I accept who I am in this moment, knowing mistakes are part of learning.

I am grateful for the people in my life who don’t approve of me because they have taught me about true compassion. When surrounded by people who agree, it’s not nearly as easy to work on my shadow side as when I encounter contrary people. We are all characters in the play of life. Every person has a role and everyone can choose how to portray themselves. None of us are the director of all but we each get to write our own character’s story.

May we all remember as long as there is breath, there is love and there are choices.

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Out of Crisis

Most of my life has been in some sort of crisis mode. Sometimes personal, sometimes relational, sometimes professional. It’s been something almost continuously since I was around 8 years old.

Today, there are many unknowns in my life but no crises. Everything is working out and falling into place. So many things I worried about in the past are either resolved or no longer a concern.

The few times in my life when someone’s life has been on the line in my hands, I was calm and rational until help showed up and then I completely fell apart. Every emotion, every fear, every pain, came flooding through all at once. As mentioned in previous posts, I have historically been better at thinking about my feelings than feeling them. Now that I am on the other side of crisis, I have space to feel fully and it’s intense.

Unresolved issues from many stages of my life are getting triggered in one form or another for processing. I am practicing all the things I encourage other people to do in my coaching and workshop practice and uncovering my own hang ups. I can easily say to myself “I love you” “I approve of you” “Everything I touch is a success” but…… If I try to say “I am a success” in the mirror or looking at another person, waterworks fall. And I am not talking about trickling tears, I am talking about tears big enough to form a puddle in my lap. So much of my life has been merit based. “Notice me!” “See how good I am doing?!”…. But inside, feeling completely insufficient and inadequate.

I share my struggles because there is something therapeutic about saying it aloud and to encourage others who are facing similar challenges but keeping it bottled up inside, feeling alone. My drive to heal the world stems from my desire to heal myself. Maybe when the whole world is healed, I will be too….. But that’s a bit backwards. The more I deal with and process my own junk, the more powerful I can be in the world helping others do the same.

We are all connected. No one suffers alone. No one rejoices alone. We all feed into and pull from the collective energy force we all share.

There is nothing wrong with feelings. They are what they are. There is shadow whenever there is light. Every experience has a lesson and a blessing, whether joyous or painful. May we all be open to learning the lessons and receiving the blessings.

From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading

Allowing

Today was a breakthrough day. When I arrived at yoga class, my teacher questioned me on what was going on with my handstand attempts (or lack thereof). I told him I don’t jump up when I feel something is off and I know it won’t go well. He gave me a look that said “why are you telling yourself that bullshit?” and I realized the real issue. My problem was believing I couldn’t. My problem was not allowing myself space to fail. By not allowing myself space to fail, I wasn’t allowing myself space to succeed.

Handstand for me is all about trusting the unknown, seeing things from a different perspective and confidence. I was raised not to trust “the world” and close people in my life proved themselves untrustworthy. I have taken responsibility for things that aren’t mine, held on to them tight and refused to let go. I have put myself down, believed I couldn’t, and bailed instead of continuing to show up and do my best. That caused tension and pain I am still processing out.

I have been going through a lot of changes in my life and allowing myself to feel my way through them. My emotions have always been intense. To manage them, I learned how to shut myself down, lock my feelings up tight, and pretend they weren’t there or be big, loud and stir the pot. One can put out a fire by depriving it of fuel or dousing it with so much lighter fluid it can’t burn. In the past, I felt more powerful, more in control, adding lighter fluid but it occasionally cost me my figurative eyebrows.

Today, I practiced feeling my feelings without them running my life. I got through my entire yoga practice even though I started with tears blocking my breath. I reminded myself my emotions are like the weather, I am the sky. I just kept breathing. An intuitive little fairy brought me tissues and I kept going. I have bailed on my practice for much less in the past but, today, I allowed ‘what is to be’ instead of forcing anything. I let myself feel while not allowing myself to quit.

I now aim to float somewhere between the two extremes of exploding or shutting down. There is a time for action and a time for inaction. There is a time to speak up and a time to be silent. There is a time to put myself as an individual first and there is time to care for myself while putting the good of others ahead of what I want. I am learning how to identify those times on a level I have never experienced before. I am giving myself space to try new things and see life from a different perspective.

I escaped from a shaming, toxic environment many years ago. I know what it’s like to have a guilt trip laid on so thick I feel like I can’t breathe. I also know the person laying on the shame is coming from a place of unworthiness and feeling threatened. That doesn’t make the behavior acceptable but it does provide an opportunity to practice compassion. True compassion. It’s easy to love people I like. It’s an entirely different matter to find a way to love someone who attempts to attack me on the most personal level and suck the life out of people I care about.

Feeling hatred sucks away my confidence. It stems from unresolved issues within me and feeds the false belief I am a victim of circumstance. I can find a way to justify my actions as much as someone with a diabolical, opposing view. I can also see how every single person I encounter, including the toxic ones, are reflections of me. The person opposite me is the flip side of my same coin.

I need to remember I am a force more powerful than my emotions. Feeling hate or fear in any given moment doesn’t define me. Love is stronger than hate or fear, always. I have the power to choose thoughts that nourish my soul, forgive, and free myself from anything that happened in the past. Life flows in cycles. Experiences repeat until I learn what I need to know. Today, my heart is filled with gratitude and I easily make changes that serve my highest good.

From my heart to yours,

Thank for reading

 

SIDE NOTES:

When I started writing, I thought this post was going to be about believing “I can’t”. Turns out I wrote about that 4 years ago! https://powerfrominside.com/2012/05/12/the-power-of-i-can-by/

If you are interested, here is a link to an article I liked about choosing nourishing thoughts http://thespiritscience.net/2016/06/24/this-native-american-story-of-the-two-wolves-will-change-your-life/

Hold Space – Aim for the Horizon

I heard the phrase “holding space” several times but didn’t grasp what it meant until recently. I am grateful for all the loving people who hold space for me to realize what I am subconsciously doing, how I am feeling and my potential in life. I am learning to hold space for myself now.

Space to feel. Space to grow. Space to change in ways that serve my highest good. Space to be uncomfortable.

It’s both terrifying and liberating to be where I am in life. I see how much I have defined myself by my relationships. I rushed into two marriages and they didn’t last. I forced intimacy with friends only to lose them later. No matter how they turn out, relationships provide opportunities for me to see both the best and worst qualities within.

I am starting to see my relationship issues stem from trying to maintain a feeling of comfort. A fully present, conscious life isn’t always comfortable. In my experience, sometimes it’s excruciatingly painful.

I am practicing applying a concept learned on my yoga mat. When it’s uncomfortable, I am on my way to new territory. When I focus on the process (the muscles I need to flex, the movements I need to make on my way into position, my breath… keeping my gaze steady and my fingers wide) progress happens. When I get too obsessed with the destination (ultimate pose) or start to define myself by the progress I have made, I get off track. I aim for the pose I am working towards like a pilot aims for the horizon. I believe the ultimate pose is possible for me with time and consistent practice.

When it’s uncomfortable on the mat, I have learned to relax into the discomfort. Sometimes I remind myself I am not going to die. My body won’t go too far if I am relaxing into it while being fully aware of where I am in space and time (gaze and breath). I tried straining through it and stalled. Relaxing into the discomfort of life is a bit more daunting but I have faith it will work just as well eventually.

I have started journaling again. It’s helped me immensely in the past and it’s helping me again. Reading through old entries, I see how although I still struggle with some of the same issues, I have grown. I have peeled back layer after layer and keep going deeper.

Personal growth isn’t for the faint of heart but it’s been worth every heartache I have experienced. When faced with discomfort, I can run, fight or lean in. I now choose to lean in and learn…hold space and aim for the horizon.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Time to Fly

I often told people my husband held my kite string so I could fly.  What I didn’t realize I was saying at the time is I felt I needed holding down.  I didn’t feel safe being all I could be, letting go, riding the winds.  I feared if I did that, I would lose control and everything in my life would potentially fall apart.

As I sit on my new bed in my new location, I no longer have that fear.  I am here, sitting with myself and quite content with that.  Everything I am not is crumbling away but I am here as centered and at peace as I have ever been.  I am learning to fly.

When I was around ten, I was taken on my first flight in a little two seater airplane.  I remember looking down in awe as ‘big’ buildings started looking like toys and people were nothing more than little specs.  We didn’t go that high because it was such a small craft but it was high enough to get a different perspective than I had ever had before.  I remember thinking perspective changes everything.  I have a better understanding now of how true that observation was than I did then.

My pilot explained the controls on the dashboard and how he watched the horizon to make sure he was straight.  I had no desire to learn to operate a plane but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  It was exhilarating to experience something so new!

I don’t know exactly when it happened but, at some point, new things became scary instead of exciting.  I tried to make things as much the same as possible.  I started being addicted to control.  I trained people in my life not to surprise me.  I built relationships with impressionable folks.  The older I got, the more power I sought.  Eventually, I realized I didn’t want to try and control others but I still tried to control what happened to me.  I still braced myself for any pitfall that may come my way.  That created tension in my body… a lot of it.

I am in the process of letting go of all of that now.  The personal work I need to do in order to coach is teaching me more about myself than I ever imagined.  My client’s lives mirror mine and the more work I do in my own life, the more present I can be for them.

Here is my understanding of life today… The secret to making progress without creating tension is to keep my eyes on the horizon and do the next right thing.  There isn’t much use in writing a script for how things are going to go.  My ‘law of attraction’ work has taught me the best way to create the life I want is to imagine it already here and let go of trying to figure out ‘how’ it will happen.  I tune into what I call ‘spirit’ and take action steps in the direction I want to go.  One small step at the time, enjoying the process along the way.

I have a good life.  Almost everything outside of myself I used to identify with has either changed or gone away.  I am grieving the loss of a marriage I thought would last forever but I haven’t lost the memories of wonderful times spent together.  Life is in the moments.  Forever is a series of ‘right nows’ strung together.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

 

Storms Pass

I have known for some time now that life continues in cycles. No matter how long I have practiced mindfulness or how many personal growth exercises I have completed, there is always another layer to explore. The more aware I become, the more I recognize patterns in my relationships. When I say “relationships” I am referring to all kinds (family, friends, romantic, professional).

In my last post, I spoke about my illusion of control. I say illusion because even if I do successfully influence someone else, it’s only because he or she allowed me to. If someone influences me, it’s only because I allowed it. I am responsible for my thoughts, feelings and actions. I always have choices. Any time I think I don’t, I have the option to stop believing that.

My coaching practice is showing me how certain concepts work universally. Whether it’s deciding on a job, romantic relationship, or raising teenagers, the strategy is similar…decide what makes investing my energy worth it and ask for what I want clearly. Own my power and speak truth with kindness, outlining consequences of options… If I put blinders on and go for a goal without being mindful of the current moment, I get off track. If I try to control anything outside myself, it doesn’t work well. If I give my power away to someone else by thinking too much of his or her opinion, losing touch with my inner knowing, I fall and wonder “how the heck did I get here?”…

When I fall, I get back up. I have rebuilt my life, almost from scratch, more than once. Every time, I intended to learn from my mistakes, owned my part of whatever went wrong and planned to make fewer mistakes going forward. Every time, some of the same problems appeared with completely different people in a completely different environment. Huh…

In the past, I blamed people and circumstances outside myself for my emotional condition. Sometimes it is necessary to leave a person or place but it’s never completely the other person’s issue. I know first hand circumstances repeat until I learn the lesson. Each time, I recognize and address it more quickly than before. Practicing gratitude and self-love help me navigate through the rough patches. Beating myself up about ‘failing again’ isn’t helpful at all. Eventually, I avoid the issue entirely (once I have fully learned the lesson).

In the past, I let emotion run my life… ‘Self control’ was modeled for me by people who shut their feelings off. I didn’t learn how to process my feelings in a healthy way or use emotion as a barometer growing up. I am practicing both now.

Emotions are like weather patterns, constantly moving with varied intensity. There isn’t good weather and bad weather… People only say that because sometimes the weather makes it uncomfortable to do what they want to do.

I am learning it’s important to check my internal ‘weather’ every day. When I am on the right track, I have peace. When there is something I need to learn, I have a storm. Neither lasts forever. No matter what the weather, the sun rises and sets. There is a certain level of stability and peace available no matter what storms may come.

Any time I notice myself forgetting that, my mind racing and/or my heart hurting, I can focus my attention on my breath. I can remind myself all is well and I am safe in this moment. I can tune into spirit for guidance and strength, do the next right thing and embrace the process. I can and I do!

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

 

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Embrace the Unknown

It’s been said “life is a journey, not a destination”.  I am living that reality these days.  I am recognizing how focusing on the destination (end result), without appreciating the process, leads to heartache.  When I live in the moment with a spirit of gratitude, I experience peace amongst chaos.

I have been thinking about this blog post for several days and debated about how much to share.  I have a few special followers who sometimes believe I am talking about them even when I’m not.  Understanding the ripple effect of my words and actions, I have been taking care to be particularly mindful of what I write.  I would like my readers to take what they  like and leave the rest.  If it hurts or offends, I promise that was not my intention.

I write to grow myself and, in so doing, believe I give others permission to show up, be vulnerable, take chances and grow too!  If my words inspire anything other than growth, please let them be.  At the same time, for what it’s worth, I have learned the most from the things that were the most uncomfortable.

Talk about discomfort!  I process and integrate personal growth work quickly but I have been on some kind of uber-superhighway growth cycle the past couple of months.  It’s been quick and intense, even for me!  I have experienced both the highest elation of my life and the greatest heartache, sometimes within 24 hours!

It has come to my attention I have spent most of my life to this point either working to recreate good feelings or running away from uncomfortable ones (mostly running away).  Early on in my yoga practice, I recognized how much I avoid discomfort and have been practicing sitting with myself wherever that may be.  My practice has taught me all discomfort is temporary and sometimes the best thing to do is lean into it.  If I just keep showing up and practicing, focusing my energy on each breath and my physical center, everything else falls into place.

I remember when I couldn’t reach my hands straight above my head or touch my toes.  I can now put my chest on my knees at the end of my routine.  I didn’t get there by focusing on being able to put my chest on my knees (In fact, I didn’t think my body would ever do that!)… I got there by showing up, doing my best and letting go a little bit more every time.  I have learned that if I always avoid what’s uncomfortable, I plateau.  If go just a little past what I am used to, I improve a little bit at a time.  Almost every new pose has scared me and my first step is believing the pose is possible for me.

My yoga teacher says that ‘how you do one thing is how you do everything’.  I believe he’s right.  I have certainly seen the correlation between my practice and my life.  Most recently, it’s given me insight into the difference between integrity and control.

Integrity is a tenant of Adamantine, control is not.  Integrity brings stability.  Control brings tension.  I have confused the two in the past… Abounding in my illusion of ‘control’ but lacking integrity (oops).

Recently, I have taken a good, hard look at what I did to get my marriage to the place it’s in today.  I played a role… Lacking integrity, I lost touch with who I am and got caught up in the status of having a “good marriage”.  There were flags that all was not what I wanted it to be but I ignored them.  I held back my opinion on some little things when I could have just mentioned my preference in the beginning.  My husband did the same and here we are…

I consider myself a very loving person and I am for the most part.  However, I also have a shadow side when someone is ‘in the way’ of what I want.  By not getting what I want, I am learning how to be more compassionate and love unconditionally.  It’s not a challenge to love people who are how I like them… it is challenging to love fully when things aren’t going my way.  It’s uncomfortable… But I am learning how.

I have learned I can either be angry and hurt that good times had to end or I can rejoice and be grateful they happened.  The latter is much more joyful.  Gratitude always takes the edge off my suffering and puts my attitude in a better place.  I believe occasional pain is a mandatory part of human living but suffering is truly optional.  I choose my thoughts and my thoughts create my reality.

I am learning just because something feels good and I CAN do it, doesn’t mean it’s good for me.  That’s a BIG ONE!  Every since my father preached having “a quiet and mild spirit” is a virtue and pleaded with me to ‘get control of my emotions’, I have rebelled against anyone or anything I perceived as trying to control me.  By doing so, I made a lot of choices that were not in my best interest.  I lived life as if there were only two modes, being in control or being controlled.

I now see there is an ideal space in between I call ‘allowing with intention’.  It’s a place where I get clear on what I want and believe I deserve it.  If I can imagine it, I believe the universe can provide it and lots of things better!  It’s a place where I live in accordance with my highest truth (integrity) without trying to control anything outside of myself.  It’s a place where I decide what is important to me and don’t settle for anything less.  It’s a place where I embrace the unknown for the adventure of living!

 

From my heart to yours,

 

Thanks for reading

Just because you can breathe doesn’t mean you can’t drown…

I gained remarkable insight this afternoon while sitting across from a wise, dear friend.  As I shared what was going on in my life and the full spectrum of emotions I experienced, she helped me connect the dots on what others have tried to tell me.  She helped me see how single focused (and selfish) I was looking at the world through only my lens.

I have had more than one person tell me ‘you are stronger than the average person’ and ‘you can’t expect everyone else to handle things the way you do’.  I use phrases like “claim your power” and “you are not responsible for other people’s feelings” often.  I insist that everyone has the ability to get out of any situation with enough willingness to change.  Some people find this inspiring; others insist not everyone is willing or able to change.  I previously thought if someone wasn’t willing to change, that’s their problem and washed my hands of it (much to the dismay of people more compassionate than me).

As my friend talked about the ripple effect people’s choices have on others, I began to think about water.  I thought about my fear of drowning and how uncomfortable I am with my face wet.  I panic quickly if my face is under water for long so I swim with my face up.  Similarly, I am uncomfortable with negative emotions for long so I flip everything to the positive as quickly as possible.

Then it hit me…

Everyone can breathe but that doesn’t matter much if someone is under water drowning.  Sometimes it takes a trained lifeguard with a floatation device to get the drowning person above water. Not everyone can be saved but that doesn’t mean drowning individuals deserve to be ignored or criticized for their choices.  Lifeguards determine the safest way to intervene and do everything possible to save, even when it’s not comfortable.  I can learn from lifeguards.

Depression is like drowning… No one chooses it.

When I was drowning in a sea of negativity, I had someone with a life preserver pay for me to go to therapy.  I had people show up with love and support when I needed it most.  I was willing to accept the help but I had help.  I didn’t recover alone.  I still have people who show up exactly when I need them and appreciate their patience with me while I discover things in my own time.

I am mindful of the fact people have differing abilities handling change and stress the same way people have differing abilities in water.  I may be a speed demon when it comes to life changes but that doesn’t mean everyone else fits my timeline; the same way an Olympic swimmer is much faster than me in water. Even Olympic swimmers can cramp and drown.  If I were to do a cannonball in the middle of a pool, I wouldn’t be appalled the people on the sidelines got wet.

There is a space between thinking only of one’s self and only of others.  There is a space between being oblivious to the impact my actions have on others and being paralyzed by the possible implications.  There is a space between being irresponsible and responsible for things that aren’t mine.  That’s the space where I intend to float.

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading