Sunday, July 30, 2017

From the Pages of My Mind

        On the PB Community Facebook Page, we often discuss ways and means of finding the ability to get through and move forward after our more challenging situations we've had to face; since the most basic premise of the PB Project has been to allow people to feel they are not alone in their struggles, I have always felt it to only be fair that I share whatever I feel would help in that effort.  This week, I thought I'd share a little of my inner thought processes; this time, part of it comes not from posts I've shared elsewhere, but actually from working through things in my journal.  Perhaps it can help demonstrate some of what I've meant when discussing that topic.

        We all have to grieve something, at some point in our lives.  For many people, we must grieve many things at various points throughout our lives.  There are myriad ways and means to do that, and for me, I've learned that each one is different, and yet after a while, a personal pattern develops, and I must then fit the pattern to meet the needs of the individual grief, if that makes sense.  The loss of a job would not be the same as the loss of a parent or child, for instance, but the griefs share some things in common, and those similarities can be helped through the use of the pattern I've learned to help navigate.

        One such pattern is knowing that writing unedited in a journal can be very helpful to process what I can't share with others.  Sometimes pouring out raw emotion or thoughts through my hands and onto paper can help release some of their power over me.  The fury, or agony, hopelessness, or depression - any of the most powerful thoughts, feelings, and energies which feel overwhelming and which I don't feel are to be shared with others without at least trying to sort them out, myself, can be at least somewhat neutralized in the pages of such a book.  Sometimes I would tear out the pages and burn them, allowing that energy to be spent into the smoke, but my health no longer permits that kind of thing, so shredding the paper and sending it that way can be releasing enough.  Sometimes it simply sits in the book, helping me process in the back of my mind until I can heal a bit more.

        Sometimes, my journal entries are similar to the way I create the posts I share, here in the blog.  I might start out with something pressing in my mind, but then as I work through it, the words begin to change the energy and at the end, they begin to form something more workable.  Often, I'm simply telling the story of my life in its pages, which includes the darkness, the neutral, and the light - that is what makes up life, is it not?

        So here is part of an entry I recently added to the pages of my journal, and the topic came up again as I was talking to someone, and so I felt maybe it would be helpful for someone else, to share it, here.  I have no idea who might need it, but it is here to have, should it be you.  I'll probably add to it below, because it ended in an inconvenient place for a blog post I'd not expected to be writing at the time.

        I wonder when my life will stop crumbling around me.  Little bits and pieces, here and there.  Like the ancient builds of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Middle East.... A little earthquake and little pieces slip and fall down; hundreds or thousands of years, crumbling into dust that can never be what it once was.  And the little pieces of my life; all these little things around me slipping away, never to be what they were.
        Some (many) of the Pages I have linked with mine on FB have a lot of messages about how to fix one's mindset so that instead of thinking negatively, it turns positive.  Endings are just beginnings of new things; pieces crumbling away are revealing the things within; dust becoming soil to allow new life to grow; letting go of the past in order to have open arms toward the future.  Things like that.  It's a lovely perspective, and I have this positive yearning toward those things.

         I also have a deep binding with pragmatism and reality.  Reality is in the eye of the eye, I suppose.  Collective agreement of what we seemingly see, together.  But *how* we see what we see is the trick.  Kinda like "Pleasantville", the movie.  As they chose their perspective, they chose their reality, and it began to change everything.
        However, I also am a firm believer in allowing ourselves opportunity to grieve change and loss.  It is "hardwired" into us.  We grieve because we love, and the deeper we love, the deeper we grieve.  There is no getting away from that.  It is what makes us human.  The more you try to push it away, or hide, or avoid it, the harder it will be to just face it and let go.  But it needs to be done.  It must be done.  It has to be.  We cannot embrace the future if our own hands are busy pushing away our emotional responses to what has been, and what is no longer.

        There are things and people I miss.  Opportunities lost; relationships changed or broken; situations I could do nothing to change the way they turned out, for whatever reason; choices I had to make which were only what I could see were the best among a number of hard, painful choices at the time.  I cannot truly regret the decisions I've made in my life, because at the time they were what my heart and mind felt were what I or other people needed to have happen, and they were pretty much always made through and with love.

        I honestly feel that we are all doing the best we can with what we have at the time.  One of the mantras I had to create for myself after one incredibly difficult choice, which had me hating myself afterward, was this (pardon the imagery): "I was doing the best I could with what I had, then; I am doing the best I can with what I have, now.  If all I have is crap, well, crap makes a mess.  I can only do the best I can with it."  Perhaps an odd sort of mantra, especially since at the time I didn't know what a mantra was, but it is what pulled me through that period of grief, and I was able to heal and move forward.  Which is the point of this post, so at least we've gotten to the point, finally!

        My friends, it is okay to feel whatever it is we feel.  It is okay to struggle with the things we struggle.  It is okay to grieve and accept that it takes time to work through those responses we have to those losses we have in life.  It is all, as I said, part of what makes us human, and that is a beautiful thing!  In the old metaphor, they're what add rich, deep shades in the tapestry of our lives, and which allow the highlights to have more brilliance.  They add the power within us which builds empathy and understanding, connection, and comfort when we allow ourselves to be open and vulnerable with those we permit to share those things with us.  We don't have to go it alone, when we share the path together.  It is what creates those better days ahead.  So...

        Better days ahead, my friends!

 ©The Phoenix and The Butterfly

 ©The Phoenix and The Butterfly