Watching Shadows, Seeking Healing

C.G. Jung said, “knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”

When things go awry in relationships, I turn inward, letting shame envelop me.

“I always mess up.”
“I don’t understand myself.”
“I am all wrong.”

As I seek healing, I strive to find other points of view, and positive reframes.

It’s true that I mess up. I’m human, after all. Being aware of this, I prove I know myself. As for being all wrong? Unlikely. I am imperfect, but I am enough. In every way I strike out, or in, there’s a past experience giving insight to my behavior.

There are things in myself I may not see. The same goes for those around me. We try our best, but years of trauma and pain have applied filters to our eyes and walls around our hearts.

I’m working on sitting back, breathing, and watching my shadows tussle. I’m learning about myself. My raw heart. My desire to please others. My fear of not belonging.

As I fling myself through life, I’m going to trip. I’m going to be hurt. And I’m going to hurt others. The world will keep spinning.

Since all of that is inevitable, I may as well get on my own side, resisting the call of shame, and leaning into the practice of self-compassion.

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I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.
-Emily Dickinson

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Composition- Colorado Trails Photography

Colorado trails
Camera in hand
Tuck into trees
Capture all I can

Colorado Trees

Colorado Mountains

Hiking Photo

I’m a relaxed photographer. My fanciest trick is using the macro setting to capture lichen. I don’t even use a “real” camera, rather, my Samsung phone. When I’m hiking Colorado trails, I like to back into the trees, using branches to frame shots of mountains and formations. That’s the extent of my composition skills- hike often, find trees, back in, shoot to the west. My photos aren’t stellar, but they are reflections of my experiences, and they make me happy.

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Snapshots Of Gratitude- What Is Gratitude Practice?

Alice Morse Earle Gratitude Quote
Gratitude practice isn’t born of plenty. It doesn’t bubble up as joy. It doesn’t always occur without effort.

Gratitude practice is a choice I make, several times each day. It’s a change of perspective. A moving of a game piece. A tweaked point of view.

Gratitude practice is staking a claim. Landing on a desolate landscape. Planting a flag.

I’m here. I’m alive. The sun is warm. I am grateful. 

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Expressing gratitude with photos every Sunday

 

Choosing To See The Good

I sat with coffee and journal this morning, recounting my week. I wrote about my new health diagnosis, my husband’s travels, the pain of uncertainty, the fear of the future. Although the words remained on straight lines, they gradually slanted downward. My mood followed.

Where was the good?

I often resist gratitude. The blinders of pessimism are well-worn. Without effort, it’s possible for me to miss the good entirely.

I accept my darker mindset. I’ve been through difficult experiences that have shaped my worldview. But I am committed to the practice of gratitude, and recognize its important role in my PTSD recovery.

Since I am devoted to healing, I went back over my week with the blinders off. For each painful event, I added a good one.

Encouraging words.

Simple gifts.

Uplifting texts.

Supportive phone calls.

Arms around my middle.

Eyes locked with mine.

Hands to hold.

By seeking the good moments in my life, and jotting them in my journal, I am building up my emotional reserve. With every sting of shame, and fear of not belonging, someone validated my existence. In each tide of hopeless tears, comfort stood nearby. Whenever I felt alone and scared, I found safety in offered love.

Even when lost in despair, I can see I fought for myself.

It’s this combination of kindness from others and love from within that will save me. But only if I choose to see the good.

Choosing To See The Good