So, the barn chores are done, all manner of animals are full and burping… come on, Hannah, really?) so here goes.
– stay soft-
It’s been an interesting few years of late. I say interesting because the years have not been a lot of fun. They should have been, lots of good things happened, but they were blacked by an overwhelming sense of dread and anger. I forced myself to get up and out, to do the things I had to do to get through the day, but I admit, I couldn’t wait to go back to bed. Everyday was like entering a deep dark muck filled swamp that I could not find my way out of until I finally decided that this was not going to be my life and got some serious help. I was hooked up with a counselor and she diagnosed me with severe PTSD accompanied by ( cause it always is- )depression and anxiety. Well, I gotta say, never saw that coming, but in truth, it was actually a relief. This“ crazy” way I had been feeling had a name and it could be fixed with therapy and a lot of self-work on my part. Never mind why, it happened, life is just like that sometimes.
There seems to be a lesson in everything, so, what have I learned? I have learned that sometimes people simply cannot handle your needs when you reach out. Accept it and don’t judge them. I have also learned that a helping hand and heart will reach out when you least expect it-reassurance that I was not alone in this and would be alright again. That was so very right and landed when I needed it the most. (Jodi and Janice- thank you, I am so very grateful) I learned – and this was hard- to try and understand why events and people in my life happened they way they did. With some understanding, came some compassion and I could start to forgive. Don’t ever forget though, you don’t want to have to make the same mistakes twice if you don’t have to. The most important thing I learned though was to stay soft. I learned that means to stay soft with myself and how to self-nurture. We have become a society of blame layers and fault finders and when we turn this on ourselves, we can do a hell of a lot of damage. Self love takes practice. Make yourself the most important person you know. Take care of yourself. Indulge in yourself. Take time outs for yourself. Watch how you treat yourself. You are and need to be the most important thing in the world because if you aren’t, you will not be able to be important for anyone else. Practice good self talk, chat to yourself in the mirror, create a daily mantra of indulgent self talk. Build a reinvented you that has risen up like a Phoenix from the fire and celebrate just how wonderful you really are and will remain and please stay soft. It works. This has all been accompanied by much therapy, a lot of informed reading, learning to cry, learning what triggers to avoid and if those triggers are certain people, that’s okay, avoid them until you are strong and well enough to cope with them but stay true to yourself. Stay soft with yourself. Practice self love, self care and self indulgence. Self indulgence is not always about getting everything you want right when you want it. Sometimes it’s about looking at indulgences from a different angle. So much to say, I do not suggest you go blow the grocery money on the very expensive wool of your dreams, that’s self medication- self indulgence is more about protecting yourself while still being meaningful. So you don’t purchase that wool right away but sort out a way of purchasing that will not cause further negative feelings towards yourself when 2 weeks later you cannot afford something life sustaining. Then there are no regrets, only sheer enjoyment of that fibre. Here’s another one- Self indulgence is learning to say no! Don’t take on one more thing, just because somebody wants you to and you’ve convinced yourself that you should. Ask yourself some mindful questions 1)- do you really want to 2) – do you have time to 3)- are you going to feel better about yourself or will it be something that you will really hate doing. Self indulgence is learning to say no in a kind way (even if you are screaming “no hell no” in your head.) Self indulgence is staying strong for yourself. Self indulgence is learning to surround yourself in kindness, to put up some buffers between you and the world when you need to. Self indulgence means to carefully watch what is best for you. It’s your world, your choices, make it happen.