I am human

On my “About” page on this site is this sentence: “My deepest desire is to inspire others to live a life that is free, open and enjoyable, rather than living a life that feels controlled, constricted or over-managed.”

This comes directly from my human experience.  For a very long time, I felt as if I was living a life that was controlled, constricted and over-managed. For years, I was medicated to get through it all. At one time, I was taking many antidepressants while being treated by a therapist and a psychiatrist. Now, I know that this isn’t everyone’s experience. I DO know, it was mine.

I AM human…and I wish to be real, authentic and honest. I cannot offer wisdom, thoughtful writing or comment, without being authentic. And…I have my days, too. I have to remind myself that I am in this world…I am not of it.

It was only a few years ago that I was a highly functioning (federal) executive, and wife and mother to two sons and a step-son. Life brought its joyful moments, and they were few and far between (from my perspective only). I have always taken life very seriously and worked hard to hide, as much as possible, my deep suffering. Some thought they knew it well, others may have seen glimpses. I knew it ALL.

I awoke this morning feeling very tired, even though I slept reasonably well last night. I meditated, knowing that time spent in quiet listening would support a “re-start” to my day. Well…not so much. I realized about mid-morning, that I was feeling a deep sadness. I did not feel fear, although I suppose some would say there is a lot to fear in the current milieu. This was clearly sadness. I just couldn’t wrap my head around all of what is happening in our world today. In fact, the only word that came to mind was “unconscionable.” So many things simply do not add up or make any sense.

As an empath, I often find it challenging to know whether what I am feeling are my feelings or the feelings of others. I am highly sensitive and find that retreating from a lot of what we are all exposed to daily, is essential to maintaining my health and well-being. So today was a banner day for those feelings that I couldn’t reconcile or otherwise understand.

I have always found the beach to be a healing place. It is a place where I can be still, listen and find quiet calm within while in the presence of a very powerful and beautiful force of nature. I went there today, seeking that peace, solace and calm.

Ocean Isle Beach, NC, on a quiet day last month.

The lovely space I met just a week or two ago was nowhere to be found. There were lots of people. The sun was bright, the breezes light and the noise level higher than I had experienced in many months. In all its beauty, the noise and relatively small crowds were just too much. I lasted about an hour. I am happy to see that so many people love and enjoy the beach so much that a beautiful day like this one wasn’t to be missed!

I didn’t leave with anger, frustration or anything like that. I simply honored the fact that the space is for everyone…and just not for me today. The short drive home provided time to reflect. I spent some of that time looking at the sadness and seeking to understand what was at its core.  And even this experience had something for me. Finding the salve for my wounds and hurting places within is changing…and likely for good reason. I am grateful for the ocean, the sand, and the noise of people enjoying it all today as well.

As I reflected, I came to see more clearly what was contained in the sadness. What I feel pervades nearly everything. Our planet – everything living thing on it, people, animals; our safety, access to health care, clean water and food; those whose homes have been demolished, and who have nothing left. They’ve lost loved ones, a lifetime of memories and joyful experiences. It all is so hard to feel some days. Today has been one of those.

I know that many have struggled with the changes that we are all facing. I have found it to be more or less challenging as well. I do know that we are resilient. We are individually powerful and deeply loving, compassionate people. I feel that we will navigate these very choppy waters with all of the love that is within us. We will find a way forward that loves, honors and respects each other, regardless of our differences. In fact, we will begin to appreciate and see the gifts in those differences, for everyone has something to offer.

When I got home, I found this quote:

Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing.

-Eckhart Tolle

Surrender…yes, there it is again. “Becoming comfortable with not knowing,” creates space for more love and healing to enter.

We are not weak, we are sensitive.

We are not lost, we are wounded.

We are not troublemakers, we seek only to be seen, and heard.

We are human.

May we all surrender to love. May we all pray for healing and in so doing, envision ourselves holding hands while we navigate these times together.

Imagine peace.

☮️​

 

 

Resources:

Highly Sensitive Persons: Dr. Elaine Aron; http://hsperson.com  Think you might be? Take the self test here.

Empaths: Dr. Judith Orloff; http://www.drjudithorloff.com/empath-support-community  Here are some quizzes that you might find useful.

Meditation: 21-Day Meditation Experience (underway now); Hope in Uncertain Times 

 

just for today…walk

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Walking is something that we do, unconsciously every day.  We walk from here to there…for a purpose. Our minds are engaged in any number of things when we are walking. Rarely do we walk, more slowly, with intention.

Walking with intention, we slow down and see what is around us. We begin to relax as we surround ourselves in nature. Perhaps nature is more difficult to engage living in a cityscape. Find a local park. Just get back to YOUR nature by being in and with the nature of Mother Earth. Here you return to yourself; here you return to your true nature. 

Walking with intention, in nature, we listen. We hear the intuitive wisdom of our souls. We lead our lives with intention when we listen to and heed the guiding messages of our hearts.

Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.

Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.

Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.

Thich Nhat Hanh

From “Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh,” Parallax Press, Berkeley, California, 1999, p. 194

 

 

Just for today…walk, with intention.

Then tomorrow, walk again. Let this become a habit so that it becomes your practice.

 

When you look at the sun during your walking meditation, the mindfulness of the body helps you to see that the sun is in you; without the sun there is no life at all and suddenly you get in touch with the sun in a different way.

 — Thich Nhat Hanh

upon reflection

A look in the mirror reveals so very much. We choose to look or not. If our choice is to not look, gazing into our own eyes may reveal our perspective on a deeper darkness that we prefer not to see. Often, we have a look and begin to judge what we see – eyes, wrinkles, imperfect skin, graying hair; all of the things society tells us that isn’t right about us. There is great power in looking – deeply looking –  at who we are, beyond the surface which reflects back our self-judgments (grounded in our beliefs). Rather, gazing with gratitude for the beauty of the soul within can bring an appreciation for Life and the miracle of our presence here, now.

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As we are nearing the end of another calendar year, many turn to this time as a period of reflection to begin to discern the blessings and lessons of the previous year.

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There are many “out there” who are reporting on all of the “good and bad” of the year’s events. And yes, many of those world and national events are definitely worth considering in our reflective moments. Our challenge, and the greatest gift to be realized, is contained in reflecting upon our individual experiences – which may include our perceptions of those events.

Truth is relative, as we each perceive our own truth through the filters of both our beliefs and our many life experiences. Realizing that such filters exist is the beginning step in realizing that others may see the same event very differently. Perhaps more importantly, no one is seeing it rightly or wrongly.

The beautiful images continued in this post show us very different reflections of what is above the water. Some are clear, others somewhat distorted. All have natural light – some brighter, some darker. Isn’t this also true about the many ways in which we and others perceive our life experiences, the many events – beautiful and tragic – that occur in our world every day?

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Upon reflection, we see. Upon reflection, we hear. Upon reflection, we discern the lessons and blessings of a day, a week, a month, a year…or a lifetime. Upon reflection, we come to know that truth as discerned by humans is relative. We know from nature that what is real is visible there.

You know all of this. It is intrinsic. You need only find your way back to the truth of who you are as a spiritual being…in this human experience.

How will you choose to create time and space for reflection? Today, tomorrow, every day?