Archives for posts with tag: pain

The Gentlest Kindness… Self-Forgiveness.
So, none of us are perfect. In fact, we are perfectly imperfect. We have proclivities that can go awry. And we can do some damage to others and ourselves, thanks to our free will and our lack of insight and awareness. So what do we do now after our actions? We have to be humble enough to call it what it is….human error.
Welcome to the human race where none of us know it all or do it all right. But it is in the reflection of our offense that we have the opportunity to become the better person and grow to be the best we can be during our time on earth.
We all have a human debt list, with different items on it. Ours may not be the same as someone else’s, but you can be sure we all have one. How backlogged is yours?
But all is not lost if we can learn from the experience, rethink our actions, move through the uncomfortable feelings and resolve to increase in awareness before we venture out again and repeat the same action. And when appropriate, repair the damage to the relationships it impacted especially the relationship you have with yourself.
Most of us tend to lose a measure of trust, self-respect and self-esteem when our actions are hurtful to others and to ourselves. Without addressing the actions, it is easy to see how we can tie up emotional energy in the wrong direction…toward the hiding from ourselves and others into the darkness of guilt and shame rather than toward the light of inquiry, compassion, insight, resolve and awareness.
But what keeps us from wanting to release its painful grip on us. Perhaps it is because we do not do the work noted above and we think we deserve some kind of punishment. Those of us who have a belief in a punitive God or Higher power rather than a merciful God or Higher Power tend to have a more difficult time with self-forgiveness.
It is interesting that in America, according to a poll taken when America reached the 300 million population mark on Tuesday, October 17, 2006, the majority (close to 70%) believe in a punitive God or higher power. Some studies show it keeps you more honest and less likely to cheat if you believe in a punitive God/Higher Power.
I believe this reflects more our own level of moral development (see Kohlberg’s theory of moral development). The first level of moral development (pre-conventional) has us in obedience out of fear of punishment. If we have the highest level of moral development we would be honest as a practice stemming from value based living rather than rules or convention. But only we can move forward to higher moral development with inquiry, compassion, an understanding of humanity, insight, resolve and awareness.
Is it easy to forgive ourselves? If you have the courage to bear and tolerate discomfort and pain, you will succeed. If we tend to escape this task and hope it goes away by itself we will find ourselves building a dark pool of toxic emotions that keep us from embracing our whole self. It is a journey of many emotions and not all are pleasant but in the end with gained understanding, empathy and resolve we are the better. And this is the gentlest kindness of the gift of self-forgiveness, a better, more understanding and kinder you toward yourself and others.
Many want to take shortcuts and make it an intellectual experience sidestepping the varied emotions evoked. But self-forgiveness is largely emotional with appropriate self-talk and processing guiding the experience.
So think about where you stand in your ability to forgive yourself. Think about the higher power you believe in: punitive or merciful and think about your courage to face and live through uncomfortable emotions.
If you can learn the gentlest kindness: self-forgiveness and truly get to know a merciful Higher Being, you will want to be kind, compassionate and empathetic with everyone and live these qualities out daily with others for this relationship of love, not fear, with our higher being, inspires us to build the bridges of unity. It is in the recognition of our human condition that we can unite and empower each other to be the best human we can be so we can live in the most evolved state of being… a love consciousness that desires each to develop to our fullest in all our human dimensions.

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.
http://www.mariahildapinon.com

Forgiveness Sake… For Goodness Sake!

 

As the New Year begins, we take inventory of what we have. Hopefully we are not carrying debits on our energy.  If so then perhaps we need to let go of some burdens that are taking up energy we need to create other experiences that are life-giving and positive and not life-draining and negative. Forgiveness is an art and a practice.  It is for us, not for the wrongdoer, even though some of us might need to feel like generous benefactors to the culprits in order to create another debt they will owe us…and of course this is called a tit for tat… “I gave you forgiveness, now you owe me.!”

 The truth is that forgiveness is for us and only us.  We do not have to even let the wrongdoer know we are going to forgive them.  It is an act of self-love to release our energy and make it available for another worthwhile endeavor that offers a better gain. That is more life sustaining not draining.  IT is easier said than done, since most of us in theory want to forgive and let go, but few of us practice it to where we really gain back the energy. 

Forgiveness is not lip service, when our heart is still heavy. It truly is a release of the burden of the negative and hurt energy we have received as a result of someone’s actions that may or may not have been intentional.

For starters, if we have good will, or caring for a person, we usually give them the benefit of the doubt that they did not do it on purpose and it is easier to let it go. When we have good will and they do it on purpose it is harder, but our caring gets put to the test, do we have greater caring or do we keep count: each of these postures reflecting our level of moral development.  Love and caring, if you please, do not count the cost, yet, self-seeking ways look to gain and it is called being interested in a return such as one expects  in a business investment. And let’s face it, if we do not have good will whether it was done on purpose or not, it is the hardest act to perform.

Here are some information from the course by Joan Borysenko on Soul Care:

Robin Casarjian founder of the Lionheart  Foundation, wrote a book called: “Forgiveness: A bold choice for a Peaceful Heart.” From a program she developed, called Houses of Healing she describes what forgiveness is and what it is not.

Forgiveness is NOT:

1. Pretending or ignoring your feelings or acting as if everything is fine when it is not.

2. Acting like you have forgiven when deep down you are still resentful.

3. Handing over your power or showing weakness because true forgiveness strengthens us and frees us.

4. Condoning or accepting negative or hurtful behaviors of others

5. Telling someone you forgive them, that is a choice. You can forgive without contact with the other person

6. Trusting someone again who has hurt you because trust has to be earned.

7. Putting yourself in a situation where you can get victimized again.

8. Forgetting what happened.

9. A lofty ideal.

10. Reconciliation

 

Forgiveness is for us, it frees us, and it is not about the offender. P. Wong, psychologist, says that forgiveness is an act that is against our instincts of revenge and hate and the odds of getting hurt again.

Forgiveness takes time and it will often rivet. Sometimes you get closer and then you move backward. But studies show that when we choose to hang on and retell the story to ourselves as to why we do not want to let go or forgive, the retelling the story itself  “re-traumatizes”  us and the story gets bigger and stronger….(Stanford Forgiveness Project)

Check out www.forgiveforgood.com

From multiple evidenced based studies on forgiveness some general guidelines follow
to practice and live out forgiveness.

  1. 1.    Acknowledge exactly how you feel. Do not sugar coat or make more awful (awfulize), just feel what really is.
  2. 2.   Tell your story to someone you trust to get heard and validated and recognize what the price is to holding onto the grudge.
  3. 3.    Do not wait for an apology. TAKE action. Change your attitude.
  4. 4.   Measure what you gained in this situation of the transgression…insights to help you grow in self-understanding, empathy and compassion. We might discover our own negative self- talk, judgmental thoughts, anger and self-blame and can use this as an invitation to grow in self- awareness.
  5. 5.   Amend your grievance story after gaining your unique insights so that you can also appreciate your courageous choice as it is easier to stay depressed or angry.
  6. 6.   Make a positive plan to get what you need and want.  

 

 

Feel the light heartedness that comes when you let go and release the energy for other good things, “for goodness sake, forgiveness sake.”

 

Dare to think and act different this New Year, as you evolve to higher ways of being… forgiveness sake, for goodness sake!!!!

 

Maria Hilda Piñón, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Up and Coming and Going Nowhere

Up and coming and going nowhere!  Hype, Hype, Hype!  This seems to be how we get attention in a worldwide competition for someone’s time to notice our “brand”. The accounts do not have to be true, just sensational! And what senses should be awakened are those that lure you to feeling good or better.  Ah! To be human is to seek pleasure and avoid pain.  And yet, if we fall for the trap, we soon find that following all the feel goods eventually leads to the pain of empty. What a conundrum also known as a vicious cycle. This can lead to building a character seeking pursuits and indulgences that are merely self-serving.

So should we do the reverse and seek pain?  That would make us a masochist.  Yet being sensitive and empathetic requires we be capable and willing to be touched by someone’s pain to tap into our compassionate self. The compassionate self then reaches out to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate.  And if we follow this path, we soon find that extending outside of ourselves leads to feeling good and a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment and even meaning in an otherwise, lured and veneered world. This good feeling tends to linger and build good character. It nurtures caring for each other.

Those of us living in a first world country can often get desensitized to the larger world where there is a greater majority of individuals lacking than living in surplus. It is easy to get used to our comforts and stop imagining how the plight of others is unending and most often an uphill struggle just to get physical needs met of food, water, clean air, and shelter. When catastrophe’s strike anywhere in the world, we mobilize efforts to stabilize people’s lives. Yet when stabilized, many return to the same struggles of lack.

In a perfect world, all would have equal access to all things that can help each one of us to be the best we can be and contribute our developed talents and skills to build a better world. In an imperfect world, things are lopsided and only each of us can contribute to make a difference. No matter where we live we can look around and find one person less fortunate than ourselves.

Next time we are confronted with the choice to extend ourselves outward toward another or to be self-serving seeking only personal gratification in the pursuit of indulgences, extend a hand to make a difference in someone’s life.  Teach someone a skill, be a listening ear, share a meal, dress someone up, put a smile on someone’s face by sharing yours. A daily practice of this by each of us would lift the world and the possibility of evolving to a higher consciousness becomes a closer reality.

It is not up to world leaders whether in politics, education, government, religion etc to make this happen. They can certainly take a lead and be a model, but it truly is up to each of us.

It is easy to be “up and coming and going nowhere” in the end if we seek only to better our individual circumstances.  Practicing to reach out will foster an “up and coming going somewhere”  type of individuals who can lift the world one person at a time…  Let us see past the “Hype! Hype! Hype!” and the “up and coming going nowhere” path.

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Coping…How Do You Cope?

 

Coping…how do you cope?  Coping with life simply means how you deal with what comes your way in life.  We all cope.  We learn to cope as children within the milieu we find ourselves in (called family or our origins) and through no choice of our own are thrown into this world in a rather vulnerable state.  We attempt to figure out how to survive this milieu. We learn many ways of coping.  We leave this milieu and have our survival plan in place.  What we learned may or may not serve us well.  We do not always have the best models in life but we have learned our coping skills from our first school called family.  Can we change them? Certainly we can if they do not serve us well because they are all learned behaviors. But will we stop and examine our coping to determine if it is serving us well?  Not always.  

There are two kinds of coping…positive and negative.  Do you know what your coping is like?  Negative coping is dealing with life in ways that do not really solve the problem, but rather escape it or keep you numb from the pain of the problem and by utilizing this negative coping, create another problem.  For instance, you drink or use drugs to escape and numb out painful feelings or you shop beyond your financial budget, but you do not solve the problem or address it, just escape it and by keeping up this behavior to cope, create a problem for yourself…too much drinking that could lead to abuse, addiction or in the case of shopping, lead you to debt beyond your ability to pay. Do you have any negative coping skills? They become the crutches we walk through in life and remain crippled and disempowered.

Then there is positive coping…the kind that does not hurt the problem or make it worse, it helps you to stay in a centered place to solve your problem in the best way. What positive coping skills do you have?

Some positive coping is simple…just breathe through anything, or talk to someone to process your thoughts and feelings and come up with an action plan, creative expressions of music, dance, poetry, writing, journaling, singing, praying, exercising, meditating, maintaining hope and many more you will undoubtedly identify in yourself or others.  Positive coping is the higher option, less destructive to our health of all kinds (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual) and the one that will heal and evolve us. 

Have you taken a look at your coping style and whether it is serving your higher purpose?  If it is not in the realm of positive, remain hopeful for all behaviors were initially learned and can be unlearned.  And if perchance you have an addiction of some kind and it can be traced back to genetics(nature), beyond the learning( nurturing ) then this too has a positive outlook as far as change for the better and our healed and evolved selves for there is help to manage our addictions with professional help.

Coping with life is what we all do, some better than others, some because of better modeling, some because of better genetics, some because there is more opportunity, and still others because of greater intelligence and still others because of maturity.  Wherever, you are in life now, realize that only you can make the choice to cope in better, more positive and healthier ways. It is a matter of awareness and choice.

Coping…how do you cope?

 

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

 www.mariahildapinon.com

 

Poetry in E-Motions

Poetry in emotions can be discovered and an excavated gem. Just like music and new behavioral rituals.  There is an adage that says that “in all of us there is a bit of a poet, musician, and insanity.”  When we FEEL strongly we often seek expressions of the energy.  If we use this energy creatively we can even capture and immortalize a moment. Thus in all our feelings we can find a poem, lyrics to music or behavioral rituals that may look insane to some individuals (such as having a party by the tomb of the deceased) that not only help us emote creatively but keep us sane.  Sometimes “abnormal” in an abnormal situation is normal. Have you ever caught yourself in any of these expressions?

Moving the energy of feelings so that we do not get stuck in it is healthy and the goal of healing.

This is another exercise for creative expression of feelings, whether they be sad, happy or of any color of the rainbow.

Exercise: Think of things that remind you of something or someone that nudges your heart in a downward spin or if you prefer an upward spin of emotions such as loss, pain or joy. List the things.  Use the poem below of as an example of how these things can all be triggers for these feelings. Create one in a similar style with the things that are unique to what you jotted down.  In the end celebrate what you have created with the power of words and how you have captured and memorialized something or someone special to you.

 

     IT’S YOU I MISS 

It’s the phone call I’ll never get

And the number I’ll never dial

The fresh cut rose from your garden I will never smell

The chocolates we won’t taste and share

Nor the toasts we’d make over wine we’d sip

It’s the books we’d read and discuss at length

And the music we danced and sang to all night

The meals we’d prepare to dine without hurry

And the stars in the sky we’d count for hours

The strolls by the lake we would often make

And the country drives we’d often take

It’s the peaceful sunsets we’d contemplate

And the morning songbirds we’d awaken to

It’s your touch

Your taste

Your smell

Your gentleness

Your caress

Your kisses

Your embraces

Your voice

Your caring

Your presence

 

It’s you… I miss

 

This is a poem on page 24 from Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

Welcome Poetry in E-Motions and discover the unique poet in you and the gems of poetry that can be excavated in all e-motions.

 www.mariahildapinon.com

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

There are some things in life we can change. There are some things in life we cannot change. If we can change it, we then seek solutions, but if we cannot change it and it was significant to us, then we need to grieve our loss. It is amazing how easy it is to get stuck on the journey of grief.  The two favorite parking places are depression and anger. There are those that choose to stay depressed as a way of life and those that carry a chip on their shoulder as a way of life.

 It is important to know that grief is a journey…an emotional one measured by the content and quality of the loss. Grief is not a mental experience nor defined by an objective standard.  We are in grief when we organize our life around our loss…that which is gone and absent.  And grief will continue until we organize and readjust our life to that which is present and around us.  Yet having a mental road map keeps us moving, normalizes our experience and validates our feelings along the way. The road map is not a fixed one and we can move forward and backward on the myriad of feelings. There are many books written on the steps of grieving and not all steps are identified with the same name or the number of steps. Elizabeth Kubler Ross  (On Death and Dying) and Granger Westberg,(Good Grief) both deceased offered many insights in their books from the work with those who grieve. Those of us who have lived grief can offer and expand on these insights. The steps are from Granger Westberg’s version, the explanation for each step morphs with my understanding and experience. 

Loss and grief are a universal experience; it crosses gender, age, socio-economics, and ethnicity, as well as cultural, religious and geographic divides. It unites us on the common ground of “meaning lost”. It seems no one escapes grief if we dare to care and love.

Loss happens and only we know how significant it is as we are the only ones that ascribe meaning to our loss.  So when loss happens in our life, the drama begins …yet without our acknowledging the drama. 

Shock and Denial quickly show up and we do not acknowledge the loss.  The reason of course is because the reality is often too much to bear all at once.  We cannot handle the dose of the reality.  It is like trying to stare at the sun all day without sunglasses. We cannot do this…so we are given the gift of shock and denial as a respite from the harshness.  But it is only temporary… we will move out of this place otherwise it is maladaptive to the process to remain in denial indefinitely. Shock and denial can last from a few minutes, hours, days and maybe weeks but then our facades break down and we release the emotions.

Sadness, Depression, Loneliness often follows the breakdown of our shock and denial.  A welter of emotions find their release in tears, but it can be overwhelming. If we do not move and release the emotion we can get stuck and get sick.  As long as we get triggered emotionally, it means our grief is not over, our work is not over. Notice the larger part of the word emotion is MOTION…keep the feelings moving through us. With these dampened feelings, we tend to isolate ourselves, lose interest in life and activities.  Life is hard to go on with, as there are so many adjustments, too many demands on us, yet, life goes on without us and we do not care. We feel no one cares, not even God.  We can experience despair.

Physical Symptoms of Distress can follow if we do not want to deal with the changes in our life, and we put up a front of being okay… our body soon will call us liars. We will experience symptoms of sleeplessness, or too much sleep, backaches, restlessness, eating too much or not enough, headaches; we can get sick. There is a strong relationship between illness and grief not dealt with in healthy ways. We are invited to re-examine how we look at life, explore our faith or lack of it.  Lost meaning invites us to create meaning again in our life. Beliefs are challenged.

Panic Strikes when we realize our life will never be the same again. We can think of nothing but the loss. We are hindered and less effective in everything we do. We cannot concentrate or focus and are paralyzed with fear.  The way we knew life is forever gone…forever hard to grasp.  We want to run away from life and living. We often slide back into the comfort of depression as we are familiar with it by now and social demands are eased. But how do we get out of this pit of panic…the scariest part of the grief… the realization things will never be the same again!!!!!!!!!! AGHHHH!!!! But just then the blessing of the energy of anger shows up!

to be continued…

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Our capacity to experience pain is directly related to our ability to love. This is not a masochistic statement, but rather a sort of paradox of living life. How can it be that pain and love go hand in hand?

For starters we all have a certain amount of energy to do life with each day. If we are using some of it in the emotional bank to hold old pain that had not been dealt with effectively, our fuel is less than a tank full. It seems that pain ties up our energy and when we do not work through it we let the pain hold us captive along with the energy it takes to hold onto the pain.

When we do not allow ourselves to live through our own pain we will also not let anyone else do so and thus each time someone is in pain we either dismiss their pain or minimize it or outright tell them they should not feel what they feel.  Why?  Because we do not want to be reminded of our own pain that WE cannot deal with.

As we are able to truly heal our pain, we will find that we will be able to hold someone’s pain and really accompany them on their journey of healing. Whoever holds our pain when we experience it and allows us to be in the pain as we need, is someone who is not afraid of this experience. They have lived through it and know it will not destroy us, but rather transform us at the end of the journey.

Who can you share your pain with? Who do you allow to share their pain with you? If you have to release and heal any pain, be encouraged to do it for you will find that when it is released and healed, it will free up the energy you did not realize was wrapped around it…and guess what?  Suddenly you will have more energy freed up to love even more.  You will have greater capacity for love! Now is it not better to have more of the beautiful energy of love than of pain? 

Some of us may believe that if we let go of the pain, we stop caring about this loss that created our pain, but the fact is that because we care, we should be eager to work through the pain of loss as it will allow us to free up the energy for love.  The energy of love lifts us and others; the energy of love transforms us and the world around us.  Be courageous and heal your pain.  You will be glad you did. 

Our greater purpose in life is to love to the greatest and deepest capacity, not to be diminished by pain to the point that we can no longer take the risk of loving again.  Inadvertently holding onto this way of living, weighed down by pain, and believing it is purposeful robs us of the gift of living and loving fully.   

Heal thyself, so you can help others heal…and the world will be transformed as it is lifted from the pain that can keep us all small in our love for others and for ourselves.

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com

 

Let your pain refine you rather than define you.  How many times do we stay stuck on pain to the point that it becomes the shield or badge we hide behind or organize our life around indefinitely oftentimes permanently?  It becomes the excuse for just about everything and we do not realize our potential or dreams. This may not be intentional and at a conscious level or it may be, but all the same it leads to the same place: energy tied up to pain rather than powering our dreams and developing our potential. 

Pain is a natural result of being human and daring to care and invest our time and energy in the human laboratory of life.  I am neither minimizing nor discounting pain as it is an occupational hazard of life. However, pain can be worked through and healed.  The circumstances that created the pain and the story of how our pain came to be does not have to create our future. It can be a part of the past, a healed past that becomes a springboard to the future without any strings of the past influencing our tomorrows. We can learn from the past so our future is navigated with greater clarity. Turning back to our history brings us smiles rather than tears.  We can draw strength from the past rather than allowing it to diminish us and keep a hold on our energy needed for the today we live and the tomorrow we can still create.

Time heals wounds goes the adage, but we have to do our part. We need to call the pain by name, experience the feelings it generates to the fullest.  We neither run from them to avoid the pain by burying then behind anxious busyness or anesthetize them with drugs or alcohol or hold onto them for life like a “scarlet letter”.  We allow them to be in us. We accompany the feelings and allow them to teach us about what they want us to know about ourselves. And we let them pass through us and dissipate, until they show up again and we repeat the process.  Ask your feelings…what is this about for me? Do not cut them short due to the discomfort as they will take you on a journey beyond the surface of the first answer.  They can take you to the core of your deepest and oldest wounds by asking yourself.  When did I first have this feeling?

With the thoughts revealed that accompany this feeling you suddenly have the power to change a disempowering thought and release feelings associated with these thoughts. Our feelings of loss can be so strong and loud that they do not let us hear our own thoughts. So this is why we have to feel them to release them until they become more manageable and we can actually hear the thoughts related to those feelings.

It requires courage to stay on the healing task which means you will have to tell your fear it is uninvited in this process.  Keep breathing through it all for fear will hold you back.  Fear will consume your energy and rob you of your power to heal and release pain.  Fear will convince you that somehow this pain is crippling for life and now you will just have to live with it and drag it around like a ball and chain. How tiring!

Be not afraid to live through your pain, get support when needed, but do not live in it and with it for the rest of your life, just for the duration that is normal and necessary in your process of healing the pain…after all neither fear or pain pay rent to you, so evict them, they do not have squatters rights unless you allow it.

The pain of loss has the power to transform you. Heal your pain and evolve. Heal your pain, evolve and you will be able to give more to the world to transform and evolve it.

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

www.mariahildapinon.com