Thursday, January 15

Hope for the Past, Revisited.......... 1/15/15

Just as this vase was restored, mostly,
the same can be true wit
Being Gentle Towards Ourselves

    Have you ever felt like clobbering yourself?  Life is going poorly.  It isn't hap-pening like you thought it would.

     I know people who hit themselves.  They feel like they need to punish them-selves.  Old curses float through their head. These negative thoughts taunt them.  They shame them, making them feel worthless.

     Many of people are ashamed.  They no longer need their parents to abuse them, physically or mentally. They do it to them-selves. One client tonight showed up with bruises on his head.  The result of pounding it with his fists.

    There's good news.

    There's hope not only for the present.  And there's more than hope for future.  There's also hope for the past.  Yes, the past.  We can go back.

    We can revisit the past.  We can heal the portions that disturbed us. We can exper-ience healing from dark moments. Those occasions that still fill us with fear or shame.  There are healthy, forgiving, gentle principles that help.

    They help erase pain. As we get better, we are able to be gracious towards others, also. We can be kind even towards those who irritate the hell out of us.

      When we do, we are creating a new legacy.  We demolish leg-acies that crushed us as kids.  We replace inadequate family paradigms.  Ones that gave us distorted childhood values.  We can replace these distorted standards with supportive loving principles.

       This is self-care.  Our improved behavior allows us to be a conduits of love.  We can offer acceptance.  We can become en-couragers after we have first learned how to encourage ourselves.

      Recently I treated myself.  Life is about balance, isn't it?  Not long ago  I went to a cycle shop. I bought a non-drip water bottle.  Am I glad.  I got something I strongly wanted.

  I lost my insulated, metal water bottle a couple of weeks ago.  I left it at a public meeting.  In my rush out of the room, I left without it.  If that is my biggest concern, I'm doing pretty good.

      Now, with the new bottle, I'm set.  Good.

      It seems like this purchase was a minor matter, doesn't it?  It wasn't.  More about that in a minute.  I daily drink 64 oz. of water.  I've been doing that for more than twenty-five years.  It keeps me hydrated
and healthy.

      My life is busy.  I go from one event to another. I carry lots of things with me. There's a satchel of books. I use them for sessions.

      Or  for studying, when I have a mo-ment.  Along with books, there are bicycle-related accouterments.

      I lose things frequently.  And, that's okay.
Innkeeper Note: This was written when for 25 months I did not drive my car one mile.  It ended April 2014.

   Unfortunately, I routinely leave something behind.  These moments are opportunities to practice pa-tience.  Towards myself. 
      They help me to treat myself with the gentleness.  They are a chance to have self-compas-sion.  I am giving myself the forgive-ness I didn't know as a child.

       Loving responses were not experienced from my dad. When I erred, there was hell to pay.

       Unfortunately, then, I didn't have the wherewithal---psycholog-ically or emotionally---to realize my father suffered from the tragic  disease of perfectionism.  I didn't see his demanding nature for the sickness it was.

Hope For the Past
"One life showing the way is better than ten tongues trying to explain it." 
       Let it begin with me.

      We can, as Gandhi said, be the change we want to see in the world.

       Loving behavior towards our-selves and others reflects more than change to observers.  It speaks of triumph.  It reveals restored whole-ness.  The pieces of the shattered vase of my life are being put back together.

        Being gentle towards myself says that recovery over devasta-tion is possible.  Past harmful legacies that never served any helpful purpose can be removed.  We can do this one act of gentleness towards our-selves at a time.

        I replace the rubber hammer of self condemnation.  I no longer need to beat it against my head.  I fill my heart with self-compassion instead.

How About You? 
      What is a restored legacy you'd like to see come about in your life?  I always enjoy hearing from you and the community we share in this inn when you leave a comment.

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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.