mindingmybiz

This blog is my shared process in working towards integrating self-awareness with all other aspects of life, while on my way to becoming more authentic and whole.

Archive for the tag “feelings”

Self Check-In

synchronicity-2Whenever I’ve been unclear and ambivalent about how to proceed in any given situation, especially relationally, I’ve often gone outward to seek guidance.  It has proven to be useful and beneficial, but it can also keep me dependent on external sources of wisdom while stunting my own development of discernment.

I’ve been confused about where to go for guidance when facing a crossroads.  Do I go inside myself because I know myself best, or do I seek wisdom and guidance from others because they have a more objective perspective?  I’ve often thought it was an either/or approach, yet I’m realizing I don’t have just one “right” option.  Wisdom and discernment often come through BOTH avenues; inside and outside of myself, from trusting myself AND trusting others who’ve earned my trust.  Wisdom can be imported from external sources, or it can be imported from my own internal sources of wisdom within.  god as I understand it is the source of all wisdom, and discerning Hhs voice is what I am after.  He does speak to me from within, for he dwells within my inner-spirit.  It’s just a matter of unveiling his voice, which is often unconventional.

My current ambition involves the practice of going within myself, first.  Whenever possible, I do a self check-in, using the tools of Dr. Dan Siegel’s acronym of SIFT.

Sensations
Images
Feelings
Thoughts

-SIFT.

If I still feel confused and ambivalent, I have the option of going to others I trust.  They can be friends, a therapist, family members, recovery fellow-travelers, a pastor, books, podcasts, blogs, etc.  These are some of the options I have when trying to discern where God is lovingly guiding me.  When I do seek out external sources of guidance, I am still the one who is ultimately discerning what feedback resonates and what does not.  Using the SIFT tools while receiving feedback is always an option I can take.  They empower me in helping me wake up and make a conscious choice, weighing what is going on inside of me AND the feedback I’ve heard from others.   The process of discernment often involves a conscious and intentional dialogue within me and with trusted others.  It is not a monologue, at least for me.

Ultimately, I am the one who must live with the decisions I make for my own life.  How I discern applying my value-system with its certain expectations, limitations and boundaries will evoke judgement from others and within, always.  But it is my life I am trying to live out, not somebody else’s, so fearing the judgment is a major distraction in gaining discernment.  The truth is, everybody judges everybody, myself included.  So, then what?

Love frees me because it feeds me.  It frees me from fearing the inevitable judgment that is part of living life on earth.  Judgement will come, as surely as gravity pulls me back down to the ground after I jump.  Checking in with myself from a place of love and being fed, in the midst of judgments are what will keep me centered.  Love feeds me, judgment robs me.

Jesus is my Center.  He dwells within me.  He showed me explicitly on the cross how to judge myself aright – as loved, and as worthy to die for.   When I am love-hungry I’m ripe for Jesus’ love to enter in, yet I’m also vulnerable to fearing judgments and internalizing (feeding off) them.  This is what robs me of living life to the fullest extent.  Jesus came to give life, not take it.

“The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.” -John 10:10

Self check-ins based in love, not fear are the way for me to go.  Interchanging judgment with punishment in the verse below helps me get this, because judgment sure can feel like punishment to me, just as chewing on food that I crave, but not being able to swallow it.

“Love will never invoke fear.  Perfect love expels fear, particularly the fear of punishment.  The one who fears punishment has not been completed through love.”  – 1 John 4:18

 

 

Re-purposing Feelings

repurposed bathtub

In recovery, I learn that I am the one who is responsible for my feelings.  This used to sound like bad news, but I’m starting to see it’s not.  On the contrary, it’s empowering and freeing because it detaches the shame which has disabled me from taking responsibility for my feelings because shame freezes me and restricts growth and healing.

Taking ownership of my feelings becomes non-threatening when I can detach blame from it because blame does not fly solo, it has a co-pilot named Shame.  Shame is silent, not violent so is easily undetected, but it’s life-threatening to recovery because it distorts my self-image and my self-image guides my thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

I believe my true-self is inherently good, per the God of my understanding.  I can say this while also acknowledging the presence of brokenness and loss due to injuries I’ve sustained and inflicted upon others.  I can acknowledge that I am inherently good AND  acknowledge that I am both a giver and receiver of real pain and loss.

Taking up responsibility for my feelings is not tantamount to taking the blame for my feelings.  Articulating this is vital for my own healing and growth from having enmeshed boundaries with others when it comes to feelings.  The enmeshed boundaries stem from enmeshment between blame and responsibility.  When it comes to taking responsibility for my feelings, I first need to remove blame from having the feelings.

Blame entails assigning responsibility for wrong or fault.  Feelings are not on trial, they can be examined without trying to find fault.  Feelings are neutral.  They are neither “right” nor “wrong”.   In my recovery, I learn through practicing with others how to unmask and identify my feelings that are often disguised through anger or judgment due to lack of self-awareness.  The feelings I feel inside get revealed when I do not feel like I am on trial for having the feelings.  When I sense that the validity of my feelings will be put on trial by others, my feelings will put on their masks.  Their favorite masks seem to be rage and judgmentalism to deflect the shame onto others.

My most intense feelings are like emissaries sent on behalf of my subconscious-self (the parts of my inner life that get tucked away from consciousness in order to cope, not to heal).  In holding into the conscious belief (faith) that my true-self is inherently good, I hold onto another belief (through faith) that intentionally envisions my mind, body and spirit working together in their own unique ways to move me towards health, wholeness and harmony, and preserving that state.

For this reason, feelings serve an extremely vital role:  achieving and preserving homeostasis within an environment of motion.

When I do not allow my feelings to serve in that vital role, I will become at high-risk for tolerating and even seeking out interactions with others and myself, where I am mistreated and exploited, often with my cooperation.

Maintaining self-care includes feeling my feelings and paying attention to the messages they bring from deep within.  The messages about my own self-image which my feelings bring to my awareness can be corrected and assessed, but feeling the feelings cannot be bypassed in this process no more than exhaling can be bypassed in order to remove carbon dioxide from within my lungs.

The messages feelings bring are often felt through sensations within my body.  It isn’t just information in the form of words that need to be processed for me to feel my feelings – that is bypassing feeling my feelings and thinking my feelings, it’s skipping over a natural process that needs to take place – feeling my feelings.  That is what my experience is teaching me.  I’m learning when I feel the feelings, I am not needing to only talk or think about the feelings, but to feel them IN MY BODY.

This is a new and welcomed practice to me.  I believe it is divinely inspired, God is healing me up within a loving community of others who are trusting Him with the process for themselves as well.

Gonna Hear Me Roar

kitty gonna roar

To anyone who wants to listen, listen up…

I am currently listening to blasting  Roar by Katy Perry.

This is so therapeutic for me.

First, I gotta address the haters in my head….the constant critics..

They say, “Why are you blogging as if you’re writing in a private journal entry, but in public?  Don’t air your dirty laundry out in public.  Do it in private, please.”

My response:  I gotta take a shit.

If you’ve been holding in your bowels for years on end and you’re about to burst, you just do it.  My figurative bowels consist of conforming (out of fear) to the majority within my closest psycho-social environment, while constipating anything that poses a possible threat to this goal of conformity, even when it is within my own head.

I’m welcoming a developing condition of enmity to conformity within my psycho-social environments and I need to do it loud and proud.  If not, I am at risk of shrinking back to my previously conditioned default of fear-driven conformity, which is extremely likely the stem of many of my past “mental/mood disorders” and even physical ailments, such as my over-a-decade battle against the voice disorder, MTD (Muscle Tension Dysphonia).

Therefore – an essential part of my own recovery is being out LOUD about it.  Privacy and secrecy are all fine and dandy and serve their legitimate purposes and I will confine myself to those purposes when I determine they serve my recovery best, but I believe they can also be overrated when it comes to healing from shame and fear.

My hope is that me finding my true voice and authentic-self – out LOUD, and lovingly wooing her out of the darkness of shame and fear will provide inspiration, hope and permission for others to embark on the same courageous life-long journey in their own territory.  It’s an uphill battle, and I cannot do it alone, but I alone have got to take the steps to do this.

Peace.

Trust: Who, not how

Image

I am learning WHO to trust.  Not HOW to trust, but WHO.

It can be deceiving.

Just because someone holds a trustworthy position like mother, father, spouse, pastor, therapist or teacher – does not equate the person as being trustWORTHY.  I am learning this the hard way.

I have no trouble with trusting others.  I am a very trusting person when it comes to others, too trusting.  The trouble I’m experiencing is not how to trust, but who to trust. My recovery makes it clear that this theme is central for me to articulate, first to myself then to others.

 

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