Tag: hope

suffering

We Are Suffering.

The world loves a person who speaks loudly and shows no doubt. Just take a look at what is going on in our political arena right now.

We want to follow someone who seems to have answers, seems to know. I think, secretly, we all long for answers to the uncertain things in life. Maybe, just maybe, there is that one person out there who really does know.

However, the answer never lies outside and there is never one solution that fits all.

The answers are always within!

Whether it’s about our relationships, attitudes, diets, spirituality, actions, way of life, or whatever. The answer is unique to you.

So it becomes an exercise of willingness, openness, introspection, and personal responsibility. (A good therapist, who asks the right questions, can help).

We try so hard to make sense of our humanity, our weaknesses, fears, doubts and hopes. Wanting to make sense of life. Always striving for strength of character, strength in front of others and within, looking like we are having fun. The hard part is that our lives just aren’t that simple.

Life is deep and mystical. Mysterious yet straightforward, complex yet simplistic, full of hope yet full of despair….Life is the greatest paradox.

We will never completely understand it.

Through the millennium many great minds have tried to analyze it, pick it apart….. only to find more questions.

And that’s ok.

We can never fully know ourselves or one another; we are as mysterious as the universe. We are so much more than what can be seen and heard. Our words can never fully convey what lies within.

The best we can do is work on the things that are essential to our happiness and leave the rest. Sometimes we wrestle with fears and frustrations, but if they don’t make a huge difference in our big picture, we can simply set those things aside.

One of my fears is to go under water. Diving under a wave or even just jumping in the deep end, that so many people enjoy, is torture for me. Some deep primal panic takes a hold of me on those rare occasions when it does happen. I’ve looked at it enough to recognize that it doesn’t significantly change who I am and how I feel about life, so I let it be.

The important parts, however, like my relationships, who I want to be in life, my spirituality….those deserve my full attention. Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction can end up being the biggest step in our lives. Sometimes we need to do more.

Recently, seemingly, from out of nowhere, I found myself hopeless. I had lost my faith in God. Everywhere I looked, people are struggling and suffering, animals are being mistreated, children are dying and I noticed all the pain everywhere. My own father, nearing the end of his life is in agonizing pain. I felt helpless, wondering who’s really in charge? Why all this pain? Life looked grim and pointless.

THIS needed my attention!

We can try to be present to ourselves and another, but within each of us there is a shapeless, shifting, deep inner being that is unknown even to ourselves.

So we often don’t recognize that we are suffering. We are simply doing, drinking, eating, talking, sleeping, gambling….. too much. We have no balance.

At times, when things happen to us….. losing a loved one, being confronted with something previously unimaginable or perpetual struggles with issues….. we just crumble. The turmoil of life, after many years on this earth, can bring with it an exhaustion so deep, like the pull of the moon on the tides, we cannot ignore or push aside.

Maybe our lives are not what we had hoped they’d be. We grieve the losses, the hopes, the dreams.

What I know for sure in all this, is that:

  • love and kindness toward ourselves and others, heals.

  • Receiving is as great an act of love as giving!

  • We must trust in a higher power.

Somehow, given enough time and willingness, we can regain some of our energy, find answers, hope and the courage to go on. That is our built in survival instinct.

However, I wish I had a magic wand to take all the darkness away and leave only sunshine.

Here is another good article: https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/05/17/how-to-stop-suffering-from-painful-emotions/

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The Silent Punisher

This is the third in a series of newsletters looking at how our feelings affect our lives and bodies. It is powerful knowledge that can help eliminate pain in all areas of your life. If you are struggling with something, send me an email or call.

falseguilt

 

The Silent Punisher

We’ve been talking about the effects of feelings and emotions on our health. An emotion is a message from your brain, sent to your body as a sensation. It starts as a thought. Whenever emotions are denied, belittled or dismissed, they end up running the show. We’ve been focusing on how they affect our bodies.

Guilt and shame are natural, healthy emotions. Imagine, if we didn’t feel guilty over hurtful or destructive things we’ve done. Or if we didn’t feel shame when we are caught sneaking something that isn’t ours. Our lives, our world would be on destructive autopilot.

Shame says: I am bad

Guilt says: I did something bad

Everything has to be in moderation, everything has to have balance. Ideally, we feel the emotion, make amends and move on. However, sometimes the scales tip a little too far on the shame and guilt side and the cells in out bodies take it on. This occurs when we feel guilty over things that happened years ago. When we hold on and let them define us, when we don’t release those punishing feelings.

We all have things that haunt us for years, often a lifetime.

Shame is the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging.” Brene’ Brown PhD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEBjNv5M784

A client of mine recalls how he was caught playing with matches as a young boy. He was maybe 5 or 6, a normal curious little boy. When his mom caught him, she was naturally upset, screamed at him and lectured him. Then, with magic marker she wrote on his t-shirt FIREBUG and had him stand outside in public. To this day, the memory of the shame causes him to shrink, feel guilty and defensive. Over the years this has added to the numerous other things he feels ashamed of and has caused his body to stiffen in defense of possible attacks. When walking around he also balls his hands into fists.

Another married client ended up in the hospital with a severe cut on his hand and near fatal blood-poisoning. He is an excellent carpenter, always cautious and meticulous. However, he had been carrying on an affair over an extended period of time and the guilt was eating him up. When he was repairing a piece of furniture in his home, he nearly cut his thumb off. His subconscious helped him punish himself.

Survivors of childhood abuse often blame themselves for what has happened, many have been feeling guilty and punishing themselves their whole lives for the mistakes of the adults that they trusted.

Shame and guilt cause a constriction in our bodies. Like the ripple a pebble causes when thrown in a lake, so do consistent shameful and guilty thoughts affect our bodies and finally our health.

These habitual thoughts, over time, are emotions. They create a neuro-pathway in our nervous system and affect everything from new thoughts, to self-esteem to physical well-being.

These emotions thrive in silence, secrecy and judgment.

This happens whether you think about it or not.

We reap what we sow. Literally, and in many more ways than we typically think.

It’s the law of cause and effect. It operates in all areas of our lives.

If you’ve been reading the previous articles on how our feelings affect our lives, then you already know what you have to do if you want to heal yourself from excessive guilt and shame.

Health is inner peace.” Course in Miracles. There can be no peace when we allow shame and guilt to run the show.

Every thought you have makes up some segment of the world you see. It is with your thoughts then, that we must work, if your perception of the world is to be changed.” Course in Miracles.

Here is what I say: Love yourself enough, pretend if you have to. You are a child of God. In your meditation be willing to let those old self-punishing thoughts go. Lovingly! Always with love. Never in anger or hatred!

Shine a light on it. It cannot continue to thrive when you acknowledge it.

There is nothing you did that cannot be forgiven.

If you can’t sit still long enough, do something that causes some stillness in you. Go for a walk in nature, run, dance….anything that works for you. In that inner space of silence, go to your bags of stored up guilt and shame, open them up, let the light shine in and be willing to accept the love God has for you. Be kind to yourself.

Willingness is powerful! Doors open, miracles happen when you are willing.

 

If you are struggling with understanding something in your life or need help, send me an email or call. You don’t have to go it alone.

christina@christinadevalencia.com

804-306-7287

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I know you think you can’t change your life…………..

RepetitionConsistency

 

 

 

After I wrote Hope and New Beginnings, I felt that there was more to say.

There is so much mystery and concern about attitudes, thoughts and beliefs. You wonder if you can ever change anything if certain thoughts have dominated your way of thinking for so long. Regardless of your efforts to think good thoughts, the old ones creep right back in on you.

As if that wasn’t enough, you question if you are good enough to deserve better, worthy enough of love, friends, health, or wealth? You ask yourself if you sufficiently appreciate what you already have. And then, oh boy, can you even learn to love yourself?

Here’s the good news: These things don’t have to come first. I was told: “You don’t have to wear a halo to manifest the changes you want.” Isn’t that the truth! There are plenty of people out there who aren’t all that good and have everything they want.

So, when those negative thoughts sneak back in, when those old beliefs re-assert themselves, and we’ve established that they will……………….Keep visualizing, keep imagining!!! Because your subconscious mind processes so much faster than your conscious mind.

Did you get that? Your subconscious processes faster and more thoroughly than your conscious mind! That’s huge. That is the way out.

It’s about repetition!!!

What are those negative beliefs, but repetitive thoughts, things you’ve learned, notions you have become familiar with. Changing them requires that same repeated process. Stay with it and things WILL have to change. It is a universal, spiritual law.

Here’s a little trick: Make flashcards about your negative, stressful thoughts, your anxiety producing moments….anticipate them. Get to know them. Write those situations on the front of your flashcards. Be descriptive, get into it, feel the emotions!

Then on the back write your solutions, your plan of attack, your positive visualization. When your mind goes into that downward spiral, when you forget that there is another way, when you can’t locate those positive thoughts, you will have your solution right there in front of you this time. Now that you are ready for those situations they will gradually lose their power over you.  You will be prepared, you will have a way out this time.

It’s simply a matter of understanding that if you do your part: visualize, prepare the way, and act “as if,” without looking over your shoulder for quick results, what you want must be added unto you… as will the feelings of worthiness, appreciation and loving your most lovable self.

Thoughts become things… choose the good ones!

If you need help, email christina@christinadevalencia.com

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Hope and New Beginnings

hope

 

 

It’s Easter Sunday and I am reflecting on life.

I have so many things to be grateful for. We all have so much to be grateful for, even in the midst of perceived lack, illness or unhappiness. Life is just a miracle.

But still, there are those moments when you feel deeply stuck in your despair, trapped in that situation or body you find yourself in. Those feelings are familiar to you; it isn’t the first time you are experiencing this anguish. You think: “Is it ever going to get better? Why does this keep happening to me? I don’t think it’ll ever change.” In those instances you feel so helpless, you can’t come up with a way to shift those sensations.

It can feel like a whirlpool that is sucking you down, down, down……Or you feel like a caged animal who can see out, but can’t figure how to get out.

You know, in those times, I have found simple things work best.

  • Do something physical. If you can, get up and go for a walk or exercise. Work in the garden, play with a child.
  • Pay attention to what you are eating. The foods we eat can cause a sense of well-being or add to anxiety. When we feel bad we tend to eat things that are processed; like comfort foods and chocolate; or we have one too many drinks. Too much of that creates stress in our bodies. We are all such finely tuned beings even if we are in denial about it.
  • Keep visualizing and making your positive statements. Creative, positive thoughts are more powerful than negative thoughts, because we are spiritual creatures. Get off the computer, your phone or any other gadget and sit still for a minute. Find that tiny seed of faith and hold on.

These troubling moments are a part of life. We temporarily forget that it gets better again, so stick to the simple solutions. Don’t try to figure it all out.

Sending you love and peace on this day of New Beginnings and Hope.

Christina

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