The holidays can leave me feeling like an abused spouse. I never think I meet the hidden expectations and wonder if I’m a failure.
How was your family time? Or aloneness?
Traditional holiday seasons are triggering. I cling to unfulfilled desires even though they will never be mine. I need the light of grace to see past the fog.
Joy in connecting
Today was a day for recovery. My guy and I walked around downtown. There’s a bookstore, Magic City Books, and we’ve wanted to go. I purchased a couple of books (below) after allowing myself a lengthy browse. We had coffee at the shop next door, and afterward, we went home. It was refreshing. No rush. Like the slow stretch you do when you exit the car after a long drive.
Maybe you do well through the holidays. If so, I’m glad. Let me know either way. I’d love to know.
There are three cats in my house, and they love it when I receive deliveries. We have boxes to jump into and hide. Dot, the rascally kitten probably has the most fun making himself small at the bottom, then pouncing on his sister.
In and out, and the noise continues. Paper rattles from the packing supply. I often forget they aren’t children. All of this play and fun is what they do. This is their life. And I wonder if humans forgot how to play?
After a few days of chaos and I’ve had enough of the hidden cat game, as well as the thudding sounds in the night. I stack the containers, one inside the other like Matryoshka Russian Nesting Dolls. This is my game. It pleases me.
If you have pictures of your crazy pets, I’d love to see them. You can share on this site or on Facebook/ShowUp
A friend of mine recently had a baby. It’s one of those smell the roses occasions when family and friends gather. And there together we hold a precious new life. That baby, who moments ago just forced it’s way out of its mother’s body with such ferocity to cause most women to scream was sound asleep. Some women curse and have such a personality change during childbirth their partners don’t even recognize them. Bringing the now docile tiny creature into its new environment was a fierce activity. Both mother and child become war partners together.
From the moment we are born, we have jumped into the mix that we call life. If you believe in reincarnation, then your birth was part of the big circle, and possibly a choice you made. If not, this is your one shot life! Either way, we all have a birth.
Life is full of trouble, step in that shit! -not the Buddha
With birth comes the family. If yours is like mine, it’s quite imperfect. And sometimes actually violent. They might show up drunk to your wedding or set you up with potential dates so you won’t be lonely. My mom pretends not to understand what I’m saying. I honestly thought she didn’t remember stuff or was deaf for the longest time, and now I’m guessing she was playing her form of gaslighting. Why It’s So Hard to See This Form of Childhood Abuse
As adults, we have a few bruises to our psyche. Life is the ultimate obstacle course that taught us how to drive, and we know of nothing different. We develop quirks to help us cope. Keep your mouth shut and don’t tell the family secrets. Always clean your plate. Be polite. Don’t talk back. Hypersensitivities usually develop when children are traumatized at a young age. You might say some are trained to be fully aware of their surroundings.
Listen to your life. Listen to what happens to you, because it is through what happens to you that God speaks. It’s in language that’s not always easy to decipher, but it’s there, powerfully, memorably, unforgettably
– Frederick Buechner
The strategies that made us are not the best thing to keep us healthy. We need to put away our childhood coping methods. The new software is required. We must learn new ways of caring for ourselves.
Your best protection isn’t cowering indoors. That’s a recipe for insanity. I know you’re familiar with stories of people who have tried such things — the crazed few. Knowing your truth is your salvation. What makes you smile and brings you joy? Find a way to grow your will power. Do something for yourself every day. Yes, it’s right for you to be selfish sometimes. Keeping boundaries and healing starts with your core. Begin by building your values, and your limits will follow.
People make crazy statements. Well, you have to take care of your job. I understand what they mean. It’s scarcity. They believe there aren’t enough office cubicles to go around for everyone. But this body, this person is far more precious. I can find another desk to roll my chair under, but who cares if I can’t mentally function anymore.
The same rules apply to relationships. You must take care of yourself. Don’t tell me how much that person needs you until you’re taking care of your needs.
You cannot hold me.
I am not concrete. I move. I change. You cannot use me as a prop to make your life easier. I am not property.
The breeze blows. Whispers in your ear. The air flows and you breathe, then it is gone. Did you expect more? It returned to the wind.
We are this moment. Play, work, struggle, holding our forms. But soon the body will be dust and ash stirred by the winds while in elation what remains flies on to further adventure.
How’s your sleep? Did someone hug you recently and let you know you are worth loving? We must, must remember. Our worth, our innate value is not a luxury. Tell yourself. It sounds stupid, I know, but it works. Show the world you have value by standing tall, brushing your teeth, and getting a good night’s sleep.
There are too many who will nudge you off the sidewalk of life if you let them. Don’t. And by all that’s holy, stop apologizing for being in their way. You belong.
Don’t be stigmatized. Shake it off. Be free of traditional labeling.
With the new Federal regulations, there is a tightening on pain medicine, even for those with chronic pain. The label I feel stamped across my forehead is Addict.
Yes! Pills. Give me drugs. Stop the pain. A friend’s mom is a pain med junky, according to my friend. It’s been a driving force for keeping my friend away from the treatments. Maybe. There’s the ex-boyfriend who called my friend a druggie when she took her pain medicine. Ironic since he once lived in the tunnels of Las Vegas because of his illegal drug use.
I’m uncertain of how to help since there is the of money. If the insurance paid for the medicine, it’s great. If we pay for Ayurvedic or other Holistic treatments, then it is all personal money. Most of us aren’t wealthy. I asked my new pain treatment physician what other alternate treatments meant since the Federal guidelines state doctors are supposed to phase out opioids into different types he said they include physical therapy, surgical interventions, and steroid injections. But these come with copays and deductibles. We are talking about $300.00 to $1000.00s of dollars per visit with no guarantee of any success. Thank you Federal government for your love and concern!
It seems that every TV show and podcast topic lately has a splash of bias, making anyone who needs medicine appear to be a drug seeking criminal. Honestly, if all the answers were found in nature, then our bodies would damn near heal themselves. Even on my favorite show, Joe Rogan Experience, it’s one I can listen to while I work, it’s long and doesn’t need constant visuals. The one I was listening to, #1301-Laird Hamilton, was a health-conscious episode. Mr. Hamilton and Joe were bandying back and forth about people they knew who did outrageous marathons such as 125k. Quite impressive. My annoyance came at their assessment of their source of health. With much pride and enthusiasm, the guest kept repeating that people wouldn’t need medicine if they would exercise (as he does?) Seriously? In all cases?
Be Lucky Like Him
Yes, these big, God’s gifts to the world, do irritate me. There’s a blind spot in their Narcissistic vision. Humility. Mr. Surfer needs a reality check. Genetics smiled upon him. But….
When you have all of the answers, why bother looking anymore? I work in medicine and see the opposite side of the mirror every day. There are babies born without a chance to every run 125k marathon. Babies don’t do a damn thing right or wrong. Many times neither did their parents. Life happens, and we pick up the pieces. It is a fools arrogance to assume we have such control.
I want to be grateful for the gifts I was given, for each day, each person in my life. I want to create a better world for tomorrow. And love my people today.
Richard Grannon is a therapist and speaker I’ve followed for several years on YouTube. He has multiple courses on trauma recovery and offers a free course if you sign up for his emails. Spartan Lifecoach
In a split second, we make judgments. Is a person tidy or dirty? Creepy or beautiful? Whether we are determining the fate of another person or choosing which shirt to wear, these observations slip in before we can reject them. And do we know why we’re attracted to another person? Is it their looks or kindness?
Do you want to get real with yourself? Find out what you value. I’ve spoken about this before in a previous post, How To Be Strong, but I believe it’s worth repeating.
And if you don’t know your values at this moment, there’s an easy way to learn. What excites you? Angers you? If you don’t give a shit about it, then I’d say it’s not a value. There’s also a link to a helpful site at the bottom of this post.
So how does knowing a value change your life? Well, maybe you’ve always let life happen. Whoever was helpful or befriended you became your bestie regardless of their character. But this person might be a user, borrowing money all the time and smoking in your car. If you know your values, you can say, enough. “Man, it’s nice to have a friend, but I value keeping money in the bank and a clean smelling car.”
People who know their values such as “family time” or even “alone time” have more direction in life. Imagine knowing yourself that well, enough to know that being a charitable person is essential. It’s more important than taking an extended vacation. For some people this statement is true.
So, what do you need? A clean space? Steady work? Adventure? Family?
It’s alright if you don’t have an agenda sometimes. Relax. It might be healthy.
Too often when we enter a conversation, it’s to make a point. But what if we didn’t. Next time, we could let the unimportant stuff slip away.
Choose your stressors wisely. I pulled this post from psychologist Rick Hanson’s post, Just One Thing. You are free not to do these anymore.
Freedom not to
For one or more of the items just below, imagine what it would feel like for you to have the freedom not to:
• Press your point home
• Struggle to get someone to change his or her mind
• Have a second drink. Or a first one.
• Worry what other people think about you
• React to what is swirling around you
• Act on an impulse
• Get into an argument
• Be swept along by anger
• Identify with a mood or point of view passing through awareness
• Take something personally
• Take responsibility for the experiences of other people
• Criticize yourself for not being able to fit into a pair of jeans
• Resist what’s unpleasant
• Drive toward what’s pleasant
• Cling to what’s heartfelt
For one or more of the items just above, imagine how your greater freedom would help others. Also, let others be freer themselves with you; give them room to breathe, time to think and feel. – Rick Hanson PhD
I get caught up in the anger. My emotions of rage, betrayal, and wrongness engulf me. There’s no compassion, only my problem. Monkey mind is in control, and I struggle to make sense of the chaos.
Maybe you don’t have this problem, but emotions are painful for me. I was trying to negotiate a bill with my homeowners association which should have been a logical discussion. But I was PISSED. How dare they say this is my bill. They agreed to pay. With each thought, my temper guzzled a gallon of gasoline before striking a match. I had an ice cube’s chance in hell to win really. I’m one against the organization and the proof I was using was vague. But emotions are the fire in our belly that keeps us fighting even when the odds are against us. Yet, sometimes we win.
This rage is my jungle. I should know my way through it by now, but I don’t. A therapist will tell you to name the emotions. Instead of rage, get down to the baser emotions. Fear. Insecurity. Feeling utterly alone and vulnerable. When I was negotiating, I was taking it personally. She was attacking me and saying I was wrong. Backed into a corner, I felt powerless. So, I defended my territory.
Here’s my thought, over time, if I keep walking back through my jungle, I will have markers on my emotions, and I will see them and their triggers. My jungle will have paths with directional markings. But I have to be brave enough to walk into it with my eyes open. Face my demons. Lose some battles. But, someday, I won’t be walking around blind anymore.
“Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.” #StillIRise #MayaAngelou
Boundaries are essential in my life. My focus gets lost like Captain Jack Sparrows when he lost his true north. I have a terrible habit of getting lost on additional chores. Once I took some Nootropics to get my groove on for writing, instead cleaned and sectioned my sock drawer. While that’s not wasted time, it was time that meandered down the toy aisle and played too long with the glitter.
I will keep going from one thing to another unless I’ve created a list. I need boundaries. These aren’t always about motivation although sometimes they can be.
I’ll continue this discussion next week. For now, realizing my happiness has come from setting smart goals. Some of my life has been overwhelmed by things I cannot control. I can manage my smile. I say beautiful things to myself in the mirror in the morning. Do you?
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