Mental health

Celebrating the small steps

In the last few days an undeniable and solid peace has washed over and is comforting me. My analytical mind wants to call out all of the reasons why I think this is so. Again, even while writing this and essentially downloading my thoughts on the subject of furthering this self healing journey I am on, I can’t help but see how both parts of my brain are working together. Not just the logic seeking, results driven analytical part but also the communicative, creative and empathetic part too working in a kind of see saw effect. I once dwelled so intensely in just the analytical part of my mind. So much so that I would get lost in the whys and feel terribly stuck. Sound familiar to anyone?

In the past as I just mentioned, I felt cut off and deprived at times from my creativeness. I believe that to be the lighter, more carefree and fearless part of me that can show myself compassion and grace. These two sides are no longer at war with each other. They have founded a new partnership and by doing so I am feeling a real sense of freedom.

I spend a lot of time these days reading about and exploring levels of consciousness. I believe that I am in the process of teasing out two concepts. One being observing how my ego mediates between superego and the id aspects of my personality. The stories each can spin in order to protect myself and impede the incredible shift that I’m undergoing are challenging my entire thought process while I expand my consciousness. Uncovering my true self, rewriting old and unfounded beliefs, lies really that don’t match my reality is for me just a higher level of awareness.

The second concept is integration of my shadow self and how much awareness I now have whenever I feel myself getting uncomfortable with parts of myself that feel at first shameful and threatening to my sanity. By digging a bit deeper and unconconditionally loving those parts of myself, I have created space for more acceptance of myself.

For example, the beliefs I have surrounding my own sexuality used to feel dirty and wrong. Instinctively I have been both dissoactive and dialectical when it comes to sex in general seeing it as both beautifully pleasurable, necessary as a bodily function while also feeling negatively full of shame. Yes, that is due to the sexual abuse and trauma I have experienced but it’s amazing how many other stories my ego would silently scream at me surrounding other aspects of my personality that aren’t part of my sexual identity as a woman.

I am continuing to tap into my self care rituals and reestablishing my yoga practice, breathwork and meditation has been hugely effective in gaining more mindfulness of both my thoughts and my physical awareness. How my feelings feel in my body. The most recent being a redefined focus of how anger feels. I know anger is born out of fear and while most of my life has been run by fear and anxiety, it makes sense to me that I am now paying closer attention to how anger feels.

I had blocked, stuffed and dissociated myself from these two most uncomfortable and troubling feelings. It sounds silly now to me but fear played a role in my drive that in the past I felt necessary to propel me on in life. Anger was something I completely denied and wouldn’t allow myself to truly feel. When I’m angry I have felt ugly, wrong and unworthy. These were the mixed messages my brain was being sent that only drove me further down sufferings path.

Now integrating these different yet vital pieces of my psyche I can clearly see how each one serves me and allows my resilience to grow. I’m having to have patience with myself which is extremely hard for me. I’m great at holding this space for others but when the focus is on me I immediately become impatient with myself. Meditation allows for and creates space between these conflicting thoughts. Once messages are challenged and the universe sends me signs that tell me to accept, love and care for myself in spite of my shortcomings, peace and contentment can grow and take root in my soul.

It’s so richly rewarding to be taking care of myself in these ways. Reparenting my wounded inner child, loving and accepting the small accomplishments will lead me to succeed. I have always held space for others, putting them before myself being and being the ultimate people pleaser. These days I am reevaluating how I feel in each of my relationships and establishing stronger boundaries. I’m deciding what is and isn’t my responsibility and what I will or won’t allow from others. It’s the ultimate in self love dear readers.

I’m really seeing how much these last 6 months of deep diving into integration of my shadow and reexamining my self acceptance, holding space for grace towards myself has given to my entire outlook on life. I know success is in my near future now. Doing this work has allowed me to open up my ability to tap into my flow state more. Operating from a much more conscious place. Focusing on really learning to love me.

Untangling shame is so empowering and is helping me alter my perceptions which give my creative mind even more to explore. Dwelling in the sticky uncomforbility of it all, challenging difficult emotions and moods is becoming a new superpower. I have accepted that only Maria can take the best care for Maria. This conversation I’m having with myself represents true inner beauty and acceptance because both light and dark must meet in order to be completely authentic ❤️

Mental health, Spirituality

Steadily climbing a mountain

One of my favorite quotes is by Sir Edmund Hillary, “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” Today this quote really resonates with me. I am acknowledging and giving myself the gift of self love by recognizing how far I have come in only a year. My C-PTSD has been in remission for three and a half years. I have gone from being a mess upon the floor, sobbing and in a dissoactive episode to holding a management position at work while self publishing my own book of poetry. I’m really so very grateful and elated with how truly wonderful it feels to have inner peace and strength within my soul.

On Tuesday my team at work and I witnessed a near fatal car accident right in front of our window. It was the most horrible and terrifying scene I have ever witnessed. The sounds and visuals have left their scar on my heart. The gentleman’s truck looked like God himself crushed it with his hands and dropped it out of the sky onto its roof where it landed. My store is next to the freeway and the driver’s truck came literally flying off the road landing on its roof on the grass across the street from us. Airbags deployed, windows busted out and smoke billowing from it, the truck looked unreal. The five of us dropped what we were doing and immediately ran outside. Three of us called 911 while the my two other younger coworkers ran up to the truck itself. One of them had grabbed our fire extinguisher and used it to smother the smoke and kept a fire from starting. Her heroic actions really moved me. She later admitted that her own father had died in a similar situation so I felt it was a kind of redemption on her part in trying to save this man’s life. The EMT’S pulled him from his vehicle alive and consciousness which is truly miraculous given the circumstances.

For the rest of the day we all kept hugging each other. We used our nervous energy to clean our store to a like new condition. When I closed up Tuesday night I felt a sense of pride for how we coped with the days extraordinary and unusual events. I can honestly say when you witness such an extreme example of life and death in front of your own eyes, while in a job setting it changes your perspective.

Here’s what I took away from Tuesday.

1. Life is too short, each moment is a gift. I will not waste my time with frivolous worries about things out of my control. My time is precious, therefore I must prioritize accordingly.

2. I work with 5 very selfless people who I know have my back in a special way. That feeling is priceless both on a professional and personal level.

3. I am getting stronger. This same situation for my past self would’ve driven me up under the covers for a few days. Left me a puddle of tears and nerves.

4. I can do this……I managed and led people through a crisis. I continued to do my job in a professional manner despite the chaos. We all went back to work serving and assisting our customers.

All in all as I reflect now I can see myself steadily rising up from the ashes of despair and heartache. One foot in front of the other I climb. I keep going even though my mind is screaming “NO” and “you can’t do it”. I’m proving to myself everyday that the challenges I face are all preparing me for greater things. The best is still yet to come which is what gets me out of bed everyday!

I never thought I would achieve success again after so many failures. Attempting suicide, being strangled to within inches of my life on my previous job eight years ago, going through a hell of a divorce, surviving domestic violence and rape, losing touch with my children, being homeless, coping with my fiance’s health issues. The list is lengthy and not for the faint of heart.

Last week I made a life long dream come true all on my own. I self published my first book of poetry. It is available as both an e-book and in paperback through Amazon.com. I have created a small following here with this blog and my writing profile on Instagram called Emotional Musings.

I am currently working on putting together a book signing event here locally with family and friends. Sharing my success with those who have loved, supported and believed in me is such a blessing. It gives me the chills that I have so many wonderfully loving people in my life today.

I’m bursting with positivity and gratitude. And yes…….

I have survived and conquered over myself.

Living my motto, “Triumphing over trauma “.

Mental health, Spirituality

A small tear in the microcosm

Today was definitely one of those days. I woke up knowing I was going to shed tears at some point. I woke up before my alarm which has been happening lately and is annoying because I feel cheated out of my much needed sleep. A strange feeling had taken over my body all morning while I was getting ready for work. I couldn’t quite grasp what was wrong, but something sure was.

I ended up getting very angry over something at work. So much so that I was shaking and my blood pressure was on the rise. My heart was beating so fast and I felt uncomfortable, my mind started flipping through thoughts faster than usual. I felt a bit dizzy and in a fog for more than a few minutes. I immediately started an inner dialogue in my head commanding myself to take mental breaths to calm down. All of these feelings trigger my C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for fight or flight. Only my family gets me feeling to this intensity. I do a very thorough job of blocking out others with boundaries that I set up in my daily meditations. This whole situation threw me for a loop. I have never been comfortable with anger and I’m uneasy with expressing it. I went in the back room and cried it out.

As an empath staying safe, balanced and grounded is so crucial to my mental health. I have worked so hard at establishing healthy boundaries and protecting myself from toxic and negative energy from people over the last few years. I know I need to check in with myself often to assess my own feelings and to be mindful and present. The energies I can pick up from others can be so strong and overwhelming leaving me exhausted, sick to my stomach and even disoriented. It wasn’t until I was 35 that I learned of my gifts and how to preserve myself to ward off from outside forces. I always thought I was just plain crazy up until receiving this vital and life changing information. I have written about that time in my life in previous posts.

After it was all said and over and I had arrived back home, I sat down to do some soul searching. It was then that I realized I had neglected to get two light therapy sessions in. Last night and this morning’s were skipped leaving me more open to the energy vampires attacks because my level of anxiety is higher. In addition to missing those, I remembered I had not had enough alone quiet time yesterday. It was my day off from work and I had a lot of errands to run. Usually I like to have at least 45 minutes of quiet me time. This special time consists of no technology, no talking, eyes closed and laying under my weighted blanket. Afterwards I always feel rebalanced and peaceful. I visualize the weights in the blanket to be anchors that pull all the unnecessary thoughts, feelings and energies off of me. Laying under it allows me to feel safe and grounded again. Sometimes it feels like having C-PTSD is like being an exposed nerve that is constantly being bumped.

I wasn’t as vigilant with my own self care like I need to be and when I arrived at this conclusion it hit me. I have been getting too caught up and my mind was overflowing not allowing me any down time. The hours and days spill out so quickly and I just got carried away. It’s a good lesson finally (maybe) learned for me. I used to feel selfish about taking me time but then I realized that if I don’t recharge my own life force and energy I will burn out. Becoming no good for anybody but especially for myself.

I have since put in an hour long light therapy session, listened to an empath clearing meditation, rebalanced my chakras and wrote this post. Once again, writing helps me put everything into perspective so I can properly process my intense emotions. I’m so grateful for the reprieve and to be able to distance myself emotionally while putting every paragraph together. Returning to a more wise mind state of being. What happened today was empath overload. All my circuits got fried and I broke down. The important thing is that I’m ok. All my energy is right back at neutral now and I’m more aware of needing to step up my routines.

It’s all still a work in progress. The ebbs and flows,the ying and yang my dear readers. In end I must let it go…..

Spirituality

All about energy

Many of my posts on this blog are about my interpretations of spirituality and energy. I recently wrote a poem entitled, “Energy flows” describing exactly how this phenomenon works. I’m always amazed by how karma occurs and plays out in real life. Recently I have been feeling on top of the world in most areas of my life but yesterday life threw me a curve ball and I’ve been scratching my head about what it means. I bet my dear readers can relate.

I overheard a conversation that I don’t believe I was intended to hear. It caught me off guard because it was very cruel and about me. I’d like to believe this person didn’t know I was there and was talking freely behind my back. The problem is I heard it all, now I know this person’s true feelings about me and I feel awful. I’m unsure what caused this person to say such hateful things about me and in order to avoid a confrontation, I now have to change my routine to stay away from this person. I’m so uncomfortable and upset over this. I know that when somebody reveals their true colors I should believe them but I’m very perplexed over it. It doesn’t make sense and all I have been doing is replaying the hatefulness over and over again in my mind. I know that it changes nothing and keeps me feeling badly.

Hate and cruelty towards people sometimes has its roots in jealousy which is what I suspect in this instance. Women can be so overly competitive with each other and so petty. I have been through too much over these last several years to act in a fake and phony way. Wearing masks was something I did in the past to cope. I can no longer employ that tactic in life because it doesn’t work for me any longer. I believe in myself now and I honor that by always being genuine. Yet this situation is pulling me into a gray area. I live by some standards now in life that I feel very strongly about. In regards to this situation I refuse to treat this person as they have treated me. Hence why I am so uncomfortable today.

Instead I am choosing to be quiet about it, pray and reflect. I don’t wish anybody any harm and I live by my ability to show kindness, ALWAYS. I’m admitting here that however I feel about my previous statement, I am struggling with how to correctly handle this in order to move forward. I want to get to a place of forgiveness but unfortunately, I’m not there yet. Not even a little bit.

One of my favorite books on life is by Don Miguel Ruiz entitled, “The Four Agreements”. In it Mr. Ruiz outlines the four principles to live by in order to have peace within oneself:

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

By adhering to these principles, I know I shouldn’t be taking any of what was said about me personally. In this case it is truly challenging because it IS about me. Intellectually, I also understand that this person is probably projecting their own feelings upon me. It is something I used to deal with regularly from my own mother. She was so uncomfortable in her own skin that she would project those unsettling feelings about herself onto myself, my siblings and our father. When I was younger, I would soak it all up and internalize those feelings about myself in a destructive way. I would beat myself up, doubt myself, employing self hatred etc. It was ugly and left me feeling worthless and empty.

The quote that next springs to my mind is by Maya Angelou.
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” “The question is not how to survive, but how to thrive with passion, compassion, humor and style.” “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

She really hit the nail on the head with those words! I’m also reminded of this quote by Ms. Angelou,
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude“.

In regards to my situation I know my only choice is to forgive and change my own attitude about dealing with this person.

Upon reflecting about all of this I must admit I’m beginning to feel a bit better. That’s what writing provides me. It allows me a positive way to process and heal emotionally. I’m so grateful for this outlet and I thank you my dear readers for coming along with me on this journey.

Tell me, how do you handle stress caused by other’s opinions about you? Please comment below or send me an email privately at mariaswan1209@yahoo.com

Here is my poem…..

Peace, love and light to you all✌💖

P.S.

I highly recommend reading “The Four Agreements.” I received it as a gift about fifteen years ago and I reread it often to remind myself of its message. It gave me such a great perspective on life’s struggles in relationships and I gained so much insight.

Spirituality

Here to heal

Last evening I had an ephiany and I woke up determined to write this post about it. I came to the conclusion years ago of what my purpose is in this life. It’s extremely important, vital really to understand your purpose in this world. In the midst of my struggles, woes and wanting to give up I searched my soul asking God for an answer. It was then that I realized I am here to heal others. Last evening I turned to my fiance and said simply HTH baby, HTH.

For may years I felt being an empath,caring so much for others to the point where I hurt, was a curse. I wasn’t ready to receive my purpose and view it as a gift. I resisted and dug my heels into not accepting this fact. All that did was bring me further pain and suffering. It was then that I realized I had an important choice to make. I could keep kicking myself down into a deeper hole of despair or I could accept and embrace my role. Since making the conscious choice to do the latter, I have never felt more liberated. Set free from my old and useless patterns of thinking, I reimerged into a much more grateful woman. I know and understand God’s plan for me and that is to be a conduit of love so that others may find peace within their own struggles. I am now able to see that I posses certain keen insights and skills that others along my journey here seek out. Strangers tell me their life stories in the grocery store. Afterwards, almost every single person admits to not knowing why they have shared their feelings with a total stranger. I reassure their insecurity by admitting to being an empath. I always thank them for being vulnerable and sharing with me. Something I once tried so hard to avoid has turned into a beautiful experience for both of us.

Most who know me will say I’m an extremely outgoing person who loves to talk. My coworkers joke and tell me I could talk to the wall and be happy! Thankfully for me it’s part of my job to engage with customers and it’s the part of my job I value the most. Despite my propensity for chattiness, I am also a great listener. Many of my friends have told me so over the years that I am so easy to talk to. I’m grateful to be that shoulder to lean on, the confidant and a person someone else can trust.

I take my role very seriously and I understand how special it is. It’s not always easy to just listen and not give advice. That is NOT my purpose. When somebody seeks me out it is because they need to get something off their chest without looking for answers. I can’t fix their problem but I can be someone who shows compassion and understanding. I see too little of this in our world today which is why I feel humbled and honored to fulfill that need for someone. I like to say I am like a vault with others inner thoughts. I take it all in yet it never comes back out. Retaining other people’s trust is very important to me because it’s so crucial for them.

Since my revelation, I make it a daily goal to show kindness. Being able to make someone smile is hugely rewarding for me. It’s a priceless gift that can change somebody’s day for the better. We never know where others are coming from or what has gone on in their lives. I believe we must view each person we encounter as our own brother or sister because that is what God intended. I genuinely care for others in a non judgemental way until that person gives me a reason not to. If more people could adopt this habit what a more empathetic world this would be!! It starts with loving yourself and understanding that we are all connected. We all hurt the same.

I composed the following poem “Baby steps”to describe the time in my life when I doubted myself, viewed my gift as a curse and my decision to turn that all around. It is a choice my dear readers. I hope this post provokes that idea in you today. Give a bit more, show more love and embrace your true gifts. Peace✌