Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How To Deal With Sadness

"Unwinged and naked, sorrow surrenders its crown to a throne called grace." Aberjhan 

We all know the feeling. Like being immersed in a cloud of pain. And it can hurt deeply, right down to the soul. Sometimes it's so painful we may feel we can't survive, and our first instinct is to run away. Make it stop. But the more we run, the stronger it gets.

Sadness involves some kind of loss. A job, a home, personal freedom, money, a loved one, anything you value. Or it may be something you've carried inside for your whole life. You function and get by, but sadness lurks somewhere deep inside, and you always know it's there. Much of the pain we carry comes from unresolved situations from childhood. And we may feel sadness without knowing exactly where it's coming from. But we know the pain, and we try to avoid feeling it. We use resistance to deal with it, but resisting is exactly what holds it to us and gives it power over us. This is true of any painful feeling.

It may seem strange, but loss is the real issue we need to deal with. Everything is energy, and just as physical pain is an energy telling us something in our physical body needs attention, sadness is the energy that tells us we need to deal with a loss in our life. So ultimately the goal is to release the sadness and to release the pain of loss itself.

I'd like to share one of my own experiences. My father died when I was six years old, and I never recovered from this loss. It was heavy on my heart for all those many years, and I suffered sadness because of it. Then last year, with the help of an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner, I was able to finally let my father go peacefully. I dealt with my loss, and now the sadness is gone too. I will always miss him, but it's okay for me to miss him. I would not change that.

It's important to understand that sadness is a necessary part of healing. It's a bridge we must cross to resolve the issue. But we need to know how to deal with the sadness.

That's the thing about pain ... it demands to be felt.  John Green 

1.   It helps to know the issue that's causing your sadness. But it isn't necessary. Just refer to it as your loss that's reflected in your sadness. The technique works anyway.
2   Give yourself permission to feel what you feel without judgment.
3.  Find some quiet time and allow yourself to feel your sadness. But do this with time limits. Give yourself 30 minutes, 1 hour, whatever you designate. Then cry and let your feelings roll for that amount of time. When the time is up, stop and immediately go to a pleasant activity you have planned ahead of time. Then you're not standing there asking, "Well, now what do I do?" If you have to repeat the exercise, do it. But you'll probably be too exhausted to go again right away. Exhaustion is good. Then repeat the exercise as needed until the issue and sadness are gone or at least tolerable. Each time you do the exercise, more of your pain is being released.

Stop resisting, and allow each tear to wash away your pain. And find the peace you long for.

I wish you peace in your heart.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's Okay To Receive

Human life runs its course in the metamorphosis between receiving and giving. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

During my whole life receiving has been a problem for me. I was taught that giving is the right thing to do, but receiving is selfish. So I've tried to be a giving person. I even chose a giving profession as a psychotherapist. But receiving has always left discomfort in the pit of my stomach. Asking for something from another person was termed bothering them. Oh, what guilt took over if I bothered anyone. Does any of this sound familiar?

Many people suffer from fear of receiving. We learn such things in childhood, and they remain with us unless we learn the truth, that the Universal law of giving and receiving requires balance. When we neglect either side of this law, we suffer. Takers who don't give lack close connections with others, while those who can't receive can suffer soul burnout and may feel a sense of guilt, shame, unworthiness, greed, all kinds of painful feelings. And life is not as fulfilling as it could and should be.

We tend to think that when we receive something from another person, we are the only one benefiting. But when one gives and another receives, both are blessed. I learned this from my mother many years ago. She lived on social security then. So when she wanted to buy me even a small gift, I refused, thinking I was helping her. Then one time she began crying and said, "Don't you know that when you refuse to accept my gift, you take away the pleasure I would feel in giving?" (She must have forgotten what she taught me when I was a child) That really brought home the law of giving and receiving. So I began accepting her gifts, and I began learning to receive. However, childhood messages are deeply rooted, so when I still feel some discomfort, I work on it.

It's been said that as you give, so shall you receive. But it doesn't always happen that way. I know people who give a lot and receive very little, and they wonder why. When this happens it's because the giver subconsciously has inner blockages to receiving, and this prevents their good from coming to them. The Universe has enough to bless us all, but we must open up to receive our blessings.

We are Divine enough to ask, and we are important enough to receive. Wayne Dyer

There are ways to overcome inner blockages, but it takes some practice.
1. Watch your thoughts and feelings when you're offered something but feel you should not accept. Practice confronting that inner resistance, and affirm your right to receive.
2. Practice giving to yourself first. Treat yourself, even in small ways.
3. Begin accepting small things from others before you get to the big things.
4. Clean out inner and outer clutter, to make room for what you want to come into your life.
5. Learn to ask for what you want, even if it feels uncomfortable.

Using the law of giving and receiving promotes physical, mental and spiritual well-being, and we and the world are blessed. Give to others, and open your mind and heart to receiving what the Universe has for you. And enjoy the peace you feel from both.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Enjoy The Read

Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.  Anna Quindlen

So far I've completed eleven chapters of my new book, Me and Granmama in the Hill Country, written in southern dialect. It relates the story of three orphaned children growing up with their grandparents in a small country town. Today, I'd like to include short excerpts from chapters 10 and 11. The first takes place during World War 2, and the second is right after the war.

The War Years:  Marilee is going with her Granmama to visit a hospital unit for wounded soldiers.
When I got to the door it was more than I had imagined. I'd seen the wounded ones in town when they got out of the hospital, but this were different. The smell of disinfectant burned my nose, and I seen them poor boys lined up in beds, some with bandages, some with no arms, and some tryin to get round on crutches. Granmama and Bessie Tanner went to make their rounds, but at first I couldn't move. I didn't think my stomach would quit jumpin, but then I spied Chester Pandey sittin in a wheelchair by the window. I knew him from his daddy's butcher shop, and I ran over and grabbed the chair next to him. He smiled when he seen me.
"Hi, Chester," I said. "You doin all right?"
"Good as I can. I'm glad to see you."
We talked for a while, and then I read to him out of my favorite book, Marie Curie's biography. Music played in the background, Roy Acuff singin The Great Speckled Bird. It drowned out some of the groanin I didn't want to hear. I enjoyed spending time with Chester, but I agreed with Granmama when she said it were time to go. Me and Chester shook hands, and he thanked me for comin. I was glad I went, but somehow it left me older than before. And the war seemed more real. I remembered the times Uncle Joe come home on furlough, and I thanked God he weren't in that place.

Growing up:  Marilee describes how she grew up during the war years.
I done a lot of growin up during them war years. I were eleven years old when it started, not even in junior high yet, and fifteen in high school flirtin with the boys by time it were over. My spindly legs and flat chest filled out, and I had my time every month. Sewin material were hard to get, but Granmama managed to make me some peasant blouses and plaid skirts that didn't come from feefsacks. And I even rinsed my long blonde hair in lemon juice so's it would shine. And I learned that life ain't only bout one thing. Sometimes you laugh and sometimes you cry, and it's all just part of life. And people is stronger than you think, includin you. And I learned that you ain't never alone.

I hope you enjoyed these little snippets, and will give me some feedback in comments. I value your opinions, and would appreciate your help.

I have a video in costume on You Tube reciting the first chapter in southern dialect. If you're interested, click the link at the top left side of this page to watch the video.

I wish you many books to enjoy.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Time of Renewal

Recently I drove through neighborhoods around my house to watch spring bursting with color. I do this every year. Everywhere I looked, pink, red, blue, yellow flowers said, "Look at me. I'm alive, expressing who and what I am." I sit on my patio and watch my huge azalea bush, that has never been trimmed, producing thousands of beautiful blossoms. It's breathtaking, and the joy I feel is hard to contain. Life coming forth at just the precise time and in the precise way according to nature's plan. And each of us has our own unique plan with colors that express our essence from within. What are your colors? How do you express who and what you are? This is the time of year to blossom as you.

Fall and winter energy pulls us in and says slow down, let go, and regroup. Spring and summer energy pushes us out and says move forward, take on the new, and express your colors. This is something many people never think about, and they miss the joy of renewed expression in their lives. Just like everything in nature we're wired for seasonal change, physically, mentally, and spiritually. And we can't help responding to those seasonal changes. We can either respond with resistance and become more physically disturbed and less motivated, or we can answer the call and become more healthy and invigorated. Now is when old painful experiences can pass away and make room for a new beginning, like flowers budding anew after a hard freeze. We've all been through those hard freezes. But we need to open our minds and hearts to new possibilities that present themselves every spring.

I think the place to begin is removing clutter from our lives--physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter. I recently shredded a large pile of old papers and donated items to the Salvation Army. I'll continue with the physical clutter, but I'm also working on getting my head in the right place, watching my worry feelings, and listening more closely to the still, small Voice within that always leads me in the right direction. It's a start, and I can feel my colors promoting positive changes in my life. A time of renewal.

Welcome this time in your life with gratitude when energy increases and creative juices push you forward to new and rewarding experiences. Take time to answer the call of spring within you, and allow yourself to blossom in new ways. The ways will come when you're willing to explore them. We go through this time every spring, but every spring is new. And every spring, you can be a new you.

I wish you beautiful new creations in your life.