Saturday, July 10, 2010

swimming in your own stare....

Nobody, absolutely nobody gets out of this life without accumulating a series of personal emotional wounds.  Chances are, nobody gets out of this life without being the one who wounds another.  Even the kindest person trips up somewhere along the line.  Well, maybe Mother Theresa didn't wound anybody. 

Sometimes we just have to learn how to step beyond those debilitating feelings that make you double over in vulnerability.  Its tempting to remain stuck in sadness, anger, hurt, shame and/or jealousy because they have a tendancy to be SO big that they flood our thinking and our actions.  They leave you sitting on the sidelines swimming in your own stare, gazing without focus.....walking in circles, believing you belong there.  That's the grab hold of these devilish emotions and allow them to label you....

The offended one.
The betrayed one.
The rejected one.
The discarded one.
The abandoned one. 

 Look at all the labels one can choose from!!! 

Though it's important to look at the dark side of our feelings, to reflect upon the events which have been the culprit of the wounds, there comes a time when you have to step over them, leave them behind and move on.  Easier said than done....especially if you sink into a pit of self loathing introversion.  Swimming in your own stare.  This is what sinks you.  This is what fuels the apathy and strips you of any level headed reasoning.  

When you are going through a painful experience, its easy to hide away.  In fact, I think its the natural response........ FLIGHT from the pain. But, the pain follows.  The labels stick like humidity to skin. Wounded vulnerability drains you of energy.  So how do you pull yourself out of the bleeding?  

Change your swim stroke! 
Stop staring at the same picture.
Ask for help........a little help from your friends.  :)
Surround yourself with the loving care of others.
Change your thinking with activity even if you are exhausted.
Write it out............ which is what I'm doing right now......
Do something you enjoy doing.  
Be kind to yourself.
Talk to God.
Sit still and face the wind and listen to His Spirit all around you........

Then, go out and do something for someone else.  Trust that your wounds will remained bandaged so you can be there fully for someone else. 

This morning, as I was having breakfast with a friend at the market, an angel who knows my situation and  who happened to be waitressing, leaned down and whispered in my ear that the woman who has recently moved to town and has played a major role in the demise of my marriage, and the break up of two families was in line to be seated. This angel, who calls everyone honey, told me that she loved me and didn't want to see me hurt.  

A rush of anxiety flooded me........ the wounds opened up in my gut.  I hugged my friend, thanked my angel and took flight!  By the time I reached my car, I was a shaking mess....upset that I reacted that way, and upset that someone's presence would make me feel like throwing up.  More than anything I was upset over the realization that I could feel the DEPTH of hurt I thought I had left behind.  It felt like all of what I have done to heal went right out the window in one caught breath. 

I really thought I had stepped over the wounds.  I guess not.  My bravery was too thin skinned to remain there with my head held high.  All day, I've been a mess.  My stomach was in knots.  My tears kept flowing.  Until NOW. Ever since I started writing this post, I could feel my strength and confidence return.  I DO know how to help heal the wounds..... it just takes more time than I had thought. 

It's been a wake up call.  It's also been an opportunity to reframe and remember all the things I HAVE done since March that have added to a deepening faith, to a sense of freedom and relief,  to a recognition that there was an emotional detachment in my marriage for a very long time.  More importantly, this jolt to my senses has informed me that my heart still needs mending....  Oh, and to give thanks to the angels in my life!  They are plentiful and everywhere!  I AM being looked after by the universe. 

I am humbled by the sacredness of this journey...... wounds bless and break.  They also teach me and feed me bread for the journey.  As a student of living out loud?  I will never remain on any sideline for long.....just long enough to change the gauze and the gaze!!  I am not swimming in my own stare any longer today. 

ps...... Wow, writing does heal!!!!  Now, I wish I had stayed long enough to get a glimpse of this woman.  I still don't know what she looks like!! Next time. Next time.


Twain12 said...

next time ! :)

Selma said...

You are so full of grace, Dana. I would have walked right over and punched that woman in the face. Then I would have gone home and made a wax figure of her and would be sticking pins in it every five seconds.

I am so angry she hurt you. How dare she. Your wisdom under duress is inspiring. Thank you for always showing me the right way X

Kay said...

What truly wise words... situation aside, they are words to live by, if you listen...

you know, even the most trying times brings forth blessings and strength that otherwise would not have come upon us

Anonymous said...

You are much more reserved then I ....That shameless hussie would have been wearing breakfast instead of eating it!
I would have caused a scene to embarass her (truth be known , me too) and would have went home, regretted my actions and sat there staring for a while too. I would listen to my friends congratulate me on a job well done . I would sit and plot my next revenge...I would take this as a personal assault to my body and soul.

I haven't got past the anger or hurt, but I only hurt those who hurt mine...

I need your strength Dana. You are a role model and someone to look up too!!!! xoxoxo

Karma, my dear friend. It is even more spiteful then I ....

awareness said...

Twain.... yes, there will be one of those. And I will handle it differently. :)

Selma... I don't know if I'm full of grace. I'm sure there are some (know there are) who think otherwise. Ah, but what do they know? hahaha! I actually had no intentions of writing about the incident when I started the piece. I had read some wise words about "wounded healers...." by Henri Nouwen before I even went to the market and was intending on writing a generic piece on how wounds to break and bless us....... and had the line "swimming in your own stare..." written down in my journal. After wallowing in it for most of the day, I decided that I would escape into some writing/blogging. The more I wrote, the stronger I felt. It literally pulled me right out of the funk.
We all know that they only thing we can control is how we react to any situation we are confronted with. I have to remind myself of this.... knowing full well that eventually I will meet this person. She ain't going away, and I certainly am not either.
I am fine now....... the writing truly helped me. In fact, I told my ex what had happened and then was comfortable having him around last evening so he could spend time with our children. I was calm again and in control over my emotions. I have come a long way since March. This was a good test.

Kay..... I am listening........ all ears. I am learning to walk the talk. thank you. You are so right.... there is a heart blessing side to all situations. I am a student of living out loud, and will take this life lesson, which on some days just looks like a bowl of sour lemons and make lemonade out of it. !!

awareness said...

Anon.... you made me laugh! Given that I was sitting with a friend who is running in this provincial election, I didn't dare stick around and make any kind of scene. Plus, I truly lost my balance and could only think about getting the hell out of there. It was the best move for both of us. :)
I don't want to feel that resentment. I don't like the feeling of anger and spite and am trying my best to let go of it. The writing helps me. It may not be the kosher thing to do...... but oh well. I've always been politically incorrect and blatantly honest..... and hey, look where that got me!!!!
So, I will learn to respect Karma and let things unfold as they will.

Canadian Sentinel said...

Good for you, Dana, being able to self-criticize when you act in a less-than-best way that surprises you. We all react to tough stuff sometimes in a perhaps less-than-adult manner. Myself, admittedly, I'm no exception. But I'm pleased that you have and willingly exercise the ability to have a facepalm moment and say, "What's the matter with me? I'm just postponing the inevitable... now where's my big girl panties?". (Um, I was refering to you, not to me, just sayin', 'cause I don't want people thinkin' I wear those, y'know...) LOL

Anyway, hmmmm... I'm reminded of something that's helped me in the past to be, y'know, cooooooool under ALL circumstances and to exude calm, unruffled confidence in front of others, no matter what.

I ask myself, "Ok, what are the worst possible things that can happen in this situation? Ok, now, what are the odds of them happening, really? Low, actually. And even if they do, well, it'd be the fault of the other guys, and you'll be alright, 'cos you'll conduct yourself in a better way, more adult, more... all that good stuff, and the others will look bad and might get themselves into a big pile of steaming doodoo, and you'll be none the worse for wear.

It's this kind of psyching that enabled me to get into anything, including stuff I'd previously have felt too nervous to get into. It worked- and it eventually became automatic and effortless. ('Course, I did later come to realize that, at the same time, one can't allow oneself to be inconsiderate of others, but, hey, it's all about balance, but the more one exercises the balance, the easier and more automatic it becomes, though one cannot be turning off one's conscious situational and interpersonal awareness).

Ah... of course, given the presence at the time of your friend the electoral candidate, it's plausible that you weren't so much thinking of yourself as you were perhaps thinking of your friend and the likelihood that there were spies in the establishment poised to capture awkward moments and reactions that could be used in partisan political propaganda and by the Old Media. Hmm. ;) Perhaps you were actually being wise and considerate and removing yourself from the situation at that particular time so as to prevent things from happening that would be beyond your and your friend's control. Wise move, even if it might've been a subconsciously-motivated move. Actually, if this is the case, then, in fact, your action of removing yourself from the situation was the mature, adult, right thing to do, even if you don't realize that's what you were doing, actually (which would be true if it's all a subconscious thing).

Perhaps the whole thing's being blown up a bit much, but, hey, I get it now, about the expansion and shrinking... Gotta examine it in its entirety to understand its essence, so that one can then collapse it so tiny as to render it virtually nothing, going forward...

Canadian Sentinel said...
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Canadian Sentinel said...
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Canadian Sentinel said...

Heh... sorry about the multiple deletions... Blogger was acting weird and made me think I had to repost, with a smaller comment. Turned out that that wasn't the case, and that I ended up posting the same, but shrinking, comment multiple times.

Kinda like the expansion-shrinking principle, only silly... LOL

lynette said...

i have been following your blog for a while, and have yet to comment. i just want to say that you write with beauty and eloquence and power, and i find wisdom relevant to my own journey every time i visit.

i would have done the same as you under the circumstances. with the same regret... :)

thank you for sharing your writings.

awareness said...

Hey Sentinel Guy... yeah, well....ummmm..... my big girl panties were in the laundry. I had bloomers on yesterday! I don't think I was being considerate to my political friend. In fact, I know I wasnt because my freaking brain shut down and I was relying solely on what is left of my brainstem. Also, I wanted him to go give her proper shit! Be my knight in shining armour. That's what I was thinking.
But now that I have had time to go through that list I posted in bold Tory blue, starting with BLINK? I realize that there is no such thing as a knight in shining armour and if there is? Well, I am not destined to have one of those in my life. I don't ever attract those type of men. And if I do? They usually tell me to fight my own battles because I am STRONG. You know sometimes I get tired of being told how strong I am. I'm not as strong as people think I am. Do strong people run away and burst into tears in their cars? No, they suck it up and sit there stoically.


I'm being silly. I know I'm capable of handling most things that are thrown at me. And if I can't figure it out, I have the capacity to figure out who can. Having said that? I am a little frustrated with everyone telling me how strong I am. Every now and then? It would've been nice to have been looked after. Chances are I'd grow tired of that really quickly.

Maybe I'm not strong. Maybe I'm just feisty eh Sentinel Guy?

ps. Yeah, whats up with the multiple comment posts? :) Blogger has been acting up today. Look how big the YOutube video is that I posted this morning!

awareness said...

Lynette... thank you for your kind feedback and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it. Nothing warms my heart more than to know that what I've written has resonated with another person. It also helps keep me on track with my writing.... to read the comments, especially from someone like you who has been reading my blog for a while. To be aware of your presence out there makes me smile.

cheers to you Lynette.... and please don't hesitate to sign in anytime ok?

Canadian Sentinel said...

Oh, Dana, but you ARE strong. If you weren't, then how'd you survive intact, albeit with the expected battle scars, against all odds, like, y'know, myself? Sometimes I don't feel all that strong, and sometimes I get lazy and such, which isn't exactly "strong", but, y'know, just 'cause we have weak moments every now and then doesn't mean we're not strong overall, in general.

Ah, but then again, we're mere imperfect mortals. Strength is about survival, is about enduring hardships, waging battles, and choosing not to surrender, not to back down, resolving to emerge victorious or at least in a draw. Yes, it's perfectly normal to wind up for a little while in one's car, feeling temporarily overwhelmed with big new feelings, and, hey, who hasn't been there, eh... But strength means that one regains one's composure and gets back into the fight, as it were...

Hmm. "Knight in Shining Armor" is as much a fantasy fairytale as is my own in which Wonder Woman or Jamie "Bionic Woman" Somers or some other fantasy superpower-possessing, Amazon hot babe in a totally hot outfit (ok, stopping myself while I'm ahead!) kicks ass for me and stuff. It's a nice fantasy, but a fantasy nonetheless.

What's normal is something in which a man and a woman share the battle-load, shoulder-to-shoulder in the trenches, 'cause an army of two is better than an army of one, after all...

jason evans said...

Anxiety is the great crippler. And emotional wounds give birth to anxiety.

Most of the time, the greatest first step is just to calm the physical experience of anxiety. The death spiral stops spiralling.