Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lonely Sinking Feeling

Cowboy Junkies
“Lonely Sinking Feeling
She says, 'i'm getting that lonely sinking feeling,
You know what I mean? '
With his hand on her back he's thinking,
'where does that leave me? '
Just when I think I've uncovered the secret
To peace and tranquility
That lonely sinking feeling creeps up on me…”

So, who hasn’t been here before? You know the feeling, that lonely sinking feeling that sneaks up on you, envelopes you and leaves you feeling so empty. Panic sets in, you want to run, you want to hide, you want to drink it away, work it away and just get as far away from it as possible. But, you can’t. At least not for long. You can’t escape that feeling. The only thing that you can do is settle yourself down right smack in the middle of that feeling and just feel it. It’s okay to feel empty and it’s okay to feel sad about feeling empty but you don’t necessarily have to do anything about it. When you sit right back into that feeling and realize that it’s okay to feel lonely, its okay to feel empty and it’s okay to feel sad there is no panic. We have these lonely sinking feelings come over us all now and then. We’re supposed to feel this way occasionally. We take on a lot, we do a lot, we ignore what’s going on inside of us a lot and sometimes that feeling needs to get very strong until we pay attention to it and understand what its really trying to say to us. If we don’t sit with the feeling and try to hear it’s wisdom, we may prolong our agony or we may make some pretty devastating decisions in our resulting panic. It’s not a good way to go.

Sometimes there is nothing wrong…our bodies are just adjusting to change and so we can respond by listening, by resting, by slowing down, being kinder and gentler with ourselves, eating better and maybe even taking vitamins…getting sunlight or exercise gently. If it is emotional, listening can lead us to the source, the core and once there we can uncover what is within our power to change to help accept the feelings. Sometimes the only answer or only solution is to find forgiveness…forgiveness for the universe, forgiveness for those in your past or present or simple forgiveness for yourself. There was a time in my life where that lonely sinking and anxious feeling settled over my soul. I panicked and felt something was really wrong. I fought that feeling with everything in me and all I got for my trouble was 6 months of insomnia. No bueno! I learned that there were some very important things trying to get my attention, things I had stuffed down, things I had run from and things I was choosing to ignore. I learned that panic on top of those feelings was not helpful. I learned that if I sat with the feeling it would eventually pass and there was no need for panic.

I don’t like waking up to feeling down or sad but now I know, when these feelings wash over me, there are thoughts at the core, judgments being made by me about me or there are things I’m holding onto I shouldn’t be holding onto. So, I get very still and I listen for as long as it takes to hear what it is my body and soul are trying to tell me. I’m kind to myself during such times and I find where I’m being hasty, in denial or otherwise not taking good care of myself. I adjust my thoughts. I adjust my diet. I adjust my exercise schedule. All of these things I do to help restore balance and then I can hear that still small voice that has been drowned out too long. If you can’t sit with the feeling on your own, I strongly suggest counseling to help you get to the core of what your body and soul are trying to tell you and then relax and let the process work and eventually you’ll start to feel the heaviness lift, the loneliness drift to the background and emptiness starting to fill with laughter and sunlight. Just like an injury…if you tense up, the pain is worse…it’s like that with those lonely, sinking and empty feelings too. Relax into them…don’t fight them and instead try to listen to what you body, mind or soul is trying to tell you. If you relax into the feelings instead of fight them and truly try to understand what is at the core and then finish up by taking healthy, appropriate and legal steps to right imbalances (and this has nothing ever to do with hurting yourself or anyone else) that lonely sinking and empty feeling will leave you.

Be well and be peaceful.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Wonder.... it real or is it an illusion? I know that it feels real and that the vast majority of us act on emotion but what is it really? I'm no psych major so please don't expect that I'm about to dig into the psychology of the emotions or the ego. I think the ego may serve it's purpose but it's view is always wrong. Why? Because it generates emotion based on assumptions it likes to call thoughts. You might think that a jaded view but stick with me for just a minute and think about this. We often think of feelings as facts without checking those facts before we spring unwarily into action. That is so unfortunate for so many reasons. Well, that is if you are not a conflict/adrenaline junkie. I believe that feelings are mostly an illusion. Our feelings are based on our perception of something or someone. Our feelings are based on our perception of ourselves. Our feelings are based on our experience...based on our outcomes. Our feelings are based, often, on assumptions that have yet to be validated.

So, how can we tell if a feeling is real, whether the emotion is something we should take to heart or if we should trust what we're feeling at all? Well, fact check your emotions and feelings before you act. Simple right? Not so fast. It gets rather complicated turning our focus to our own thoughts and observing them from a place of detachment long enough to determine which thoughts are based on truth as we see it or which ones are based on assumptions. When you find the assumptions (here's a clue...double check the ones that involve you feeling anything negative about you), deconstruct them with pure and simple logic by asking yourself one simple question...are you ready? Okay, here it is, "Are the thoughts generating my emotions real?" Then, follow up with another question, "How do my thoughts are real thoughts or assumptions?" Consider yourself a detective gathering facts for a court case. As a detective you must validate every fact or it will be of no use for the impending court case. If a fact is not valid, you cannot use it and if you cannot use it, the emotions attached to it must not be real. If the emotions are not real because the facts aren't all checked, the emotion is an illusion and you can let go of that emotion.

So, I'll give you an example. You are driving on the freeway. A woman comes from the right hand side of the freeway, very fast and nearly takes off your bumper. Your thoughts..."That stupid idiot tried to kill me!" Maybe it makes you very angry. Well, let's deconstruct that thought. Do we know for a fact the person is stupid? What they did was probably not the best choice they could have made but it doesn't really make them stupid. So, we can't validate the stupidity. Is the person an idiot? It seems like it from their recent action but we really don't know them so we can't say for sure that the person who just cut you off is an idiot. On the last piece, did the person really try to kill you? Can you say they had intent to kill you with 100% certainty or is there a possibility this individual was distracted by something (probably emotional...LOL) and was careless? When the incident first happens, we could tend to be quite angry because we assumed someone was stupid and tried to kill us. You can line all of your thoughts up with that and chase the woman down, pull her over and yell at her, but what if you're wrong? What if you pulled her over and screamed at her and you noticed she was crying. She tells you she is sorry but she was rushing to the hospital because her child is in the emergency room and she has to get there fast before its too late. How bad might you feel for acting on your assumptions? You have a choice in what you allow yourself to feel and I'm not talking about denying your feelings. I'm talking about checking your "facts" before you let those "facts" give birth to your emotions.

There are many other examples I could give. The romantic arena provides plenty of fodder for this type of discussion. So, the next time you make an assumption and line up feelings about your partner...ask your self some questions like the ones above, discern whether your feelings are fact or assumption based and then act accordingly. Why? Well, because if we all acted on assumptions and we later determine our assumptions are wrong, we have doubled the negative emotions flowing in the world and it just becomes a horrible mess not only for you but now, someone else. It can be avoided if you are so inclined to have such interest.

So, I no longer believe that my feelings are facts. My feelings are based on the thoughts I allow myself to entertain. I don't like negative thoughts or emotions because it wastes the time I could be enjoying life with. So, I sort out the good from the bad by asking questions. Is this true? How do I know? Can I confirm with 100% certainty. If I can't validate my facts, I cut off the emotion and categorize the whole thing as questions I might just need to have answered...staying open to the possibility that I cannot assume or surmise the answers without going to the source.

Just some food for thought.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Taking long walks through long lonely hallways in my own mind. It's been an incredibly enlightening I won't soon forget. What I found was an immeasurable well of strength, of love, of understanding. What I found was acceptance for things not as they could be but as they are. I found faults and and magic. I found quiet stillness that was not frightening. I found the sun, the moon and the stars. I found life. I found meaning, understanding and even wisdom. I learned close is never close enough. Settling for less is not a sacrifice I can make long term...I learned that you should love with all of your heart or not at with all of your heart or not at all. Interesting journey...painful journey...rewarding journey...freedom at last.

...or so at the moment it seems. I have never been afraid of love but that's only because I have never been afraid of pain. Pain and love, love and pain...amazingly intertwined...that's the expectation one should have if engaging the heart. There is no finer reward. Having said that there are times I wonder just how many romantic starting overs I have left in me. I don't think I really have doubts that I won't stop until I find what I'm looking for and the thing is, I am looking for something. I've felt as though I've completed the part of love that I was looking for within and I'm always looking for that one person who can accept me for who I am as I accept others for who they are. That's called unconditional love. I've recently learned how to give it...what can destroy to heal it...hehehe, it actually takes more love. Interesting.

Any how, those are my thoughts today. I'm not sure if they're good thoughts but they do feel good at the moment and feeling good is a welcome change of late. I appreciate it immensely, now...mocha time! Peace!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I want to talk about pain for a minute. A post I just sent to someone reminded me there was a topic I wanted to post about here...Pain. Pain is a feared and dreaded thing. In fact, most of us do some really crazy things to avoid pain. We stay in relationships, jobs and in friendships longer than we should to avoid what?...Pain. Well, here's the problem with that line of thinking. Pain is the great transformer, the great raiser of opportunity, and the great impetus for necessary change. Without pain prompting us to close doors on aspects or people in our lives that are no longer with us or good for us, we would not move onto the things and people we were meant to move onto.

I'm wrestling a fair bit with an ending and although I've closed the door and I don't fear the pain, it is still very difficult. I've embraced the pain. In fact, I welcomed her like a long lost friend when she came knocking...she was long over due and I'm grateful to have her here with me now...because that means I've achieved another level of much needed development, I've transcended the fog and muck I mired myself in for too long and now I'm ready to understand the lesson, let go and lock that damn door behind me (at least on one particular lesson). I don't hold any hatred or anger with the person on whom I had to close a door. I hold great love for this person but it was a situation that was NOT meant to least not long term. A part of me always knew it. A part of me knew I had compromised too far and it was time I set things right for me for my own peace of mind and soul. No regrets.

So, now I sit here in the aftermath telling myself "I told you so" and "What took you so long?" LOL I don't know the answers to that other than I often see things not as they are but as they could be. That's a beautiful thing to hold such optimism, to see the best in everyone and everything but there are draw forgetting the pain of a harsh reality...and that pain was really screaming for attention, screaming for changes to be made for my ultimate good. I'm glad I heeded that call, finally. So, now I can sit with these waves of emotion, these waves of sadness and allow to grow within me a new hope for a new door or opportunity in time. I already see it coming, it's just a little further up the road but I'm in no hurry. Right here, in this moment is where me, my thoughts and my heart belong.

It's not right to rush the current moment, the current moment is all we have. In fact, when I stay very present in the moment, I don't hurt so much. It's only when I look back or try to look ahead. In this moment, I am not anxious or frenetic, I am peaceful, I am whole and complete. I have hard won lessons in my heart and I'm grateful because I know that although some of those lessons were painful, I will never close off my heart. My heart is always open and I'm so proud of that. Love is the answer to everything but sometimes its not the kin of love you think. Sometimes the best friend for pain is love...self love, gentleness, loving thoughts and deeds from the self for the self. Healing sets in then, lessons coalesce into real tangible thoughts and then opportunities and change come in like a warm summer breeze.

So, yeah, I'm in pain currently but I'm also in a state of grace, a state of self-love, a state of forgiveness and a state of hope. It hurts a lot sometimes but then the good things are still there too and I smile sometimes with tears in my eyes because I won't panic when I feel pain. I know pain is just one aspect of the journey I must contend with, embrace, accept and plan for. But also, I must plan for joy, self-discovery, happiness and change. These are all good things. It's a fine day to be in a little pain and it's also a fine day to let it go. (sigh)(smiles)