Mothering and nurturing myself; discovering self-love and kindness

Written by Amie on November 1, 2013 – 1:45 am -

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”~Buddha

Why is it that it is so much easier to be kind to others when they are suffering, but that kindness does not come as easily when we are the ones suffering? I am getting better at this. I was going through a very intense emotional experience last week. I discovered the most helpful way through it was to mother and nurture myself as I felt my emotions and experienced my body sensations. I felt nurturing kindness for myself. Many years ago, I would not have done this. Instead I would have tried to avoid feeling my emotions, while at the same time berating myself for getting so upset. I would have *known* there was something wrong with me. When I think about how unkind I was to myself, I feel sad. I feel so grateful that my self compassion has grown, and my response is now self-love and kindness. It was the most wonderful feeling. I truly felt loved, and I *knew* I was not alone, even though physically I was alone.

It was painful emotionally

I want to share my process with you because I want you to know that it is very possible to be alone and not feel lonely. It is possible to be alone with your grief but yet feel nurtured and mothered and loved. I want to share this with you because I want to spread the joy of discovering that when we allow ourselves to truly *feel*, without going into the story, or the drama, or the details, it really is possible to move through the emotions, to truly get through them to the other side. And on the other side of them is an incredible feeling of peace.I felt so peaceful in fact, that I asked myself if that was truly possible. And since I am a doubter at heart, I even questioned if I was just in denial. So far, I don’t think I am in denial, but I suppose time will tell. I want to clarify that I went through days of crying and feeling and moments I had to remind myself to breathe. I don’t want this to sound as though it was a party and a celebration, it wasn’t. It was painful emotionally. But I truly suffered if I allowed myself to get caught in listening to the story that tried to play out in my mind.When I listen to the story, I am distracted from my emotions and my bodily sensations. When I get distracted, the emotions get caught in my body, which means they will come back in other situations until I fully allow them to flow and be felt.

Anger is a “catch all” for emotions

Becoming aware of emotions is the starting point. It took me years to really *get this*. I thought “feeling my emotions” meant telling the story of what happened, becoming angry and often blaming someone, and usually staying in the anger without feeling what was under the anger. Anger is a sign that something is off, but it isn’t the actual emotion. It covers up the true emotions, the ones we might be afraid to feel. For example, we might be feeling grief or disappointment, sadness or loneliness, etc. Anger is a “catch all” for emotions. It feels powerful because it is a warning sign to us. But all too often, we stay in anger rather than dig beneath it. Often times, the anger is aimed at ourselves. We may shame ourselves by telling ourselves how stupid we were to not “see” what someone was doing to us, we may beat ourselves up with words. All of these things distract us from feeling our truth in the moment. In order to really feel emotions, we must stay present with our body sensations and our breath.

What am I feeling in my body?

I noticed that when I was crying and feeling sick in my stomach, I also felt a strong pain in my neck going down to my shoulder. I have had this in the past, and I did finally link it to old emotional pain that has been stuck there for a very long time. Once I became aware of this, I was able to talk to the pain, talk to myself. I was able to “mother” myself and nurture myself. I told my pain, “its ok, I have you, you are safe. Let it out, release this hurt now, you are safe.” I held my hand gently on my neck where the pain was, and I kept saying over and over, “you are safe, its okay to let go of this now.” I reminded myself to breathe, this is very important. It was incredible observing what happened. The pain would subside, and I would have some relief. I would cry more. The pain would return, and I would repeat the same process until it mostly went away. I knew instinctively that it was grief I was dealing with. Grief for many emotions that had been stuck in my body. Years of emotions, as well as past traumas being held in my body. Speaking kindly to myself was like talking to a scared child, reassuring her that it is safe to feel now. I was taking care of that little girl so that she was finally able to let go of the past that was holding her in fear.

“mothering” voice made me feel safe

I realize this process is not easy, especially when you might be accustomed to berating and being unkind to yourself like I used to be. But please give this a try. It feels so much better than the judgmental, mean, conditioned voice I had in the past. This loving, kind, gentle, “mothering” voice made me feel safe. I felt safe enough to let go of things that were holding me back. I felt completely nurtured and held in the arms of a divine loving energy, which is also myself.

 

 

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

Surrender,accept,let go and remember self-love

Written by Amie on August 22, 2013 – 1:32 am -

“The way back to my real environment, the place where my soul was meant to exist, doesn’t lie through any set of codes I will ever find outside of myself. I have to look inward. I have to jettison every sorrow, every terror, every misconception, every lie that stands between my conscious mind and what I know in my heart to be true. Instead of clutching around me all of the trappings of a “good” person, a “successful” person, or even a “righteous” person, I have to be exactly what I am, and take the horrible chance that I may be rejected for it. I can’t get home by cloaking myself in the armor of any system; social, political, or religious. I have to strip off all that comforting armor and go on naked”. ~Martha Beck

 

the scary part

Another layer of healing and I feel like I am recovering faster each time. The pain is deep, but I don’t stay in the pain for very long. Crying is so healing and cleansing. First the anger, then the sadness, deep grieving, and then relief. I feel lighter each time. I remember a time when I would stay in the anger phase without allowing the raw feelings underneath to come to the surface. Staying in anger creates resentment and eventually depression. I know this now, and I continue to work on it. Allowing the raw feelings underneath the anger to surface is the scary part at first, but once they show themselves, great relief comes sooner. Anger is always a sign that there are needs not being met, a sign that something is not “right”. I think as a culture we have been taught that anger is bad, but I disagree. Anger is only an unhealthy thing if a person stays in the anger stage without processing the real feelings underneath, or if they act out of anger and harm another person. When used as a sign that something is off, anger is a wonderful tool.

incapable of really *seeing* me and *hearing* me

I was very angry last night. I received another letter from someone who has hurt me deeply but won’t acknowledge their part in the  hurt. This person denies ever hurting me. This person goes so far as to act completely perplexed as to why I am hurt. Hearing this hurts even more. At least it did temporarily. The anger turned to hurt and sadness pretty quickly. And then the grief hit today. The letter I received made it so clear that this person will not take responsibility for the hurt they have caused. The clarity helped me see that I need to let go of the hope that things can be any different. I surrender to what is. The facts keep being shown to me. The fact that this person is incapable of really *seeing* me and *hearing* me. And this person is incapable of taking ownership of the hurt they have caused. So for me, I accept them for who they are, but that doesn’t mean I will subject myself to further hurt. People continue to hurt others when they are incapable of noticing how their words and actions affect others. I understand, but that doesn’t mean I will choose to be with people who do this.

I love myself and I have compassion for myself

So, I continue to let go. It is a process to be sure. It is not easy, but it is getting easier. It is difficult to truly let go of the hope that things will change. But if I hold on to hope, it keeps me suffering. It keeps me in a holding pattern so to speak. Waiting and hoping. Not a healthy way to live. So, I surrender to what is, I let go, I accept, and I send healing and love to those who have hurt me. If I find myself wishing for something to be different, or wishing for someone to finally understand and take responsibility for their actions, I am not letting go. I am holding on. It is a slow process. I have to remind myself often to trust the Universe. Everything happens for a reason, everything unfolds exactly as it should. I continue and I trust. And I send more love to them. I hear what they say and I remind myself that they are in pain. I surrender. I accept. I let go. And most importantly, I love myself and I have compassion for myself. I honor all of my feelings, and I allow myself to feel however I feel without judgment.

a song that helps me process my emotions

I want to share this song with you that I listen to when I feel angry. It is helpful when I know there are deeper feelings underneath the anger wanting to be felt. It really helps me feel my anger and then let it go so that the feelings underneath can come up. The meaning of the song has nothing to do with why I listen to it. I feel the emotion in the song, and I believe this is the reason it is helpful for me when I’m angry and I am having trouble allowing my emotions to emerge. 

It is Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready TO Make Nice”

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