I ask you to pause and think about this statement: The weight of responsibility that we place on ourselves and the forgiveness we don’t give. We all fumble at times in our lives. We've had words that flew out of our mouths under duress because we've exhausted ourselves. We've experienced anger, impatience, fear - all big emotions that can overwhelm our sanity - it happens to all of us. Those words/thoughts can be directed toward others as well as us.
Balmy summer afternoons seem made for these quieter pursuits, a twist on the traditional siesta of the Latin world. I have strong memories of sharing the front porch with my grandmother on summer days, each of us with a glass of iced tea and a book, magazine, or crossword puzzle. I remember the feel of the condensation cooling my hand when I gripped my glass, and I remember the soft background noises that were ever present: cicadas, lawn sprinklers, small children playing, the occasional barking dog.
Your mind is a powerful tool, and the more you 'feed' it with racing or negative thoughts, the more you fuel it to race even more. Energy creates energy, good or bad. So, by reacting to your inner voice by yelling at it to STOP! only ramps it up—Tempting reaction perhaps, but never a great solution.
None of us knows what the future holds, and one thing that this past year has brought into even more focus for me is being in the present moment. Where you have power is NOW. Stop speed dialing through your to-do list and pause. Stop replaying what has already taken place and move forward. The wrangling during the night about conversations you wish had gone differently, the chances you didn't take, the flashback to years ago, none of these are events that can be changed.
Think of driving down a road with potholes at 65 mph. You need to get to your destination! But your car is shaking, you're shaking, suddenly your ability to keep going has gone. We talked about this in our Online Care Circle recently: how easy it is to get caught up in the gotta go mode, and how poor the results can be.
It is of utmost importance to give yourself the time and space to become aware of what’s happening with your emotions and not shut yourself down. Your feelings are valid, and it is essential to acknowledge them. Shutting down is the worst thing that you can do.
My Yogi tea bag today says, “The gate to happiness is self-compassion”.
When caregiving, hope is more than the flickering glow of votive candles. Hope is an important element to living but only if there is some level of belief attached to it.
Our inner voices can be our greatest cheerleaders or bring us to our knees. Having an awareness of this is the first step in training yourself to have a more positive view of yourself and your choices.