The importance of doing your inner work

Written by Amie on June 23, 2015 – 12:21 pm -

Today I will show myself love, I will nurture myself

I feel so good today! Yesterday I went back and forth with someone I have been estranged from for over two years. Each time I responded, I asked myself why I was engaging with her toxic words. I had to really process why I was allowing myself to get sucked into her nonsense. Today I figured it out, and I feel a weight has lifted from me. I am ready to move on again, another layer of old emotional baggage released. It makes me want to celebrate! I am not celebrating the loss of this person in my life, because I do wish we could have a healthy relationship. It just isn’t possible right now. Instead, I’m celebrating the release of old emotional energy that was stuck in my body. Actually, I will be doing my own little ceremony later today with a ritual of releasing. Rituals are so helpful for me. Today I will show myself love, I will nurture myself. I will be there for me.

I can’t stop their suffering, only they can

So, what did I learn from this unhealthy exchange? Many things. First, I learned that, I have truly absorbed the message that it is okay, in fact it is my right, to be happy, EVEN IF other people are not happy, even if they are miserable. I have a right to happiness. I do not owe anybody a piece of my life by trying to help them be happy. If someone close to me is unhappy, it is NOT my responsibility to try to fix them. Yesterdays exchange really solidified to me, that I am free from this burden! I feel it in my body, which tells me that place in me that used to take responsibility for others’ happiness is no longer there! WOOHOO!!!Every person is responsible for their own life. I can support them in their journey, but I can’t stop their suffering. Only they can.

They would rather blame, shame, accuse, bully,and give their toxic garbage to others

The second thing I learned is that there are so many people who refuse to take responsibility for their own behaviors, actions, beliefs,thoughts, and really own their life. They would rather blame, shame, accuse, bully,and give their toxic garbage to others. They will do everything in their power to avoid feeling their own truth.They might even hide behind their misplaced belief that if they just stay “positive”, or if they only focus on helping others, then this will make it so they don’t have to do their own inner work of looking at the sadness, the disappointment, the anger that lies underneath. They may even believe that if they were to look at their true feelings,then others might accuse them of focusing on the past. This isn’t true. In order to be free and happy and authentically emotional, we can’t skip the step of healing the wounds that linger within us. Some have more than others, some less. We are who we are because of our life experiences. I understand why many people avoid feeling their truth, they avoid going deeper within themselves.It can be a scary process. But in order to be free emotionally, which affects all aspects of who we are, we must look inside ourselves, and feel what is there.It is helpful to have a therapist if you have deep or traumatic wounds. Plus, it is helpful to have someone to process feelings with.

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Some people feel threatened when they see another person getting healthy

I learned that some people are afraid of therapy, or they have a warped idea of what therapy really is. Mainly I learned that therapy is threatening for some people. It is scary for them to consider getting in touch with their true inner feelings. It is too scary for them to imagine sharing their inner feelings with someone, so instead they condemn people who choose therapy. They even go as far as trying to bully a person to convince them therapy is bad, the therapist only wants your money, the therapist doesn’t care about you, etc.(a side note is that I feel it is extremely important to interview therapists and find one that has done their own emotional work. Therapists and counselors can truly only help a person if they too, have done their own work) It is quite obvious to see the real feelings beneath this dysfunctional behavior. Some people feel threatened when they see another person getting healthy. They may feel threatened by the person going to therapy because when a person or people in a group start getting healthy, all other group members feel the change, and they don’t like it. The dysfunctional way that has always worked is shifting, so when some members are not willing to grow, they don’t want others to grow either. It felt really good to be able to separate my truth from theirs. Reading their hate filled words made it so obvious to me that they are truly suffering, and I am not responsible for their suffering!

It is not my job to try to convince someone to help themselves

This is the most important thing I learned; that it is not my job to try to convince someone to help themselves. If they ask for my help, of course I would support them and help them. This isn’t what I’m talking about. Over the last few years, I have been learning how to separate myself from others feelings. I am a person who is able to feel others’ emotions, and before I knew this about myself, I would take on their emotions as if they were mine. Now that I know this about myself, I do things to protect myself from others’ emotions. In the past I would always see the pain and suffering underneath toxic behavior, and then I would excuse this behavior by telling myself, “but they are a good person underneath.” This may be a true statement, most people are good people underneath their unhealthy behaviors. HOWEVER, this does not ever excuse people who treat others badly. EVER. So, what finally sunk in after all of these toxic exchanges yesterday, is that it is not my job to help this person see the goodness in herself, (she doesn’t want help seeing that). It is not my job to show her the underlying pain she is avoiding feeling when she is spewing mean and hateful words at me. It is not my job to overlook her behavior by saying, “but shes a good person.” It is her job. It is her responsibility. It is her life. She has to do the work in order to heal the pain inside herself. I am free.

It also gives them a ticket to be a jerk

I will not excuse bad behavior on the premise that I feel sorry for her because she is in a lot of emotional pain. I felt sorry for her a small bit up until last night. And then the weight lifted. I no longer feel sorry for her because by feeling sorry for her, this gives away some of my own inner power. It also gives her a ticket to be a jerk. If I feel sorry for a person, it means I am not holding them accountable for their unhealthy behavior towards me, which in turn usually means I excuse the bad behavior, thus keeping the dysfunctional cycle going. I see now without a doubt that each of us has to do our own inner processing, and that deep wounds do not give us a free ticket to be mean and nasty to other people. If we want healthy relationships, we do the work to heal our wounds, without injuring others in the process. We may injure others because we are not perfect, but when this happens we acknowledge it and we take full responsibility. Take responsibility for your life, for your behavior, for your words. Be vulnerable. FEEL.

SO, please remember, your job is YOU. You take care of your emotional health, and don’t allow others to spew their emotional pain onto you in the form of telling you all of the things they think are wrong with you. (oftentimes the words they spew at you are actually the true words of how they feel about themselves) In order to heal our wounds, we have to take care of ourselves, protect ourselves from toxic behavior. You have a right to protect yourself from unhealthy people, even if they are blood related. It is your life, you get to choose how to live it. Nobody else. YOU.

 

 

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Posted in Healing & personal growth, Help with depression, Nurture yourself, Self-love | 2 Comments »

Depression and the stories we tell ourselves

Written by Amie on June 6, 2011 – 10:52 pm -

You will not believe this…let me tell you

I was just thinking tonight that if we are not aware of our thoughts,  it is so easy to convince ourselves of just about anything. For example, if you are hoping that a friend will call because you miss them and really want to see them, but then they don’t call, the stories begin in the mind. “I bet she just doesn’t want to see me”, or “gosh, I wonder what I did to make her mad”, or “I hope she wasn’t in a terrible car accident and nobody told me.” Have you ever found yourself doing this? I would venture to say that everyone has done this, and most likely on a daily basis. All of these thoughts have a few things in common. They are very likely not true, they bring us out of the present moment, and they try to make us at fault for something that isn’t even true. The mind likes to bring us out of the present moment. It is the habit of the mind. It is also very common in people with depression to go to the worst case scenario in most situations with the blame being on themselves.

Here comes that feeling of blackness again

I wanted to mention the above because I thought it would resonate with most people. I want to take it one step further and point out the stories we tell ourselves about our depression. When I was feeling horrible my first thought was usually,” here it comes again, I will never get rid of this.” And I believed it. I believed it completely. I believed the stories in my head. They had been there for so long, I didn’t know to question them. I see that this has to be the first step on the path to getting through depression. We have to become aware of what we tell ourselves, and then we must give depression a voice. We have to learn to watch the mind and the crazy untrue messages it tells us.

How to do this?

Even if you are convinced that your depression has nothing to do with your thoughts and beliefs or that you don’t say mean things to yourself, try paying close attention for just one hour today. Write down everything that goes through your mind. The key is not to judge yourself. Just look and watch and observe and record. You may be shocked at what you write down. Most of us have an endless loop of negative thoughts and comments going through the mind. So many messages we picked up along the way. The majority, if not all of them, are false! If you don’t believe me, take one of the thoughts you wrote down and prove it’s truth. Prove to yourself it is true. It doesn’t count to say something like, “I can prove that I am stupid because I failed that test.” So you failed a test, how would that prove you are stupid? It doesn’t. There has to be 100% solid evidence that your thoughts are actually true. Good luck proving any of it.

A place of familiarity

Once I became aware that my thoughts are beliefs were not true, I felt a new freedom and excitement! I felt as thought i could start my life again. I learned to question every single thing that went through my mind. I threw them away if they weren’t true. Was it easy? No! Do I still struggle at times? Absolutely! But the difference is awareness. I am aware of my thoughts, and this makes all the difference in the world. Awareness is the first step. Awareness leads to presence. The present moment is all you have for sure, so why not learn to stay in it? The things you are telling yourself about tomorrow or last week or the things you are saying about why your friend hasn’t called-these are ALL just stories your mind is making up to keep you in the place of fear and a place of familiarity. That’s all. A story, just like in a book. Once you can step back and watch your mind telling you stories, you begin to view them as just that. Healing from depression can be hard work, but it is so worth it! If you allow yourself to become aware without judgment, you will begin to open yourself up to the truth of what is inside you. Pure awareness and pure beauty and love. I hope this doesn’t sound to “frou-frou”, as I know what it feels like to be in the bottomless pit. However, I do want to give you tools and give you hope that it can and will get better if you are willing to dig inside yourself to become aware of what is really being said.

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