I have struggled with committing to writing, primarily because I don’t really know where to start. Then, globally we came to an abrupt hault. The right time, is right now. The pandemic has us staying home. For some this is ok, for others this may be a frightening time. I come from a toxic home, I am currently estranged from my family. Right now I work to stay in the present moment, the past is the past for now. So, if I am going to commit to a practice of writing, sharing and hopefully helping others it is the now moment I need to write from. There are three mains rules in a dysfunctional family; don’t talk, don’t trust and don’t feel. That’s makes what we are experiencing with a global pandemic a whole lot more challenging. There are a lot of feelings and our go to tactic of ignoring them will add to the anxiety. Those who suppress their feelings can end up with health issues, depression or rage. I’m still not the best at talking honestly about my feelings so I am writing them out and when I can walking with them. When we haven’t dealt with our feelings in the past it can feel overwhelming when something this big comes up. There are so many different emotions that might arise but because we haven’t been addressing them before we may end up exploding or completely withdrawing. There is a feelings wheel that I use, it can easily be found online, to help be move beyond the basic feelings of happy, sad, mad. There are so many amazing feelings we can experience. If I am feeling sad for no apparent reason I will go to the chart and explore what is under that feeling of sadness. More often than not I discover I am feeling grief or abandonment. or vulnerable. Once I know that I can sit with this emotion for a bit or journal about it. It is usually something coming up from the past that I didn’t deal with. If I allow myself a bit of time I usually can move out of the funk I was in. There is no better time to explore your feelings than right now.
Don’t trust! This is the one I am currently exploring. There was a lot of gas lighting in my family. When you growing up learning that what you saw “wasn’t what you saw” you have a hard time trusting yourself. If I can trust myself how can I trust anyone else!! The message I keep getting during this crisis is to trust. I am a control freak and I learned to try to control everything in order to survive. I can’t control this. I can’t control any part of it. Yes, I can control the small things like staying home, washing my hands, etc… but I can’t control the things that scare me. So, I can’t control the world around me and I need to learn to trust and have done it by yesterday. I find that if I tune out the outside world I feel better. Which means limiting social media, turning off the TV and limiting my time shopping. I have unfollowed anyone on social media that is stirring the pot, posting unhelpful things and anything that agitates me. I have a few groups that I log into because I like what I read, it is inspiring, informational or soothing. Some may say this is sticking my head in the sand. I disagree. Again, I can’t do anything about my external world so I need to focus on creating a sanctuary in my home. Turn the TV off. I don’t watch the news, I rarely watch TV for entertainment any longer. In January I started hearing so much fear mongering on the news about the virus that I asked my husband not to have it on when the kids are around. As things grew we would check in now and then but in the past month we haven’t watched the news at all. I haven’t found anything helpful on it, actually I have found it to contradict itself regarding anything useful. With less social media and less TV, I am finding that I have to listen to the voice within for guidance. When I am finding myself really struggling and not trusting the process, I turn to my higher self and have a conversation. This is also when I go for a walk so I can talk out loud. This isn’t about asking for anything, it is about sharing my pain, fears and frustrations with my higher power. If you don’t believe in a God Source then think of it as talking to your unconscious self. The main point is to have an opportunity to talk it out without someone trying to fix it for you. When I take time to talk it out I feel so much better, able to take another step forward. During these talks I get to put it all on the table. I get to get really mad and then it dissipates. I get to feel my fear and then it is gone. And somewhere along the way my mood changes and I feel lighter. Then I can get back to learning to trust myself again. When we grow up in an environment of not trusting it will take a long time to learn how to trust. We need to allow ourselves to take baby steps and the place to start is with ourselves. I have found not trusting to also be an asset right now. I don’t trust the news to give me the truth or to tell me what I need to know. I don’t blindly trust everything I read or hear. I have to come back to my center and feel. What feels right to me, how to I need to best care for myself and my family. The time is right to learn to trust yourself.
Don’t talk! Isolating is something that comes naturally to me. My conversations with my higher self really help with this don’t talk rule. I can say anything, in any way without judgement or fear. This is huge in letting things go. I used to carry so much around with me because I didn’t talk. When I did talk I often felt judged and then was consumed with shame. I have been doing this practice of talking to my higher self for a few years which has made it easier to talk openly with other people. Because I don’t have as much bottled up inside me I find I also don’t have as much I need to say which leads to better conversations. Now more than ever we need to be talking. We need to check in with others to see how they are doing and also allow ourselves to be checked on. We don’t have to have all the answers or be strong or positive during this whole thing. When I learned the rule “don’t talk” I suspect it was about not exposing our dysfunction to the world, however don’t talk is just flat out don’t talk at all. I learned not to talk much at all, I am the wall flower, the observer and the one usually talked over. It means feeling that I am intruding so I don’t reach out as much as I would like. I am using the stay at home order to be my excuse to reach out, check in on people and let them know I care. Right now is the time to talk!