bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: struggling not drowning

The Other Side of Judgment and Fear

Another re-blog…but it is good and necessary food for thought today.

I highly recommend reading if you are prone to negative self-talk and worrying, (ie, ‘brain-weasels’)

Element

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Hello everyone, welcome ❤

I was trying to get caught up reading and commenting to posts the other day and I came to a one that dray0308 from Dream Big Dream Often reblogged. The title of the post was “Worrying About Nothing” This post was about questioning yourself, your choices and decisions rather than just living and enjoying your life.

It’s sad how often we judge ourselves. We suffer under the crushing fear that we can’t live the life we want because we aren’t doing enough, we aren’t good enough, we aren’t smart enough, we aren’t pretty or handsome enough. We just aren’t, right enough.

I’ve been to that dark place. I spent 10 years struggling with little to no self esteem and believing everything bad in my life was my fault, that there was nothing I could do right. I spared no judgment against myself. I saw my son, how we…

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Lessons.

Anythinglessons

(taken from The Open Mind  (with Dana Bowles) on Facebook)

Trauma…and healing.

Yesterday was very intense.
While there were not a lot of instructors, nor were there many classes, I attended a class called Healing Sexual Trauma.
Yes – I thought of J (and others) –  and I had foolishly hoped that I could finally learn -after the fact – about strategies that I should have known in order to help someone who had been sexually traumatized.

Because if anything, I’d wanted to at the very least provide others some sort of sanctuary from pain and negativity.
Instead, it seemed something that wasn’t so pedantic as ‘here are some strategies for helping yourself or helping others heal from sexual trauma’ as it was personal discussion about the instructor’s journey toward realizing and healing her own sexual trauma.  And I realized that the discussion was not so much about methods and strategies as it was about identifying and recognizing that there are traumas that need to healed within ourselves.

As an empath, I also found myself realizing and reacting to the obvious fact that I should take note that I have my own traumas to heal and how foolish I am to think that I would be there for any other reason.
Meanwhile, L seems to love to point out to me – through these sort of sneaky ton of bricks moments – that I am foolish, that I am denying myself compassion, and everything and I do  and I mean EVERYTHING –  begins with me.

He wants me to have compassion with myself and take care of myself:

You must take care of My Beloved.

And by the way: That is YOU.

However, I have always made excuses.

I have been told for so many years that it is selfish to think of oneself before others.

I’ve come to react as if one of the most hurtful insults that could be directed towards me involves being accused of being self-centered or selfish….but again and again He wants me to realize that that is damaging to me and an avoidance maneuver that is so ingrained in my behavior that it is likely not even a conscious reaction on my part anymore.

So there’s that self-awareness that He is so insistent upon, and I found myself surprised to realize this facet of my behavior.

Look at yourself; everything is self-work, you know.
And so I tried valiantly not to get overwhelmed by the sensation overload that I was experiencing when others talked of their traumas as well as trying to control myself in regards to my own traumas.
This must manifest itself as a sort of selfishness in that I want to help others/save others, even though I don’t even know how to help or how to save myself sometimes

So I want to talk and I want to share, but my talking and sharing is an avoidance maneuver. It’s me saying, ‘Let’s talk about you; let’s fix you, so I don’t have to fix myself,’ and if I do talk, it might just be my attempt to fill up the space with noise, or focusing on what anyone else is presently going through so I don’t have to handle what I’ve gone through.

It is selfish.   In a way, it is the way I block emotions in myself and block others from myself.

I hate myself for that.

I am aware that it is just me being closed up…another verbal masturbation session that I never intended but here I am talking about myself again.

*sigh*

I hold myself at a distance by talking, sometimes.  I focus on constructing a wall of words and sound to keep people from knowing me and to keep myself from knowing myself.
It’s times like that that I notice that there is such a gap between what I want to do and what I am doing, what I want to confront and how I avoid the confrontation.  The gap between engagement and avoidance.   I do lip service to a lot of want, but not a lot of doing.

(Thanks Loki.)

But how do I learn to stop doing that?

How to open myself so I can be open to others?

How to listen and help rather than just filling up space with pain and gloom and panic, wondering whatamigoingtodo?

Don’t look at me.  I’m in pain.

I can focus on your pain but that just distracts me from my pain for the moment.  I have a lot of pain in myself and I see others’ pain and I don’t know what to do about it.

I don’t know what to do with myself.

Is anything ever getting done this way?

No.  Of course not.
It’s all verbal masturbation.  This navel gazing has to stop.

 

I should do something but I don’t know what.

 

I have forgotten what’s important.

Month for Loki, Day 14: What if

What if…?

When an issue comes up where I get mired in my pessimistic tendencies, this has often been His message:

whatififallyoufly

 

 

(quote by Erin Hanson)

 

*looks up*

Another emotional weekend.

Another chain of days wherein I am left contemplating the line between being compassionate and being naive.

~~~

And here.  Here is a foolish thing.

This morning while I was out walking my dog, I noticed at least a dozen black vultures perched upon the streetlights lining the parkway that runs along a significant portion of my daily route.  Even though vultures usually don’t roost in my neighborhood very often, I figured that there must have been some fresh roadkill somewhere.  (I didn’t — and I still don’t — want to assume that their presence has any at all to do with the fact that that I’ve also been dreaming of vultures a lot lately.  I comfort myself to think that there has to be some other mundane reason.)

So, as I was walking toward quite a large cluster of them, I realized much to my dismay, that, with the way in which the road was laid out, I was going to have to walk past several streetlights in the row.

And I was going to have to pass beneath quite a number of them where they were perched.

(Yes, I’ll admit that I feared being…hissed at and shat upon.)

As I got closer, I began to walk more briskly, all the while telling myself that I am going to be OK, I’m just passing through…this is not something that I can avoid.  These are just…vultures.  A lot of black vultures.

And looking back on it, you know, I can’t explain why I started to feel anxious, but I did….

and so, next thing I know, I had started running….

And because I was so busy feeling anxious

and not really looking where I was going

I promptly fell hard into a hole that I could not have seen

and I twisted my ankle.

I laid there for a good minute or two, feeling mortified, embarrassed and hurting.

Upon looking up, I see them – three vultures — calmly looking down at me, from their perches atop the streetlight.

They did not move.  They did not hiss.  And they did not shit on me.

They just looked at me.

jpt8574-ps

(They were just like this – except for looking downward. I didn’t take this picture. ^Phil Thach did.)

blackvulturestreetlight

Evidently, black vultures like to perch on street lights

blackvulturetea

…and eat ‘horrible things for tea.’

(I guess that ‘ and eat roadkill when necessary’ doesn’t have the same ring to it, though it has the same amount of syllables.)

Not making fun.  Just trying to adapt.

~~~

Mr. L is wondering why I am avoiding again.

Asking why I am struggling to embrace my spirit animal.

 

Because, sometimes…vultures frighten me.

*sigh*

 

 

 

 

 

(Not so) Subtle

This past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions.

And no, I don’t like it that way, and thus, I continue to work on developing more effective coping skills.

As well, I am reminded that it is not selfish to take care of myself when necessary.

But I will get there.

And when I am surfing the web, and I come across pieces like this

http://www.rebellesociety.com/2015/01/09/bring-your-all-to-me/

 

And I am reminded that I am loved, and that there is no shame in asking for help.

 

I am grateful.

 

Fear of drowning.

I had a strange dream last night.

Upon awakening, I realized that my brain is definitely trying to work something out.

 

In the dream, I was walking through my old neighborhood, on my way to visit a dear childhood friend of mine, Katherine.  It had been raining all day, and it was dusk by the time that I had started out for her home.  Oddly enough, I wasn’t afraid of the dark (as I usually am, since the night *is* dark and full of terrors in New England this time of year), and I was quite confident that I would reach her home before long.

Another prevalent detail was that I was wearing a pair of brand-new white sneakers, but for some reason, I didn’t want them to get dirty.  (This is another odd thing, because I am usually much more worried about reaching my destination than I am about worrying over whether or not my shoes are going to still be ‘clean’ by the time I get there.)  But, such as it was, the street was full of puddles, and try as I might to avoid stepping in the puddles, the persistent rain throughout the day had flooded the street, and the roadside was saturated with mud.   So I walked, with my head down, my feet sloshing into each unavoidable puddle, watching the dark muddy water turn my sneakers grey, and I realized that I was surprisingly becoming irritable with that sodden sponginess of my wet socks and shoes.

But I reminded myself that while I couldn’t avoid walking, and I couldn’t avoid getting wet, I very much wanted to visit my friend, so I convinced myself that this temporary discomfort was at least worth that joy in some way.

Then I noticed that what was once mere puddles on the sidewalk and the street had turned into wide, low ruts, swollen with water.  I now felt water sloshing against my ankles, and even my calves, soaking through my jeans as I walked.  These shoes are definitely ruined, I thought grouchily, and I might need a change of clothes when I get there. 

Then, while I was moving through a particularly wide rut in the middle of an empty street, I felt the ground turn spongy and completely give way.  I felt myself sliding downward, and I realized that I must have fallen into a sinkhole in the street.   I felt the shock of the icy, fetid water soaking into my clothes.

As I slid further down, I began immediately to panic:  I realized that I couldn’t feel the bottom of the hole, and I was treading water.

Soon, I will be gulping water, my panicked brain screamed, and I felt the water go over my head.

Suddenly, the view of the street-lamps above me were a blur of hazy brown-grey light about 12″ above me, and I tried desperately not to inhale water.

I pushed myself upward,  and I gasped for help.

My voice sounded small and choked to my own ears, and the water churned as I thrashed about.

In the brief moments that I could break the surface, I saw that I was right outside Katherine’s house.

I howled for help as loudly as I could, but I kept sinking back beneath the water.

I have a desperate fear of drowning, by the way, and I was beginning to despair that I would not be heard.

The force of my anger at my failure at being heard and my fear of drowning seemed to be driving me however, to keep trying.  I was so angry that it seemed to give me the energy to keep treading water, and my fear of drowning, of dying, kept me working to get myself above the surface of the water, however briefly, to call for help.

I saw the brief hazy light of Katherine’s porch-light for a split second moment during each of my attempts to surface, and that sight made me resent my predicament.    Oh, how I felt such an odd hatred for the serene glow of that porch light, the welcoming glimmer that bled around the window-shades!

How could she not hear me?

And then I realized that I had been treading water in just one spot.

In my panic, I hadn’t thought to try to find the edges of the sink-hole.  I hadn’t thought to open my arms or search for anything in the water at all.

I had been just… flailing in place.

So I resolved to stop struggling, and I relaxed, and breathed.

I let myself float/roll a few feet to the left.

And there was the edge.   And there was a handhold.

And I was suddenly able to climb out… quite easily.

 

EASILY.

 

Oh, I felt grateful.

But I felt more ashamed and embarrassed.

And it wasn’t just because I was wet, dirty, and soaked with the sweat of my effort and fear.

 

It suddenly occurred to me that the solution to my situation was not only available to me, but ridiculously close, and yet I had allowed myself to panic.

Did I trust myself to find the solution?

No.

I hadn’t even tried.

I immediately began calling for help.

I had believed that I was in danger…but I was not.   Not really.

 

If that was not a lesson, I don’t know what is.

~~~~

Upon awakening, while I lay there in bed, feeling my pulse slacken, several things occurred to me.

Though I had felt stupid, this was not a stupid dream.

I mean, really.

 

How often have I called out to Him, and He has been silent?

How often have I felt Him just out of reach

            always with that calm and infinitely patient look on His face….

                              …and I have resented Him for His silence, for His inaction?

 

Is He hearing me?   

Why isn’t He helping me?

 

But it  is just as it is with this dream, once I have calmed myself, and looked around, I’ve realized that I’ve the tools, the means, and sometimes, the answer to my own questions.

Sometimes, the solution has been within my grasp all along; sometimes I’m already in possession of everything required to solve the problem…and He is just waiting for me to realize it.

Sometimes the situation isn’t exactly dire…but it becomes exacerbated in my mind, and things suddenly seem insurmountable due to my impatience, my fear, my anger, or my rush to negativity.

(Oh, how I have cursed the light…)

I confess that I’ve got several emotional blind spots..and I’ve developed a pessimism, or perhaps, a learned helplessless about some of them.

Despite that, He’s got a word for each of those blind spots:

Stop.

Relax.

Open.

Think.

 

And I remember:

Whenever I have truly been in danger

(… could have been killed)

He has been there

(…the house could have burned down…)

He has heard

(…had been trying to hurt me…)

…and He has offered me guidance, and He has offered me help.

 

(Even though I have been known to stubbornly refuse to listen to and/or accept it.)

 

~~~~~

But one thing is certain:  I do have a fear of drowning.

 

Sometimes, I think that I am drowning…

 

But then it turns out that I’m just struggling

I’m just flailing in place

…and I am making a lot of noise about it.

~~~

Maybe this is why the rune Laguz keeps coming up.