Tuesday, March 25

Finding Rays of Light, Even In the Darkened World of Disappointment 3/25/14

The gauntlet of disappointing circum-
stances are challenging my serenity.
       Pressure happens.  Dealt with a suicidal client on Monday.

        The intensity of the week often does not let up. Some-times we are beat.  But, like listening to Ginger Baker, Tito Puente or Gene Krupa, it can be a good beat.

        Dealing with distraught or irritating people adds intensity to our days.  It is important knowing how to take care of ourselves.
"A problem is a chance for you to do your best."                                Duke Ellington
          Life at times is riding an emotional roller coaster.  Resiliency helps.  We can overcome anxiety and depression.  I know.  It sounds far-fetched.

         There are steps that make it possible.  One action is applying principles above the vulnerable parts of our personality.  It gives us emotional balance.  Exercising boundaries when circumstances are not safe or fair is another step.

        The fellowship and principles of Al-Anon Family Groups or any recovery program can ground us, too.  A strong relationship with God can also be a big support.
       A warm, strong, supportive network holds us together.

       Especially when holes are being torn in the fabric of our sanity during stress-ful times. Good friends provide emo-tional object constan-cy.

       This constancy is needed if we want to remain strong when tested.

         Good friends provide compassion when we are filled with self-judgment.  Their encouragement helps us still see the beauty life offers even when smacked in the head with the 2x4 of disappointment.

         When times are rough it is tempting to turn our heart into a walnut.  We think it is a good idea.  We make our inner self impen-etrable, during tough times.  We try to hide behind emotional walls.

         We think it is our only recourse.  When we do, we will laugh.  But not all of our laughter.  We will cry, but not all of our tears.  And life will be empty.  And frustrating.  Because our relationships will not be satisfying.

         Our connections with others will be feeble.  They will lack authen-ticity.  There will be no intimacy.  Our relationships will have no con-nection.

        Life can be fulfilling.  When our emotional sobriety is challenged, it doesn't have to be a big thing.  We can find courage from an impor-tant source.

        We can discover hope when we draw from the well of love we receive from Safe People and God.

        This love from healthy people fortifies us.   This is especially true during difficult times.  We are nurtured when we are loved and accepted.  We derive the confidence needed to be authentic, vulnerable and real.

        We can welcome life when we are supported by our strong network of good friends.  Even during tough times.  We do not have to retreat from our difficulties.

        The grace we get from emotionally healthy others is a spackle we need.  It patches the cracks of our vulnerabilities. The love we get from good friends helps us overcome fears and our urge to control outcomes and others.

        Hope replaces bitterness.  Healing substitutes our former passive or angry reactions during tough times. Sulking will dissipate.  Serenity, wholeness, and joy can be a big part of our lives.  This can be true even when emotional storms churn within.  Is this possible?


        Sunday had mo-ments of vulnerabil-ity.  The gauntlet of disappointment was tossed by a good friend.  It shook my equanimity.  Pushing past fear, I said what I felt and wanted to her.

        I was calm.  Whatever the outcome, was not a statement about me.  I had faith that the future would be exactly as it should be.

        Responding is better than reacting.

         Nonviolent communication and being internally referen-ted helped.  I spoke my truth.  I said what I felt.  I expressed what I wanted.  The dragons of insecurity and fear were caged.  They did not silence me into submission or passivity.

          Even with all my recovery, the outcome was disappointing.  But I faced reality.  I connected with my feelings.  Even the hurtful ones. Dig-ging deeper, I got in touch with the needs beneath the emotions.
          Reality is preferred to fantasy or passivity. .  It allows us to be present.  Seeing circumstances with discernment provides sanity.
"The prudent person sees a danger and withdraws.  The simple continue on and suffer for it."  Proverbs 27:12.  
Seeing reality is better than ignoring it.  It is going to smack into us anyway.  So, why not be proactive.  A clear impression of reality often requires going through the slow jumble and tumble wash cycle of pa-tience, several times.

          What I've learned the past ten years has taught me how to take care of me.  Even when hurled through the darkened domain of dis-appointment.  I was in a bleak place Monday.

          I processed the sadness I felt.  I mourned my frustration.  I connected with the depression I felt because of Sunday's conversation.  I exercised self-compassion.

          Even so, I laughed Monday.  I listened to great music.  I told jokes, nurtured myself and had fun.
     “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in com-parison to what lies inside of you.”      Ralph Waldo Emerson
Tonsure not necessary. Besides,
 my mug usually has a smile
        Difficult times does not mean we need to wear the tonsure of humiliation. We do not need to degrade ourselves.

         We do not want to withdraw into the monastery of isolation.  We can still enjoy the nuggets of joy each day offers.  During less-than-pleasant times, we can eat nutritious food.  We can exercise to let out steam.  We can laugh when possible.

         We can rest.  Investing time with dear friends (see the last half of that link) is a good idea, too.  We can take in the beauty life offers.  This hap-pens when we live in a healthy community.  Being cooped within the cocoon of self-loathing, despair and disappointment does us no good.
May you have a great and grateful day.  I know I will,


Optimistic Existentialist said...

I like what you wrote about not letting your heart become a walnut. I know people like that and I feel so bad for them...

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

Thank you Pablo for your honest post. The ice-cold lemonade you serve up here in this Inn is possibly the sweetest in California, because you squeeze it gently from the bitter fruit life tosses at you, and us all daily. Bravo! Second's anyone?

On this Tuesday night, I am grateful...

1. For "A Road Less Traveled" through the lovely wet, sunny and cloudy hills of San Francisco to a couple of Irving Street sushi restaurants in need of Japanese fish. Google Maps took me where mere mortals fear to tread...

2. For clarity in disclosure with clients that made life easier for us all.

3. For two remarkable discussions with my eternal soul mate yesterday afternoon, and then later, into the night. While initially exhausted, we both ended up surprisingly energized by the time we closed the day in prayer at midnight.

4. That the Army National Guard is going to carry a petulant, prodigal son into a new beginning; into manhood and a big, brand-new life. Let's hear a 21-gun salute to focus, structure, discipline and purpose.

5. For an unexpected one-hour nap in my company car in the Costco parking lot, while the mid-day rain gently fell on my roof, and on our parched earth.

6. That I've come to know a "gentle, healing program" of recovery from the effects of another's addiction.


Hi, Mr. Innkeeper! I enjoyed reading your post and trying to unravel the mysteries of it. Your words: "I will not enjoy the brilliant vitality of life, dwelling alone, cooped within the cocoon of self-loathing, despair and disappointment" - spoke to my situation. Even though I am not giving in to self-loathing and despair, I certainly experience them. There are a lot of serene and lovely moments in my dayy, though!

Pablo said...

Dear Keith,

I can do no other. Sorrow lasts for the night, but joy comes in the morning, also in the mourning, too. Feeling our feelings, grieving if we need to, then seeing what are our constructive options: acceptance with grace, recovery and faith.

I sooooo appreciate your visits. Each time you drop by, you add positivity. Exactly the spirit of this place. I'm grateful when you visit. :->

Pablo said...

Dear Carl,

Authenticity means everything to me. It allows true intimacy. We cannot have it when we present ourselves stronger than we are.

To paraphrase Goethe, demonstrating vulnerability is a sign of strength, rather than weakness.

I'm glad for the growth gotten from support like people like you, Carl, and the many who drop by, even those who haven't commented, yet. (I shall always be optimistic.)

I'm thrilled for the blooming of your relationship with your other half---would that be the case of others, in their relationships they have. (Hint.)

May this weekend be a great time of celebration. Always wishing you the best,

The Innkeeper

Pablo said...

Dear Miss Commenter,

Welcome to this inn. It is yours as much as it is mine. I'm honored you find value here. It's my goal to make this a place of encouragement.

That's the spirit. "If we keep our face towards the sun, we won't see much of darkness." Helen Keller. Bonding is key for our sanity, emotional safety, for peace of mind. Connecting with healthy, supportive, positive, non-chiding others allows us to thrive. Tapping into the river of this type of support and vitality needed when going through the drought of negative circumstances.

I wish for you a growing, vibrant loving community of Safe/Balcony People. Let me know if I can help you find such people. There are things you can do, to fashion them from those you know.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.