I don’t know anyone who moved through last week unscathed. It is so disheartening to see the huge divide in our country, right there in red and blue votes. On top of the political discord, I also was struggling with health issues again. I was in a tailspin, and I knew I needed help. So I called my friend Beth.
She is one of the people I talk to when I need to process my emotions. I shared with her the story of having to undergo not just one but two colonoscopies and what it was like to have a doctor roll her eyes at me, and shame me for using a functional medicine doctor instead of a gastroenterologist. I shared with Beth the frustrations I have of trying to keep my body healthy and how scar tissue from many surgeries long ago can still wreak havoc on my body today. I shared with her my fears and worries about what happens next, not only in my body, but in our broken country.
My beautiful friend Beth calmed me down and shared three statements with me that helped me land back into a place of better balance. Hopefully they can bring a little comfort to you now.
DO NO HARM
This doesn’t just mean bodily harm. Sometimes I am so focused on getting work done that I push through because I feel I have to. Telling myself that work is more important than my own well-being does harm. Telling myself that I am not worthy of the time it takes to just be, doing something that brings me joy, is actually creating more stress in my body. When I am cycling downward, it is very important for me to stop what I am doing, and nurture myself in whatever way feels right in the moment. Maybe that is curling up on the bed and napping. Maybe that is going for a walk, cooking myself a healthy meal, giving myself permission to create something just for me. I have to remember that adding mental and physical work on top of my already stressed body isn’t going to move me out of the cycle faster, and in fact it will dig the hole deeper. If I don’t identify and process my emotions, they sit in my body and create dis-ease.
DO NOT JUDGE
The inner critic can take me to a place that is chaotic and it is important to not listen to things i create in my mind. I had already gone down my doomsday list with her, and she reminded me that I don’t have enough information to predict what is going to happen. The only place I can be is right now, in this moment. So I tell the inner critic to go away and comfort the inner child and remind her that she is safe right now in this moment.
I have to let go of the judgment I put on myself. I have to stop judging the choices I make to take care of me. Stop judging what I don’t yet understand. Be especially kind to myself and acknowledge that this is hard stuff. It is understandable that I am upset and worried about the future. But I can’t change it by worrying about it. I have to have hope- that place of knowing where I am in order to create and envision a better future. This is the stuff of love warriors and I am being asked to be kind to myself first.
This too will pass
I always seem to forget that the pain I am in right now will not last. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it isn’t what I want in my life and things feel hopeless. And yet I have to tap back into my resiliency and know that somewhere within me is the strength to carry on. No matter how hard the future is, I won’t give up on myself or on the goodness of others. While I cannot see what lies ahead, I have to tap into the courage and resiliency that lies within.
These three statements brought me back into a place where I could function enough to take care of me. I stopped spiraling, and allowed myself to sit in the sun in the backyard, to read a book, to do some art. I stopped expecting me to carry the weight of illness or the weight of the world on my shoulders and instead just asked myself to breathe in this moment, and then the next. I let go of all I was carrying and found that there was light and joy in a single moment. There was hope. There is hope. No matter how small the light is, it is a place to start.