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Posts Tagged ‘health’

I’ve had a horrible few days because my parrot, aged 17 years, suddenly developed an infection which stopped her from eating, where she was sleeping most of the time.  I knew that quick intervention is essential with sick birds. When I took her to the vet, I was told ‘She’s very poorly’, ‘It’s touch and go whether she’ll make it’ etc. Meaning I had to leave her at the vets so she could receive treatment, not knowing whether I would ever see her again!

Knowing there was the possibility that I might lose my little friend, my heart started to prepare itself for the inevitable, and my mind started the weighing up, pros and cons process, that happens when we enter such a crisis event! ‘She’s only a bird’ I’d say to myself, ‘nothing lives forever, you know that!’.  Then I’d think ‘Maybe it won’t be so bad when she’s gone, I won’t miss her that much!’.  My mind began yo-yoing, racing as I struggled to contain the terror I’d started to feel, but struggled against, knowing that my ‘baby’ may not come back to me!

I’ve slept badly during the last couple of nights, trying not to worry about what might happen.  I have remained calm, but inside I’ve been standing on the edge of a deep precipice, waiting.  Waiting for the news that will push me, albeit reluctantly, over the edge into the deep chasm of pain, that grief bestows upon us!

I’ve phoned the vet a couple of times each day for progress reports.  They said she’s very old for a captive parrot (I didn’t think that), she’s still not eating, she’s losing weight.  They were tube feeding and she’s on antibiotics for the infection.  This morning they said she was a little brighter, but they want to keep her in until Monday to make sure she’s eating again.  I suggested they try giving her favourite food, digestive biscuit with tea.  This afternoon they rang me and said as she’s eating (she ate the biscuit) she can come home, as long as I continue medicating etc.  So now, thank God, she’s home, back in her cage.  And although she’s not her normal self, she has eaten a couple of times already!  Hopefully, when I take her back to the vet next week she will be fully recovered!

Did you know that you can taste and smell fear?  It feels sort of warm in the head and upper body, and has a sweet sickly taste and smell, caused by the mixture of different chemicals that are evoked once we enter into fear and panic mode! That’s how I’m feeling at the moment, even though my parrot is back home!

I guess it’s caused by that terrible feeling of expecting ’The Worst’ to happen, where there’s little hope of a positive outcome!  I’ve found myself feeling irritated this afternoon, not just because the vet painted such a negative picture. But because this has happened to me a few times now, where it’s almost as though the professional, who we have to trust with the lives of ourselves and loved ones, causes our distress, because of their negative prognosis!

Nearly thirty years ago my mother had ovarian cancer, that had spread.  The doctors were very convincing when they told me she would not live any longer than 6 – 9 months.  The whole family went into grief mode, whilst trying to remain buoyant for mum.  By some miracle mum survived!  She’s now 85 years old!

Four years ago whilst in hospital for acute stomach pain, she was again rushed into surgery with a ruptured bowel and bladder.  It was a long operation, and the doctors said they did not expect her to live!  Her age, poor health, and seriousness of her condition meant there was little hope of survival, so we should prepare ourselves for the worst!  We, the family, had been here before.  But now it looked like it was time for mum to leave us!  Three months later she came home!  Obviously there was intensive care, lots of pain etc.  But she survived!

Last October my step-father fell and broke his neck!  It was unbearable to see him in intensive care, paralysed, unable to breathe on his own. The doctors told us that if he did survive, he would probably be totally paralysed. So, whilst we were doing our best to console and reassure him, we entered into the grief mode of preparing ourselves for the worst!  Nearly a year later, most of this time in hospital, he is walking, breathing, and although he has to be monitored for his breathing, and has reduced use of his right hand, he is still alive and kicking!

I guess the point I’m trying to make, is that in any crisis situation it’s important to retain a sense of hope, in order to help us cope with what we are facing!  But doctors seem to deliberately take away our hope, when they predict the worst scenario for their patient.  I know they have to be realistic, and want us to be also, but I wonder why they paint such a dismal picture in this sort of situation!  Maybe it’s part of the emotional preparation just in case things do go wrong! Maybe they say what they do, because they don’t want to get sued for giving misleading information!  Who knows!

Of course there are cases where they are correct, which I’m also familiar with, when my dear brother-in-law died at the age of 39 from cancer.  He was given the bad news by his doctors that he had only a few weeks to live, only this time, sadly, they were right!

So, the prospect of losing my pet parrot has opened up a huge ‘kettle of worms’ associated to grief, loss and attachment, that I’ve now got to process!  And I have to find a way to calm down the adrenalin that’s been pumping so hard for the last few days!  I hate the grief process.  It hurts so much on every level doesn’t it!  But we can’t avoid it, as all life is temporary and transitional – even our own!

However, what I have learned through all of these trials is that there is no guarantee when it comes to death and survival!  The doctors can tell us there’s no hope! But you know what, our spirit, our soul, our body is strong!  And although there will be a time when we won’t survive, nobody can really say when that time will be!

I am so grateful that things have worked out positively for me and my loved ones (some of the time). But we can’t live without hope!  It’s the thing that keeps us coming back again when we fall, trying over and over to change our lives, to make things better, to will our loved ones to get well!  And although we may be anxious, hope prevents depression. Without hope there would be no trust!  Without hope and trust we would be living in dark despair! A place I don’t want to visit unless I really have to!

So please doctors, when you are giving us ‘The News’, is there any way you can allow just a little leeway, for our hope and trust to generate the miracles of healing, that only the universe can provide for us?

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So many blogs I’m reading are about the writer sharing their painful experiences.  Where readers comment and share their own experiences, and offer support for the author.  It appears that resonance enables each of us to appreciate each others’ suffering!

So when I posted my last blog I decided to do more sharing, which hopefully would help others in similar predicaments. But when I think about sharing some of my painful experiences through my blog, I freeze inside, my breathing gets faster, I feel panic start to rise in my body and mind! So whilst I can share what’s in my heart relatively easily, I find it very difficult to disclose or share the experiences in my life that have hurt me most!

I suppose that’s how it’s always been for me!  And I wonder if things will ever be different, for at age 64 some of my tendencies are well and truly ingrained!  However, because of my reaction to the sharing prompt, I owe it to myself to take a closer look as to what impedes my ability to communicate my pain to others. So that’s what I’ve been doing over the last few days!

But as I searched through my memories of how I never wanted to ‘make a fuss’ or cause problems for my over-worked mother, other memories and emotions surfaced, creating a whirlpool in my mind of incessant chattering thoughts, that have made me feel crap! Because as the thoughts rise and I question, analyse, cancel them out, or simply acknowledge them, they increase!  The chatter gets louder and stronger, and I feel tired and worn out from struggling to stay in control of my mind, and the stimulus to my emotions.

I feel worried that I recognise the pressure in my ears and the tightness and tingling at the top of my head! I know my blood pressure has risen because my heart beats faster, my breathing is more shallow, where the physical symptoms of stress are causing more fearful thoughts, such as ‘Am I going to have a heart attack or stroke?’.

This is a deep fear I’ve had since watching a woman die of heart attack on television when I was five.  I’d woken from a nightmare, got up and went into the dimly lit living room where my parents were watching a film on our newly acquired television (before that we only had radio). I ran and sat on my father’s lap (I was a daddy’s girl)and as I nestled my head on his chest, I watched the screen and saw a woman running along a beach, breathing hard, clutching her chest. Her young daughter had just died!  Her heart beat loudly… b.bang – b.bang – b.bang! Suddenly the beating got faster, then more erratic.  Then, as she dropped down onto the sand, the beating stopped and there was a loud silence!

I can’t remember the name of the film, but can remember the impact of that short scene, on a television screen that looked very real to a five-year old child, who’d already felt frightened by her nightmare!  Since then I started to monitor my heartbeat.  Is it too fast, too slow, is it going to stop!  And yes, I have worked on this issue, it has improved a great deal, but the remnants are still there!

I wonder if I’m going insane as I know the irritating voices are mine, the arguments  are mine! And it’s my thoughts that are causing my distress. It scares me that I’m visiting old territory of past torment, that I’ve tried so hard to escape from! Torment that is like a volcano preparing to erupt, as the pressure in my mind makes me feel like I’m getting ready to explode, scream or whatever!

However, I’ve learned that even though this storm is in my head, I can still think!  I can still take positive action other than getting carried along to the explosion point of uncontrollable action!  And this calms me down!  As I remind myself of what I know, I breath deeply as I tell myself….’I am C.A.L.M, my mind is C.A.L.M., my body is C.A.L.M.’  I allow myself to feel the calmness drizzle through my muscles. I take a few more calming breaths and feel the tension in my head reduce slightly.  This gives me the confidence to do some more calming statements, before using EFT tapping to sort out the residual issues!

And even though I’ve been feeling bad for a few days, no-one else knows!  Why?  Because I haven’t told them!  Ah ha – pattern apparent!  Why didn’t I tell?  Well for a start everyone has got their own problems to deal with, so why would they want mine!  If I did tell hubby how I was feeling he wouldn’t have a clue about how to help me, or make me feel better (communication isn’t his thing!).  And what’s the point of telling anyone how I feel if no-one can do anything about my problems?  So, I persist in trying to work them out in my head!  I repeat this pattern time after time, and this is why!!

I know how it feels, when intrusive thoughts fill your head until it feels like it’s going to explode.  Where the cycle of fear goes round and round in your mind, because no consolation or answers can be found.  Where there’s little sleep, because nightmares haunt your mind, even during the night! And where you wonder if you will survive this episode, or if your mind will ever think differently!

And even if you did want to share your dilemma, you don’t know how to start, or what to say, or even how to convey the intensity of what you are thinking and feeling!  Who would understand you, who would know how to best help you, who would know how to make you feel better?  And are your problems real, are they valid and worthy to cause such distress, or is your pain being caused by you because you’re over-reacting, making a mountain out of a molehill, making a fuss about nothing!

I’ve lived with mental anguish most of my life, and thankfully survived the conflicts my mind has caused.  I honestly don’t know if that will ever change. However, I tend to try to live day by day now, and whereas each day was a bad day, for a long, long time, there are many better or even good days now, where life becomes precious once again! Until the next temporary depressive episode that is!

So when we face our darkest moments, even if there is one dominant, destructive voice we hear all the time, that tells us to do bad things, we have to remember that we have many voices in our head!  And if we look and listen for it, we may find the voice of intuitive reason, that tells us we are strong, the world is a safe place, we are worthy, and that we will find the happiness we seek once we start to take more positive action.

When we’re caught up in our turmoil, it’s hard to steady ourselves if we just focus on the problems of how we think, feel and our negative experiences. But when we have problems sharing our worrying thoughts, our pain creates a bubble of mental and emotional turbulence, that can negatively affect us on every level of our being.  When we feel overwhelmed by ourselves, life stand still!  We can get stuck, going deeper and deeper into the pit of despair (as per one of my previous blogs).  And if you can’t help yourself to find a way out of the darkness, you owe it to yourself to find someone who can help you do what you can’t!

There are very few people I am willing to trust with my deepest, most painful memories, meaning I’ve had to learn how to cope with my distress alone, learn how to tolerate who I am, learn to recognise the warning signs that indicate I am not safe to look after me! Yet because of this way of coping, I have become extremely resourceful!

I used to pray for peace of mind, as though there was some sort of miracle that could immediately take away all the worries pounding my mind!.  I know now that my mind is like a computer…if you try running too many programmes at once, it will crash!  So I monitor myself, to try to catch myself before I get too low.  And remember that even in our darkest moments we can learn from our experience.  As when we focus on that new learning, which is what we need to do differently in the future, we cut ourselves off from having to experience the pain of our past!

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Because spiritual influences are helping our soul evolve beyond our reactive ego personality, by encouraging us to identify, clarify, develop and live by authentic truth, we will find it harder to be consoled by our addictions and negative habits.  They won’t bring us so much satisfaction, so eventually we will get tired of being disappointed by them and seek other ways of coping with our inner stirrings. Meaning that if we make the effort to work constructively with our fear, by not making ourselves even more afraid as we deal with changes in our lives, we can break free of old habits that have kept us trapped within fear filled limitations.

And although this process can feel distressing, because we are letting go of our comforters, we have to remember it’s a positive process that’s designed energetically to set us free from our negative self, that imposes restrictions to our growth and happiness.

I hurt when I see so many people, young and old, struggling to cope with the constant bombardment of challenges being imposed upon us all. There was a time not so long ago, when we could identify with those whose life was working well.  We could console our fears by saying ‘If they can do that then so can I’.  Our young people could witness success and aspire themselves toward it. But it’s much harder to find normal people(if there are such entities any more) whose life is working well. In fact it’s becoming increasingly harder to find anyone who hasn’t got some form of struggle going on at the moment.  Meaning it’s going to feel more difficult to feel optimistic and okay about life in general, and our mood may become less buoyant!

I’m not naive enough to believe that EVERYONE is in turmoil at the moment. As I know problems are being caused by an energetic  shift, that means wealth is being redistributed away from the majority, who as a consequence struggle with financial problems and health issues caused by an overload of stress, and passed onto the minority whose lives are becoming increasingly prosperous, successful and fulfilling.  But there is money out there, enough for everyone.  So why is there such an increasing and overwhelming lack in our lives, when others have so much more than us – more than they could possibly need?  What is the purpose for this?

Well they say money goes to money, and I believe that’s true!  As there’s an energy link to money, that if connected to, will attract more money.  The problem is that fear interferes with this abundance link.  So the poorer we get, the more afraid we become, and the more we get separated from our ability to generate more money!  So, even if we are terrified of losing what we’ve got because we’ve not got enough money coming into our lives, we can, and must still have confidence in our ability to connect to the energy of financial abundance.

This means instead of focussing on what we haven’t got, which makes us more anxious, we use affirming statements such as….’I am now willing to allow money to enter my life from all sources’ or  ‘I now release the need to suffer from poverty and accept the abundance of money that is rightfully mine to receive’.  One of the most effective ways to connect to abundance energy, or disconnect from our restraining mind-sets, is to use EFT.  There are loads of scripts already out there if you Google or go to You Tube.

The main thing is not to let fear stop us from creating a better way of life for ourselves.  But if we focus on fear, we will become more afraid!  So, remember, even if you’re afraid of whatever, you can still be strong, creative and successful!

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Being a spiritual counsellor, I’m no stranger to sharing emotional and mental pain, disturbance and confusion.  And my guides have often told me ‘Write about your pain as it will help many people’. Yet I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to ‘Bare my soul’ to the world, in order to promote myself and my talents!  I like to think this is because I’ve spent years doing loads of self-development and healing work, meaning there’s not a lot of pain left to share.  And to a point that’s true!

Reading about other people’s experiences can often help us cope with our own. But I struggle to dredge-up old issues to share, as I’ve no desire whatsoever, to relive or revitalise the terrible emotional pain I’ve struggled with for so long, and tried so hard to cope with, forget, ignore, heal and release!  And to be honest, there’s already so much anguish and negative energy out there, the last thing I want to do is add to it when I don’t really need to!  However, the past is our teacher.  So we should remember what we’ve learned from it, otherwise we can forget, and before we know it return to past! This how we repeat negative cycles!

But the crux is, that whilst we focus on healing pain of the past, we also have to deal with current and future crisis points in a different way. By breaking old reactive patterns that we’ve built our life and personality upon, but which impair our progress.  So whilst my intention is to help other people overcome obstacles in their life, if I’ve got a problem spreading my ‘helpful’ truths, then I need to know what’s going on inside my head and my heart, that is stopping me from doing just that?  My personality conflict is stopping my progress and I need to know why!

Just like everyone else I feel confused about why our lives are changing so dramatically, and anxiously wonder where these challenges will eventually lead us. Can things get any worse, will they ever get better? I face struggle daily, as I strive to overcome my tendencies to analyse, plan, control and over-react to my experiences. I feel sad about opportunities I’ve missed or avoided in the past.  If I’d accepted more challenges, my life may have been more fulfilled than it is today. I know I’ve caused myself numerous problems.  Not intentionally of course, as why would I want to hurt me? Yet I know now, that me, you, unconsciously create unnecessary pain in our lives every day, in various ways. I’ve got over my egotistical drama-queen need to ‘Cry over spilt milk’.  But I still have to remind myself to acknowledge my inner stuff.  Otherwise I’m likely to ignore or deflect it, as I used to a long time ago!

As our problems increase, we’re all having to learn to cope with new levels of stress, that maybe we’ve not felt before.  Our emotions are more intense, our thoughts more self-destructive, panicky, reactive, chaotic.  This means that not only are we facing additional problems in our world, we are also facing parts of us we may never have met before and therefore don’t know how to handle or control! Thus, whilst we may think we feel bad because of our lack of influence over external problems, when we take a closer look at what’s going on, it might be apparent that the real problem is the way we are not coping with our internal stuff. And this we CAN do something about!

We could sit forever and blame this or that for our bad feelings and lack of success.  But it wouldn’t help resolve our anger, rage, fear, and disillusionment about the disappointments in our life!  Nor will it change what is happening to us!  I believe that challenges are not meant to prove how weak we are, but are intended to show us our innate strengths.  So if we look at the bigger picture of who we are, we’d remember there are times when we just have to go with the flow for a while.  To gain a clearer, overall, perspective of the situation, and establish a clear route forward that will lead us to where we need to be.

Much of my pain nowadays is caused by witnessing others’ dilemmas, when I know in my heart that I can probably help them!  And as a consequence I’m left with a pain that cannot be consoled.  I can’t mend broken or sick bodies – I only wish I could!  However, as a therapist I can help repair broken hearts, minds and emotions.  I can help console neglected souls. If only I’d let my ‘Healing Self’ be seen by the world!  For a long time I’d blame my lack of helping on not knowing HOW to help.  But I got fed-up whining ‘I don’t know how to help’ and lost patience with myself, bringing my professional life to a halt!  For Gods sake, I’m a bloody therapist.  And a competent one at that!  So what was the problem!

This last couple of years I’ve had many ideas flit through my mind, that could lead me into different areas of helping others.  But I’ve refused to allow my mind to focus on any action that would take me out into the world. As when I did, I freaked out inside.  And whilst I strive to practice what I preach as a counsellor, the harder I tried to push and navigate myself through my fear, the more intense my fear became! So eventually, after years of struggling with me, I gave up trying to be the inspirational force that motivated the belief that anything is possible, once you set your intentions clearly enough! I gave up on my desire to help others.  Instead I just sort of got carried along coping with events in my life.

I decided that maybe I wasn’t meant to be a therapist.  As how could I inspire anyone if I couldn’t make myself braver and thinner?  I knew I’d helped many people in the past, but what was the point of all my training and personal development if I couldn’t help now!  Maybe I was just deluding myself into believing I was more proficient than I really was!  Maybe I’d bitten off more than I could chew, as the saying goes! But letting myself off the hook this way didn’t help me feel better about me, my work or my life. As withdrawing my commitment to helping others simply confirmed my lack of professional competence.  As in my mind, if I was good enough I’d be out there working wouldn’t I?  So this avoidance strategy wasn’t working, meaning I had to change my mind and look at me again!

All problems are multi-layered, and it wasn’t until recently, whilst using Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping), that I realised that whilst I’d been beating myself up because I couldn’t maintain my focus for self-expansion, lack of focus wasn’t the problem! As the basic fact is, I can’t help anyone until I stop hiding myself away!

At that moment  I recognised that hiding myself away was the real problem!  The one that caused my need for addictive compensation, the one that stifled my personality growth.  The one that I’ve striven to heal, avoid, ignore, confront.  And here it is again, right back where it’s always been – in my face, mind and heart. Blocking me from doing anything different, going anywhere new, or following up new creative ideas that could lead to personal success!

During the last few weeks I’ve felt my tension and blood pressure rising, my adrenalin pumping as my energy was becoming more agitated.  My thoughts more self-critical, as I felt my confidence draining away like melting ice. Despairingly, I knew I’d reached the ‘stuck’ position I’ve been in many times before.  I know how I get there, I can feel the slide!  The problem is I’m not always able to correct my slippery slope once I’m on it, so down I go.  Into the pit of despair once more!

I’d been trying to physically work off my excess energy, mentally and emotionally reluctant to keep exploring old territory.  As I bombarded myself with failure messages I didn’t even want to think about my life, as my past efforts seemed so futile! I didn’t want to talk about it either, but when chatting to a friend on the phone a few days ago, who was aware of my plight, she said something that jolted me back into action!  She simply said, frustratingly, ‘Chrissie, why can’t you just go in (to my higher self) and sort it out once and for all.  Just like you do for other people?’.

She knows people I’ve helped, including her.  She knows my skills as a spiritual counsellor.  She knows how hard I would search to find a way to help others into awareness. And she couldn’t understand why I wasn’t using those skills on me – to find the truth of my dilemma – the one that was holding me back!  I wanted to be flippant, but I knew she was right.  There is no way I would tell a client ‘You can’t do anything about your self-destructive nature, that’s causing you to miss out on so many good things in life’.  So why was I still saying it to me? And worst of all, why wasn’t I still challenging it?

I made myself sit down and started to explore my situation using EFT, which by the way is my all-time favourite self-help energy therapy. My starting point was not my lack of ability to focus on where, what and how to proceed into the future, which it had been before.  But was now directed at my need to hide away.  My opening statement was simple…’Even though I have the need to hide myself away, I totally love and accept myself’.

As I tapped on the EFT tapping points, saying the reminder phrase…’Hiding myself away’, other images and thoughts began to rise, which is why this therapy works so well to make our issues clearer.  Giving deeper insight into why the problem was there.  And as usual when I work with EFT, it wasn’t too long before I got the ‘aha moment’ that is so reassuring.  As it confirms the why’s and wherefores that allow full understanding of the problem!

My thoughts took me back to childhood, which is normal when searching for problem resolution.  I know that during childhood, the only way to protect myself from the bully who beat me up whenever he saw me, was to avoid him at all costs. But as he lived in the flat below, that was virtually impossible.  Meaning I got regular beatings at least a couple of times a week. I’ve covered this many times therapeutically, and realise how I’ve used my overweight to protect myself.  I’ve done lots of healing on the issues of overweight and bullying, but they still persist in my life. So I know from experience that if something repeats this often, I’m not healing it in the way that it needs!

But I didn’t want to stay in childhood, as I needed to go deeper into my personality to resolve this long-standing issue.  So I continued tapping, changing my statements as necessary, until suddenly and fleetingly I saw the scene which demonstrated the conflict within my personality!  I saw the fat me and the thin me, in childish form, facing each other, fighting, pushing each other away,  just like two sumo wrestlers.

The fat me was trying to keep me protected, as she knew the outside world was a dangerous place.  ‘If others see you, see how clever, special, pretty, successful you are, they will hurt you in some way’.  The thin me knew I’d worked so hard to learn what I know.  She wanted me to be successful and reap the benefits of using my skills in the way I’d chosen. But the fat me was standing in her way.  She was trying to push her away, but the harder she pushed, the harder the fat me responded!  Where as each gained ground, I felt their compelling influences which led me to overeat, to stay fat and safe.  Or temporarily motivated to take action to promote my work.

Both aspects of my personality were trying to help me, but in different ways.  One wanted to keep me where I was, whilst the other wanted me to move forward.  A classic case of cognitive dissonance, which is defined within psychology as….’An emotional state set up when two simultaneously held attitudes are inconsistent, or where there is conflict between belief and overt behaviour’.  Mentally I wanted to be seen to be successful and out there working.  Emotionally I wanted to keep hidden in case I got hurt, ridiculed etc.

So there it was.  The reason why I was stuck! So now I have to work with both aspects.  The fat me, to reassure her that now I’m adult I can look after myself!  The thin me, to encourage her to believe she’s good enough to achieve her success goals. I’ve been working to create a resolution between me, and the opposing parts of my personality that have caused me so many problems for most of my life! So this issue will take a bit longer to be resolved.  That’s okay.  As now I know and understand what’s really been happening within my mind and emotions, I can become actively involved in creating the resolution.  Great eh!

I knew about internal conflict.  Of course I did.  I’ve spent years learning how to recognise and deal with it!  But when we visualise conflict through our mind, and see the truth of what is really going on at core personality level, it is a valuable breakthrough that can change our life forever!

If you are facing internal conflict, instead of focussing on the problem, identify which two parts of your personality are at odds with each other, and understand why.  You will stand a much better chance of finding resolution.

Then you, as the controller, can step in and take control, and choose your next course of action that feels right for you and the situation.

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Following my previous post   ‘If It Wasn’t For This Confusion!’, I’ve recognised that whilst struggling to identify where I should be going and how I can earn money to pay bills, I’ve also identified  how much time I’m spending fighting myself versus others.  Because whilst I yearn to do something for me or my cause, other commitments that involve vulnerable family members, take me away from focussing on what I would like to be doing. Where my time, energy and attention is prioritised upon their needs, not mine!

But when I look back at my life, I see that’s how it’s always been!  As there’s always something or someone more important than me that merits my time and attention, regardless of whether it’s completing a task for the house, other people, work, whatever!  So whilst I’ve attended to my survival needs, including self-medicating on addictions to cope with my stress, my creative needs have been given little opportunity to manifest in the past, because they’ve not been recognised as priority by myself or others!  How sad is that! And the worrying thing is I’m still doing it, still following the same pattern of self-exclusion!

As a counselling therapist, I’m strongly in favour of accepting responsibility for ‘Self-Accountability’, as that promotes feelings of power and control over ourself.  So analysing myself has become part of my daily routine, as it helps me stay on top of ego prompts that try to mislead me.  It doesn’t worry me that I see my faults, as if I don’t see them how can I correct them?  Also, if I strive to ignore faults in my personality that hide the ‘real me’, then how will I ever find the courageous  and wise personality that will lead me to become all I was destined to be?

However, I’ve had to take a closer look at what I’m doing at the moment.  As I know I’m getting older and the time is getting closer when I must make changes to access the potential of my soul, so that I can fulfil my life purpose. But though I’ve got internal prompts that push me toward focussing on my direction, I find it so difficult to pull myself away, or split myself into even smaller pieces, when people I love need a high level of support at the moment.

Self-awareness is a magnificent tool for self-development, as long as we remain centred and objective, and don’t creep into the ego, which compels us to start viewing ourselves from a negative position of good, bad, right or wrong – which can lead to self-destructive tendencies.  So because I feel so much internal conflict inside of me, I know I’ve been missing something, a way of thinking I need to correct.

We all have responsibilities we have to attend to, that take our time and energy.  Meaning some things we enjoy doing, such as hobbies, have to somehow squeeze in-between other commitments.   But I’m sure there are others like me, whose life seems dominated by outside commitments, where at times, in fact most of the time, there is little time or energy left to do what we want.

When we have a soul desire, we often fail to prioritise it because the feelings it evokes, as we envisage the outcome, brings us pleasure, satisfaction and fulfilment.  We’re more likely to attend to things that create anxious or fearful feelings to rise, in order to stop our pain.  But just like other impulses, when we ignore or resist soul-drives, they get stronger and more persistent until we acknowledge them, and take necessary actions to accommodate or heal them. So where does that leave me, and how do I determine the best, most appropriate route for prioritising my time, effort and energy?

Some of you are aware that my mums partner Ron, aged 76, broke his neck in October last year.  And although we’ve almost lost him many times, he’s still with us, and is now in the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore, Middlesex, which has proved to be a wonderful, caring environment for such distressing health problems.  Whilst Ron has regained most of his mobility, he’s left with disabilities that mean he will probably have to permanently live in a nursing home, once he leaves Stanmore.

My mother Dolly, aged 85, is disabled with a debilitating condition that makes standing and walking very difficult.  Her breathing is also affected by COPD. Ron used to help her in many ways.  Since he’s not been around she has to manage daily life by herself, with the help of myself, my husband, my sister and aunt. And although I’ve now organised a cleaner, gardener, and local handyman for her, everyday existence is becoming increasingly difficult, because she is in constant pain and what she really needs is constant care!

Even though I’m stressed out, I count my blessings every day! I’m grateful my mum and Ron are still with us and  I’m grateful I’ve got the ability, health and strength to do what little I can do to help them. Even though they’ve each got so many problems they worry about, they still laugh and show an interest in what’s happening in the world.  And whilst I’m really worried about my life and what will become of me if I don’t find a way to express my talents – because of the internal pressure it’s causing me, I also look at them, Dolly and Ron.  And I have to ask ‘What about them?’. Can I really put myself before them?

Ron’s having a really hard time coming to terms with the fact he won’t be able to return home, because his flat is on the first floor and he won’t be able to manage the stairs.  He thinks we don’t care about him anymore because he can’t return to his flat, and he’s been in hospital all this time (he thinks we’ve let him stay there, meaning he also thinks we could have got him out).  His limited perception means he can’t see the real reason things are happening to him, and so his mind is confused.  He is resistant to change.  He wants things to return to how they were before his accident. And as he’s now become institutionalised within the hospital, which is now his comfort zone, moving anywhere terrifies him!  Everyday he sits and worries about money, mum, how he can get back to his flat, what the doctors and nurses do or don’t do with, or for him. He has no real concept of how he will be restricted by his disability though, as he sees himself as ‘back to normal’ even though he clearly isn’t! Yet he doesn’t sit there whining or moaning all the time, when we visit.  He’s just grateful we are there with him, in that little space of time!

My mum strives to remain independent and it upsets her that she can’t do many things she used to.  Her mind is still all there thank God. But that means she can see the reality of her situation.  She knows her body is failing and she needs more hospital checks, more treatment that she needs our help to get. Her life must change!  She is scared about what is going to happen to her and the pressure her care is imposing upon us, the family! She worries about us, and what’s going to happen to Ron!  She worries about how we’re all going to cope with her and Ron’s needs in the future!  She spend most of her days alone with her television.  But apart from her occasionally mentioning ‘the pain was bad today’, or she’s ‘had enough of living this way’, you never hear her moan about her lot!  She’s just really grateful that she’s got the help she’s got!

So whilst I’m having to deal with a lot of matters on their behalf, experiencing frustration caused by bureaucratic rules, decisions about the future, form-filling, social workers, and Havering Borough Council (which I’m currently infuriated with), I’ve been worrying and moaning about what I haven’t got!  I haven’t got enough money to pay my bills! I haven’t got the time or impetus to promote myself or my work, which means I can’t earn the money to pay my bills.  I haven’t got the time or energy to do more for my mum, to spend every day sorting out her life, to visit Ron more at Stanmore, to making his life easier when he denies he has a problem!  I haven’t the confidence now to go out and give talks about what I know, to those who need my help!  I sometimes wonder if I’ve got the energy to be all I’m meant to be!  Maybe that’s the stumbling block to my success!

I see how I’ve been causing extra distress by not going with the flow. Where I’ve created resistance because I’ve been trying to priorities ‘fix-it’ needs, ignoring my desires by believing that once I sort out current problems, there will be a clear space for me to do what I want.  But the problems never stop do they? Which means that as problems are on-going, there will never be that clear space I’ve been seeking, for as long as I can remember!

So, I’ve decided that I’m expecting too much of myself, so must change my thought process – again!  If I was working with a client who was presenting the same situation as mine, I would help them find a way to do a little of everything they needed and wanted to do.  I would encourage them not to make vital decisions during such stressful times, but to ensure they worked toward their preferred goals.  I would encourage them to consider their needs as important as others, and to make sure if there are priority lists, their name and agenda is listed on it, not put off or delayed until the time is right!  So I must practice what I preach!

Even though I’ve ignored my needs for a long time, I’m not prepared to ignore the needs of my mum and Ron! I hate to see them suffering!  However, I am a product of my own neglect and now realise that whilst I strive to help others, instead of allowing the battle for priority to commence between them and me, I must fight to ensure we all get some of what we need – including me!  So I’m looking at what I can do now.

I can still juggle my finances somehow, for a time anyway! I can still help others when I can!  I can still say ‘NO’ when I’ve had enough!  And even though I’m not earning money through my work, I can still help others in various ways!  I can still write articles and blogs.  I can still create!  I can still learn something I didn’t know before!  I can still love and accept myself, others and life! I can still remember to be me and live my life in ways I choose, that make me feel happy and fulfilled!

I’m hoping that once I stop beating myself up for not doing more(which is driven by the ‘be perfect’ need that creates resistance), and allow myself to do what’s needed at the time(which will allow my anxiety to reduce), my energy will feel better.  And if I resist focussing on what I can’t do because of the stress I’m under,  I’m hoping my creative spirit will find its way to the surface, and allow my soul to lead me directly to the people I can help, in order to earn the money I need to survive!  As I endorse the ‘Everything is in perfect order’ belief, maybe that’s what this time of my life has been all about.  I’ll soon find out – wish me luck, please!

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