Fighting through the pain

The lessons are love

Lessons of love, that’s what they are.

We usually don’t know what the lesson is while we’re learning it. Maybe we’re not supposed to. Besides, if we knew it, really knew it, we wouldn’t need to learn it. We’d already be practicing it in our daily lives. Byt even when we don’t know what the lesson is, we can know one thing: it’s a lesson of love.

Courage. Faith. Patience. Loving ourselves when it looks and feels like nobody else cares. Starting over again one more time, when we think we’ve already started over again more times than we should have had to. Forgiveness. Compassion. Gentleness. Joy. Each one is a lesson of love.

For many of us, the problem isn’t that we haven’t had love in our lives before. The issue is that we haven’t understood love. Know this: not only are the lessons about love, the lessons themselves are love.

Feel your feelings. Struggle through your situations and experiences and emotions. The struggle to learn isn’t incidental to your purpose. It’s an integral part of your purpose, your destiny, your reason for being. Go through your moments of darkness and confusion, and trust that the light will come. Through it all, rest in one thought: you’re on track. You’re on your path.

You’re connected to love. You’re connected to God. And the lessons you’re learning are lessons of love.

Taken from ‘Journey to the Heart’ by Melody Beattie

Usually the passages of love tend to make me feel uncomfortable because learning to love myself is still pretty new to me.

I still struggle to feel the emotions, to sit with them, to try and understand them.

When things get tough for me now…I look at the picture of B’s grave. I look at it and remember how I told her I was going to work as hard as I can to get better.

I remember what it felt like to actually be there, to face that fear. It’s a reminder that facing the fears won’t kill me; that they can make me stronger.

Every moment I am learning, growing, changing…it’s all a process. I’m not thrilled with that since I am not patient lol but I am working at trying to be more patient with myself.

I am learning to allow myself to feel the feelings I have, to sit with my emotions and try and understand why I have them.

It’s not easy – especially when the emotions are anger. I hate thinking of myself as an “angry” person…it was almost easier to think of myself as depressed or anxious.

I know that anger is a normal human emotion but feeling it? Sometimes it makes me feel out of control.

I always wonder how much of my past could have been different if I had gotten help sooner, if I had found B’s grave sooner…but the reality is I didn’t. The reality is I found her when I was meant to, when I was emotionally well enough to. I loved her, I miss her and she will always be a part of me. I know this now. I am learning how to let go of the baggage and hold onto the memories. The old me didn’t understand the difference. I wasn’t open enough and my lens wasn’t clear enough to see it until now.

Hopefully this weekend I will write up what my last session with E was like. The emotions are still strong. She was such an important part of my life, I know I was an important part of her life. I won’t end up sharing everything because a lot of that I need for myself – but she meant so much to me and the last session was no exception to that.

The end isn’t always the end…

Tomorrow is the big day – my LAST official session with E.

I, for the first time in my life, completed a task that was super important to me for someone else. I finished E’s painting, matted and framed it. I PRAY she likes it.

Effiefinal1

It’s hard to see in the picture but the color of the mat is a deep purple color – it helps bring out the purple in the sky and the colors in the shading on the petals.

I’m happy with how it looks. I’ve never really been happy with anything I’ve done…at least not happy enough to frame and give to someone as important to me as E. Don’t get me wrong I’ve given J tons of my stuff but I’ve never done something specifically for someone else…it’s extraordinarily personal.

Anyways…I will let you know what she says after my session with her…my last session 😦 The daily meditation for yesterday July 13th

See the snow on the Desert

I drove through Arizona’s petrified forest, a land where dinosaurs once roamed, then headed across the painted desert. A light dusting of snow covered the sane and shrubs. I felt both awe and surprise at the scene nature had created.

Nature does many things. Tornadoes blow across the land. Hurricanes pound the shores. Bolts of lightning streak through the sky. Dust storms fill the air. Nature petrifies wood, turning tress into beautiful crystal rocks, glowing with brilliant red and orange fossilized patterns. Nature takes centuries to carve bridges out of stone, using only wings and rains and the flow of water from other rocks. And sometimes, she puts snow on the forest.

Many things happen in our lives. Some of them are probable, consequential. Some of them are fluke and seem to come out of the blue, from nowhere. All the events work into a pattern, helping to create us, create our path through life, create our destiny. Sometimes we’re influenced greatly by a traumatic storm. Other times seemingly chance occurrences can change the entire pattern and course of our lives.

We don’t have to understand everything. Maybe we aren’t supposed to. We don’t have to be prepared for all the storms. Sometimes the greatest learning occurs when we’re caught off guard, by surprise.

Weather the storms. Let them pass. Keep your balance, as best you are able. Remember to be flexible and sway with the winds like the tall tress in the forest. Trust the flukes, too, those moments when it snows on the desert. Let destiny have its way with you.

Well if this isn’t EXACTLY what I needed to read.

E was my snow on the desert.

It wasn’t going to be there forever but the time it was there was wonderful.

She taught me to look outside the box, she taught me how to react and communicate with people better.

Her time in my life was for a reason.

She was here to teach me something just as my friendship with J, MM and JS have taught me.

I don’t know what the future holds but I whatever it is I will get through it: the good, the bad and the ugly.

I know I will get through it because of the friendships I have now and because I have the skills E taught me (and that will stay with me).

Tomorrow is going to be extremely difficult emotionally but I will get through it.

ch-ch-ch-changes

Clear the path to your heart

I watched Old Faithful from my window. The geyser gurgles and spewed a low layer of steam. Then true to its name, Old Faithful erupted and sprayed thousands of gallons of steaming water into the air. Right on time.

A full range of gurgling emotions, reactions, and responses to life line the pathway to the heart. We need to feel them all – anger, hurt, sadness, irritations – in order to feel joy. To experience life and all its wonders, we must embrace all these feelings.

We need to experience the little angers as well as the big hurts, the painful wounds that life sometimes brings. To insist that we will only feel pleasant emotions means we’re blocking the pathway to the heart. We’re ignoring all the other gurgling emotions that need to be felt.

All our emotions are important; all need to be recognized. The energy of each needs to be acknowledged and released. This clears the way for love. All the emotions that precede love clear the heart so it’s pure and free to feel joy.

Trust your emotions. All of them. You’re not off the path. They lead to the path you’re seeking. They are the journey to the heart. Let them flow freely. And sure as Old Faithful, your heart will come gleaming, shining through.

Taken from ‘Journey to the Heart’ by Melody Beattie

I wonder about this sometimes. I wonder why I have such a hard time allowing myself to feel all the emotions and why I let myself be angry when I feel the ones I don’t want to feel.
I spent a fair amount of time with E today talking about my progress.
I have learned a LOT in the past year – I have done a TON of work on myself.
I am learning how to adapt and adjust in times of change.
I am learning how to listen to myself (and my body).
I am learning how to ask for help and admitting that I can’t ALWAYS “do it all”.
And while I learn these things I also learn that it is OKAY.

Radical acceptance that there are a lot of things I cannot change – things that are just out of my control.
I need to find ways to adapt and adjust and I AM doing that now.
I am learning how to speak up and communicate in the proper ways.
I am learning how to BE.

Monday is my last session.
I know that I am ready for the next chapter – she referred to it as me “graduating” to a more intense therapy.
She thinks I am ready too.
I am nervous, excited, scared and sad about it.
I wish she didn’t have to leave but I KNOW that she is going to go off and do amazing things and help lots of people just like me.
I am grateful to have her in my life.

We talked about how “ending” relationships are different for me now.
How now I am allowing myself to see the lessons in the relationships and not just the negative.
We talked about S & K (two past friendships that ended very badly) and how I closed myself off so much and by doing so I also closed off the good memories.
By putting up the walls that I did I didn’t allow myself to look back and see all that I learned from them – I denied myself that opportunity because I thought I was protecting myself.
I’m not doing that this time…and that is a big step for me.

We talked about how much time I spend at J’s place and how I feel so at peace there.
She suggested that I bring a digital recorder and record some of the sounds so I can incorporate them into my “meditation time”. The sounds of nature, the river, the birds, the breeze…it all feels so comfortable to me…so peaceful, like time stands still.
And I thought that was a GREAT idea so I have asked J if I can do this. I hope she says yes but will completely understand if she says no.

I think I am allowing my sadness of E leaving to be projected onto my painting for her. I hate so much how it looks right now.
I will still be giving it to her, framing it and in our last session we are going to have cupcakes and “create”.
She asked me what I wanted to do and I said that “art” was something that was really important to me and I wanted to share it with her.
She is stepping outside her “box” for it so that makes me kind of smile 🙂

new piece of artwork

So I have been gearing up for my last session with E (which is July 15th) and we talk so much about my creative endeavors that I wanted to create something for her.

In true “me” fashion I must have come up with a million ideas but they always seemed to fall short and then I got this simple idea. It isn’t done…I hope to have it done by Saturday so I can get a frame for it 🙂

I have never used watercolor pencils before…and I am enjoying what I have been able to create with them.

 

effiepainting

 

I would love some feedback 🙂 It’s hard to tell the detail on it from my camera phone. I will take a better picture with a “real” camera when I can.

Thanks!