Gratitude Project – for endings

Insert your favourite cliché here about endings. Another Gratitude Project has come to a close. As always it has been a useful and worthwhile endeavor for me. Hard to believe I’m closing out my 11th year of doing it! Some days it was mighty hard to find a decent gratitude that wasn’t smeared in the ick, but those were the days I needed this project the most.

May a reminder to be grateful follow me through the rest of the year. Hail (estimated) Mabon! Blessings of the Equinox all around!

Gratitude Project – voices in my head; early morning memory

Sept. 19 – Because of “things” (which remain vague on purpose) I had 2 voices in my head yesterday. One did not belong to me, but had things I needed to hear. This was the voice of a dear friend. The other voice was mine and it was just being an asshole. My asshole voice tells me I need to reinvent myself completely, always, when others have an issue with a part of me.  Friend voice: “You need to hear these things. Please understand I am not asking you to change who you are, I just need to say [this].” Asshole voice retorts: “If you really loved [person] you would stop [action].” The Asshole is an old voice, a long unwelcome voice, that pops up in my head from time to time. So, how is this a gratitude post? That unhelpful lying voice has no power over me when it pops up. It used to, but it lost its power somewhere along the line. I don’t know that I was fully aware of how powerless it  is now until it jumped into my head and I was easily able to make it fade away. No pushing and no shoving was needed as it was so obvious to me that I had no attachment to it. I heard it, called it for the liar that is was, and released it. And I did so with ease! And that made me so incredibly happy. Every now and then I get to see concretely and in up-close detail how my years of co-dependence work have paid off. This was one of those times.

Sept 20 – another seemingly one-off gratitude is the bout of insomnia I have been experiencing. I suffer rarely from this and still it makes so mad when it happens. As it has been fading the last 2 nights my brain has come back to me in the way it usually works. No more scathing moral inventory as I drift off, instead creative ideas popping up! And I remembered them in the morning which is something the insomnia robs from me, my memory. So, insomnia can go FOAD, but my lovely brain that I sometimes forget is lovely in the way that brains are, for that I am grateful.

Gratitude Project – for trust

For being worthy of trust; and being trusted with intimate hard-to-verbalize soul pieces of another which they gift to me through their honesty. Also for being able to trust others in the same manner, which was not always true for me. The opposite was true most of the time – I was stingy with my trust. I was lonely for it. I prefer the risk of trusting.

Gratitude Project – support, new ways to play with oils

Sept. 16th – it feels like cheating to mention the hubster again, but this time it is for letting me be my authentic Self which in the last 24 years has seen a damn lot of shifting from when he met me. How does one be their authentic Self and yet shift so much? In my case it was peeling off layers. The view from his perspective? Seeing the Me out front he saw deep within when we first met.

Sept. 17th – New things to try with my herbs and oils! I should have known about the wealth of information at this site, but somehow it slid by my awareness. I should have known because I know this person IRL. Quite well, in fact. *facepalm* I have no idea why I didn’t know.

Gratitude Project – receiving space

A graphic showed up in my Facebook newsfeed that prompted this post. Here is the graphic:

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This graphic says a lot about love and allowing authenticity in all its forms in others. It is sage advice in its many interpretations for co-dependent me whether I am the one loving or being loved. However, when I read it this morning I realized that one aspect of love like this is “giving space” and one that is often overlooked for the value it holds.

The phrase “giving space” is put together that way for a reason. To do so is truly a gift and one of the most important ones you can bestow on a loved one.  It encompasses the letter and spirit of the text in the graphic. Giving space opens a situation so whoever is the receiver can squirm and wiggle, run and scream, weep and blow their nose, ponder deeply or whatever they need to do. It is absolutely allowing another to be exactly who they are without your own personal needs or demands interfering. (There is no right or wrong way to use that gifted space though there may indeed be  useful and not useful ways to use it, person dependent.)

The hubster has a deep need to “fix” things that are troubling me. His fixes are a combination of soothing words, practical steps I should take, and assurance of his love. This fixing need has led to many heated discussions on top of whatever distressing situation was already in play. This was not good. Ever. It left me bereft because I felt that I wasn’t allowed to keep my feelings until I was done with them, that I was not capable of addressing the issue on my own, and that I must quickly return to “normal” because … because bad feelings are bad. We’ve had many conversations surrounding listening without fixing and waiting to be asked for advice. Lest you think I am immune to falling into fixing-the-other mode myself let me assure – HA! – I am not immune. Though I am well retrained and rarely do it these days.

So, with that backstory fresh in your mind I think you will understand when I tell you that a few days ago when I was triggered deeply in ways I hadn’t experienced in years I was profoundly grateful when my husband listened and withheld his opinions on how I could manage all of my feelings. He showed through his face and body language that I was dearly loved. It has since come to my conscious awareness that I have a deep need for assurance that I am loved when I am triggered and desperately grasping for a stronghold in a tumultuous sea of feelings. Not everyone can give that assurance to me, but in that raw moment of distress my husband did so.

His gift of “giving space” left me free to be as I was: lacking in grace and poise; sobbing to the point of snot trails (eeeewwww); feeling deeply hurt while simultaneously feeling ashamed for feeling deeply hurt; angry as all get out; and finally, resolved to address what led to this state. It is so hard not to try to “fix” when a loved one is going through that. Trust me, I know intimately how hard that is. It is especially hard for some men (yes this is gender stereotyping), who were raised to believe that men fix things and that fixing is one of the primary jobs of men. The mandate to fix that was nurtured into him growing up has been part-and-parcel of our discussions about this issue. It is a non-blame issue. No individual is held responsible for the ingrained social mores of the times, but the onus to not to succumb to the ones that are not useful is on each individual.

My husband’s ability to “give space” allowed me to regain my footing at my own pace and in the most useful way for me. Giving space sends a message. The message is,”I love you enough to allow you to just be in this moment without having to consider my needs,” instead of, “You must normalize on my timetable because my need to manage counts for more than your need to have agency.” Refusing to give space says: I am more important than you are.

I was deeply grateful for my husband’s gift and I told him so. That seemingly small yet huge gift is still giving days later as I sort and settle all that has bubbled up from the situation that triggered me. Oh, hubster, I love you so!

 

Gratitude Project – for “gentling”, courtesy of Karina Blackheart

My Sept. 10th gratitude stated I was hanging in there in the face of major overwhelm and doing so without guilt. *ahem* Both lies it turns out. I am neither successfully “hanging in there” nor sliding by on the guilt-o-meter because there are mounds – mounds of guilt all around me. Guilt for failing at being me. Whatever the hell that means, I do not know, I only know that was the thought in my head.

Then the Messages came.

  1. Kuan Yin says: Compassion for self first.
  2. Poseidon says: Compassion for self first
  3. Yemaya says: Love for self first
  4. Hel says: Bone and loving flesh, choose wisely
  5. Cerridwen says: You already know the end of the story – are you willing to let it unfold in spite of that knowledge?

I will answer in order.

  1. I forgot
  2. I forgot
  3. I did not
  4. I made the wrong choice
  5. I don’t know; maybe

For all of the things that are crushing me in their whelming I can speak of almost none of them because they are all being held in various levels of confidence. I can normally juggle these things without harming myself. Normally. Normal is not occurring at the moment.

“Normal” is when people see Boneweaver they see the hard, cold, dead side of Bone and not the living loving flesh side of Weaver and I okay with that (resigned to that?). Some people see Weaver right off, but that is rare. Most do not see Weaver until I make a concerted effort to drop Bone down, unmask if you will, and often the dropping is short-lived. Oh so swift I am to return it to where my comfort level lies with new people. In time and the closer I become to folks the longer Bone stays dropped so Weaver is visible.

I tried an experiment (though I didn’t think of it as an experiment at the time, I thought it was a shift in behaviour) and I not only took the Bone side down, but I hid it behind my back and wouldn’t let it return to its usual place of cover. Really really bad move. I laid myself bare to a chosen few and I was fine until I hit this level of massive overwhelm which occurred in all my circles at once: my spiritual circle, my friends circle, my family circle, and the media circle of relentless news from Internet and TV about painful long-worn subjects, and thusly I got triggered. And I got triggered hard. It was like being young again without the accompanying youth.

*quell surprise*

Little used defense mechanisms remain in perfect working order, tyvm.

“It is times like these I despise being human,” I thought, and I sunk into despair.

When I finally checked my email today there was an e-newsletter titled “Gentling” in which many things made sense related to the drowning feeling I was experiencing. I guess drowning is not quite the right word. I felt like I was in quicksand. There was a branch to safety being offered and it was just out of my reach. I knew my next move was critical. It would determine whether I would be able to grab hold of the branch or sink to oblivion.

The last part of the newsletter – summed up by me as: When you are flailing in quicksand, return to your practices. Always, always, always. They are the branch being offered to you.

Gratitude Project – for no guilt, for recognizing All is Well anyway

Sept 10 – Offline life has been a bit overwhelming and online life completely overwhelming. So I am hanging in there, sometimes only by the tips of my fingernails, and I am doing so without guilt! Go me!

Sept 11 – Much of the overwhelm is from entirely good things, some “eh” things, and other ones that are *gasp* Big Things still in the ripening process, but will be very good things in the long run.