Tag Archive | choices

When It’s Time To Quit

I can fake a smile.

I can pretend that I’m okay…

but I’m only in denial.

My hearts been chained…

been imprisoned by shame.   ~ A 2011 state of mind:

 

sitting on the fence

Time doesn’t always look you in the face. Quite often time is what holds us in the balance of our choices. 

Do you ever wonder why we do some things in our lives over and over despite knowing it will not result in any different outcome? Repeatedly, every time?  Probably results that we know do not serve us.

Decisions for me were times in my life when I struggled. There were these inevitable arguments between my instincts and life’s external/internal expectations. The arguments would paralyze me. Not making any decision is A decision, a decision to remain stuck. That thing we call “time” ran on while I chose to remain behind. My choice had been to remain stuck in the same place because I was stranded in the balance of not deciding. I’m certain I don’t need to explain the pathology behind my chronic indecisiveness to most, nor explain the certain kind of bliss of not taking any ownership for making a decision. If I didn’t decide I couldn’t be blamed. Right?

Denial feels like a wonderful thing….for a awhile. Denial helps support indecisiveness in multitude of ways. Repeating not making decisions was not serving me, it was actually just another form of denial.

When finally I found I could no longer fake the smiles I began to make decisions that started to unchain my heart. Shame began to fall away.

Transparency Time.

I knew things were off for a long time, I mean 10 plus years of a “longtime.” Those misguided notions I chose to let my heart ignore. All that was off in my life; it all began to mess with my emotional intelligence, and this finally messed with my spiritual health, which in turn messed with my physical health.

To be as transparent about this “longtime” as I can let me say I had found the only way to cope with all that I was denying was to get numb. Because I was dealing with physical health issues I had convinced myself I needed pharmaceutical medications to function mentally and physically. With hindsight the truth is the medications helped me stay in denial, it helped me to remain numb to the pain, both physical and mental. This treatment modality helped me stay stuck. So much in denial was I that it took major life alterations for myself to begin to feel again.

Which meant having to make decisions.

Some extremely frightening decisions had to be made by myself if I ever intended to expect different results; if I ever expected a resemblance of emotional and physical health again.What I had been doing by doing nothing certainly was not working except to keep me stuck. Time didn’t stick though and I was losing a lot of it. Too much of it.

A decision had to be made. Decisions had to become part of my game plan. Denial was no longer working. Faking a smile was no longer getting me by.

NOT making a decision WAS a decision. One that in time I could no longer live with.

Deciding to make major lifestyle changes was frightening but staying stuck was scaring me more.

I began the long task of excavating myself to discover what it was that wasn’t working for me and I made drastic changes.

The first one I made was possibly the most important change. I changed my habit of over-thinking everything, every step, every move. I made a vow to begin the change and decided to listen to my instincts while learning to trust them versus the dwelling of second guessing.

Making decisions about everything from my marital status, removing toxic medications and toxic relationships were the most difficult choices to make for this lady who typically found it a struggle to decide what to take out of the freezer for dinner. Don’t believe it if you are told an “old Lady” can’t learn new tricks. Not true. Although the new lessons might come slow, taking their time they’ll come. Just make the decision to learn.

It will be five years in July that I made the most drastic decisions. Making physical changes in moving my residence to living alone, then the gradual removal of pharmaceutical medications that were doing far more harm than any good, all the while filtering those in my life and the weight I give to respective relationships.

With great joy I found my health and my life reaching a place of good I had not been in for a long, long time. This time in my life I decided to jump off the proverbial fence of indecisiveness of being stuck. Deciding this is the time when I finally choose to take ownership for my well-being and the serenity of self peace.

The changes inside me are not changes most see, some who do see the changes see them as misguided deflections, but then there are those who do see the authenticity that I am striving to live today.

No more fake smiles.

No more denial.

When it’s time to quit.

 

 

ttaylor2016

Getting Out Alive When You Absorb ~

empath body

Getting out alive when it comes to the impact that others can have when you’re an ‘absorbent person’ isn’t easy.

Learning to live among the chaos that an Empath is surrounded by takes practice. It’s not a done deal  even if your heart is kept isolated from trying again, I know, I tried. Going through the emotions of recently getting caught in someone’s chaos I have had new questions, yet also clarity. If I let others into my world and give in to the power of someone else’s pain/mood impacting mine how can I hold on to all the serenity I have created for myself?

Why the hell do I feel the need to let myself absorb like this? Nothing should shatter my resolve to live with a simple balance. When I allow my feet to walk in someone else’s discontent my balance is tipped and rocked tenaciously.

empath

“The world according to an”Empath”.

An Empath is born, not created. Becoming an Empath is a genetic trait, inherent in our DNA, and often is passed from generation to generation. Empaths are not ‘A Something’ we can learn how to be;  either you are or you are not. I’d like to also address the misconception that an Empaqth’s is part of some pagan belief. Some claim practicing Empathst “is the work of the devil” which I find absurd.

So that we have a mutual conception of how I am referencing Empath as a noun I include my perspective based from my own experiences and the broad belief:

According to the dictionary ’empathy’ is described as one’s ability to recognize, perceive, and feel directly from the emotions of another. The word itself, is derived from the Greek words “empatheia” meaning “passion” + “pathein” meaning to experience or suffer. Most of the world’s population has empathy, to a degree, it’s part of the human make up. Most of us  “understand” how another feels.

But a practicing Empath is quite another matter.

For the natural born Empath understands holistically that we cannot help but feel the feelings and emotions of others as if they were our own. It goes far deeper than just relating to the feelings of others. As an Empath we channel the absorption in through the realms of physical, physiological, psychologically and instinctual  channels from others. It’s a visceral flood of those emotions.

Empathy… it’s not (as is commonly believed) the same as sympathy. Sympathy is how we react to someone who is suffering. We feel sorry they are suffering, which is our own emotional state. An Empath instead is someone who finds themselves standing in the others shoes, we feel their joy, and their pain as if the emotional spike was our own. My experience; literally, Learning to decipher has been a lifelong study.What makes it difficult to navigate is the empathetic impacts that we’re not able understand the whys..

For an Empath absorbing isn’t an option, no switch to turn off/on.

However.creating boundaries is.

I am learning finally that there are effective ways to practice while being directly involved and interacting with the world as an Empath without getting struck down. There is the other side of the emotional coin -trying to completely disconnect/disengage from the flow of empathetic energies by isolating. Isolating was worse; the consequences of which had me numbed down in every aspects of my life. Emotional Isolation.

But….I learned rapidly that this was not going to be something I was willing to give up. It would mean isolating my heart and soul and as a chronic empathetic person I don’t think that is a viable choice. Yet 24 years later with this awareness there’s still no clearer understanding of how not to absorb.

Baffling for me was having done the work to get to a place of serenity while still being absorbent fooled me. That I was in a mindset that I was in full control of my feelings was misleading. Neither could have been any farther from my truth. I am surprised by what it is that can knock me off balance. I realized that simply trying to deny what my heart and soul was screaming wasn’t working either.

Unspoken feelings are no less feelings, nor no less true.

Around our physical body there is a layer of energy, it’s electric, it’s often referred to as an “aura”  If this a new way of thinking for you perhaps think of it as your Aura being devoted to your interface with your environment. Our aura’s shape and condition what is indicative of our relationship to our world.

People who are Empaths  are often thought of as having a “thin skin” in relation to absorbing their world. Creating boundaries, or a “thick skin”  to help insulate our spirits is crucial, yet holes will still develop, no matter how vigilant we are. Empaths are too easily influenced by the environment.

I am an Empath with many years to my credit banked, and finding ways to navigate the onslaught of emotions that flood my spirit has been one of the longest studies of my life. My spirit and heart had to discover the need to create a visual of an ‘energy shield ‘around my physical body as my saving grace. I use imagery to see it as a radiant essence of the complete me. I see different emotions as different colors..

Once boundaries are drawn, “energy armor in place” I again use imagery to see the spark in the center of my being, that is the pure essence of my spirit. With my attention focused on that  spark I become keenly aware of the sensations and emotions that continuously flood my spirit. My thoughts bring me far more clarity.

I first tried this practice when alone, after a time I began to practice it around others. Soon my hope is that I will be adept at switching my awareness from my environment to myself, and back again, all the while noticing the difference between the two.

As a Practicing Empath I have found what works for me, keeping that fine balance requires some proactive thinking and doing, my sharing follows:

  • Don’t Take On Responsibilities That Aren’t Yours-

I need to be reminded. As an Empath I learned that I was used to care taking, even to the point at one time that I felt as though I was supposed to do it.  I am not. You are not.

My agenda became finding a balance between being as compassionate as possible without going beyond the limits of what I need to do to maintain my health, serenity, and my sanity. That balance meant understanding that I am  responsible up to that point, and not beyond it. As Empaths we are often seen outwardly as kind and caring, we are often misunderstood. We typically have the curse benefit of everyone thinking that we are almost saintly.  but it’s not a comfortable thing to get attached to always being the “nice guy”.

However, and it is a big however, it is not easy dealing with people’s negative emotions and reactions, but know that the chronic care taking of others will not in the end serve you, or even serve them for that matter. It doesn’t even help to protect them from their feelings, instead it will keep them from growing. People who have became accustomed to your care taking may get angry or sad at you, or with you, when you don’t do what they want you to do, or what they expect. It is important to remember that their feelings are not your feelings, and your well-being is not dependent on their well being. Stay mindful of your own reality.

A fellow Empath expressed my sentiments perfectly- *Nick said;  “As empaths, we can’t cut ourselves off of ALL emotion from others. We need it. I had my empathy go away temporarily a few months back and it HURT. It was like talking to a brick wall whenever I would talk to someone.”

As I continue to move forward in my life I close my eyes. I imagine myself being covered by a pink bubble of light, because pink is the color of love.  With my mind I make the bubble flexible enough so that it won’t be shattered when other emotions hit me. I imagine it thick enough to be resilient,making it solid first, then letting it develop very small holes in it so that I’m able to  absorb what I do choose.

Taking a deep cleansing breath,  I realize immediately that I’m going to be Okay.

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ttaylor2015

Redefining Fear

Family members hurt us. Friends betray us. And life keeps us moving forward with the pain in our hearts and scars on our souls.

And we are also the other part of that same dichotomy for others in our own lives.

Most people don’t set out to cause hurt and pain to others, and maybe this is why we embrace forgiveness for ourselves and other in these situations. Maybe so we can heal the wounds, and maybe leave a less noticeable scar on our hearts.

I hope.

Treading on other people’s joy and expectations by making an unpopular and frightening choices is something I found difficult to do, and because so, well… it fed into my fear of making the drastic life changes I needed.

So I could gain back some serenity in my spirit I leapt off a cliff with no idea what my landing would be like.

Today I am grateful that I embraced the fear anyway.
.
That fear…it had been screaming at my own spirit that something was terribly wrong in my life….for some time.
Part of the fear was about having to admit I had been living a life that was not what it seemed to be to those close to me….
…. admitting that what seemed to be…really just wasn’t the truth… was difficult & frightening.

That fear though was maybe in the end more of a motivator than I realized.
I have tried to spend my life as authentic and as genuine as I can; and here I was living a bold face lie in my personal life.
I found that I was using my fear as an excuse to not change that about myself that was not genuine, and causing chaos for my spirit., and my day-to-day life.
Pretending to be happy when the truth is that the very air space I was in had become intolerable and a far cry from living any kind of serenity. The hypocrisy and chaos alone that it created was in the end what I just couldn’t reconcile with.

Thankful today I am for that fear, for it is what told me something serious was going on that I no longer could ignore.

Grateful for that fear helped me redefine my life, my life,  ……and where I wanted to take it.

Humbled that the fear itself was not my hindrance, but instead it was my liberation.

©ttaylor2014

Resilient Human Spirit

Sometimes we need a powerful reminder just how fantastic the human spirit is, how resilient we are as a species. I had another post in mind for today that actually also speaks to the resilience of the human heart and spirit 

The video below is the most perfect segue into that post ( look for it early in the week )

I ran smack into this gentleman & his story thanks to social media, and if you have not seen it yet I promise you will be moved to tears. Feel good kind of tears. 
The powerful reminder received from this man’s story is a perfect example of how getting outside our own head, our own ‘issues’ and being allowed to be touched by others is healing to our own spirit. 
Thank you Arthur for your share ~

On Comfortably Numbing Down (CND)

Do you ever wonder why we do some things in our lives over and over, despite knowing it will not result any different of an outcome?
Probably even with a result that we know does not serve us.
 
I have been talking, writing, and learning a lot about living authentically for some time now. 
It is true it can get pretty lonely when we show ourselves. It is a risk we take being open and raw with emotions that guide our life.
This also can be off-putting to those in our world.
This is all just part of living authentically, When we are able to show our self and find comfort in this we then will be free to live our life as it has always meant to be….
Able to be the genuine person we are striving to be all along,
 
Comfortable enough to just be ourselves without any need to defend, protect, or deflect. 
There will be no longer a need to hang on to all the thoughts & beliefs we had scurried away that served to only preserve our self-image.
No longer will we have a need to secret away any parts of our self.
 
So now…. how do we get there?
 
This quote from Mary Oliver “Instructions for living”  is a perfect starting point. It was shared with me by a friend (thank you Joss) who is also on a self-exploration. 
 
” Pay attention.
 Be astonished.
Tell about it.”
           ― Mary Oliver
 
Perfect 3 tips to guide the start of the walk.
 
In the discovery of the path to authenticity I have found much in my recent research to bolster my agenda in wanting to live in a way that creates little to no regret in my life.
My big “Aha Moment” was finding I only need to change my thinking.
My astonishment came because I know I can make the changes in myself that will have great impact on that authenticity.
And a reconciliation that will allow myself to be comfortable in whatever situation or circumstance I might be in. Because there will only be the genuine ME navigating the circumstance. No question.
 
There is an interesting field of study in psychology called Cognitive dissonance.
The philosophy or idea that we will create thoughts and actions, or do just about anything in order to hang on to our own positive self-image, despite the actual truth.
In a simplistic example; we might believe we are loved (because lets face it we all want to be loved so thought it was something we can all relate to) 
Yet when faced with the factual actions that do not support love or it is withheld from us (for whatever reason) it sticks right in the heart. You know it. But you refuse to believe what is right in front of you.
It’s hard to admit it if we may have been mistaken. To navigate such uncomfortable circumstances we become masters at justifying what we believe, why we believe it, what we need to do and what we say to our selves.
We find can find justification for anything.
Self-deception can become our norm.
 
As a species with a highly evolved brain and emotion we are intelligent beings who typically look for consistency in what we believe & our perceptions. 
What is it that happens when we have conflict with a long-held belief and a new belief is presented.?
You feel it at your very core that ‘something’ is wrong.
That feeling of discomfort that is created when we hold two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors.
There is that gut feeling that something is off. 

That chord that rings true within all of us that ‘something’ is just not sitting right within our spirit. 

That’s dissonance.

And that ‘something’ must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance. 

 
The realization comes through our self inventory, with our self-image and our self-worth playing heavily into this cognitive dissonance. 
 I am certainly not immune by any means which is what takes me on this journey of reason and discovery in the first place. 
 
I discovered in reading that I might have to rethink some ideas I have in my own head about who I am. And how I interact with those I love. 
It has to start with ourselves. 
 
 Self-Efficacy refers to our self-image, stability of mood, and level of motivation. 
Hopefully we have good levels of self-esteem, sense of self, and a sense of accomplishment. 
If so it seems we might be acutely aware of our feelings, where they come from –
But are we accepting – of both our strengths, and weaknesses?
Likewise, we might likely feel that people who are important in our life understand us. 
But people who are on our radar tend to be comfortable not giving in to peer, family, and other social pressures any more than we are. It’s human nature. 
 
Family & close friends opinions are indeed important, but their expectations do not need to strongly influence our life. Instead our close family & friends tend to have their own well-defined ambitions and goals. The two shall not meet. We might even be very influential and persuasive with others. In fact, our family, friends and acquaintances may often come to us for ideas of guidance across a range of issues.
 So, can we be real & honest with ourselves and them? Not say what they want, what we want to hear, but instead  say what the genuine truth is? 
 
I find myself wanting that deep emotional connection with those in my life more and more. An important aspect of loving anyone that should not be ignored. Being authentic can open that door.
Our self is the only thing we can change in any relationship, any situation. If it’s not working for you change ‘something’ within yourself.
The inner workings of relationships are not as natural to navigate as we expect them to be. It takes some effort to have genuine & authentic relationships with that soul to soul emotional connection of those who matter the most.
 
I have found some questions I needed to answer for myself in this quest as well as some thoughts and tips that seem to help me with keeping that feeling of dissonance further at bay. 
 
Firstly,  ask these three things and answer with brutal honesty. 
I suggest a pen & paper and turn off all electronics, even music (I know) Phones most definitely.
Now spend some time with yourself. (make sure you will not be interrupted if at all possible)
Then ask:

“Do your positive qualities outweigh your faults? Why or why not?”

“Do you ever feel guilty when you do not meet the expectations of your family or friends? Explain.

“Are you the type of person who likes to stand out in a crowd or go totally unnoticed?” Why do you suppose this is?   (just so you know, there are no right or wrong answers)

Secondly, there are things I know that let me live more authentically if I practice them on a daily basis. And I mean practice as in rehearse, make mistakes, and get back up again, and start all over. And do it again tomorrow…
 
#1 Don’t lie. We just have to give it up, even those little seemingly innocent white lies.  Ask yourself what the lie is feeding?
 
#2. Know that we must not say everything out loud (this is a personal hurdle) We tend to get into a mind-set that all our thoughts are important and worthy of being shared. Not true. Learn to quiet your voice, not squelch it. 
 
#3  You can change your mind. It’s allowed. Being rigid will not serve an authentic life. 
 
#4 Avoid being en-guard.
 
#5  Have core plasticity.
#6 Be flexible, bend a bit, but don’t break.
 
#7  See family & friends attempts towards emotionally connecting as the good they are, even if not 200% successful.
 
#8  Have Team Spirit (whoever your team may be. Family, friends, lover, community…) 
 
#9  Focus only on the good. Catch those who matter to you most doing the things that feed your spirit. Ignore those things that might not. 
 
#10  Assert yourself. 
 
and finally…
Find a new voice.
One with an Emotional Reaction Redirection, An E.R.R.
We do this by changing how we say things to others. And to ourselves. 
Sometimes let us try to numb down our response.
Let us try to be comfortable knowing not everything needs our reaction and response.
Be Comfortably Numbed Down. C.N.D.
 
Start there. . 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Signature 2013

Sunday Soul Shining ~

Let today be a milestone day in your life. One that with all the successes & adversities in your life you might experience you find the wisdom to see that your soul is still shining bright.

One thing that cannot be ignored is nothing in this world ever stays the same. That is quite remarkable and I embrace the changes. Although not always changes I had looked for. This is a day to celebrate those changes, to embrace that which we thought might break us, but did not. That which will we know will keep us.

” Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase”

                                                               ~ Martin Luther King

Faith is allowing the soul to shine even when it feels impossible.

Searching Reflecting, Soul thoughts. Soul secrets. Soul shining on through.

Sometimes the light may seem to dim. I know it’s true. Yet that shining light never goes out. The dimming of the shining light is a gentle reminder that there are times certainly when the shadows in our lives threaten the way; but choice is ours in how we accept and navigate the shadows.

Recognizing they are merely shadows. Nothing more.

This is the time when my spirit takes over.

If I am quiet enough to listen my soul will shine again brightly enough to help guide me back.

So once again I go to search for the yellow moon and the red sun,  and I find with grace there is once again brilliant illumination.

I make that choice… to let my soul shine on through.

Let myself be guided by the spirit within. To find that gratitude inside myself for things that let me see the value in not just the day, but this very moment. This is extraordinary.

This is time I will not have again; and each moment, no matter whether with gladness or with sadness.

This is a  gift.

This very moment in time; So Many Souls are Shining Bright ~

Signature 2013

Thriving Anyway

Responding to my friend, T’s blog today I realized something pretty powerful. As I read all the challenges she s facing going back to school; I also realized that this woman who I met initially and bonded with completely because of a disease is my constant mirror. In her reflections I see myself.

Thriving T* and I met, became friends and made a bond with each other that we would not rest beside negativity in our environments, and NOT looking at our lives as we are the victims of anything. We so are not. Instead she & I have a made a promise that we have kept. The promise that despite what is going on with our bodies we are still in as much charge over our own lives as before. We have the power to thrive.

Thriving means moving forward with life. Not letting the road bumps in the journey throw you out of the race.  My friend Thriving T* sets a perfect example. Checking my own self inventory against the back drop of this promise has kept me focused. I am not defined by one thing in my life. why would  I allow an illness railroad me? Thankfully I am ahead of this illness and know its antics. I am in more control now than I ever have been.

You will find at T* blog http://itsarealpain.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/day-104the-spark/#comment-614  full of postings of graciousness and kindness. Thriving T* is a power house to be reckoned with and as someone who has Fibromyalgia as well.  I am most impressed with what this woman does in spite it.  She is a friend of  my own heart.

Thriving T* has kept me on my less than narrow path when I started to falter. She is a constant gentle reminder that I can do this. I can make what I need changing – different. What I want & need it to be.  I have much assurance that when I leap I am going to be caught, There is no fear, that has been replaced by Faith.

So when this Baroness uses the term ” I am thriving”  in spite of Fibromyalgia (+  two autoimmune diseases) it is to say that I am not just “getting by” I am thriving. I am thriving right on through this life of mine. As is my good friend and sister Thriving T*  We are warriors over our disease, we are the masters of how we process and assimilate what life throws at us.

In our own world [of health] sometimes there is little control over what is happening to the body. That unwinding sense of loss of control over your life can be something that takes a person out. Sadly  it happens. In order to thrive learning there is much you can do about some things concerning your health, there are thousands of choices to be made to that end. Choosing options that allow myself to thrive is my choice, and it has continued to serve me well.

Thriving beautifully on the wings of living well

 

 

©tjhelser2912