Staying on the (New) Path

You can say you’re letting go and moving on, but one of the hardest things to let go of is that sense of identity. The new way of life is going to feel very unfamiliar. It really is like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly.

Sometimes it’s the pain that reminds us to stay on the new path. The old way is so obviously not wanted that we’re determined never to go back. Pain can be useful like that.

Of course, there comes a day when we realize that this is the path we’re supposed to be on, and no power on earth can keep us from it. I get glimpses of that feeling, like sunlight peeking through clouds. That’s when I see that this is a journey of the heart.

Sincerely,

G.B.M.

Healing and Recovering (the Hero’s Journey)

herosjourney

I woke up early this morning and had some insights, as I usually do, and wanted to share them before I forget. This blog is called Getting Better, Man, and getting better is partly about healing and recovering from pain. I have things I need to heal and recover from–and I know that I’m healing all the time–but I have a nervous habit of picking at scabs and not allowing them to heal properly.

Ordeal

Sometimes I wake up with what could be called post-traumatic flashbacks and memories (like I did this morning), and I ask God, and my Angels and Guides to help me forgive for the sake of myself and others. I don’t really care who or what I’m forgiving, because there’s probably too much to forgive, but I want to transmute the negative energy into something positive. I don’t like to complain or blame, and I don’t like to ask for help; I’m not seeking sympathy, although I most likely deserve it, if anyone does.

Return

No, I’m all about getting better, and that takes many forms. I’ve been through the shadow stuff, and had to learn how to use alchemy, magic, and prayer. Part of the Hero’s Journey is to bring the Elixir of Life back to humanity, and that’s what I’m doing.

Sincerely,

G.B.M.

Self-helping Instead of Self-hurting

There’s a crucial decision every self-improver needs to make, and that’s whether they choose to hurt themselves, or hurt help themselves (I just Freudian slipped by writing ‘hurt’ twice).

So right, I ask myself whether I want to help or hurt myself, which seems like such a basic question, but has proven to be a tough lesson.

One of the problems is that I’ve been unclear about what would actually help me. I’ve spent years living in crisis mode. I knew I needed to help myself or risk going under.

There seems to be something inside me that distrusts the help I give myself. I’ve had to earn my own trust. Earning my own trust means keeping promises to myself, like writing every day.

Of course, there’s a thrill to self-hurting. Pain can become an escape.

I’ve learned that beyond the pain there’s a beautiful world filled with joy, hope, and love.

~ GBM

Hope

In our darkest hours, sometimes all we have is hope.

Hope, faith, trust, acceptance, love.

Something dissolves when the flood of emotions and pain washes over us. Lost in the darkness, we become our own source of light.

We find that life takes us where it wants, and we no longer struggle against its current.

Hope, redemption, rebirth, grace, love.

We stop trying to live life, and live life, one breath at a time, lessons that can’t be skipped.

The path of spiritual growth spirals upwards. We re-tread the steps, a different view each time. Like flipping a light switch, the way we see things can change in an instant.

There’s more that we don’t know than we know.

Let’s go forward with open hearts and open minds.

~ GBM

The Calm in the Storm

Storm clouds over James Island, La Push

I’m reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, and as usual his message resonates with me. My mental and emotional state is in turmoil right now. Maybe it’s a bipolar episode, or a seasonal thing. When I become stressed like this, it used to freak me out. Now I give myself the time and space to heal and rest.

There’s a cycle that takes place. Expectations create pressure to act. Action leads to judgment. Judgment results in emotional states. Emotions are held up to expectations. More expectations are created, so on and so forth.

My mind gets tied up in knots. The more I think, the tighter the knots get. I panic, feel desperate, anxiety kicks in. This low lying panic is a usual thing for me. I’m mostly in a state of fight or flight. It wears me out.

I feel stretched thin and brittle. The sense of who I am is fragmented. This is my ego; my thoughts about myself. This isn’t the average person’s ego.

It used to freak me out when I realized I was “different”. After reading Eckhart Tolle, I realized most of the stress came from the labels we put on our experience. He talks about how we’ve become possessed by our thoughts, which is how I feel when I’m caught up in a bipolar episode.

Calm

In the middle of an emotional storm, what I do is consciously breathe. I notice my emotional state fluctuating. My emotions have a rhythm like my breathing. Anxiety feels like lightning. Although we tend to focus on each one individually, there is both pain and pleasure. Where there’s pain, there’s also an end to that pain. Pain and pleasure has a pattern. I notice my senses; sight, smell, sound, touch, taste. I feel the energy within me. Not anxiety, depression, thoughts, or emotions. Energy. This is what it’s like to be alive. I am alive. This is life. This is energy. This is creativity at work and play. No labels or words are needed.

Think of what I wrote as a kind of mindfulness meditation you can do when you feel overwhelmed.

I don’t look at what I’m going through as some sort of affliction. Painful, yes, but there’s also pleasure. There are people who have it “worse” than me, but I don’t prefer to think about it that way. Rather, I see it as my purpose to express myself fully in whatever situation I’m in. That means I’m true to myself and this moment. There’s no better or worse. There’s only each of us doing our best to make things better.

Thanks for reading, and remember to make today a better day!

~ST

image credits: Storm clouds over James Island, La Push