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Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

A Creed For Self Love

It’s that time again – reflection of the year past, and looking ahead to how we want the coming year to pan out.

I’ve been stuck on the term, Self Love, this week.  I think it’s because my ability to love myself was challenged to the max this past year.  It wasn’t missing altogether, but I realise now, that at times it was severely lacking. Especially in those extremely difficult times when it was most needed.  If I’d been able to find a little more Self Love in times of stress and strife, I may have had an easier time of it. My family may have fared better too. But in the spirit of the past being gone and the future yet to arrive, I am working on being gentle with myself right now. Hence this blog post.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has lacked a bit of Self Love this year.  Perhaps you are your harshest critic and the voices in your head are relentless in their efforts to smack you back into place.  Maybe you’ve forgotten to take time out for you amidst your responsibilities and struggled to keep your head above water.  Is it possible that you made a few mistakes and that maybe, just maybe you are human after all?

Giving ourselves Self Love is not being ‘selfish’.  It is absolutely essential if we are to become the light beings and peaceful, joyful creatures we were born to be.  Life doesn’t have to be hard all the time, in fact it is meant to be an amazing experience.  If it isn’t, then perhaps our lack of love for self is one of the culprits.  Our world is an extension of what we think and feel.  If we do not feel worthy of love, our world reflects this right back to us.   If we are critical, harsh and berating of ourselves, our reality becomes that too.

So, I have decided that 2014 is the year of mastering Self Love.  To help you and me to feel the love of self more completely this coming year, I asked a few of my friends for their thoughts on what Self Love is and how to achieve it.  When I collated the data, I discovered there were a number of common themes.  I’ve used their feedback, combined with my own notes to create a Self Love Creed for you and me.

My wish is that you resonate with it, print it out, and use the Self Love Creed to hone your inherent and beautiful gifts, cultivate greater peace and harmony in your daily life, and grow the spark of light that resides within you to a shining beacon lighting the way for others.

A CREED FOR SELF LOVE

With the love and support of the Light That I Am,
I promise to…

  • Realise that I’m human – I make mistakes, and that’s okay.
  • Be kind and positive with myself in my thoughts, words and actions.
  • Be aware of my fundamental values, needs and motivators, and choose to align my actions with these.
  • Let my ‘child self’ out to play OFTEN.
  • Be accepting of ‘down days’ and be grateful for the opportunity they give to learn more about me.
  • Be grateful for all I have and everything I am.
  • Choose non-judgement and non-critical thoughts about myself and others.
  • Accept that I always do my best in every moment.
  • Find out what I love, then spend ‘quality time’ with myself doing those things.
  • Tell myself when I do a good job.
  • Tell myself I am a good person.
  • Be creative – it doesn’t matter what, just create!
  • Reassure myself that everything is okay when things don’t go to plan.
  • Treat my body with respect – feed it with nourishing foods, drinks and healthy activity.
  • Treat my life as if a sacred expression of divinity.
  • Offer love, kindness and support to others.
  • Keep my heart and mind open to the beauty around me, even the little things.
  • Stand by my beliefs with conviction and confidence.
  • Be my own best friend.
  • Repeat to myself “I have enough, I do enough, I AM ENOUGH” at every opportunity.

Happy New Year!Heart in hands

Status

Ocean of Emotion

It’s been intense, this past month. Awash with so many emotions – I had no idea it was possible for one body to contain so much internal conflict; love, pain, relief, sorrow, joy, gratitude and loss all at once. It’s overwhelming.

My children mean the world to me and I am so, so happy and deeply humbled by the sight of them playing with their other halves–their biological fathers. But the depth of grief and loss I feel for the girl inside me is almost unbareable. There really is no defining reason for my grief and for sure, it is futile to try and quantify these feelings. It serves no purpose to do so, perhaps other than to appease my confused and bewildered mind. Believe me, the temptation to make sense of these swimming sensations is still there. Instead, I try to sit with them all at once, and attempt to untangle them from each other so I can see clearly.

Why does it hurt so much to see my boys’ natural dad spending time with him. It’s their second meeting EVER and everything feels totally right with them. It makes sense.  They’ve hit it off instantly. I am so proud of my boy, and so grateful to his father for the gift of his presence in the world. I am unreservedly happy for them both.

Why then, when I am offered unconditional financial assistance to help me raise him (that I didn’t want, ask for or expect), do I feel such sorrow? Perhaps I have realised that the help has come too late to save us from the trauma of post natal depression, the struggle of poverty and the ravaging that chronic stress has wreaked on my body and mind.

I’m through the worst of it now. I’ve grown so much. But it appears that the loss of those precious baby moments is still caught up in the dark recesses of my being, and I haven’t fully released them to the wind yet. The sadness at never being able to retrieve my baby boy’s first two years is palpable in this moment of pure joy and harmony as I watch him play with his dad.

They look so alike.

Melancholy begins to seep into the yet unhealed cracks of my heart from multiple rejections and losses. I feel robbed, so I try harder to be here and now.

We’re all here; my son and his biological father; his newly discovered Oopa, big sister and her mum; my daughter and me. It feels strangely complete. Like all is right with the world again. But I feel odd. I struggle to describe it. I am all at once comfortable here with them all, and lost at the same time, like I don’t really belong anywhere. Floating in space, detatched and lost. I am the anchor for my children, the initiator and holder of their space here so that all goes well with the meeting. There is no one anchoring me though. I am drifting; alone.

Tears flow now as I crave strong, warm arms around me. Comfort. Support. Love. Security. I feel my energy field lean towards my boys’ dad, searching for a prop to hold me up, steady me and to stop me from floating away entirely – he is 6 foot 4 or so tall with an air of solidity and strength, and he is the co-creator of my child. But I also sense clearly that he’s not mine, and only was briefly all those years ago. So I try hard to steady myself and stand tall again on my own. An anchor in this ocean of emotion would be nice. I’m practised at going it alone, but I’d rather not, especially now.

I really just need someone to tell me it’s okay. Everything is going to be okay.

It bites into the core of my heart that I can’t find a soulmate to spend my light and life with. I question myself daily – Why? Does he exist? What am I missing? What’s wrong with me? I call out to the Universe, What should I do? I am reminded… this too shall pass. So I try not to fight… I lay back into myself and float in space. I wonder… is this it for me? Am I here for this? To be anchor for many, anchored by none? Am I destined to find a way to love myself enough for a lifetime of walking the world alone, passing near to fellow travellers but not close enough for anything lasting? The weight of resignation rests heavily on my chest.

I know I will transcend this too. For now though, I feel drained, exhausted and weird. The effort of being in the moment and riding the waves of this change has me in need of a lifetime of rest. Afterall, I’ve lived a lifetime or three in this body already. Body and me are weary.

Here I float
Alone
On the ocean of my emotion

And I’m bailing water
Quickly
To stop myself from drowning

I could rest
Sink
Be calm beneath the waves

They still rage in my heart
Wild
Like monsters of the deep

It’s almost over now
Listen
Peace comes with the dawn

Rest
Float
Wait

Drop in the ocean

Know Thyself, Human

It’s wonderful how the Universe sets things up for our highest learning.

After posting my ‘Letter to the dead‘ just now I was feeling pretty insular and sad.  At least the anger has dissipated.  Searching for something to boost my mood I read a response from Lulu to a comment I’d left on her blog, Sunny With A Chance of Armageddon.

Reading her note to me eased the sadness and reaffirmed that I am okay… in her words “Everyone’s individual world starts and ends with them.”  The trick is to know which world we are creating for ourselves and to listen to that inner self that knows the answer.  When we get caught up in the drama or story of another, we are limiting ourselves.  Our power is not in the story of another, it is in knowing when we are in our own.

To grow and be healthy in all of our multifacets, we must be so clear on what we want, our triggers, our limitations, our strengths and our masks. When we are honest with ourselves and can see ourselves through loving eyes no matter what the circumstances, we can present authentically in the world.

I am reminded of the old saying “know thyself”.  How more true can that statement be than for a human being in a relationship.  Every interaction with another person is an opportunity to know thyself better.  I hope that Mr. X has found this in his relationship with me, even though difficult.  I certainly have.

My pain body’s response to Mr. X’s rejection was not about him and I. It was a triggered ‘landmine’ that set off an avalanche of emotions from previous life trauma in my late teens and twenties.  Yes, it hurt to be left, but in the moment of our parting ways, I felt 20 years of stored painful cellular memory that was ignited by his rejection.  I knew the emotions were still there, but it takes a lot to spark them these days, so I was unprepared for their violence and impact on me.

I asked Lulu‘s permission to repost her comments to me here so that we can all reflect on them and discover more of ourselves in her words.

” Traumatic experiences aren’t something that can be easily released. And it’s really a misconception that they could ever be discarded or even forgotten. Even when we finally come to terms with them, we are still faced with the possibility of landmines, even if they are few and far in between.

Postpartum depression / psychosis might be one of the most difficult things a woman can face. Caring for an infant (especially if it is the first), is an overwhelming, terrifying and life altering experience. It’s mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting beyond anything else. When those symptoms come into the mix, well, it just feels impossible.

It sounds like you’ve not only come accept yourself, but actually love yourself. Everyone has their faults; it’s just that people with disorders have terms attached to them.

I used to really try to sit there and pick apart disorder from personality. It was so important for me to know what was what, so I could excuse some of the traits I didn’t care for. The truth is, symptom or personality, it’s all me. Sometimes, I can be moody. I can be nervous and tense. And then there are times were I am impatient and short tempered.

But, I don’t see it in that light. I am sensitive, and I have the ability to feel very deeply. I have a high energy level and care very much about things in my life. And I’m incredibly involved and wildly enthusiastic.

If I can start thinking of my faults in terms of what they bring to me as strengths, then I can have a better image of myself. I just have to keep thinking, “It all starts and ends with me.” Everyone’s individual world starts and ends with them.”

Thank you Lulu, for this perspective and your open heartedness in sharing.

With love and copious gratitude to all of you divine souls out there, including Mr. X.

xx K

Post Natal Depression: Finding A Way Out Of The Darkness

Keyhole to sunlight

I’ve been off the air – but for good reason.  All of a sudden, I’ve become CRAZY BUSY!  Writing for PAY!!!   Fortunately it’s not been a tearing-my-hair-out-nutso-freakout kind of busy; more of a swimming, measured, holy-cow-I’m-amazed-it’s-finally-flowing kind of busy!   I have FINALLY found a way to break out of my shell and follow my heart, without setting off those internal sabotage alarms that have so frequently postponed my abundance in the past.

You see, I’ve been fighting sooo hard, for sooo long, trying to FORCE life to do things the way I wanted. Intellectually, I know that this does not work. I know that if you have to consistently bash your head against a wall to get something done, it’s probably not going to work in the long term.  But do you think I could make myself do something different?HELL NO!  I had to do it the hard way!

I wrote a book called “Head Space-Meditate Your Way to Study Success” – I LOVE this book – it’s my other baby. Writing this book took me out of a very, very dark space after the birth of my baby girl.  At 10 days old, her dad and I separated; messily, angrily, painfully.  My universe collapsed around me and the last shred of self worth I had been desperately clinging to was obliterated.  It has taken years to rebuild my reality from that destruction.  I had a debilitating case of Post Natal Depression (PND) – or perhaps it should be called Post Natal DEMOLITION – who I was, what I was, where I was going, where I’d been – the entire thing was wiped from the face of the earth.  I had to start again from scratch. I was thrust out into a foreign world with no yardstick,  no anchor, no way to know how to move forward.  So for a while I didn’t.  I froze.  And I fell apart.

But you know what?  There is always an ‘upside to the upside down’.  There has to be.  This was the only thing that kept me alive – that, and the knowledge that my children had no one else.  If I didn’t stay alive, who would raise them?

Then one night, in the background of my inner torment and terror,  I heard it.  Somewhere in the depths of my total annihilation there was a tiny, calm and soothing voice.  It belonged to an infinitesimal spark of light.  I barely noticed it among the chaos of the white noise in my head.  It whispered softly “Write. Just Write“.

It took a year of  writing to finish the first draft; screaming babies, no sleep, mashed pumpkin smeared through my hair, breakdowns, breakthroughs, nurses, doctors and psychologists for me to crawl out of the darkness and back to a place where I could see there was a light.  From there, I took a lurching approach to life, clawing my way up a very slippery slope to relative sanity and a loosely hung-together semblance of reality.  I had glimpses of happiness and purposeful direction that kept me going, but for years I struggled on most days.

I extracted all my superannuation from the government under financial hardship and published 1500 copies of the book.  I estimated that I could triple my investment and we’d be on our way. For 3 hard and long years, I pushed on, and we struggled financially. I’m tenacious, if nothing else, so I just kept going.  I marketed, I networked, I promoted, I lectured and still was not able to pay the ever mounting bills.  I had to move us to a very tiny house, visit the salvos for gifts of warm clothes in winter, and there were too many days that kids ate and I went without.

I thought writing Head Space was going to be the saviour that my little family needed.  I knew in my heart that the  book’s content was great.  I thought if I could just publish it all our financial problems, both present and future, would be solved.   I was SO WRONG and SO RIGHT. I guess I misinterpreted the quiet voice inside.   I was so convinced that I would make bucket loads of money and be ‘saved’. For the life of me I could not understand why the business side of my book didn’t take off.

This book is fantastic, life-changing and completely useful and helpful in so many ways.  So, I just couldn’t comprehend why it wasn’t saving us. BUT IT WAS… I just couldn’t see it.  As it turns out, the saviour was the process of writing;  meditation, acceptance of anger, sadness and grief, self-searching and discovery of strengths I never knew existed, heightened resourcefulness, a growing resilience, dedication to my children, and a determination to pull myself out of my very deep, dark hole.

Eventually, those years of hell brought me to a place of surrender – not to defeat (I never say die!) – but to being utterly and truly ME.  Without all that strife and struggle, I would not be so completely certain of who I am and what I’m capable of.

In the last 6 months, I have come of age.  I finally GET IT.  And the abundance is flowing.  What happened? What changed?  Well, the things I have known and thought might be true on a head level for around 20 years have suddenly integrated into my being.  I knew that Head Space would save us, I just couldn’t see how until now.  Something just clicked inside and I realise that the whole time I had been redefining ME from the ground up.

It’s easy in hindsight.  I really just needed to slow down, enjoy life, be focused and deliberate about my career without being dogged, and write because I LOVE TO WRITE.  More that that, if I write about things I love, abundance flows.  Now, I follow my heart and my intuition and simply use my mind as a tool to direct my energy.

I write this today because I have just had my first paid article published.  I am SOOO grateful for post natal depression. There were moments when I thought I wouldn’t survive, or that my children wouldn’t.  But it has been a blessing in disguise.  I am so deeply humbled by the workings of the universe and for all the struggles.  Now I can write from a place of love because I know and understand that the depths of pain I’ve experienced are the perfect indicator of the capacity of my heart to love and enjoy an abundant life.  I can now write what I love to write and be paid to help others by educating, enlightening and easing their suffering through the written word.

love post natal depression

What a privilege.

What perfection.

When have you discovered inner strength from adversity?

xxK

PS:  I started this post to tell you about the article I’ve had published, but got sidetracked in a bit of a gratitude rant! The content is nothing mind-blowing, but as you can see, it’s worth a great deal more than the money to me  Here’s the LINK to my recently published article.

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