It's come to my attention that I've been under a lot of unnecessary stress lately. I think it may be the holidays or having another kid in my household. (My teenage step-son just moved in.) But I seriously feel like I need a massage...for about 6 solid hours straight! Maybe for 2 or 3 days in a row at that!
I'm sure you're feeling the same way too.
But recently I've been pondering on a lot of things including why I'm the "scary" person people make me out to be. My friend Aran once described me as being "terrifying." Truth be told, sometimes I actually scare myself. When I get over-stressed and overwhelmed, I find myself lashing out a lot, getting way too angry for it to be safe for other people, and finding myself in a semi-permanent state of being cynical, jaded, and generally miserable.
Many of you know that I recently adopted a 4-month-old puppy from a rescue organization. Her name is Sally and I've had her for a month now. I've learned a couple things from Sally. She had been abused. Probably by a man or several men. She will allow girls and women to pet her but it takes her awhile to get used to men. She barks and growls a lot around them. Sometimes viciously. And it can be quite scary at times.
When people are hurt, they lash out. Same with animals. The more pain there is buried deep, the more resentment, hatred, anger, and distrust will bubble to the surface. This is a means of protection. A method to create a layer of protection around us so that nobody else can hurt us, either physically or emotionally.
And this is applicable to me. It may describe you as well. There are only so many times an animal or human being can be kicked, mistreated, taken advantage of or abused before a permanent scowl and sense of distrust takes a predominant role front row and center. All the time.
This is dangerous. Very dangerous. Because we begin to see the world differently. We focus on the things that support our "truth" of everyone being a jerk-off while ignoring other "truths" such as people being nice, kind, and generous. I've chosen to ignore the latter, probably for a bit too long. Maybe you have, too.
So, what do you do about it? After all, it isn't really good for your health to stay in a perpetual state of anger while spewing piss and vinegar all the time, right? (This is when "stress" can kill you; medical studies have shown that our body creates a "poison substance" when we are angry, stressed, or upset. Therefore, by being in this state of mind, we literally begin poisoning ourselves.)
But "changing your mind" from sad to happy or angry to peaceful takes a lot more than reciting positive self-help affirmations, meditating, or chanting. Yes, some of this helps. No, it's not all it takes. Not by a long shot!
I've discovered a couple of tools required to make these mental "shifts" from being unhappy to happy. Yes, it takes work. All the time. And you can't stop doing it. When I stop, even for a couple of days, my mind and body shifts back to the spit-and-vinegar version of Monica which is the version of myself that I hate.
So, what are these "secrets"?
First of all, I need to mention one thing in why I believe that almost 100% of the self-help books out there -- especially those on the topic of healing -- are completely WRONG! (This part is important.) You see, I've been reading books on healing, particularly books on grieving and healing the heart. Many don't really adequately address the stages of grieving and why each one is so important to thoroughly get through. They tell you to open your heart and everything will work out.
Please. Pretty lame if you actually analyze what they're telling you to do.
Let's take a PHYSICAL injury, for instance. If you break your leg, you go to the hospital where they place a cast on it and tell you that your ability to walk on it will be relatively non-existent for the next several weeks.
Let's break this down: Injury = the encapsulation of the wound...UNTIL IT HEALS! This means building a hard apparatus around it as a form of protection to ensure no additional damage can be done while it "sets" into place for quicker healing.
This goes for any type of physical injury.
Let's take a psychological/mental injury such as an event that creates PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). If you're in the midst of a war with bombs going off everywhere, there's no way any healing can even begin to occur until you're completely removed from the environment. The trauma must stop FIRST. You must then be removed from the environment and placed in a calm, protective, healing place. THEN healing can begin sometime thereafter. Sometimes it can take minutes (unlikely) but in many cases it will take years, decades, or the rest of your life.
But...in all these ridiculous books out there on matters of healing the heart, none of them (that I've read) tell the reader that it's OKAY to encapsulate the heart (metaphorically) for healing to take place. In fact, it's quite the opposite. They irresponsibly tell their readers to "get over the pain" and "open your heart" right away!
Open your heart? Just like you'd open your cast on your broken leg 10 seconds after the doctor sets it? Or run back out onto the battlefield 60 seconds after taking a "water break" after you just saw your best friend get blown to bits by an exploding bomb? You mean...NO TIME TO HEAL AT ALL??
And THIS is the problem that I have with New Age "healing" books. There is no respect for the pain, damage, or injury and it's almost treated as being insignificant. "Suck it up and open your heart to love." Love? From who? From where?
This is when I discovered something CRITICAL when it comes from healing your heart from any heart break or grief you might be dealing with right now. First, don't let anyone tell you that it's not okay for you to shut down. Close your heart. Take a step back. Become numb if you have to. Stop "thinking" about how it is probably "wrong" or not the correct response to numb-out, close up, and assess the situation. Or take a break. Hit the pause button. Stop feeling. Yes, this part is OKAY. And no, nobody will ever tell you (in those books) that it is okay (for some reason).
Think about it: why is healing heart-break different than healing a broken leg? If a broken leg has to be encapulated and taken out of service to heal, why can't your heart be treated the same way? Oh, because it's a singular simple external body part instead of an entire complex internal emotional system? Okay, fine.
So, what about healing PTSD then? That's emotional. And people experiencing that MUST be removed from the situation, encapulated from further damaging experiences, closed away in a peaceful environment, and are basically "pausing" everything until the situation can be assessed then healed.
I felt pretty balanced all up until about mid-November when I lost a friend of mine to cancer. Then I got all screwy and out of whack, realizing that (like most people) I have almost no internal capacity in dealing with loss. It brought up the loss of my mom 10 years ago and the empty space in dealing with my estranged dad and brother who I never see anymore.
Pain and hurt is always the core to anger and hatred.
You know as well as I do that 90% of the battle in anything is becoming AWARE that something is wrong and needs to be adjusted in some way, as I just discovered this past weekend. I was getting severely off-balance and it was time to start reeling my emotions back in. And yes, that means closing down for a time to being the healing process.
Remember, when you're "open" you're exuding energy to others. To heal, you need your energy and strength. You can't be giving it away like that otherwise healing will be very difficult if not impossible to do. To heal, you have to encapsulate, pull back, close down, and press pause. And that's okay!
So, once you do all that, how do you begin to heal?
Here are some tried-and-true suggestions on what to do:
1) Remove yourself from the situation/environment your in and visit nature, even for a few hours. Going to the beach or a forest by yourself will help you start to rebalance again.
2) Do some yoga or other peaceful meditative exercise. When using your body while doing slow and methodical movements, this will help you push out any stress in your life to start to heal.
3) Meditate. Find a quiet corner, sit by yourself, and meditate while doing deep breathing exercises. This works wonders with helping to rebalance while beginning the healing process within.
4) Do tapping exercises. This, my friend, has been the critical element between feeling great and feeling crappy...when I don't do the tapping, I feel like sh**. When I do the tapping, I'm essentially "re-wiring my brain" and this alone allows for some relatively fast and phenomenal changes in every area of your life from healing to wealth attraction to...anything positive you want for yourself. CLICK HERE for an amazing tapping video.
5) Supplement your diet. I've been taking a myriad of different dietary supplements to balance the brain chemistry for the different mood disorders I've experienced over the years. I've had a lot of luck with St. John's Wort, Omega-3, SAMe, B-12, liquid Vitamin D, proteins, and amino acids. Severe cases of screwed up brain chemistry may require hormonal rebalancing.
6) Sunshine for 30 minutes a day. This is another blessing. Sunshine, liquid happiness. I've noticed a huge difference in my moods by sitting in the sun for 20 to 30 minutes per day. This is why we get the winter blues, because we're not getting enough sun. This is called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and it causes real depression in millions of people each year. There are different energy lights that can help in the winter when you can't get enough sun. Amazon has some. I got the Lightphoria (Sphere Gadget Technologies) which helps right away. I use it at my desk in the morning to get my fake sun rays.
Doing all of the above things is certainly not an instant healing miracle but doing all of them consistently will make a huge difference in the next couple of weeks to come. After all, nothing matters more than your emotional and mental health because it keeps you balanced and reality in perspective.In the meantime, don't be afraid to disconnect from people, especially those who are hurting you or who are part of the source of your pain and stress. Don't be afraid to close down and pull away to heal. Staying open and giving all of your energy away all the time will definitely become your downfall over time which makes this "healing model" unsustainable, unsuccessful, and nothing short of ridiculous.
And the good news...the holidays are almost over. (Yaahhhh!!) So, just hang in there. It's not just depressing for you. It's depressing for me as well. Just know that there's a positive and prosperous New Year right around the corner! It's just DAYS away!!
See you at the top!