Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

How Can I Turn My Day Around?

June 20, 2012

The challenge of a bad mood, bad news, depression, or some upset faces all of us often in our lives, and many assume we are helpless targets just waiting for things to change again.  We go through life wanting this or that circumstance to be different so that we can be “happy”.  Many of us, if asked what happy is, cannot answer.  We’re stumped and silent, suddenly realizing that we have no measure of what “happy” actually is.  It’s a word that means better, doesn’t it?  It makes everything okay, right?  The problem is that if we don’t know what it is, we will never recognize if we have it.  Aiming for a target that is invisible, we stumble around shooting arrows at “happy” and wondering why we don’t get any.  It’s no wonder so many are feeling out of control, like life is a crap shoot, hoping someone has a magic prescription that will make it better.

 

We hope to win a lottery, because money seems to be the thing that everyone wants more of so that they can get more of what they want and feel powerful.  We think that if only we had this, or that, or if someone loved us more, or if we had more vacations, everything would change and this bad feeling would stop.  We numb ourselves out with tv, alcohol, and drugs or food.  We work harder, exercise more, and read more self help books.  There seems to be no end to what we’ll try to “feel” better!

 

Something subtle happens, however, when a person begins to experience consciousness.  That is, awakening from the robotic state of going through life on auto-pilot, accepting everything at face value, never questioning the status quo.  Through grace, at some point in our eternal existence as souls in bodies, we begin to emerge from the slumber in small increments usually (not always), and we realize that we have choice.

 

A typical scenario for awakening is a tragedy or loss, a sudden change that is unexpected, or an emotional crisis.  We were going along on automatic and without warning, someone we love died, or the truck hit our car, or we found out we had a terrible illness, or we lost our job, our livelihood.  That feeling of being without familiar foundation, without ground to stand on, nowhere to turn for relief, intense pain and suffering brings us to a deeper place of searching if it doesn’t destroy us.  We look for the meaning, we find support in places we may never expect, and we turn our awareness to the moment because focusing on the future isn’t always possible in times like these.

 

The things that bring us to our knees bring us to the moment.  In the moment, we can find strength we never knew we had, and a sense of surrender that will not be denied.  When we submit to what is, space opens up and things move.  Even in a moment of simple unhappiness over something more mundane and simple, if we are willing to allow the emotion and feel the sadness, anger, frustration, the emotion can flow and what is underneath it can be revealed.  Quite simply, allowing the emotions, rather than stifling them, is the direct pathway into wisdom, relief, and higher consciousness.  So let the tears flow…really feel…and in experiencing your humanity you will be freed.

Motherly Advice: A New Child-Rearing Manual

June 19, 2012

I’ve heard it and I’m over it.  I’ve heard every old belief, every story, and every ‘rule’ about child rearing possible and most of them don’t apply to my child.  Is it possible that they don’t apply to anyone other than the ego of the person that is touting the advice?  It may be.

When I had my son I was open to all manner of advice, and unfortunately I tried it all, but to no avail whatsoever.  You see, my son was unique in that he was born as himself, infinitely individual, unlike any other model ever made and only similar in that he was one of a species called human.  No two are the same.  Let’s start there, shall we?  A rational, totally left brained approach would have us believe that if it works for one, it works for all.

What are the things they tell you to do with babies?  Put them in a crib to sleep, they say, and swaddle them, let them scream it out.  You should take them for a ride in a car to get them to nap, but don’t ever let them sleep in your bed because they will never, ever fall asleep again by themselves for the rest of their natural lives.  Yes, someone said that to me.  There are plenty more where those came from, but I don’t feel like digging into that slime pit at the moment.

Our child would only sleep with me or my husband, screamed louder if we swaddled him, screamed as if on fire at the sight of a car, and made our ears bleed with the decibels inside a car from the sheer terror of the movement.  I have a memory regretfully branded into my brain of when I tried putting him in a crib.  He screamed at naptime daily until he vomited and shit himself for three days straight, and then was wary of me, his own mother, for two weeks afterwards.  (I was following the directions in the book which told me not to rescue him under any circumstances, while I sobbed silently outside the door, curled up in a ball on the floor.)  Both of us sweating and shaking, I finally came to my senses and realized cribs were not for us.

You see, he was too smart for Dr. Ferber who invented “ferberizing”, but I didn’t know this yet.  I allowed Dr. Ferber to alienate me from my own infant.  I just read last week that the other famous doctor whose advice I tried to follow like a good mommy, Dr. Sears, left a tidbit of crucially important information out of his books and has recently added the information.  Thank you, Dr. Sears, we are still suffering the repercussions of your neglect, 12 years later.

Do I carry a little bit of self righteousness about this topic?  You bet I do.  I feel that I have run alongside the best of them, and any one of us who’s had a child who doesn’t fit into the regular mold (as if there is one) and has been patronized, ridiculed, judged, advised, and bullied until she builds an armor like that of a Roman soldier,  I have earned stripes so deep that I’m loathe to explain anything to anyone anymore.

One thing I will tell you is that I have some wisdom to share.  My wisdom doesn’t include telling you what to do with your baby, or how to be a good mother.  My wisdom doesn’t give you some pat answer that’s going to fix everything.  My wisdom is about trusting your own wisdom, because every single mother is a unique being and every child is a new creation.  There’s never been one like her and never will be again.  You do get a manual, but you have to listen in the quiet for the information.  You have to listen to your heart and your gut, and you have to be able to withstand the onslaught of everyone else’s opinions and then not waver in your truth.

If I’ve come away with anything from the gift of motherhood, it’s the realization that I have to trust myself above all others, and that I have my beautiful, bright, highly intelligent, uniquely perfect son to thank for it, not Dr. Know It All.


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