Category Archives: Mental & Emotional

How Sensitive Are You?

I was reading an article that gave this scenario which clearly demonstrates the various degrees of sensitivity people have. I like it because it is so easy to identify where you lie on the sensitivity scale. If you are like me and you are the forth person in this scenario, I suggest you take notice because those of us with that extreme sensitivity not only need to be aware that we are that sensitive, but what to watch for, be careful of, and what to do about it.

The scenario: Imagine four friends meeting for dinner. The first individual to arrive approaches the host stand, speaks with the maître d’, and is led to the table. After sitting, she notices that she’s missing a fork and that her water glass has already been filled. She’s quite thirsty, so she takes a sip.

Shortly after, the second friend enters the restaurant. He approaches the host stand and notices that maître d’ is scrolling through Instagram on her phone. Unsure of whether the maître d’ is bored or indignant, the second individual delicately gets the hosts attention through a gentle greeting. The host is gracious and welcoming, and the second individual is immediately relieved. The host leads the second individual to the table, where he sits down, greets his friend, and proceeds to review the menu.

The third friend enters the restaurant. As she approaches the host stand, she is overwhelmed with stimuli: She notes the restaurant’s garish decor, the servers’ swift movements, and a particularly loud gentleman in the back of the room who seems to be dominating the conversation. His energy is arrogant and abrasive, and his young children appear both embarrassed and afraid. Will they grow to adopt his behavior, or will they reject it and become soft and docile? Suddenly, the third friend snaps back in reality as maître d’ asks how she can help. Once she arrives at the table, she immediately shares her observations with her dinner mates.

Finally, the fourth friend walks into the restaurant. Upon entering, he’s completely overwhelmed by the movement, sounds, lights, and smells. Within an instant, he’s aware of interpersonal dynamics at each table, the complex relationships between the servers, the pungent odor of a particular dish that reminds him of childhood, and a few charred rafters on the ceiling. Had there been a fire? Suddenly, he senses an extreme heaviness (something bad happened here) and — avoiding the maître d’ — hurries towards the table of friends. He tries to shake off these experiences, but they continue to linger throughout dinner.

From the above example, friend one and two demonstrate a relatively standard range of sensitivity, while friend three and four exhibit more extreme extrasensory abilities. Consider your own experiences: How much stimuli do you absorb on a daily basis? Which types of stimuli resonate most deeply? How does it impact you emotionally? Physically? Spirituality?

If you are the fourth person in this scenario, I am super glad you are here reading this! You see many of us highly sensitive people have been trained that it is not socially acceptable to be so sensitive. We were told repeatedly in many ways not to be so sensitive. In essence not to be who we are. Certainly this sensitivity was not respected much less cultivated.

Many of us end up denying that part of ourselves. We become completely unaware of it. We dumb ourselves down and become numb. I have found that this does a trememdous amount of damage in our lives. First, it invalidates us making us feel stupid, different, less than. It erodes our self-confidence. We begin to hide this part of ourselves from other people. So, basically we are telling ourselves that part of us is wrong. There is something wrong with us.

Often this leads to extreme deficiencies in social situations and in personal relationships, not to mention causing a severe lack of self-esteem. The wide ranging effects of this “disembodiment” are extreme. Imagine the damage to our psyche! To our life! It is imperative for us (and our mental health) to first become aware that we are that sensitive, second to understand that it is not some lack in us but rather a gift, and third how to deal with it effectively.

To become aware of your sensitivity start with noticing what social situations make you feel uncomfortable. Loud noises? Crowds of people? Artificial light? Too much stimuli at any given point is a clue.

Start determining what stimuli you are most sensitive to and choose not to put yourself in that situation. Choose carefully what environments you put yourself in. Perhaps spend more time in silence. This gives the nervous system a much needed break. Meditation is the most powerful tool I have found. First thing in the morning. It’s like a nervous system “bath”, helping you to at least start your day feeling calm.

Notice when you start feeling stressed. What is going on in your environment? Once you realize you are getting stressed, try to give yourself a quick break- even 5 minutes if you can helps a lot. And breathe. The body is designed to relax on the exhales, so make them nice and slow.

These exercises not only help us to become more aware but can actually help lead us in the right direction and make better decisions for ourselves. This is why I call it a GIFT. We can use our bodily sensations to help us determine things like is someone telling the truth or does this potential job situation resonate with me? Will I flourish here? Or will it be very stressful?

It does take work. You have to be vigilant lest you get caught off-guard and now your nervous system is fried again. Working with your sensitivity instead of denying it will most definitely lead to a healthier, happier life, and you will find the gifts in all of this.

As always. I would love your feedback, your comments, questions and ideas of topics we could explore together!

~Here is to Honoring Your Beautiful, Sensitive Self!~

World Healing Meditation

This morning I decided to do a body healing meditation with Dr.Joe Dispenza (who I think is one of the most brilliant minds of the times). The Universe had other ideas. The title is “Dr. Joe Dispenza Heal Your Body Meditation” but the meditation was actually about healing the world and all of its inhabitants. That means you and me and everyone around the world and Mother Earth. It’s powerful. And it’s the perfect time. Please join me…

How Much Do Emotions Affect Our Physical Healing?

I have always held the belief that there is an emotional component to all physical pain and disease. I have recently been reminded to not forget this part when we are physically healing from something be it disease or physical trauma. Lately I have been discouraged about how long it has been taking my knee to heal. My body usually heals very rapidly!

So, I turned to another energyworker and she helped me to identify some trapped emotions that I thought I had completely dealt with. Over the next two days I did some inner work on these emotions, remembering what kicked them off, journaling about it and shedding a tear or two. This work along with some healing meditations, and lo and behold, the pain level went from a 6/10 to a 2/10 in just 2 days!

There are lots of different types of therapies that may help you with this: psychotherapy, transpersonal counseling, inner child work, neuroemotional technique, Reiki, emotional coding- just to name a few. The idea is to identify what emotions may be stuck physically in the body and then go from there.

Mountain Rose Bulk Herbs - Opens a new window.

I find admitting to the fact that there is still some emotional residue from a particular event is the first step. Then we can choose to work with that emotion to release it more fully. This work can make a big difference in physical healing. In just 2 days I experienced a 40% reduction in pain! That is pretty significant!

If you want to try this on your own there are quick reference books to help get you started. Louise Hay, founder of Hay House books, and author of several self help books has something to say about this connection between parts of our bodies and corresponding emotions. For instance; in Heal Your Body regarding the knee she writes Knee Problems: Stubborn ego and pride. Inability to bend. Fear. Inflexibility. Won’t give in. Forgiveness. Understanding. Compassion.

Now this may or may not resonate with you but I find taking a look at what she has to say about a particular malady sometimes kicks off a particular emotion and that might be something to take a look at. I have found our emotions can and do have a profound effect on our bodies in lots of ways.

We are not separate from our emotions, whether we deny them or not. Worth considering if you are struggling to heal physically!

~Here’s To Your Vital Health!~

That Still Small Voice

Have you ever noticed that still, small voice in your head? what is that? Intuition? Yes. Higher self? I believe so. I believe it is our compass pointing us to our true north, our truth, what is the correct path for us to take.

The brain, however, likes to get in the way, to run the show- forcefully. This is what’s called the ego, we all have it, and it is full of fear which makes it quite often aggressive. It makes us think we have to do everything with brute force and that we have to do it like everyone else is doing it. It’s constantly in “conquer” mode.

Our intuition, on the other hand, quietly and gently guides us in the right direction and to the right answers for ourselves. I rely on it heavily these days and I have to tell you it is much more in alignment with who I really am.

It is a much softer way of approaching life and it is much less exhausting. One benefit is it never steers us wrong. Another benefit is it give us more confidence in ourselves and our ability to make the best choices for ourselves.

Sometimes the choices it pushes us to make are not logical (for me it has been mostly this way) and therefore kind of scarey, but I have found that it always works out well. Even when I look back I am kind of blown away at a particular risk that I have just taken. I am often surprised by my own courage when I have taken the road less traveled!

Advice from psychology today on learning to tap into your intuition:
Here are three ways to listen to that internal voice and allow its guidance into your everyday life:

1 – Keep a Journal. Writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper—even if you think you have little to say—helps the nonconscious mind open up. You may find you’re writing words and phrases that don’t make sense to you, or stir emotional responses rather than intellectual responses. When this happens…

2 – Turn Off Your Inner Critic. Oftentimes we rationalize away those voices within. This time, listen without judgment. Allow the inner dialogues to happen without fear or ridicule.

3 – Find a Solitary Place. A place where you can allow emotions to flow freely is an imperative part of finding and retaining the building blocks of intuition. Here you may also want to create an emotional connection to an object, a color, a piece of music or literature—anything that will allow feelings to stir that are solely from within.

These three exercises will aid you in creating a new, deeper relationship with the self, help clarify that inner voice, and allow you to bring your true instinctual awareness back into your rational everyday life.
Worked for me!

Timeout

Has life ever put you in the proverbial no-no chair? As if the Universe is saying Hell No! to your little plans and designs? Or maybe they were big plans- a great big move, or a complete change in circumstances. You thought it was a grand idea, a brand new direction that inspired you, or at least it felt like inspiration. And the Universe stopped you in your tracts. Just like that, all the plans fell like dominos, one after the other.

Sitting in this space, bewildered, you wonder what this is all about? Where did I go wrong and don’t I have free will by the way? Perhaps there is some healing to do. Perhaps you found your body temporarily closed for business. Or perhaps life throws you an emotional curveball and your heart needs some time to mend. Perhaps the Universe does have other ideas for you. Regardless, here you are stuck. Stagnated. Unable to move literally or figuratively. And you wonder why.

I believe all we can do in this situation is acquiesce: to accept something reluctantly but without protest.
Doing the opposite and attempting to force things to happen the way we want them typically leads to disaster. At least that’s what I have found along my bumpy path. So, I sit, ponder, contemplate, rest, meditate, journal about it, inquire, rest, REPEAT.

I find at some point in this process clarity begins to happen. Healing absolutely happens on every single level. Maybe an aha! moment occurs and everything becomes clear. In my experience it is usually the former. Little bits and pieces of clarity here and there. That’s when I think back and consider the idea that maybe, just maybe, my plans weren’t foolproof. Maybe there was a glitch in there somewhere that I was not seeing.

Being in the middle of this process I cannot tell you the ending. I just sit, get quiet, contemplate, meditate, rest, and heal. Wish me luck.

~Acquiescence~

Fear

Fear makes people behave differently. A normally delightful person becomes aggressive and selfish. A timid person collapses in on themselves and the fear snowballs into every aspect of their life. It makes us become something other than what is natural for ourselves. It robs us of our joy and our power. Once we allow fear in it just gets bigger and bigger.

These days fear is rampant. And frankly the media doesn’t help. I avoid it at all costs. I remain distant from all the hype. Yes, I read the most important headlines. I find reading them as opposed to listening to a newscast helps me to remain at a distance to all the fear.

Yes we are in extremely difficult times. No one is denying that. But we are not helping ourselves, the situation, or anyone else by operating in the emotion of fear. Nothing positive can come out of fear. As I said, it just feeds on itself and the problem- that which we are afraid of- is fed by the fear and it continues to escalate.

I believe we all would do well to work with this emotion so that it doesn’t consume us all. How do we do that? By first becoming aware of the fact that we are operating in fear. That our words are fear-based. That our actions are fear-based. Then we can choose something different.

We can choose positive thoughts. We can choose to change what is coming out of our mouths, or simply shut up until we can find a way to change our own minds, our perspective on things.

The other thing we might do well to remember is that even in this current world situation, positive changes are happening. Change is happening. “The only constant is change”- so true. So it may be really hard right now but this isn’t forever. Things are not staying stagnant even if it feels like they are.

What if out of this current situation things turn out beautifully? What if the world benefits from this in some fantastic ways? What if things do have to fall apart to emerge new and better? What if the outcome of all of this produces a healthier, more sustainable Earth and a happier, more community-minded human race?

It’s possible, right? But we are not headed in the right direction for that to happen if we remain in fear. It’s a choice, make it a conscious one.

~Something to think about~

 

Where’s Your Vibration?

Every emotion we feel carries with it a vibrational frequency. The idea here is that the vibrational frequency that we live in (and it fluctuates naturally) lends itself to happiness or lack thereof. Here is a visual:

frequency chart showing that various emotions have particular vibrational frequencies, the happier emotions like love and joy carrying much higher frequencies than the lower emotions like fear and shame having lower vibrational frequencies

The left column shows the frequency of an emotion. If we are in fear our frequency is around 100. Not so good. However, if we are currently feeling joy, our frequency is around 540. The higher the frequency, the better we feel and the more happy things come to our lives. Have you ever noticed that once your day takes a turn south, things just seem to continue in that direction? And other days things go so well we feel completely blessed?

Think about it. When we are in despair for example, we feel cruddy, and cruddy things keep manifesting. When we feel joy, say about petting our dog or watching a beautiful sunrise on the ocean we are able to tap into joy and joy continues through our day.

It is physics – like attracts like and so tapping into that good feeling just brings more of that good feeling. The same is true for negative feelings. The more we are stuck in depression for example, the more depressing things come our way. It is the law of the Universe.

I started putting this law of the Universe to work, on my behalf. The minute I noticed I was thinking a negative thought I would stop and replace it with a positive thought. I like to use the word ‘pivot” (again, came from Abraham-Hicks) for when I realize I am in negative energy and really do not want that to keep going. Makes for a really bad day.

Pivoting to me is realizing that I am in a funk or headed for a funk if I didn’t change my mind. You have to catch it in the early stages though. If a negative thought turns into a internal conversation, it’s probably too late to catch it and pivot to positive.

So, more training is required here. Train yourself to pay attention to the internal dialogue so that you can catch the negativity in its early stages. It becomes easier once it becomes a habit, like everything else. It takes practice but this simple shift in thinking causes tremendous shifts in energy and can turn your whole day around!

These ideas sound small, and even feel small to begin with. But if you just try it a few times, you will find yourself thinking ‘huh, there may be something to this’. There is, I assure you.

~Here’s to your good days!~

Who is the most important person in your life?

Who is the Most Important Person in Your Life?

Your spouse? Your family? Your kids? Take a moment to consider this and it might save you a ton of grief. People you love and who love you are not here simply to make you feel good.

They are awesome people for sure! But they are here for themselves-on their own path, learning their own lessons, just like you. It does not matter how loving and good they are. And they themselves may not even understand that this is their journey. And perhaps you don’t either.

Having good, supportive loving relationships is more important than anything in my opinion. That being said, people will fail you. It’s not their fault, or yours. It just is. When that does happen, the amount of destruction it causes for you emotionally is up to you. Yep. That is our responsibility. Ugh. Maybe painful but true. We cannot give anyone responsibility for how we feel- no matter how much it hurts.

What about that spouse that you trusted, that you knew oh so well? Or that adult child that was always stellar- best grades, totally successful in their line of work and suddenly they hit rock bottom and they take you with them. What the hell happened? Life was good. And now it’s utter Hell.

We find ourselves debating violently in court with the spouse that was at the very core of our happiness, or dropped entirely from the lives of our beloved kids. Or perhaps the one you love most in the Universe physically left, died. Not that they wanted to.

How on Earth do we keep out of this emotional downfall? By making certain we are good with ourselves. By making sure no matter what our spouse or our kids or our loved ones cannot slay us to the bone. They don’t mean to! But they are here on their own journey and sometimes, it causes us great angst. Superior emotional pain happens that we didn’t see coming.

Doesn’t sound possible, does it? But it does happen. And we are not preparing for the worst- no, no- just simply keeping in check with ourselves. What does that mean and why is it so important?

It means that no matter how much we love another, we must be loving ourselves first and foremost. We must be happy and strong in our own skin. Are we? We find out when sh*t hits the fan. All of our grounded happiness comes crashing down and now is apparently absent and in our utter despair we have no thing and no one to latch onto.

We are thrown into a particular despair we never knew existed. And it is a really deep, dark hole. We have no idea how we got here or how we can possibly get out. We can’t function, and we can’t breathe.

Start one breath at a time, one thought at a time. We begin the journey of self-discovery and lest to say, self-love. At this point you may find yourself hating the world, hating yourself, hating God. Understandable. But something inside of us keeps us going, keeps us searching for answers, keeps us breathing even if we don’t want to.

What is that? Why can’t we just give up and disappear? Because the human “will” to survive is incredibly strong. Doesn’t that just suck? Yes. Yes, it does. But it is there- stubbornly there. So, we start grasping for straws. Perhaps we seek out professional help, perhaps at this point we are on antidepressants but the nagging and sometimes unbearable pain does not go away no matter what. Then what do you do?

Face it. Face the notion that it is up to you to get out of this hellish nightmare. One breath at a time. One thought at a time. Self realization and self help are the same thing to me. Who am I? Do I even matter? Is there a God? Or a reason I am still here? The answer is Yes! an unequivocal yes!

As long and arduous as the journey is, it is the only journey you have at your disposal right now. I often would tell myself “suck it up buttercup”. Again, ugh. Not what I need right now. Or maybe that is the most brilliant thought I can come up with. Maybe, just maybe, that is the thought I needed right now to take yet another breath.

This is when we start searching, searching for anything and anyone that can help breathing not be so painful. Good for you! Yay you! You just took the first step toward finding relief. There are tons of helpful books and people out there who have been through it, podcasts, uplifting meditations-my favorite starting point was listening to Abraham-Hicks on YouTube. You will find the right one for you! You will!

Just keep going, one breath at a time. And in time, you will find it. You will find your strength, your self-worth, even your joy. You will realize that they, whoever they are, did not destroy you. And in time you will find that they not only didn’t destroy you but they helped you become more you!

~And Life Begins Again~

Grieving

According to experts like Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, there are 5 stages of the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Most of what I have read is focused on the death of a loved one. But it may not be a death. It may be a separation, a divorce or loss of some sort- any sort. The process is still the same.

I am pleased that this author does indeed state that it is not a linear process and the timeframe is a very personal one. My experience is that we bounce back and forth between these stages. It is not a “done with this stage, go on to the next and proceed up the emotional ladder” sort of thing. And if anybody ever tells you you should be over it by now, throw them out with the trash.

Like with most difficult things in life you just have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. It is continually astonishing to me the human Spirit’s ability to keep us going and going when we certainly don’t feel like we can or want to. Let’s look at these stages, it might help you get some clarity:

DENIAL
Kubler-Ross writes “denial helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day.

Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle. As you accept the reality of the loss and start to ask yourself questions, you are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the denial is beginning to fade. But as you proceed, all the feelings you were denying begin to surface”.

I have found that denial can be a slippery slope. For example, when a relationship has died but the person is still around, and they have been family for example but for whatever reason their presence in your life is more damaging than good, denial can make you think you are crazy, that “it’s not that bad”, that they are your (fill in the blank), they are supposed to be in your life forever. So you deny how bad it is. You keep the relationship going. And it keeps getting more destructive to your psyche, your life, your self-esteem.

If it is not bad enough to stop and break away at this point, as Abraham-Hicks says “don’t worry, it will get bigger”. And it does. Until, finally, you have to break out of this denial and survival kicks in.

ANGER

Here Kubler-Ross writes “Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing.

The truth is that anger has no limits. It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died, but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this? Underneath anger is pain, your pain. It is natural to feel deserted and abandoned, but we live in a society that fears anger. Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss.

At first grief feels like being lost at sea: no connection to anything. Then you get angry at someone, maybe a person who didn’t attend the funeral, maybe a person who isn’t around, maybe a person who is different now that your loved one has died. Suddenly you have a structure – – your anger toward them. The anger becomes a bridge over the open sea, a connection from you to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing. We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love”.

I love that she says anger feels better than nothing. That it is at least something to hold onto. It feels concrete, and justified and I feel it gives us a bit of a compass on this journey. It feels solid, like something to hold onto. It puts us more in a power stance. It feels powerful thank God.

One caveat, at least for me; I have found that it does no good and leads you nowhere to get angry at God or whatever you name that invisible part of you. There is no bottom to that hole. I do find it a useful tool to wonder about why this had to happen or what is the lesson here (I find there always is but it is really hard to face much less accept). But I like the solidity of anger- for me it anchors me back into this physical reality.

BARGAINING
Kubler-Ross writes on bargaining: “Before a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God, ” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.” After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others. Then can I wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream?”

We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What if…” statements. We want life returned to what it was; we want our loved one restored. We want to go back in time: find the tumor sooner, recognize the illness more quickly, stop the accident from happening…if only, if only, if only. Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. The “if onlys” cause us to find fault in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently. We may even bargain with the pain. We will do anything not to feel the pain of this loss.

We remain in the past, trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt. People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one”.

Perhaps it is my personality or perhaps it’s in my DNA but for me bargaining is/was more about self-esteem, self worth than anything. The what-if question was more about what if I were different? What if some flaw in me made this happen? Ugh, and then guilt comes in- if I was a good person, this would not have occurred. Or if I was better at relationships, smarter, wiser, or something it would have been different. Did I actually cause this? Did I bring this flaw in me with me when I came? Is that it? Some flaw or lack in character or simply that I did not know how to do this properly (like other people do) caused this tragic thing to happen?

It’s really hard for some of us to not get stuck here thinking that on some level it was me that caused this. For me, this has been the longest part of the journey- remnants of it stick for way too long. I think because we really don’t know why these things happen. Maybe we never will. I will say this: out of grief always comes more personal strength, power, and perseverance. Just stick with it best you can. And always, always try to remember: this did not happen because you are a bad person.

DEPRESSION
Kubler-Ross writes “after bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever. It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss.

We withdraw from life, left in a fog of intense sadness, wondering, perhaps, if there is any point in going on alone? Why go on at all? Depression after a loss is too often seen as unnatural: a state to be fixed, something to snap out of. The first question to ask yourself is whether or not the situation you’re in is actually depressing. The loss of a loved one is a very depressing situation, and depression is a normal and appropriate response. To not experience depression after a loved one dies would be unusual. When a loss fully settles in your soul, the realization that your loved one didn’t get better this time and is not coming back is understandably depressing. If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way”.

Severe depression is a scary place. One that feels permanent and causes us not to function pretty much on any level. It makes us feel out of our minds- detached from normal life completely. In my experience antidepressants do not push us forward. Not at all. For me, they just made me feel more detached. More detached from life, more detached from myself. I think the actual healing started after I stopped taking them. At least at this point it was up to me to start living again.
I started saying yes to life- even ridiculous, risky yeses were better than none at all. I began to engage in life again. Thank you to those that forced me to say yes. This has been pivotal for me in the grieving process. To simply engage. Not an easy or comfortable thing to do. You know for certain at this point that you are not like others.

There is something broken in you, but something makes you try. You may feel like a freak, like something other than what other humans are but you do it anyway. Yay you! Something from the deepest depths of you carries you here. And this is a very good thing! This is where I started to feel my breath again. I started to feel my heart beat again. I started life again.

ACCEPTANCE
Kubler-Ross writes: “Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one. This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality.

We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing. In resisting this new norm, at first many people want to maintain life as it was before a loved one died. In time, through bits and pieces of acceptance, however, we see that we cannot maintain the past intact.

It has been forever changed and we must readjust. We must learn to reorganize roles, re-assign them to others or take them on ourselves. Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad ones. As we begin to live again and enjoy our life, we often feel that in doing so, we are betraying our loved one. We can never replace what has been lost, but we can make new connections, new meaningful relationships, new inter-dependencies.

Instead of denying our feelings, we listen to our needs; we move, we change, we grow, we evolve. We may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives. We invest in our friendships and in our relationship with ourselves. We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time”.

“It has been forever changed and we must readjust” is my favorite part here. Nothing will ever be the same. That’s for sure. What we once thought was a permanent, a staple in our lives, is not and never will be again. Boom. Swallowing just got really hard. A hard as concrete truth. Nothing you can do about it. It’s just the way it is. The permanency of it slashes us to pieces, but what are we to do? We go on. We engage. We keep saying yes. Do we ever forget? Hell no we don’t . We can’t. It is now part of our personal history. But do we want to keep our personal history? That feeling of being a victim?

Again, hell no! This is where I found gratitude seeping in. Gratitude for that time we had with them or that. Gratitude that we had that experience of relationship, of love, of success. And perhaps hopeful that we will find more of that. Maybe in a different way- probably in a different way. Hope. So many songs written and sung about that beautiful emotion- how it keeps us going, keeps us breathing, keeps us entertaining the thought that there just might be something good in front of us. And there is- I promise you, there is.

~Peace & Blessings~

Is It Worth a Penny To You?

These days it seems like we don’t care about each other anymore- not outside our family or social groups anyway. There seems to be a significant lack of compassion for our fellow human beings.

I see it all around me. It is the unusual thing for someone passing by to look you in the eyes and say “Good Morning! How are you today?” It seems we are afraid to even look each other in the eyes or even acknowledge that there is a person walking by you. I find this very sad at the very least and actually dehumanizing.

Something to consider, right?

Once, my friend and I decided that we were going to go out of our way to smile and wave at everyone we passed by for an entire day. We had the best day ever! And you know what? From people’s reactions we know they did too.

First there was a ‘harumph’ moment that quickly changed to surprise, then engagement with a giddy smile. We could see and feel that we changed their mood and probably their entire day with our simple fun-loving gesture.
We not only acknowledged them, we were sending them love and joy and it spread like wildfire.

I think humanity needs this type of behavior more than ever before. We need to feel acknowledged. We need to feel love. We are all one, remember? We are all human. Humans need each other- how have we forgotten that?

No matter. We just need to remember and to engage with our fellow humans. It will bring us back together in the midst of all this divisiveness. Every single one of us need to be acknowledged and appreciated- part of. What do you say?

~Is It Worth A Penny To You?~