Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Sun Shines in November

Lighter post today, I promise!  I have been going through some thick stuff lately, and sometimes I just need a break to coast on the surface instead of diving into the murky deep. 
I don't know what is changing or happening lately but I have been feeling so good, so happy this week.  I have a ton of energy, I feel like my thoughts are so clear and my body is moving with ease.  I even feel graceful at times, which is not something I can remember ever saying about myself; I am a natural-born clutz!  I don't know what it is but I LOVE it!  It's like a post-workout high without the workout. 
Yesterday as I was getting ready for work, I was thinking about the absence of my usual aches and pains, and imagining what it would be like to turn the clock back ten years.  I recognized myself as being in a lot less pain physically but I was experiencing a lot more emotional turmoil ten years ago.  It made me truly happy of where I am now.  In my opinion, emotional pain is way harder to fix because there is no clear-cut way to get from A to B like there is in physical issues.  I am glad I have had an open enough mind to read some self-help books, meditate and actually dive into dark past I never wanted to face.  It is true that you have to go through it to find the exit sign, pretending my past didn't affect me, or trying to blame everyone else for my hurt did nothing to heal me.  I think it took me softening toward that which I felt was the source of my pain in order to heal.  I didn't know if I would ever be able to do it without seeing a therapist.  There are three books that I can point to that led to my greatest progress in healing and progress:
They all reached me in one way or another, but the one that made me do the toughest work was "It Didn't Start With You".   I was in a place where I was ready to do the work to get some answers.  I read it slowly because there is a lot to think about and exercises to do along the way.  Some of it involves thinking about relatives I don't really know too much about and that made me want to reach out to my mom, but it also made me examine how I am just a part of the chain of things that has happened in my family, just like my mother and grandmother are/were.  Everyone has dark stuff they need to resolve, with themselves or with their families, and until you do, you will suffer on some level.  Working through it, focusing on it, isn't easy or fun, sometimes it made me sad,mad or even nauseated, but the result is like a fresh beginning, a rewrite on your story, like your first breath of air in the morning is a beautiful sunrise in spring, and everything is alive and blooming before you!  I wish it for everyone.  When I was still really closed-off and curled up in a proverbial ball from emotional sensitivity, I could only take Geneen Roth with a grain of salt.  She writes beautifully and we share some of the same Mom issues, but there was always this peace about her that I wasn't sure was genuine.  Now that I have started to find some of that peace myself, I think that she is just trying to help people get to the place she is.  There is peace if you do the hard work (and it's the kind of work that doesn't require a treadmill or specialty shoes.  Bonus!) nothing comes for free.  Beating ourselves up thinking willpower will work is actually holding us back from healing, and once we start healing, we stop trying to use food as a drug.   The "Emotional Eater's Repair Manual" is actually very readable too.  It is a little more practical in that it has exercises to see where your broken coping mechanisms are and to teach you how to be your own nurturer that you wish you had when you were a child.  It took me a while to fully appreciate the strategies, but I have found myself more able to push the negative voice out of my head and replace it with a nurturing voice more often now than I have ever been able to do before.  These books have been my substitute for a psychologist.  They are much less expensive and I get to work with them whenever I want.  So, if someone is suffering I recommend books.  I'm not a huge reader but when it is deeply personal and relatable, I have a hard time putting them down. 
Yesterday at work I had a male customer picking up his glasses.  When he first came in to order, I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly and easy-going he was.  He is a big guy, but short with curly hair, and when he came to order he was wearing a very expensive looking suit with a bright blue bowtie.  He literally reminded me of the character Norm from the TV show Cheers.  So when he came back to pick up his glasses yesterday, he was equally laid back and happy-go-lucky.  I went through my normal dispensing procedure, asking if they feel comfortable on the nose and ears, checking if they are crooked, and asking if he feels like he can see well.  He said, "Yes, I can see really well, there are beautiful women all around me!"  Since I was the only one in the room with him I chuckled and said, "Uh oh, I think you need to have your prescription rechecked!"  He politely remarked that in all honesty he could see well, and I was beautiful.  It has been a good many years since anyone has called me that, and I don't take compliments well.  I didn't feel like he was saying it as a pickup,  I think he is just that kind of guy who passes out roses to women he doesn't know on Mother's Day or helps an elderly lady across the street.  But it made me feel good, moreso because this perfect stranger was modeling something that I have been lacking lately, being a really nice person to others because everyone needs someone to be nice to them for no reason other than we are all sharing this space but we are so disconnected.  I think I am ready to let go of some of my cynicism.  That is a big bold step for me.  I think it will make me happier in general, but especially at work.  Our words and actions have so much affect, not just to others but to ourselves.  How we treat others changes how we feel about oursleves and vice versa.  I need to start being nicer to others and myself.  Maybe that is the lightness I've been feeling, like I finally started moving that mountain out of my way, you know, the one that was blocking the sun.  It's time to let a little light in.  It's not about the holiday or the season or the state of the country, it's about humanity and our role in it.  I don't feel like the fat outsider who gets picked last in gym class, I know I'm the team captain and I can make all the difference.  We all can.  Be nice to yourself and be nice to others.  Stress and anger are cancers to the soul.  People who are bitter, hurt and angry because they don't have a choice to be anything else.  Sometimes all it takes to make them feel better is a little kindness even if they aren't giving it to you. 
I did not mean to be preachy in this post but I guess I'm feeling good and I hope you are too.  Now, go do nice things!

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