Thoughts on conscious Love and Compassion because when we attend to our greater good we are attending to THE greater good.

Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

The Similarity Between Grieving and Puberty

Desperate Confusion“When angry count to four;  when very angry, swear.”  Mark Twain

 

10 months after “The Divorce”…suddenly the kids (12 & 13) are at each other’s throats again.

“Why are you so mad?”

“I don’t know!!”
“Everyone is on my nerves.”
“I love my legos because they’re the only things that don’t get aggravate me right now!!”

Learning experts say that it takes 10,000 hours of practicing something in order to master it.  My 10,000 hours has got to be the grieving process…so, I recognize the second stage; after denial comes anger.

After talking through, working through, adjusting through and making it through almost a year of thoughtful grieving I’m left thinking, “Holy crap, have the last 10 months merely been a prolonged and conscious version of denial?!  OR is this simply puberty at its worst?”  I really considered the possibility that all of the exuberance I was feeling about getting over the hump was a glorified version of avoidance and denial.  Suddenly, I was crushed.  I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to pick up the gauntlet again and gently walk through it all with myself and my kids.  Heck – I was convinced that if I absolutely had to go through it again there’d be nothing patient about it, I mean, GEEZ, let’s get over this already!!

Then, I remembered.  The highs and lows of the grieving process surprise us in waves (just like they do in puberty).  Honestly, the impetus for this renewed anger is irrelevant; it only matters that we deal with it consciously – just like we did at the onset and just like we would if it were puberty alone.

Grief and puberty aren’t all that different, actually – the cycles of emotion come and go, the change we face everyday (whether we like it or not) is imposed upon us and, really, we have the wonderful opportunity to go within and see what it has to offer.  We’ve decided it offers us practice at setting intention everyday (about how we treat one another and how we receive input from each other), we also have ample opportunity to practice grace, compassion and putting each other first.  Really, if you think about it, we’re quite fortunate to get so much practice using healthy coping mechanisms at the beginning of our new, post-divorce lives so that when the easier, happier waves come we don’t have bad habits in place to ruin them.

Yeah, we got this.

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I am a Trauma & Illness Recovery Coach:  Life Coach for people who feel no one understands.  
You can learn more about my and my services at www.TheWellnessAccomplice.com or find me on Facebook.
 

And yes…I capitalize words like Love, Self and Happiness because they just feel that important to me.

Life Coaches are Imperfect

cryBeing a life coach doesn’t mean that I am problem-free.  I do have problems.  In fact, after about 9 months in the grieving process and feeling like the kids and I were doing pretty well after “The Divorce” – they’re at each other’s throats and it leaves me wondering, “were the last nine months a deceitful cycle?  Were we actually in denial the whole time and we’re just now hitting anger?”

Likewise, being a trauma and illness coach doesn’t keep me from experiencing trauma or illness.  After all…I did still go through “The Divorce” and I’m still working at getting well after meningitis struck me eight long years ago!
Being a life coach DOES, however, give me amazing tools on how to deal w/ the problems/trauma/illness; being a life coach DOES give me practice at not only facing my crap (ask my closest friends and they’ll tell you all about those moment’s when I just cry) but facing it with a deeper understanding that “IT” is not “ME”.
I actually like to think of it as facing my crap with aplomb; I face my process without guilt or shame (truth is, sometimes we ALL just cry).
Being a life coach also gives me a deeper understanding of those adages that we say but sometimes don’t really get until we’ve been through the wringer:  “this too shall pass,” “time heals all wounds,” (I don’t necessarily agree with that one see this post to find out why), and “it’s always darkest before the dawn” and my favorite (one that drives some people nuts), “everything happens for a reason.”
Truth is there is no immunity to human tribulations.  It is important for all of us to remember that.  When we do we can accept that sometimes we haven’t done anything “wrong” – it’s just a piece of the puzzle that makes up our life story.
Pain is inevitable; suffering is a choice.  Sometimes we just need to cry and ask for help.  When we do we actively improve our situation and ourselves.
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I am a Trauma & Illness Recovery Coach:  Life Coach for people who feel no one understands.  
You can learn more about my and my services at www.TheWellnessAccomplice.com or find me on Facebook.

And yes…I capitalize words like Love, Self and Happiness because they just feel that important to me.

Happiness is Impermanent

Recovery Coaching

“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”  Margaret Lee Runbeck

In last week’s post, The Happiness Choice, I mentioned that Happiness is the release of expectations.

As simple as this seems (when we expect nothing we are not disappointed and therefore can concentrate on and be grateful for what we DO have) it can be a real sticking point for people.  They often feel as though letting go of their expectations or attachments to a specific outcome means they’re living with apathy and not Happiness.  Or they feel that if they release expectations then they aren’t motivated to achieve anything of value.
Allow me to offer an example from my own life.
     I’ve recently been through a divorce.  I wanted to work on our marriage and heal our broken love.  He did not.  He left me and our two kids to go live with a different woman and her two kids.
     If I had held onto the expectation that he SHOULD behave a certain way (stay married, live alone, spend extra time w/ his kids, etc) I would live in a constant state of disappointment, anger, and depression.  I would also be MOTIVATED to make my point, prove him wrong, and express my negative emotions.  None of these reactions would have fostered healing in myself or my children.
     I’ll admit it was hard and that I experienced pain during the process.  But because I was able to let go of the expectations about what he should do I was able to face, head on, what he was actually doing.  And because I could face it head on I was MOTIVATED to heal which allowed me to focus on all the things that weren’t painful in my life (and all of the things that would be available to me in the future).
I wasn’t apathetic at all.  In fact, I felt deeply.  But the negative feelings didn’t have any space to take hold because I wasn’t grounded in my expectations of “family,” “husband,” or “dad.”  Instead I understood that my ex-husband is a person of free will who has his own expectations of himself that aren’t tied to what I want or  what I think I need.

Also, I’ve achieved more value in my life as a result of letting go my attachments to specific outcomes because I was being fueled by positive emotions and not depleted by the negative ones.

When I say that Happiness is a choice, I am saying that we can live a life full of emotions, positive and negative alike, but when we release our emotional attachments to specific outcomes we cut suffering off at the root; we choose to leave room for all the positive results that come from feeling positive emotions.
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I am a Trauma & Illness Recovery Coach:  Life Coach for people who feel no one understands.  
You can learn more about my and my services at www.TheWellnessAccomplice.com or find me on Facebook.
Here’s a related post about how to know when Love is a motivating factor (instead of fear). 
And yes…I capitalize words like Love, Self and Happiness because they just feel that important to me.

Fearful vs Loving Resolutions

LoveFearEvery day is a new beginning and every day one can resolve to begin something great, work through a problem or simply get through a day.  Every day is a chance to look at yourself – not as an inspection for flaws, errors and bugs like you can’t be released into the world until you’re the picture of perfection.  But each day is a chance to look at yourself in your entirety and ask some very serious questions about long held thoughts, beliefs and even feelings.

I feel that resolutions aren’t helpful when they’re asking, “what’s wrong with me?”  I feel they can really do some good, however, when they’re asking, “what do I do well that brings me joy and can I do  more of it?”

You can look at the world and see all the problems (and believe me I know that there are a lot of them) and you can all fired up and angry about them until you feel a call to action.  That’s fine but the anger won’t outlast the frustration you’ll begin to feel life doesn’t allow you to keep you resolutions.  Change cannot last from that space because it wears us out.  Then it creates it’s own negative spiral:  I feel icky, so I will change something, I forget to make the change and now I feel ick-ier about myself, now I’m emotionally drained so I simply don’t care whether or not I’ve made the change, now I feel guilty that I stopped caring…I’m a horrible person…2014:  I resolve to stop being a horrible person.

Stop it.  You’re not a horrible person.  You’ve simply forgotten how to love yourself and your journey.  Remember how to love yourself and your journey and you will naturally, almost effortlessly, improve yourself, your circumstances and the world by extension.

Observation Fear Result Love Result
Save the earth I need to be better or the earth will perish and it’s tombstone will have my likeness, name and social security number engraved on it. I buy a separate container for recycling, I recycle for a week, I get busy and forget to recycle, I feel guilty and I’ve already blown it – (imagines the tombstone w/ likeness, name and SSN on it). I’ve been pretty good about using canvas bags at the grocery store.  I’m glad I’m making a difference.  I bet it would help if I also recycled my newspapers. For every newspaper put in the bin, there’s a feeling of satisfaction – because that feels good I do it again.  I’m happy to recycle when I can and when I remember.
Be nice to friends I know I don’t respond to friends promptly when they contact me.  I’m horrible person who will end up horribly alone.  Henceforth I shall be known as the Record holder for prompt return phone calls/emails. I’m in an important meeting (or in the middle of an Angry Birds level) and simply cannot get to that text message.  I forget I received said message.  I call back 5 hours later – friend has called AAA and my services are no longer required.  I’m a terrible person. I’m really good at making sure I have dedicated time when I contact my friends and that makes them feel special. When I call I make someone feel special.  When they call me I enjoy calling them back because they feel important to me.  Because that feels good I do it again.
I’ve gained weight I hate looking at myself in the mirror and not feeling attractive in public.  I need to feel pretty in order to feel happy so I must make major lifestyle changes to “fix” myself. Day 1 – changes stick – I still hate looking at myself in the mirrorDay 10 – I’ve busted my ass and I’m still “broken”

I’m tired.  I’m taking a break.  I’m out of my routine – I hate myself.

I’d like to get healthier but I know my friends love me regardless.  I’d like to spend more time w/ my friends. I get out and go spend time w/ friends – just maybe not in so many food-centric ways.  I love spending more time w/ my friends so I do it more often.

They Can’t Handle our “Stuff”

“The essence of true friendship is to make allowance for another’s lapses.”  Frankfort Moore

Painfully often it is the people who love us the most that seem to get the most frustrated with our healing progress (or lack thereof).

Remember, that frustration is usually coming from a frustration on their part because they’ve run out of ways to help, or advice to give – they’ve exhausted all of their tools and it’s upsetting to them that their help hasn’t fixed anything at all.

People who love you have an agenda…they want you to be well and happy. 

Understand this is NOT a reflection of your value or worth in their eyes; their frustration is more a reflection of their own inability to help.  Your path is your path and as much as friends/family want to they can neither build it for you or make sure you walk it in a way that is satisfying to them.

Understanding this simple concept  (this is not your failure) puts you back in a place of power – not over them, over yourself – so that you can continue to treat them with compassion and work toward your own healing.  We can only build from our empowering places and our empowering places are in love.

Miracles from Crisis

“Once in awhile there comes a crisis which renders miracles feasible.”  Julia Sand

This time of year, around the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the collective consciousness begins to get a little jumpy.  Odd things seem to happen with people’s schedules, everyday errands make people a little grumpy…nothing goes quite as expected because our stress pulls us out of alignment with our goals and ideals.

Now is a wonderful time to recall the bonding that happened between community members during that time.  The grace everyone had for each other during their shock and even throughout their grieving period was a beautiful, open hearted selflessness during a time when the political scene was wrenching us apart from one another.  I remember, quite clearly, how my sense of safety was rattled to the core – but I also remember how quickly I was reminded of what is truly important in my life.  I’ve carried that renewed sense of priority with me through the years (most of them difficult) that have followed.

We may not fully understand the miracles that have become feasible as a result of that crisis but I feel that it marked the beginning of a big shift for the world community, a shift so monumental it cracked the foundation of old, the foundation of “I’ve got mine, you get yours” and started planting the seeds of love and compassion in the global mind.  Seeds are small, they take time to germinate, take root and grow.  But they’re also tough and because their progress is slow and steady they can become vibrant, resilient and prolific in even the harshest of environments.

This week puts more than a decade of initial growth of that seed of love, compassion, forgiveness and care behind us.  As I look forward I imagine the seed has turned into a sprout and that sprout will turn into a bright, living, breathing source of sustenance as we embrace the miracle made possible by its planting.  We need do nothing more than breathe the new life of Pure Love into our lungs and let it become a part of us so that we may be kind and gentle to ourselves, each other and the world.

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Interesting side note:  Julia Sand, the author of the quote at the top of this post was a disabled woman who began writing to Vice President Arthur after President Garfield had been shot by Charles Guiteau.  She had noticed Arthur floundering under negative influence prior to the shooting and encouraged him to make more selfless choices in light of the nation’s tragedy.  He had never met her before yet took solace in her written wisdom.  He saved every letter.  He met her for the first time, months after becoming president when he surprised her with a visit in a home she shared with her brother.