Compassion Toward Self

This post, as many of my posts tend to be, is inspired by my own life. This particular one is based upon things which are going on in my current life as opposed to the past. As those of you who have been following me for a while know, last year and the early part of this year were pretty challenging, emotionally and physically. Things have gotten immensely better emotionally and I’m in a good place there for the most part. The reason I threw that “for the most part” in there is that I am going through some mood swings due to hormonal issues.

Several months ago I was told that a health condition had been caught just in time-before it had a chance to turn cancerous. I’m still so thankful for that. It’s hard for me to find words which would indicate how this news has changed my life in many ways. My levels of patience, inner peace, and ability to see the importance of caring for myself have gone through the roof. Not only that, but it has gotten easier for me to make decisions based upon my own needs and desires without feeling guilty. This has clarified my work and direction. For the first time ever, I actually know what it is that I wish to do, and have been able to narrow things down in a focused and doable way.

As part of the treatment of this medical condition, I just began taking a hormone at the beginning of this month. Let me tell you, the side effects are a little rough. So far I’ve experienced more difficulty sleeping, feeling jittery, some mood swings, cramping, more headaches and other things that I’ll spare you. Every time I begin to think about how yucky I feel at times, I remind myself of how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to have this option before things got out of hand.

Not only that, but when the mood swings set in, another side effect came with them. I gained a greater ability to feel compassionate toward myself. This is a huge blessing. Little by little, I see the unnecessary guilt of the past finally starting to completely melt away. As I go further along on my journey and take the time to be still and listen to my heart, there are doors which had been previously closed in my life opening. One of the most amazing things that I’ve been seeing is that as I learn compassion toward myself, my compassion for others grows.

While my compassion for others may not look the same as it has in the past, it has actually become more complete. It’s amazing that as you start to have compassion toward yourself, it becomes easier when the time comes that you need to release someone or something from your life. Instead of allowing it to get to the point that it happens in anger or resentment, it becomes possible to do so in love or at least neutrally. You also realize that sometimes you are actually doing people more good by stepping back than you would by holding on.

My wish for you is that if you haven’t already, that you too will be able to practice more compassion toward yourself. This seemingly selfish practice is anything but. While it might sound a little out there for some of you, you won’t know until you try it. Ask yourself¬† the following questions. What do you have to lose by giving yourself this gift?¬† What do you possibly have to gain?

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This Week’s #Vlog

Health Update…Thanks For The Love and Support

Before I give you the update, I have to express my gratitude first. There has been such an outpouring of love and support that it is overwhelming…in a most wonderful way. Thank you…for being there…for being you!

Last week, I had a uterine biopsy due to the possibility that there might be cancer. Let me tell you…I feel so lucky. My testing was done at the perfect time…before things could get to that point. There were two issues found, one of which was on the way to creating the perfect storm. The specialist has assured me that I’m going to be fine with several months of medication.

So, while I’ll be dealing with side effects for a little while…I’m great and am looking forward to feeling better as time goes by and healing continues. Those of you who have been coming here for a while know all too well that I don’t hold a lot back. For anyone new who might be stopping in today…you’ll figure that out quickly. *smiles*

I have to tell all of you that I feel as though I’ve gotten a new lease on life. There is a lot of (wonderful) work to do, many adventures to have, and most importantly self care and making happiness a priority. There’s going to be a lot more dream chasing going on. First steps first…my number one priority is to get a bit stronger. I’ve been increasingly sick with these issues over the past few years, as this hasn’t happened overnight, so it’ll take a little time to build myself up. Know what? I look forward to it and plan on making the most of each precious day. The fact that I’m incredibly blessed isn’t lost on me.

 

What I Want You To Know…Never Give Up

While the flu is what I am recovering from at the moment, I have a few chronic illnesses and conditions which I’ve talked about from time to time here. Being sick has, of course, exacerbated some of the symptoms of my other conditions. My fatigue and pain levels have been higher than usual while I’ve been ill. For the past two weeks, all I could do each day was remind myself that it would get better and not much more. Thank goodness, my brother in law was kind enough to go to the pharmacy and pick up meds and juice for me…and my sister…yes, she had it too…which sucks. I don’t know what I would have done without him. If you read this post brother…thank you! I’ve still got some recovering to do, but at least I’m seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

For the first time in my life, I have zero guilt over all of the stuff sitting there waiting to be done. This is big for me. Before the fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, immune issues, and degenerative disc disease got to the point that they constantly interfered with my life, I was a total type A personality. Now I’ve reached a certain level of comfort with being where I am at any given moment, instead of agonizing over where I used to be or where I wish to go.

What I want to help you to understand is that we can thrive from right where we are…it just might be different than it used to be or how we envisioned it in the past. For example, I used to work at a corporate job and was constantly on the go. As the years went by, I had to take more time off from work…and then a car accident totally tipped things over the top and the corporate world had to go. While my creative, metaphysical , oddball (happily so) self was never a good match for the corporate world…it paid the bills. Looking back, I wonder how in the world I managed to survive in that environment.

Speaking of environment…when I was younger I used to be very involved in environmental activism…putting together campaigns, doing public speaking, and traveling to conferences. When things really hit the fan with my health, I felt like I was without an identity. Even worse, I felt utterly useless. The reason that I am so candid about this is that I know that there are a lot of people out there who feel similar, for various reasons. I’m here to tell you that it gets better in time, and that there is still so much that you have to offer to the world. Do not let anyone make you feel any differently, including yourself.

In the years since I had to leave my traditional workplace, I have dived into my spirituality and creativity…worked on rebuilding my life. I’m not going to tell you that it has been easy, but I will tell you that has been worth every last bit of the time and effort. What I have found is that I am more truly in line with myself now than I have ever been.Trust me, there is a big learning curve. There will be times when it feels too daunting, and these are the times which teach us more than we could imagine. So what can you do when you can’t do what you used to do? Your answers will be different, but here’s what I’m up to.

I’ve just finished writing a novel which is in the editing process now, have had several articles published in an online magazine, the bare bones of a non-fiction book I started in November is sitting there waiting for me, I am perfecting a few forms of art which I have found an affinity for, and I also do spiritual work in the form of readings, energy clearing, and mentoring.¬† The financial part will come, I just know it. The most important part is to keep moving forward. I’ve gotten frustrated more than once…and have almost thrown in the towel. Each time though, I come back stronger, and with more knowledge of how things work best for me. Most recently, I discovered that I needed to put better boundaries in place, and I’m so glad that I saw the real problem. I almost walked away from everything I’ve worked so hard on in the past few years with my spiritual practice. Not gonna happen.

As for the environmental activism I have found some great online sites which circulate petitions (which make a real difference). I’ve also written letters to or called elected officials about key environmental issues. Last year, I was fortunate enough to be having a good enough day that I was able to get out and walk in the March against Monsanto. That felt great!

Granted there are times in which I am too sick to get much of anything accomplished for weeks, times in which I can only do one small task before needing to take a break…and I’m telling you this because it is important to understand that it isn’t always easy. The point is that each of us has things inside of us which we can still contribute…no matter how small it might seem…and it all matters. We all have our own set of passions, abilities, and gifts…and it is up to each of us to find what those are and find ways to put them to use. It might take longer…you might have to be more creative…there will be down times…but the rewards are great.

In the future, I’ll be putting together more articles about thriving from where you are. They won’t all be quite this wordy (but some of them will…I can get chatty). I used to write more about topics like this in the past and wish to bring some of that back. Why? Because helping others to regain a sense of purpose and dignity means a lot to me. I’ve got years of experience in doing this for myself and I want to share what I’ve learned. Most importantly, I wish to share with you my sense of hope. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Have a great weekend. See you next time.

Importance of Taking Time Out

Taking time out for ourselves is something which many of us struggle with. Between professional and personal demands on our time and energy, it is all too easy to get lost in the shuffle. Even when a person has a logical understanding that carving out time just for ourselves is very important, many people still feel…or are made to feel…as though they are being selfish.

Not only is making time for self care important, it is crucial to our health and well being. After all, it’s impossible to get a drink from a dry well. Remember that…it’s not possible to get a drink from a dry well. This is why it’s vital to not just try to make time, but to make it a priority. Having your energy stores depleted is a very unpleasant position to be in.

What happens when we don’t take time for ourselves? We run ourselves down to the point of exhaustion, compromise our immunity, allow others to manipulate us or control our time, our priorities fall to the wayside, and needs do not get met…just to name a few. These consequences impact not just our own personal well being, but our ability to truly be of assistance or service to others.

Each of us has an inner voice which lets us know when we need to slow down. This inner voice tells us lots of other things too…important things. Listening to this inner voice is often discouraged or dismissed. We are told the we are being silly, selfish, judging a book by its cover, and countless other things. This inner voice should not be ignored or dismissed, because it is the voice of our higher selves…guiding us toward what we need or away from what isn’t in our best interests. Do not permit anyone to make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself.

While this is true for everyone, I wish to add a little more for those who are empaths, introverts, and sensitives. Not taking time to rest and recharge is especially dangerous for you. As much as you desire to be there for others, as much as you feel as though you aren’t being nice when you need to say no…you cannot nor should you expected to be there for everyone at the expense of your own well being…nor should you feel as though you should say yes to everything. You have a lot to offer to the world, and you have your own unique set of talents and requirements. Respect yourself, and expect respect from others in regards to your own value and needs.

No matter what your personality type or set of attributes are, the key is to ask yourself regularly if you are taking good care of yourself. Those who would discourage you from doing so are trying to fill a hole within themselves. This is not a judgement. It is actually something to be compassionate about…without falling prey to it. Being a good partner, friend, service provider, boss, teacher, or whatever else you might fill in the blank with is not to be equated with turning yourself into a sacrificial lamb. Listen carefully to that little voice of yours…it’s a lot wiser than many people would like you to believe.

Special thanks to the person who inspired me to write about this topic. I’m so grateful. You know who you are.