Category: Physical Healing

Falling Behind

Falling Behind

I’ve been watching race after race of the Olympics. We tend to watch the winners. Sometimes, though, I’ll watch the ones who qualify, but drift off to a lap behind those stellar performances. What of getting to the final eight qualifiers in the world and then still coming in one lap behind the fastest person? Does it feel like you are the biggest loser ever?

I remember one time when I was on the diving team in high school, we were short a man on the 400 team free style on our B team. It was a regional meet and there must have been a few hundred people in the stands. The coach asked me if I would swim just back and forth once. He said, “You can do that, right?”

I thought I surely could do it. But I hadn’t trained one day with the swimmers. And, as you would imagine, I did everything wrong. I started as fast as I could, and by the time I got to the first length of the pool, I had nothing left to give to the last length. I was out of breath, out of strength, and practically had to doggy paddle my way back to the finish. I was completely embarrassed when I got out of the pool.

So, I can say that I know what it feels like to end up last. There is no saying to yourself, “At least I finished.” You simply slink away into the crowd behind the winners into the dressing room and hope nobody sees you or remembers your performance.

The unfortunate thing about today’s Olympic experience is that sometimes you get to see your losing battle over and over again, like the gymnast who went up first on the balance beam for USA last Olympics and fell off on her mount. She was the captain of the team, beautiful, and very talented, but couldn’t possibly live down that moment, when it was on every television for four years. I’ve seen that clip about 100 times over the years. My heart goes out to her. There is nothing she can do, but deal with the idea of loss. I suppose that’s what it is like to relive a moment of pain over and over again in your brain. It’s like a movie that won’t stop playing.

So, I look at my life and wonder what exactly is there in my life that I might have to deal with that is considered loss. Certainly, I have had many downers socially and financially. I have tried at many things. I have had books published with just a minimal amount of books sold compared to a successful deal. I have lost partners to infidelity and anger. I have lost friends to death and some to jealousy. I have lost lots of money when the stock market failed. So, falling behind is familiar. How do you break through and make sense of it?

To me, life is fairly cyclical. You can count on times of prosperity balanced with times of lack. If you’re smart, you save for the inevitable times of the universe making balance happen. As far as friendships go and lovers go, I don’t know a person who has an answer to that. Most people feel relationship is merely a gamble. If you find someone who is willing to take the gamble with you, you are fortunate. Because the willingness to daily lay your stakes on the table is the only way to make relationship works. And when one person decides to go in a different direction, it isn’t long before the roots of the relationship begin to sever. When that happens, the couple dies.

Friendships come and go. I always thought I’d be that kind of friend that would keep my good friends forever. But unfortunately, friendships, too, are relationships. They take two people who are in it for the long haul. It is not often two people want to take the long road with you throughout your entire life. If you’ve found a friend like that, you’re very fortunate, especially if he or she is not codependent.

Falling behind is a mind game. I guess if you wait in the pool long enough there will be another race starting, and you may end up ahead, or having the edge, because you’ve already in the pool and have begun the race early.

Every part of your life matters though: the good, the bad, the ugly, the surging ahead and the falling behind. Every part has a lesson and teaches you about an integral part of your own limits.

Last weekend I had some new understanding about being a crystal in chaos. Even a crystal sometimes loses its energy and needs to be restored. I didn’t blow up at anyone when my family was having all their battles and struggles, as families do when they get together after long periods of not seeing each other. I just seemed to slowly get sucked out of energy.

So, today I went to acupuncture and had a friend work on helping me regain my vital energy for 2.5 hours. I feel like a different person. When you are drained, you need to help yourself. When you fall behind, get help. We are not all self-sufficient in anything. I keep practitioners of all sorts around me all the time, so when I need to call someone to help for a particular problem, I can get back on track and in the race immediately.

“God, help us all to recognize that winning and losing isn’t what we’re on this earth for. We’re here to understand the human experience; to spread love, to be compassionate even when it feels impossible to be; and to learn to be stronger than we thought we could be. Send us the messengers and angels to help us find the truth and the pathway to that knowledge.”

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Rising Above Challenges

Rising Above Challenges

When I think of challenge, I usually think of some kind of physical incapacity. But what of mental challenges that cause defeat around every corner?

I had an opportunity this weekend to spend some time with a young lady who has spent the last four years facing the most difficult mental challenges of her life. I hadn’t seen her in four years. When I picked her up at the airport—to tell you the truth—I didn’t even recognize her. She looked twenty years older, and her spiritual presence was gray from depression.

She had moved away from Nashville to be with her son, who had promised to take care of her while she was reaching her later fifties. Turns out the son was a drug addict and basically bilked her out of all of her money, stole her charge cards until she had nothing left but a one room efficiency and a low paying job, while he is now in jail. Yet, as I spoke with her this weekend, she said all she could think about was her son and wished he could be with her now on this vacation. She suffers greatly from disillusionment and depression. If she keeps going untreated, she could end up not taking care of her physical needs even more and perhaps, worse case scenario, end up losing her life.

What of serious mental challenges that keep us locked in prison, just as our children counterparts? My heart went out to her. I really can’t understand the need to protect a child, even when he dishonors you in so many ways. But as I speak to other parents who are clients, I see that the parental bond, especially the maternal one, is great and very hard to break. The need to keep giving and giving goes deep.

Sometimes I think it is connected to a deep-seated sense of guilt. Maybe somewhere in the parent’s past he or she didn’t do what was expected as a parent, and now guilt rises to the surface forcing her to do what is not only the worst thing to do, but will hurt the child more—dependency.

Maybe his or her own childhood had a play in the process. Maybe he or she did not get the care expected when growing up, and now he wants to make sure he rises to the parental occasion. Who knows? But what is needed is distance and boundaries for the child to grow with strength and to regain honor for him/herself and then to the parent.

Mental illness in children is the hardest thing to face for a parent. I have had clients who would rather chew off an arm than admit to a child being impaired mentally. It could be even something as simple to correct as ADD or ADHD. Still, I could get this stone-faced parents: My kid doesn’t need any medication! Then the child slips into depression because he or she can’t keep up in school, and everyone in the family is hurt.

If you have a child who is showing signs of depression or mental illness, or a loved one (a spouse or someone you live with), this is not something to be afraid to address. It needs to be faced head-on with boldness. Mental illness will ruin a family, a relationship, and a person’s entire life if not taken care of. I’ve seen it happen to too many people. Many end up institutionalized, in jail, or worse, dead.

Sometimes the fix would only have been a $4 antidepressant or medication for ADD that will help a child focus.

Every person in this world is too important to lose to mental illness. If you see it happening in your world, take action. You can help save a life, a relationship and probably an entire family.  Act now and save a life!

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A Long Day’s Journey

A Long Day’s Journey

How many days does it take to get through heartache? I have some clients that sit down and tell me they are still aching after two years, six years, even 20 years. What does it take to let go of what does not serve you and reach forward into a new paradigm of life?

When your body and mind go through something stressful, every cell in your body experiences it in a different way and stores it in a different way. The cells in your brain, the neuro pathways get effected by establishing a connection to the pain. So, if it is someone leaving you, whenever there is a chance of something or someone leaving you, this connection will be triggered.

On a cellular level your body can act in a completely different way. Your stomach may hurt. You may get anxious. You may get a headache. You may get itchy. It depends on the part of the body that was effected during the trauma.

The one thing that wasn’t effected was your spirit. It stays the same. It watched and gained a clear perspective of what happened. Now it may have shut down after the incident, because you don’t want to relive the pain. But, trust me, your spirit remained intact.

To get over what you went through, you have to get in touch with that spiritual place and—WITHOUT JUDGEMENT—watch what happened to you with compassion for all who were involved in the situation, starting with you.

Forgive yourself, then begin trying to forgive everyone in the action involved in your hurt and pain. Imagine trying to write a story about each character involved. Try to give each person a good reason for acting the way he or she did, without judgement. Every character has to have a history that caused them to act in the way he or she did.

For instance, you have been dealing with a narcissistic mother who has inflicted the worst kind of pain in your life. She has since passed from this world. As you look back on her life, you might consider that she may have been abused or raped in her teens, and was never able to get help or talk about it. As a result she became controlling. You were the only person she could successfully control. It would make sense that she didn’t want you to date or have children. Etc.

This is just one example. If you want to heal, you have to find a compassionate break in your story as you relive it to be able to move on. Maybe that time isn’t now, but you will not move on until this happens. Anger just helps you relive it and re-energizes the situation. It displaces your feelings. It doesn’t heal them.

When I talk about forgiveness, I never mean having to let someone back into your life either. Forgiveness is for you. A compassionate break is for your brain and your heart. The person who did this to you probably doesn’t belong in your life. Great and sturdy boundaries are highly recommended when you are doing this work. The last thing you want to do is make yourself venerable for the same thing to happen again.

So, you ask yourself, how long will it take for you to get over your heartache? And the answer is: As long as it takes for you to find a clear pathway to compassion in your heart about each and every character in your painful story.

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