You need to learn how to be left. Left alone. Left behind. Think about this, how would you feel if you were forced to stay in a situation, with people, in a job, in a space you felt you didn’t want to be in for whatever reason? Oh! You’ve felt that feeling before, huh? You know that suffocating, funny, detached feeling that makes you feel stuck. You feel it your body and it weighs heavy on your mind. I have to tell you this, you’re not going to like it but, sometimes you are creating that for someone else. BREATHE. Sometimes they do not love you like you love them. BREATHE. Sometimes, they don’t like you for valid reasons or simply, they just don’t. BREATHE. Sometimes, they just don’t like your energy. BREATHE.
They have their reasons and it may hurt you. It may disappoint you. It may shock you. Especially, if you feel you haven’t done anything wrong or that bad. It may make you feel bad about yourself. And let me say this, if it does make you feel bad about yourself, then reflect, observe, and analyze. Because I would not have known the things I needed to correct or heal within me if someone had not left me or distanced themselves from me! “HARSH TRUTH will wash you clean. If you allow it.”-Nicole Jackson
People have a right to be free. Even if it’s to be free from you. I have learned to take it as it is. But the greatest thing I have learned is NOT to TAKE IT SO PERSONAL that I am angry, upset, mad or carry a grudge about it. How? I think to myself and put myself in their shoes. If I have a right to change my mind, fall out of like or love, remove myself from something or someone that is not a right fit for me, then SO DO THEY. Do I cry sometimes? Yes. Do I feel bad sometimes? Yes. Has my heart been broken at times? Yes. Have I been disappointed, shocked, bewildered? Absolutely. But when the emotions subside, I have to respect their decision. I don’t have to agree with it or like it. I want them to be free because if I need to leave, I want to be free to do so.
“Thoughts that are out of alignment with your spiritual truth are toxic”- The Sacred Yes
Spring is the NEW YEAR.
You may now FEEL like doing those things you set out to do on the Gregorian calendar in December/January. You might feel more energetic, optimistic, refreshed. It took me a while to start moving along with nature and God.
I’m still learning to be attentive of the seasons and the timing of them. And leaves, flowers, vegetation, don’t just happen overnight in spring. There’s a process underneath and within. And even that process is affected by its region, environment, and weather.
Purge your space, circle, mind, body, and spirit.
Get your fresh nourishment. Get your fresh information. You’ve written the vision and now your steps are being ordered. Introduce some movement, action to the vision, dreams, goals.
On my way home from dropping my daughter off at campus Sunday, I felt my mood change. It was like that light switch. I am now familiar with it and I knew what was happening. Familiar, yes. Understand it? Not quite. I am always so frustrated when depression hits “out of the blue” or I can’t figure out what triggered it. If I know what the trigger was then I can better address it. But when I do not know, I get upset. I get angry because I don’t want to feel the way I am feeling and it takes some time for me to know if this is light depression? Moderate? Are we headed towards severe? I get anxious. I get…frustrated.
I just didn’t have the energy to figure it out Sunday evening because I was tired from the ride. I was able to make dinner and to just do the best I could to take care of myself. I showered. I did my nightly routine. I decided to just tune everything out and watch TV. I made myself comfy on the couch and called my parents and texted my daughter early to say my goodnights, etc. I thought maybe if I can just sleep when it’s time for me to go to bed, I will be okay Monday. I did not eat healthily that evening. I snacked quite a bit. Note: On my way home, I tried listening to positive things like a sermon and things that interested me on YouTube. I didn’t want to sink too low, too fast.
I woke up Monday and I was still depressed. I said to myself, “Well, this must be moderate depression. I feel like I can fix me something to eat. I don’t want to be bothered. I can still do a few things on my list that are easy for me. I don’t want to go anywhere. I don’t want to talk.” If this was severe, I would not want to do anything. This includes fixing food. Getting out of bed. I wouldn’t want to hear any noise. Go anywhere. Do anything.
It feels like strings of cans tied to my ankles and making noise every time I move. Weird. I know. The noise is the sharp criticizing negative inner dialogue that takes place during these episodes. If I drop something. “Clumsy.” If I can’t remember something, “Stupid”. Or just crazy thoughts from current, the past, “Look at you. Can’t even get dressed. No man wants to be around you if you ever get one. He can’t take this. Hell, people can’t take it.” “What the hell is wrong with you? Why was I born with these issues?” “What is wrong with my brain?” “Can’t live out your dreams like this.”
I FIRED BACK. LIES. GO TO HELL. IF HE CAN’T DEAL WITH IT, HE’S NOT THE ONE. PEOPLE ARE STUPID. I CAN NAME FRIENDS THAT UNDERSTAND. THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT DO GET IT. THOSE THAT DON’T, DON’T MATTER. I CAN ACCOMPLISH MY DREAMS AND REACH MY DESTINTY. SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE THESE ISSUES AND ARE SUCCESSFUL.
When it’s severe, it feels like a mountain on my back or like I am carrying around twice my weight. I imagine. So, instead of fighting it, I followed my normal morning routine. Well, sort of. Pray. Instead of coffee I wanted something cold. Read. Meditation. Post. I prayed some more. I called my parents so that I could see how they were doing and to let them know what was going on. I didn’t feel like being bothered unless it was urgent. I do this for two reasons: If you don’t tell the people you talk to daily, they will think something is wrong and worry if you don’t answer. Second, if I do answer and I have this mood they will take it personal because…they don’t know what is wrong.
Eat Well. I ate well for breakfast and lunch. I snacked well, too. I made myself do yoga for depression. It was restorative yoga where the poses were held longer and were to target specific areas of the body. I almost said forget it. But I stayed with the practice. I gave into it. I opened up my notebook of affirmations and I read some and then I wrote some that came to me during this depressing episode.
Even in my depression, I am loved. I deserve love. I am love.
I am worthy of love. I am still valuable. I still deserve to be happy.
Even under this dark cloud, I deserve the sunshine.
This too will pass. It’s just a moment. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning and morning can come at any time.
I will wait for morning. I don’t have to wait perfectly. But I know morning is coming. Always.
I don’t have to understand it. I don’t have to explain it. I just have to know I will be okay. God is with me. God is with me. God is with me.
Later Monday evening, I begin to feel lighter. Yes. It was lifting. I felt like talking to a friend that called earlier. I felt like going for a walk and I did.
Today I commented on a post that “As a Christian, I like learning things about the culture and traditions of the diverse people in this world” and two “Christians” took that as I agreed with the tradition and culture the author of the post was sharing. I responded back by saying quite a bit and one thing in particular was that “Reading is fundamental and so is reading comprehension.”
When I think about the first Christian’s response, I think about how slave masters and this country currently love to strip away African Americans’ (or anyone else’s for that matter) of culture, traditions, and history. I do understand why some Black/African Americans have a turned away or will not accept Christianity at all. The second Christian was her back up. Not realizing she was AMEN-ing a westernized and colonizing perspective of what it means to be Christian. God bless both of their hearts. I wonder have they ever thought about all of the Jewish and Hebrew traditions and culture in the Bible? I wonder if they think about all of the Pagen symbology and holidays made to be “safe” for Christians to observe yet, never observing all of the Holy Days? What about the traditions, patriarchy, and culture of their ancestors they hold so dearly? Probably not if they couldn’t comprehend my comment.
As I began to become really irritated by these Christians, I was reminded that my salvation does not depend on Christians, denominations or opinions.
Let’s say you are driving down a street and ahead you witness an accident. You pull over and get out of your car. You run to the scene and the first thing you do is:
A. Check to see if those involved are the same race as you
B. Check to see if they share the same religion as you
C. Check to see if they share the same political party as you
You don’t do any of those things unless you have some sort of evil embedded in you. The only thing that matters at that time is if the person is okay and if not, how can you assist. Why does it take some sort of crisis for you to not care about those things? I think you should not care about those things when it comes to REPECTING others’ beliefs and ACCEPTING others as HUMAN BEINGS created by GOD per your religion or belief system. If your belief system doesn’t teach you to cherish other human beings and their lives and to care about their overall well-being then you need to find a new religion or belief system.
I didn’t live in a diverse neighborhood but, I did have other races and religions in my neighborhood. In fact, I grew up next door to three white women who became our family. I now live in their house as the remaining sister called me up to ask me if I wanted to buy her house since I was always next door helping my parents. She now lives in her hometown where my daughter attends college. I grew up with neighbors, mostly black and maybe about 3-4 white families, Christian, Muslim, and non-religious that would tell on us or correct us if we were doing things we should not have been doing as children. We also spent the night at each other’s home and we just followed their lead as to what to do. No one required us to worship their God, choose a political party or talk about our race.
When I went out into the real world as a young adult, on my first job, I experience my first “racist and prejudice” environment working at JCPenney in the stock room. About a year ago, I saw the lady, my supervisor, that was as prejudice and racist as they came. I wanted to tell her a thing or two but I simply moved along. I can also tell you that I experience prejudice towards a disability by a black school teacher. My dad handled that situation as the school teacher was actually a neighbor. I remember being told to leave the room as my dad was on the phone with her. She was so kind to me after that. It was when I was first diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
As two black women and two white women peers through the windows of a closed business that is putting up sale signs because they are going out business, we discuss what we want and point out things. Then we stand around deciding which day we should come back and what percentage we think the clearance will start. We share tips. We don’t think about anything else. We are only concerned about shopping and bargains and the disappointment of the store leaving our area. At that moment, these are things that bond us.
As always, I don’t really care about your beliefs or nonbelief, I care that you LOVE. I care that you SHOW KINDNESS and COMPASSION and work to remove anything in you that does not allow you to do those things. These beliefs that ALL of a group of people are “this or that” way is NOT TRUE. These conversations, judgements, and lies passed down from generation to generation about a group of people need to be removed and discarded from your consciousness. The things your radical uncles or aunts told you about certain groups need to be sorted and held as opinions and not facts. YES, have discernment because there is bad and evil everywhere in every race.
I’ll never forget I had to correct an elder that was at my daughter’s birthday party over 12 years ago. She said, “Who is this little Hispanic girl? You know they love to eat up everything! It’s a shame you had to meet her mom and help her get here (I literally left the party to meet the mom because she was lost). They couldn’t speak English.” I was shocked and instantly angry. I shot back, “Listen to yourself! So, I guess black people don’t eat a lot. I guess white people don’t eat a lot either. When I go to the grocery store, I see baskets full from all races. She is my daughter’s friend and a very good one. Her mom is very sweet and brave to trust me with her daughter. We don’t talk that kind of talk in my home.” I blew a fuse! But not in front of the children and I am glad they were so far from us and having a ball they didn’t overhear us.
I can tell you that person is not the same as they were then. They have changed but it was not because of me. It was because of their walk with Christ.
John 13:34-35 New International Version
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
A mix of emotions, behaviors, and beliefs associated with strong feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth, and respect for another person.
Love can also be used to apply to non-human animals, to principles, and to religious beliefs. For example, a person might say he or she loves his or her dog, loves freedom, or loves God.
WHAT IS LOVE?
Love has been a favored topic of philosophers, poets, writers, and scientists for generations, and different people and groups have often fought about its definition.
While most people agree that love implies strong feelings of affection, there are many disagreements about its precise meaning, and one person’s “I love you” might mean something quite different than another’s.
Some possible definitions of love include:
A willingness to prioritize another’s well-being or happiness above your own.
Extreme feelings of attachment, affection, and need.
Dramatic, sudden feelings of attraction and respect.
A fleeting emotion of care, affection, and like.
A choice to commit to helping, respecting, and caring for another, such as in marriage or when having a child.
Some combination of the above emotions.
There has been much debate about whether love is a choice, is something that is permanent or fleeting, and whether the love between family members and spouses is biologically programmed or culturally indoctrinated. Love may vary from person to person and culture to culture. Each of the debates about love may be accurate at some time and someplace. For example, in some instances, love may be a choice while in others it may feel uncontrollable.
I have a habit of procrastinating when it comes to making my dreams and goals come true. Last year I did really, really good and stayed on task. I was laser focused. I was not easily distracted or deterred by the work of it. It paid off. and I like that feeling. I seem to be able to execute projects or things for others to the “T” and even plan out things for vacations. I can organize and execute. However, when it comes to my dreams and goals I seem to procrastinate. Let me tell you how therapy helped me.
Therapy helped me to see that I was afraid of success. It helped me to understand that the very goals I want to achieve are in the category of the very things I was told as a child would not make me money. Instead, I was instructed to take a safe, secure route. Now that I have the opportunity to be creative, I hesitate. I procrastinate. One book that is on my list is titled, Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Changing or getting rid of habits that keep you from reaching your goals or improving yourself is inner work. It is literally brain and mind work that extends outward in the form of actions. I have not struggled with procrastination but, I have also struggled lately more than ever with the awful habit of mindless snacking. I could literally eat the apple in the photo and turn around and eat the donut, too! I know it’s connected to something emotional but, I have yet to figure it out. Anyways, I believe that you don’t have to always or only seek professional help to help yourself. I think books are an amazing way to do inner work and to grow!
Definitely check out the link from Psychology Today about habit formation. It was very interesting! And helpful!
Have you ever read a book, other than a religious book, that helped you?
Self-compassion or compassion for yourself is an elixir to your spirit, soul, and psyche when you make a mistake or fail. Instead of judging yourself harshly, instead of being overtly self-critical, you show yourself some grace and mercy. As long as you are living you will make mistakes and you will fail (failures are just lessons and arrows pointing you in a different direction).
In my teen age years and up until about my late 30’s I was really hard on myself when I made mistakes. If I dropped something or spilled something, I would say harshly, “You’re so stupid. You can’t do or get anything right.” When I started working on the job and I was corrected for making a mistake, I took it personally. Especially, if it was delivered to me harshly. This was a constant thing with me even after a very good coworker explained to me the difference between criticism and correction. It did help but the feeling of inadequacy was still there. I was in therapy and the subject came up. Much of our negative self-talk comes from our home environment, relationships with others and our personal experiences.
If you’re being told something negative each time you mess up or if you are being harshly criticized over and over, you make a connection that you are inadequate. You may think something is wrong with you. Now imagine if you accept that and from there on out when you make a mistake you start to beat yourself up without anyone’s help. Your parents’ voice, your teacher’s voice, your boss’s voice, your partner’s voice becomes your voice. It becomes part of your inner dialogue.
But once I began to correct myself with something as simple as spilling coffee, “You’re not stupid. It’s okay to spill something. As long as you are living you will spill something. Everyone does. It’s okay.” I felt better about myself. I must have inherently known to NOT say things to my daughter like, “You’re stupid or dumb” when she made mistakes or harshly criticize her for making mistakes. Even when I was upset at what she did, I knew better than to ingrain those words into her psyche. I would say, “It’s okay to lose a board game. It’s okay we can clean it up. Next time, ask for help. It’s okay if you didn’t score a100 but you scored a 98 (She went through a period of crying at school when she didn’t make a 100!)” It’s strange how I never made the connection to do that for myself until later on in life. Well, arriving is better than never arriving at all. I still correct myself to this very day when I make mistakes!
When you make a mistake, the worst thing you can do is criticize yourself. It is self-compassion that gives us the POWER to face our mistakes and to come out on top! PRACTICE SELF COMPASSION AND IMPROVE. RISE ABOVE IT. CORRECT OR RE-ADJUST. TAKE A BREAK AND COME BACK TO IT. SELF COMPASSION! And if you really want to elevate your being and brighten your inner light, have some compassion instead of criticism for others when they genuinely make a mistake.
At its core, inner work is the process of getting to know yourself. It’s a form of introspective self-care where you can help yourself let go of harmful attachments, habits, people, and thoughts. -brainmd.com
The most important relationship you can have is the one you have with yourself. It determines how you treat yourself, how you treat others, and how you allow others to treat you. I did some research and along with my personal experience, came up with some signs you may need to work on yourself. I’ll say after reading some of this I can tell you that WE ALL probably need to do some inner work.
Inner work can be scary and daunting because it requires you to take an honest look at yourself. When was the last time you were honest with yourself about yourself and NOT blamed others or came up with excuses for your behavior or thoughts? You can’t control others but you can learn to control your responses. And even after you become aware or honest, what do you do about it? Shrug your shoulders? Apologize over and over and secretly say to yourself, “Why do I keep doing that?” Maybe it’s not your behavior that’s an indication that you need help or to work on yourself. Maybe it’s your obsessive worrying that is anxiety. Maybe it’s your mood swings you can’t explain but expect everyone around you to just deal with it or get used to it.
You think negatively or have a negative view about yourself/other people, gender, cultures, etc
You suffer from anxiety and depression
You’ve had a traumatic change in your health
You’re going through or have been through a rough patch in your life
Your childhood was not the best and deep down you suspect it has impacted your thinking. other relationships and your behavior
You don’t treat yourself with respect and/or you don’t treat others with respect
You are in an unhealthy relationship
You allow people to take advantage of you
You have unreasonable expectations of yourself and others
You are unhappy with your life
You are a habitual giver and you give more than you can afford or have to give. This includes time.
There is a persistent feeling of emptiness, unfulfillment, or failure
You have anger issues
These are just a few examples. Have you ever read a book, talked to a spiritual leader, or therapist because you knew you needed to do some inner work? If you don’t mind sharing, what were some of your signs?