Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

You’ll Get There In Time

my meditation beads

my meditation beads

I’ll reveal my age with this entry by listing a couple musical groups that scream “I’m from the 90s!”

(I’m 37)

I was driving to the pharmacy earlier, to pick up a prescription from my trip to the ER last night.  Emotionally, things are improving greatly.  Physically, things seem to be deteriorating greatly.  These lyrics came out of my iPod:

“So you know who you are
And you know what you want
I’ve been where you’re going
And it’s not that far
It’s too far to walk
But you don’t have to run
You’ll get there in time
Get there in time”  (Jars of Clay)

When I was in recovery from the eating disorder, I really really wanted to leave the hospital and be better.  I’m sure many of you have felt the same way.  In fact, I think the fact that we expect the hospital to cure us ends up harming us in the long run.  Because, really recovery only begins in the hospital.  People had told me that recovery is a journey and not a destination, and I both agree and disagree with that statement.  I believe recovery can be a destination.  But it does take a journey to get there.  A long, hard journey.  I was lucky, because I had a friend who had reached that destination I was after, and she reminded me over and over again that it takes time, and that I don’t have to rush anything, and I would get there when I was meant to.

And I’m not all that big of a fan of Miley Cyrus, but Hannah Montana’s “The Climb” — If I’m alone in my car while it is playing, I will sing louder and better than at any other point in my life, including all those sight singing finals I had to take!  The whole freaking song seems to apply to my life.  There will always be another mountain and I will always want to make it move.  As in NOW.

The beads in the picture are my meditation beads.  I mainly use them when I’m obsessively worrying about something, and I’ll  finger each bead and breathe with each one and that seems to help me return to the present moment.  I cannot make tomorrow come faster; I cannot move any mountains in one minute’s time; I cannot fix the future.

This recent depressive episode has reminded me that recovery takes time and that I cannot force it according to my schedule.  (My schedule rarely works, anyway.)

My recent physical illness of some unknown origin has reminded me of this process . . . this is going to take time.  I have found doctors who are listening to me and looking for answers.  I am doing all that I can do.  Just because I am not better when I wake up tomorrow morning does not mean I won’t eventually get better.  And “get better” includes different scenarios, and I really can’t control what happens.

I can take care of me today, now, in the present moment, with the reassurance that this will help me in the future.

For today, remember that you are doing what you can in this moment.  That is all you need to be doing.

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November 23, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Trance of Unworthiness

my meditation beads

I thought I had escaped from the trance of unworthiness when I recovered from my eating disorder, but a certain event on Thursday reawakened all those issues of “not good enough” that I’ve been plagued with my entire remembered life.

A good friend recommended that I read the book Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach (Copyright 2004), from which the following guided reflection comes:

Do I accept my body as it is? / Do I blame myself when I get sick? / Do I feel I am not attractive enough? / Am I dissatisfied with how my hair looks? / Am I embarrassed about how my face and body are aging?  / Do I judge myself for being too heavy? Underweight? Not physically fit?

Do I accept my mind as it is? / Do I judge myself for not being intelligent enough? Humorous? Interesting? / Am I critical of myself for having obsessive thoughts? For having a repetitive, boring mind? / Am I ashamed of myself for having bad thoughts–mean, judgmental or lusty thoughts? / Do I consider myself a bad meditator because my mind is so busy?

Do I accept my emotions and moods as they are? / Is it okay for me to cry? To feel insecure and vulnerable? / Do I condemn myself for getting depressed? / Am I ashamed of feeling jealous? / Am I critical of myself for being impatient? Irritable? Intolerant? / Do I feel that my anger or anxiety is a sign that I am not progressing on the spiritual path?

Do I feel I’m a bad person because of ways I behave? / Do I hate myself when I act in a self-centered or hurtful way? / Am I ashamed of my outbursts of anger? / Do I feel disgusted with  myself when I eat compulsively? When I smoke cigarettes or drink too much alcohol? / Do I feel that because I am selfish and often do not put others first, I am not spiritually evolved? / Do I feel as if I am always falling short in how I relate to my family and friends? / Do I feel something is wrong with me because I am not capable of intimacy? / Am I down on myself for not accomplishing enough–for not standing out or being special in my work?”

When I read this this morning, all I had to say was, “Wow.” I admit I am embarrassed to claim how many “yeses” I answered to these questions.  And I thought, “well, some of these things I should feel bad about.” But Tara had an answer to that as well: The point is not to work on changing ourselves, but to accept ourselves in the present moment. We are doing the best we can right now.  Tomorrow, that’s another story.  But right now–we can’t change the present moment.  So why drag ourselves down with blame and guilt and shame?  Try to do better tomorrow, or the next moment, but remember that we are who we are right now.  And we can’t change what happened one second ago.  So accept it, learn from it and take what self-knowledge we can from it, and, ultimately, accept ourselves.  As is.  Right now.  Not how we could be.  But how we are.

I know I get caught up in how I could be.  What I should have done.  What I will do next time.  I need to learn how to be content with where I am in the present moment and not judge myself for the right now.  I need to learn from the right now, but not get so caught up in it that I can’t appreciate the present moment as it is.

The picture above is of my meditation beads.  I have a very eclectic spirituality.  I am Christian, but I also find value in other spiritual disciplines because they lead me closer to God.  And myself, a lot of times.  My meditation beads are made of Rose Quartz, a gemstone that is said to open the heart’s center and aid in healing emotions as well as the physical heart itself.  Rose Quartz represent unconditional self-love and self-forgiveness.

My therapist taught me a meditation that I have found to be extremely useful, and after reading the section of Radical Acceptance this morning, I find it all the more relevant.  It’s a meditation that exists out there in variations.  But this is the one I learned:

“Breathing in, I calm my body (breathe in) / Breathing out, I smile. (breathe out) / Dwelling in the present moment (breathe in) / I know it is the only moment. (breathe out)”

I had already decided my Easter Sunday would contain no work, but be a time of knitting, artwork, relaxation, maybe a nap.  Now, after reading this section of the book, I’ve decided today is the perfect day to use the meditation my teacher taught me.

The present moment is what we have.  The past is in the past.  The future has yet to happen.  We dwell in the present moment, a perfect time for acceptance.

April 24, 2011 Posted by | Body Image, coping, depression, Eating Disorders, faith, feelings, mindfulness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments