Tracy, Lori and Everyone, As long as
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Tracy, Lori and Everyone, As long as you think that feeling good is the normal state and anything else is wrong or sick or crazy or unfair or wicked or dangerous or on and on, you will experience yourself as riding a roller coaster that nosedives, crashes and brings devastation from which you can barely emerge. Feeling everything...and I mean everything... is what it means to be human. If you don't accept your humanity how can you heal from anything? Or live among other humans --- whose feelings cover the full range as yours, by the way. :) The zen koan to live by forever is, "Be the ocean, not the wave." Waves climb. They reach beautiful and powerful heights. They crest. They fall in a downward rush. They crash into the sea. On and on and on. Up and down and rolling. Be the ocean, with all its depths and complexities, with currents and various life forms. The waves on top, sometimes frothy, sometimes wild, sometimes flat and nonexistent, or choppy or storm tossed or in gently even patterns are the normal fluctuations of the surface. Don't identify with your surface. You are much more than that. And about self pity: dealing with it is what I love about journal writing. The first paragraph some days and first few pages on other days are often all complaints. You complain, cry, vent, blame, mutter and rage. But, when you give yourself a minimum of three full pages to write you usually finish up all that venting before you reach your end point. Then you have to keep writing to honor your commitment to yourself, even if you don't know what else you have to say. What comes out next is often quite useful. You've gotten past the self pitying complaining with no harm done, and you get to see a little of what's really you. Over time you find out more. The problem with complaining and voicing self-pity to others is that it burdens other people with your personal process that you need to get through. Even if they are patient with you, they can't lift those states from you. Therapists know how to listen to this without judgement and without taking on the issues. Other people don't know how. So tell your therapist. Pour them all into your journal writing and then see what happens on the other side. It's more than okay to feel upset. We need all our feelings. They give us information about the world and ourselves and each other. The first lesson is that human feel everything. It's normal.