Saturday, August 22, 2009

Intensely Emotional Weeks

The past two weeks have been....extraordinary. My daughter's visit brought us closer. She shared things with me she has never shared before. And that let us bond in ways we couldn't before.

Then I went to NJ and my ex reminded me yet again why I was right to divorce him. (I say that tongue in cheek but not with malice. There are some people who need to live in drama and chaos and make it seem normal. When one has a chance to step outside that circle of drama and chaos it is amazing the sense of relief one can feel. I am truly glad that he's found someone happy to live in that drama and chaos with him and who thinks he is wonderful just as he is. That's what we all deserve—someone who can love and value us just as we are.)

I gave an all day workshop and was reminded how good I am at what I do—and what a difference I can make for other writers.

I saw my son and helped him adjust a little more to his group home. And could see that he is beginning to accept that this IS his home now.

I saw old friends and I could offer comfort to a friend facing yet more serious medical news.

So much laughter, a few tears, a chance to be myself at my best. These things are priceless.

Here's hoping all of you have had good weeks, too. Sending blessings and safe and gentle ((((((hugs)))))),


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Processing and Self-Protection

Some interesting comments to my last post. I'm going to try to answer a couple of them here because I think they are important.

First, Paul mentioned self-protection. Certainly, in my last post I wasn't advocating abandoning commonsense. We need to think about choices we're making and whether or not they are wise ones. At the same time, in my own experience, when I've tried to be self-protective--out of fear of what might happen with regard to other people--I've often guessed very wrong so that what were meant to be self-protective words and/or actions ended up hurting me and/or the other person.

I've come to believe very strongly that I need to use commonsense AND risk trusting that things will be okay, that I will be able to figure out how to handle anything that comes up as long as I have used commonsense all along.

Seriously, some of the things I've done—or not done—out of a desire to protect myself have been some of the worst mistakes I've ever made. For me, to live as much as possible without acting from fear is turning out to be the safest thing I can do.

Second, Vicki asked about headaches and processing experiences. For me, here are the steps I used:

1) Imagine a beautiful safe place.
2) Imagine my child self with me in that place.
3) Ask that child self to tell me what happened and LISTEN TO THE EMOTIONS.
4) Reassure that child self that NOW she/I am safe.
5) Help the child self see it wasn't her fault—that she did the best she could.
6) Thank the child self for her part in helping me survive.
7) Imagine loving the child and then helping her learn how to play.
8) If necessary, imagine my adult self confronting the abuser(s) with them unable to speak unless I let them.
9) Imagine saying/doing anything necessary to give me closure.
10) Imagine going back and playing with that child self until I am calm and at peace and smiling.

Not sure when I'll next get a chance to post. I'll be traveling this week and next. Giving an all day writing workshop and visiting my son in his group home. That will be a challenge because my son tells me he is “causing problems, big problems.” I don't know what, if anything, I can do to help him adjust. I worry what happens next if he can't. And this will be the first time I see the house I lived in during my marriage since my ex-husband's girlfriend has moved in.'s going to be an interesting trip. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),


Saturday, August 01, 2009

How Things Are Changing

Well, some of you have asked how things are changing goes. I'll start with my dog since Kahless specifically asked about her.

When I first brought her home, Sophy was scared of a lot of things. If I left her more than an hour or two there were accidents. On New Year's Eve, she was terrified of the fireworks and sat trembling in my lap. Now? Now I can leave her for up to 6 hours. She wasn't scared on July 4th and she joyfully looks forward to each day. She still checks out limits and when we pass rabbits on our walks I know all training is going to go out of her head as she tries to get that rabbit! But now she often rolls on her back for me—without trying to grab my hand when I rub her tummy. Now she can let me out of her sight without panicking. And now I'm learning to adjust to the idea that I have a dog who can catch birds and rabbits—in my back yard! (EEEWWWWW!) She no longer clings the way she did for so long. And we have a new routine of rolling out of bed, dressing and immediately going for a walk because with the record heat we've had this summer it's too hot to go any later in the day.

But a lot of other things are changing too. Paul asked about those dynamics.

I'm being asked to step into leadership in a situation where, at the same time, I feel somewhat marginalized. That means I get to look at patterns. How does this resemble past situations? How is it different? In what way are my choices playing into problems that arise? What changes can I make?

Maybe most importantly I'm asking myself: How can I stand in a place of excitement about the changes taking place in my life rather than standing in fear? How can I make choices based on what I want rather than what I fear?

If I can do that, then everything changes. Most of the mistakes I've made in my life, the things I regret were the result of choices I made and actions I took out of fear.

When I have been able to speak and act from a place of looking at what I want, I have never regretted what I said or did—even when it didn't work out the way I expected. Those adventures I look upon with joy, able to see what I learned and gained, no matter how they turned out.

You can see why I want to make this my operating method for everything—as much as I can. So when I get scared about a new change or opportunity, I stop, take a deep breath, smile (physiologically something happens that alters the emotions) and remind myself of the above truths. That lets me step back enough to set aside my fears and look at what I want—and then choose what, if any, action I will take.

I'm going to try to post a bit sooner next time. In part that's because I'll be traveling for a week and hope to post before that trip. It will be interesting to see how I interact with my ex-husband and son this time. (As long as I'm growing and changing--and I hope I never stop!--each time I see them is different.)

Here's hoping there are good changes happening in YOUR life!

Sending blessings and safe and gentle ((((((hugs))))))),