I drew this fiery image and wrote out the self affirming statement back in 1989, possibly 1990. I vaguely remember the psychotherapist I was working with at the time suggesting I draw something as an exercise in creativity and affirmation. This was the result. These days, I actually do visualize my inner power more, which is my higher Self, connected with the great light source of the universe.
Stronger/More Confident After Having Covid-19
Being ill recently with Covid-19 and then recovering from it completely has boosted my confidence in my (over fifty years old) body’s strength, and my sense of confidence overall. I have long been a believer in Nietzsche’s axiom that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, even if this may not be immediate or takes a while to become evident. I had some scary moments around thinking I was not going to get well anytime soon, that I may be left somehow medically weakened. If that had been the case, I would have committed myself to finding the strengthening of my spirit somehow. Learning while living is a route towards strength, since knowledge, whether gained from books and/or life experience, is power.
On My Appreciating the Beauty of Those Who Are No Longer Young
More and more, I especially enjoy the beauty of people well over forty, i.e., those in my age group, and even older. Beautiful youths and thirty-somethings are starting to feel like people I view caring about as if I were their older relative and/or mentor. Beauty shows up in so many ways and it’s been a fascinating evolution for me to grow more open to noticing how and where this value manifests in people and the world at large. This has been an internal perspective shift that’s hard to put into words. Interesting.
“Healing Happens in Relationship.”
My undergrad. clinical and humanistic psychology professor at UC Santa Cruz, Ralph Quinn, said on more than one occasion, “Healing happens in relationship.” He included here a relationship with a higher power besides with another person or people. By extension, I think this certainly can and does apply to a connection one has with a pet, a wild animal, or with all or part of nature for that matter.
(Photo accompanying this post by Sebastian Arie Voortman.)
On Outgrowing Relationships and Experiencing Unconditional Love
A little earlier, over on Facebook, I wrote about how, sometimes, one outgrows a relationship, be it romantic, familial, a friendship, whichever. It isn’t healthy to try and remain in it out of guilt and obligation and/or fear. (I am excluding here those people who are in tenuous circumstances where leaving a problematic relationship is not an immediate option. Privilege and power differentials within and between parties are so often major factors.)
In response, a certain friend replied: “Life is not like a Hallmark movie. Most of the time we spend a ‘moment’ in time with someone. It does not diminish that relationship if it was not FOREVER. Unconditional love is a misnomer.”
I found this response of his interesting and thought-provoking. I replied by saying how I try my best to practice holding and sending compassion for others, including those I have moved on from and them from me. I went on to explain that I think unconditional love can be selectively practiced over those closest to us who we do not grow apart from.
I myself never experienced unconditional love growing up or into most of my adulthood, until I met my husband. Now, I’m experiencing what feels like that between him and myself, though it has definitely had to develop. It’s not about the romantic, passionate “fireworks” feeling, sensation, and thought states. Unconditional love for someone is a comparatively calmer, deeper emotional-sensory inner experience arising from having a sustained, safe outer connection with another, who congruently shares a similar inner emotional-sensory experience with the other. All of this phenomena goes beyond words.
This kind of love comes from one’s core, true Self. For most if not all of us, accessing our own Self takes a steady practice over time, informed by our own personal histories.
On Letting Go of Non-Resonating Energy From Others
I have experienced wonderful healing recently via sessions with an energy and sound healer, Katie Rose of Rose Energetics in Killeen, TX (her link here: https://roseenergetics.com). Regardless of what you may think and feel about the legitimacy and value of such a modality, one generally useful nugget of wisdom I’ve found helpful is Ms. Rose’s well-stated truth that not everyone’s energy resonates with one’s own. This doesn’t mean that all or part of another’s energy is bad, it just means it’s not always right for someone else, such as myself. It is simply non-resonant/non-resonating. And vice versa, of course, is the case with my energy not always resonating well for others. This has been so affirming and releasing.
The implications of this understanding are powerful. No longer do I feel the need, out of guilt or some other negative motivator, to remain engaged with non-resonant energy of someone in my personal life anymore, ever. And I don’t need to pursue trying to make my energy resonate with someone else’s. It has been so freeing to clear away this old habit of tolerating and engaging with non-resonant energy(ies) from others. Letting go of or avoiding non-resonating engagement in the first place can and should be un-coupled with polarizing/demonizing a non-resonant other. That is a more nuanced, newer insight I have been coming to.
I have been integrating all this for a good while now, but Ms. Rose’s wisdom (which is not hers alone) has basically cinched the deal, so to speak, further embedding in me this healthy outlook and way of engaging in the world. And I most certainly help my clients come to all this understanding for themselves as well. Now, I’ve got some additional helpful language and subsequent perspective to offer.
My Reply to Someone’s “Thank You”
Earlier today, someone thanked me for how helpful I have been to them. I replied, “It is my pleasure and honor to hold attuned space for and witness your healing.”
On Attunement and Listening
I continue to grow in my capacity to listen. It’s about attunement, attuning my whole body along with my ears. It’s about how and where I listen from, namely from a place of open curiosity and compassion. Often, my busy, agenda-filled mind distracts me away from listening, but I return, constantly, to attuning to the person before me and resuming listening. And any feedback I give to the other comes from a place of accurately attuning to and hearing something(s) they have said. I have not perfected non-stop attunement and listening, and I probably never will, which is ultimately fine. But, I am getting better and better at more readily returning to attunement and listening.
The same applies inward to myself too, attuning and then listening in to what my body– which includes my brain– is saying.
On Avoiding Toxic Relationships and Making Amends
The more I clear away internalized negative beliefs about myself and feeling states that accompany these beliefs (e.g., “I’m not good enough”), the more I clearly understand how vital it is to minimize and, where possible, avoid spending time around anyone who relates to me from a place that reinforces these negative beliefs. I will not automatically return to any past relationships tainted with emotional toxicity. I would need the other party in question to indicate some significant changes having happened in themselves, demonstrated by them freely admitting to any hurtful statements and actions they had said and done to me and expressing remorse over these. I would then gladly admit to any I had said and done to them and apologize. That would be a healthy start.
Initiating the making of amends is a courageous act. Over the years, I have made it a point to do this where and when I can, when doing so would clearly not cause any harm to the other party. This has been very healing to do, even when the other person has received my amends with some reservation. It has still felt like the right thing to do.
Vigilantly Mindful of Not “Othering” People
I try to be vigilantly mindful around stopping my automatic habit of “othering” people here and there, including whole groups of individuals. It’s part of an overall mindfulness practice for me to maintain and improve upon. This is something for everyone to consider doing.