Monday, September 25, 2017

Path to Healing

Pain and hurt is part of the path traveled by all. I have learned that there is no value in laying blame on others for the hurt I feel. On the other hand there is great advantage to taking responsibility for allowing the hurt. Therein lies the secret to healing. By responsibility I do not mean blaming oneself, but recognizing that for someone to hurt me I must have given them the power to protect my inner being, that should always be mine. Once you own up to this, you have the power to heal yourself.

Hurt can soften the heart so one can empathize with the pain of others. Hurt can, just as much, harden the heart and so can perpetuate the infliction of hurt to others. That is a choice. Perpetuating hurt leads to bitterness and unhappiness. Kindness and compassion lead to healing and joy. Awareness is key. Be acutely conscious that hurting another leads to a mean spirit that can isolate and be self destructive.

It took me years to acknowledge my hurt and pain, but before that I learned to be empathetic to others. Somewhere inside of me the pain that I did not acknowledge, softened me towards the world. It was on acknowledging the hurt, that I could award that same empathy towards the child within me. Then on, the healing came speedily. Along with the healing came resolve - a no-nonsense, non-negotiable strength to disallow others to hurt me. It is inherent within the healing process to have the power to repel hurt. Not just to ignore it but to strongly stand up and let your power be expressed.

Some may have believed that to be hurtful is their prerogative, but to ward off the hurt and refuse to hand over my dignity or my self worth is my right. One of the reasons I enabled hurt was because I considered the hurt felt by the other, if I was to not take the hurt, as unkind. Yes, that feeling is just as convoluted as the sentence. Yet, it is an overpowering weakness and needs active participation in the caring of ones soul to turn that around. Repel getting hurt without causing another to be hurt. Know that how the other feels is not important, it is whether you are coming from a place of love and understanding. I would never allow anyone to hurt my children, but I allowed the child within me to face that ordeal without check. As a matter of fact I never acknowledged the existence of that child in me.

So here is the path I took to healing:

1. Acknowledged that I hurt. Not being able to recognize a wound is dangerous. It took me years to acknowledge that I hurt.

2. Accepted responsibility for allowing the hurt. This did not come in a day. It took hours of self pity, anger, sadness, blame, shame, guilt, and tears to recognize that no matter what emotion I felt I came out weaker. It was then that I realized that the only way to overcome this negativity was to own my power - only I could reverse this. I stopped telling myself that I was hurting and instead told myself that the hurt was there and now it required my healing touch.

3. Looked myself in the mirror every day and said, "I love you," to myself. I wrote it on my phone screen, on my mirror, on my computer screen, on sticky notes on every door whether it was the front door or a closet door or a cabinet door. I told myself I was perfect the way I was. I reminded myself, that I was special - a gift to this Universe and deserved to be treated as such. Eventually I realized that it was true. I am special, I am a gift, I am worthy of my love, respect and care. Not only did this make me feel good, it also motivated me to continue to improve myself as a person.

4. Taught myself to balance kindness towards myself and others. I learned how not to sacrifice one for the other. I learned how to say 'No,' without feeling guilt. My spirit deserved to be free and open. If the other is unable to take my, 'No,' that is not on me. I learned how to express kindness from the heart - not because I felt guilty but because I am kind. Everything I say and do is from a wealth of joy and abundance. I can and so I do. Being able to offer love and empathy to others, understanding how difficult it is to heal, is an important part of self healing, and this same empathy towards myself is what heals me.

Being empathetic and giving towards others maybe 'noble.' To be kind to oneself without being self centered is essential. Loving others can deplete us if we are not loved ourselves. I have seen scores of women be bitter and indifferent as they age. These are women who have spent their entire lives being strong, and supportive until they stop wanting that role. I could not understand this change till I experienced it myself. It was as if I was depleted and had nothing left in me. I had lost the will to be. It was not that I was not loved and appreciated by my family and friends - because I was. Yet the emotional exhaustion was real. There was an emptiness that seemed to engulf me. This gaping hole that I could feel but could not express, depressed me. I reached the bottom when my husband was recovering from cancer. There came a day when I was overwhelmed with self pity. I did not care anymore, I felt complete indifference towards everyone. I had just helped my husband through a major health issue, he was still recovering and needed my attention, but something inside of me had dried up and there was no way I could continue. It took loving myself to refill that hole.

Healing requires introspection and self love. There is a need for silence and for solitude. Healing also requires a support system that is non-judgmental and non-demanding. I was fortunate enough to get all of that with my stint in Montreal and for that reason Montreal has a very special place in my heart. It was like a womb and it made me whole again. I have had many phases in the six decades when I have grown because of an unannounced life circumstance, and each time I have been deeply aware and appreciative of the lessons learned. This time is no different. This path to growth and healing is an ever evolving one and only after one lesson has been learned does the next one come along. I pray I always remain open to these lessons. The path to healing continues and with each day I love myself more. 

Abundance - redefined.

One dictionary meaning of the word abundance is 'in ample quantity.' Feeling a sense of abundance is therefore a relative term. F...