Tag Archives: life

In The Driver’s Seat

Many years ago, I was in such a mental state that someone had to drive me to my counseling appointments. The therapist was about an hour away and sometimes it was a very distressing appointment and I was in no condition to drive home so she made a rule that someone had to drive me. I had forgotten all about that period in my life until recently when I’ve been driving people here and there, and all over the place! Suddenly, I remembered and thought, “I’m in the driver’s seat now!” It was a wonderful aha moment of recognition. Of course, I’ve been there for a while now, but something in my soul wanted me to recognize how far I have come.

There are many people who choose to ride in the back seat for various reasons. Yet, it’s important to know regardless of who is driving, you’re still in charge of your life, you still get to choose the path, and the means of getting from one place to another. Yet there are those who idly sit by and let someone else dictate what they are going to do with their lives. Maybe it’s a parent’s dream for you to be a Doctor, Lawyer or pro basketball player, but you want to have nothing to do with those things. It’s okay to choose a different path
for yourself.

I love to tell people, your past does not define who you are today. It doesn’t define who you are becoming or where you’re headed either! Everyone can choose at any moment who we’re going to be, right now, today. We don’t have to be bound to our past decisions and choices. We also don’t have to believe or do everything our parents did. It’s my life. It’s your life! Make it a good one!

Government bullying

This morning, sitting around the kitchen table, we were all discussing the silly laws our government has created. Not too long ago, a guest, from out of state, was fined for falling asleep at the bus stop! There are serious abuses of power within the government, who believes what they’re doing is to serve and protect. However, some of the very laws created to protect one group of people ends up hurting another.

We all have numerous examples of government bullying. Laws were created to establish order and keep people safe, yet all too often, ordinary human behavior becomes defined as criminal activity. An organization wanted to feed the homeless at a park but were fined because they didn’t have the proper permits. It’s a very sad state. Why doesn’t the government feed the people, then? They have the permission to give the permits, then they should do it, right? I’m not here to bash the government or to rile up anyone, but we do need revolution.

We shouldn’t have to jump through government hoops to feed people. I believe people have also become too dependent upon the government for help and direction. Everyday citizens can lend a hand to someone in need. We live in this great country of abundance and yet so many are barely getting by. In my own case, many times, I’ve been afraid to ask anyone for help. I was afraid of being judged, or turned down. I didn’t risk asking for help, and then the government had to step in to take care of me. The government may have programs to help people, but it’s the compassion from our neighbors, or family that makes a huge difference.

I believe we all want the same thing. We want to live in peace, safety, and harmony with everyone. We want a safe place to live, jobs, and healthy food to eat. We want what the constitution offers which is life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However, everyone has different ideas of what that means for them and how to accomplish it. Therefore, if we want to see change, we each must get involved in changing the way the government operates. We are the government because we elect those in power.

Call or send your letters of concern to your representatives. And while we’re at it, let’s write them about what they’re doing right as well as what can be improved upon or needs a major overhaul. Let’s thank them for their service. Appreciation for the little things go a very long way. Be the change. We are all responsible for our lives, and our future, take back your power, and speak up for what is right, decent, and humane. Love and peace.

Depression

It’s been a long time since I was diagnosed with major depression with psychotic features. I also had PTSD which amplified the depression. I am very far removed from the disorder and this in itself is quite the description. It is very insidious, you don’t feel like yourself, a dark cloud has covered over you and there is no escape. Many days, it was a struggle to just get out of bed and participate in life. I became a shell of a person that I no longer recognized. I certainly didn’t want friends or family to see me this way. Then the haze with medication and feeling like a zombie who can’t feel a thing. I went from feeling everything and deep sadness to numbness and apathy about anything and everything. It was hard to even look at myself in the mirror. I’d see someone who I barely recognized.

People went on with their lives. They had to keep going. Not many people knew what to do or how to help. Even the professionals would ask me out of courtesy, “What do you need?” Gee, if I knew that, I’d not be here, now would I? I can look back now and laugh but at the time, it scared me because I really hoped they had the answer for me. There is not a simple answer for those who struggle with depression or any mental illness because people get it for different reasons. However, there are some ways to lessen it’s impact:

Talk about it
Spend time with loved ones
Do the things you enjoy
Laugh
Sing
Dance
Exercise
Eat healthy
Watch silly shows
Lighten up
Attend support group
Attend laughter clubs
Be authentic
Show up for life
Be thankful
Spend time in nature
Meditate

My biggest mistake was allowing the mental illness label to define me. I wore it like the finest dress. I didn’t realize it took more than just taking meds and talk therapy to get out of it. I had to do some deep thinking about why I had gotten here in the first place. Life is a great balancer. Sometimes we take on too much stress and it stops us in our tracks to get our attention. It’s just temporary stop though, like a red light, it’s not meant to stay parked there long term. Find out what’s missing in your life to bring it into balance.

Some of my suggestions will seem very difficult because at times it feels like you’re wearing weighted boots. It can be hard to get moving. However, it’s one baby step at a time. Be grateful for each one. Also, practice gratitude for the people in your life and the opportunities that come way. By all means, let go of toxic people who bring you down. Above all, love yourself! Honor your life, be true to you and keep believing in you! You are worth it.  There really is a light at the end of the tunnel.

My next blog post is going to be on happiness and what’s on the other side of that tunnel!

Releasing…

I spent many years working on myself in therapy, and now that I’m done with it, every now and then I find myself dealing with an old issue but in a new way.  I do meditate and it’s in this quietness, a memory might come up of someone I need to let go, forgive or even forgive myself for the issue.   Anyone who has ever had some type of physical, sexual or mental trauma knows that your  body remembers.  There will be vague aches and pains in your body with a memory or emotion attached.  I’ve found the best way to release these things is as I’m showering.

I love to use water to cleanse my mind, body and soul in this releasing process.  I make a statement like, “I forgive you and release you of……with grace and ease.”  I let it go.   I then make an affirmation of, “I am forgiven”, or “I am loved”, or “I let you go, (the person’s name) with love and peace”.    Recently, after doing this with some major issues, I felt like a huge weight was lifted off of me.  I got out of the shower feeling more clean than ever!  Then, the next night, I had some other issues come up.  I’ve noticed that as you release things and you feel clean or good on the inside, it’s easy to notice where there are other areas that need to be dealt with.   I didn’t get to shower, but I did meditate and did the same releasing with energy healing.  When I was finished, I felt all sparkly and clean on the inside.  I felt better than I ever!  And you know what else?   I never knew I could feel this good!

The most important thing, I want to say about all of this, is that when an issue comes up in your life either from your own memory, or someone brings it up, it’s an opportunity to heal it and release it.  Memories will come and sometimes people will remind you of something to make you feel bad or guilty.  It’s okay.  It’s just an invitation from God, the Universe, Life or your Soul to heal this issue, relationship or let it go.  Go ahead and cry, feel whatever you’ve been holding inside, and then let it go!

Do your body and mind a favor by loving on it and releasing all of that old stuff.  New issues come up and then it gets all backed up and strains your body because of carrying or holding on to things that you could have let go!  Remember how good it feels to take a bath or a shower?  Use that time to ask yourself:  What am I holding on to?  What am I ready to release?  Then release it and see how good you will feel.   This is part of loving yourself, healing yourself, and setting yourself free.    And if you’re really stuck, I recommend you find someone to work with you.    A counselor, couch, friend, or energy healer.  Lay your burdens now.   Release them.  You’re meant to be free!  I never knew I could feel this good….

 

 

 

 

Fear and Bullies

When I was little girl, I was afraid to let my foot hang over the edge of the bed. I was afraid of whatever was under the bed would reach up and grab it and drag me under. I was also afraid to go in the closet at night and I slept with the light on. I didn’t like seeing any dark shadows! As an adult now, I can see how fears can grab hold of me and take me under! It makes me afraid to speak up or to let myself be seen. Lately, the theme of overcoming fears has been coming up a lot. Fears of the unknown needs to be illuminated. I’m not saying there are no real dangers out in the world, I’m just talking of the unknown ones. Nowadays, if I’m afraid of what’s in the closet, I’ll go in there and make friends with it. I go in there, turn on the light and see that there is no monster!! I turn off the light and see there is nothing there. The monster was all in my mind. I created it with my fearful thoughts. If there is anything I’m afraid of, I go find out what it is. I make peace with it and “it” really is just fearful thoughts that try to get the best of me. I encourage each one to not be paralyzed by the fear of the unknown. If something or some place is dark, turn on the light. Illuminate it and see it for what it really is. Don’t be bullied by fear of the unknown.

Speaking of bullies, that’s exactly what they do, they instill fear and terror in their victims. I recently saw a movie about bullies. It helped inspire this blog post. I had my share of bullies growing up. Many kids are teased and picked on for being different. They are made fun of if you have a disability, too short, too tall, too round, too thin, too smart or not smart enough. The list goes on and on. I was a sensitive child.  I had many fears of the unknown but many of them were based on actual monsters in the form of a bully. When people are made fun of because they’re different it hurts to the core and a person can develop all kinds of fears, withdraw from society, have an inferiority complex, depression, anxiety and on it goes.

I was very sad and lonely as a child. I cried a lot and I felt everything deeply. I still feel everything deeply. Some of us are hardwired that way. Some people said I was too shy, too thin skinned or needed to toughen up. Yes, the world can be a harsh and cruel place to live in but I don’t believe becoming hardened is the answer. No, because there are so many people in this world who are different. There are no two people alike. We all have strengths and weaknesses. No one needs to be ashamed of themselves for being different and not fitting in with the “normal” crowd. I would submit that the world is what needs to change. Those who are different don’t need to adapt but the world needs to adapt to them. The world can learn to be kinder, gentler, accepting and loving to those who are different or tenderhearted. The world can learn to be at peace and accept everyone and live at peace with all peoples. It all starts from within. It starts with our hearts and accepting those who don’t look like you, talk like you, act like you, or think like you do. No more bullies!!!

Showing Up

When I used to struggle with mental illness, I felt very lonely. Besides my counselor, I didn’t know very many people who understood what I was going through. Sometimes it was self imposed isolation. I avoided people because I didn’t trust them. I worried about triggers and being judged. Now, many years later and I no longer have those problems. I show up for life and I’m not lonely. Today, I know that if there is no one around me, life still shows up. The sun still rises. When it goes down, the moon greets me and the stars twinkle brightly that there is life and there is hope for me. The leaves on the tree cling or fall. The water flows or is stagnant but it’s there The flowers bloom. They’re saying, “We are here!” At times when feeling utterly alone or lost in our head, it’s important to get outside and notice nature. Notice who shows up. Is it the sun or the moon? Is it the snow or rain? Is it the wind? Is it simply the ground on which you stand? And to cement the idea you re not alone, speak with nature with a hearty “hello” and “thank you!” It makes a difference because no one is ever truly alone.

While on the subject of feeling lonely, I might as well say that there are others who are lonely as well. When I was struggling with mental illness it’s true there were some who didn’t understand. And some I just didn’t trust. I didn’t need to expect everyone to be too busy for me and not understanding. Some are not too busy and are understanding. If someone is brushing me off, I understand now that they are not the ones for me. It doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone. It’s just that one person. I didn’t need to give up on people.

There is another element to this. Someone out there is depending on you and me to show up. Someone who is accustomed to seeing you whether happy or sad. It lifts their spirit to know you are alive. They want to hear and know about you during the good and the bad times. These are those precious few to hold on to and seek out. They are there but sometimes I was so caught up in my own stuff, I didn’t notice it. We learn, grow and heal within the context of relationships and community. Interacting with others is important as long as they are the right ones. I personally try to seek out positive people to hang out with. I take a positive attitude everywhere and smile at others so they know they are not alone. We all need to show up for our lives. There is only one me and one you. No one else can do what I do or you. I’m one of a kind. Oh and I am awesome at being me, too! No, I’m not a perfect person but I’m perfectly me.

Flexibility

In the last few weeks, my son turned 18 years old, my daughter blessed me with a second grand-daughter, and I planned with my husband across the country away from my new little babe!  We’ve spent long hours planning this trip, on the road, trying to sleep, and enjoy myself.   Life is just frustrating at times!  I miss the kiddos back home, but we did Skype once.  There’s also the unreliable GPS, and at times nonexistent internet connection! Such a trip!  Prior to the internet, there were other frustrations like maybe we had the wrong map or we had no idea how far it was to the next town for a potty stop.  Times have changed drastically!

Even more so are my personal changes.  We all change at some point, for better or worse.  Some of us are moving forward, others are stagnant, and still others are going backwards.   That’s why it’s important to be flexible, go with the flow, take a breath, relax and keep your head up.  Don’t let these little nuances get you down!   Also, if take advantage of the precious moments, you never know what could happen just around the bend.  Here’s a really hard one I’ve had to learn, don’t stay stuck with the same information!  We get inundated with new information all of the time and sometimes it’s because an application gets updated, or new details are added!  It’s easy to get frustrated and say, “but I thought….”  It’s simply time to go with the flow and adjust your sails for the new information or I can ignore it, too, especially if it’s irrelevant!    That’s where your intuition needs to kick in.   Do you trust yourself to make the right choice? Be flexible to be wise!