Category Archives: Self-Acceptance

Loving the Inner Child

I have been aware of the need to love the inner child for many years , through my own reading and research on how to overcome my childhood issues. It is only in the last few months that I have really noticed a difference in the way I have related to this part of myself in a more loving, nurturing way.

About a month ago, I purchased some new piano music to try after streaming the album online. I picked a few pieces and found them to be extremely difficult. I usually pride myself on spending lots of time working through difficult pieces to improve my playing, but these were so difficult as to not really provide much pleasure in even small improvements. At first I found myself exceptionally angry and frustrated.

“I should be able to play it!”

“Why can’t I play it?!”

“I must be a lot worse at piano than I thought!”

“I’m so rubbish. I’ll never be good enough.” (Notice how this then became a generalisation to my whole self!)

By this point I was really grumpy and about to let the frustration spoil my evening, so I decided to take myself off into our bedroom to meditate, to see if I could work through this.

Well, very quickly after relaxing into meditation I became aware of the barking voice of my old deputy headmistress from my primary school-

“You stupid child, why can’t you do it? Everybody else can do it, why can’t you? Are you an idiot?”

These words were never directed at me, but there were a certain few classmates who bore the brunt of the abuse over the years. She was an absolute dragon! I’d honestly forgotten about her, but during this meditation I realised my inner child hadn’t! She was still absolutely terrified of her, and had taken on the belief that she must be absolutely flawless to avoid this type of verbal attack. She was devastated for her classmates, but also just terrified by the insane rage of this woman. My inner child thought that this was normal and what was deserved. She didn’t know that this kind of verbal attack was abusive, and cruel, and that the only one in the wrong was the headmistress.

I honestly felt true compassion for my inner child in that moment. I wanted to protect her and shout back at the headmistress. I knew I was capable of being just as fierce! I wanted to pick up little Rachel, and comfort her. So in my mind I did. I told her that she was in no way deserving of this kind of bullying, that she was loved and protected, she had done absolutely nothing wrong, and the headmistress was a cruel human being who would probably lose her job now. The primary school was a very strict Catholic school and was big on the shaming approach. You will go to hell if you’re disobedient- that kind of thing. That seriously screws you up when you’re so young, sensitive, and vulnerable. There were also incidents of teachers smacking misbehaving kids over their knee in front of the whole class. I remember this clearly. We were only 4 or 5.

This might sound trivial to some people, but being such a highly sensitive individual, and so desperate to please everybody, I was extremely affected. No wonder I always want to be so bloody perfect at art and music, and life in general. The headmistress’s bullying voice became my own bullying voice, in a bid to protect myself from public shaming. If I could bully myself into the desired behaviour/performance/achievement, then I would get there before the she would- hence avoiding a verbal assault in front of my peers.

Anyway, after soothing my inner child whilst in meditation, I did start to feel much more loved, calmer, and I cared much less about the difficult piano pieces. Insanely difficult. I was expecting too much, and reminded myself of the other hard pieces I had learned, and how much I loved playing them. Loving playing is the most important part.

I was proud of myself for noticing my anger that evening, and for having the presence of mind to stop myself, and say “hey, let’s sort this out before it ruins the whole evening. What is going on here that is making me feel so angry? How am I treating myself?”

I am grateful that some higher guidance hooked me up with a very good reason why I was feeling so much fear, and that I was able to soothe my inner child. To begin to feel this kind of protectiveness for her, this love and compassion, is quite a breakthrough for me, so I am very thankful! I’m sure there will be much more work with her to come!

Talking and Connection During Lockdown.

I am relieved that I’m starting to feel a little better. The weather has suddenly jumped from an average of 0 degrees C, to about 9, so I’m actually looking forward to my dog walk today.

I’d been grumpy with my husband all day Saturday, which I wrote about in my last post, and feeling shame about it. But Sunday started well as we both gave each other Valentine’s cards and little gifts, so that cheered me up and we opened up about the day before. He said he’d been very stressed about a situation at work, and suddenly everything clicked into place. That was why I was avoiding being around him on Saturday! I was feeling his stress as something I couldn’t face going near. Normally I can give support over these things, but because I have been feeling depressed for a few weeks, I just didn’t have the emotional strength or energy to deal with his problems.

I felt relieved to know that was what had been the issue (the trials of the highly sensitive empath), and once we talked about his work problem, we both felt much better, which relaxed the energy between us.

Then I actually felt strong enough to ring my parents- yes, it takes strength due to childhood traumas still lingering between us. They can be fun to talk to and are certainly better now I’m an adult, so that actually cheered me up, as I think I’d been missing chatting to people. Lockdown has certainly made me feel more isolated, and I’m really not great at picking up the phone to chat to friends (I’m phone phobic!). I definitely have social anxiety but also a need for some connection and conversation.

I feel lucky that I have hugs and affection everyday. If I lived alone, I’d definitely be missing those.

So Valentine’s Day was actually really good and we ended up with gorgeous steaks for dinner, (for once I didn’t overcook them) and watched the original X Men on Disney Plus.

It’s a total cliche, but I think a hot bath helped, as well as the Bach Flower Remedy Mustard (for depression with no known cause), and the essential oil Petitgrain. Lots of little things all adding up- that’s the way to improve my mood!

I think starting to write on here again has helped too. I haven’t really been very in touch with myself over the last year or two. I had been writing in my journal sporadically, but not like I used to. This is helping me to feel more human again. I forget how talking about things can help, even if I’m talking to cyberspace! I really do appreciate people reading this- so thank you if you are here!

Lockdown Depression

Depression SOS: Bach Flower Remedies

Bach Flower Remedies for Depression- Mustard and Gentian. (You Tube Video)

Emerging Shadow Aspects of the Soul

Working with shadow parts is always something that makes me feel apprehensive, even though I know it shouldn’t as it is just the lower vibrational aspects of our soul arising to be released.

It is scary when I find out things about myself that I really don’t like. Knowing that they need love and healing helps a little. Also observing them rather than attaching to them helps to quell any judgement of myself that naturally stirs.

Just because we know how we don’t want to feel or be, doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t feel those things or have those aspects in our personalities.

Recently I’ve been noticing cowardly parts of myself. Actually that’s quite a judgemental word, I think I prefer fearful. I’ve noticed that I am far too happy to stay indoors and away from people in light of the current coronavirus outbreak. Things have just ramped up a notch here in the UK, and we’re now told to only go out for essential purposes.

At the moment this hasn’t bothered me one bit. I love being at home, it’s peaceful to me, and in my current recovery from Coeliacs Disease I still have little energy (an earlier boost a few weeks ago has unfortunately subsided). I am an introvert at heart, but one who needs and loves being around people in small doses.

The new imposed limits in contact have awoken in me a realisation that I am greatly relieved to have an excuse not to socialise. Like seriously relieved! This really surprised me. I’ve always been aware that I’m very socially anxious, but I didn’t realise by how much, or how much it has been affecting me.

What scares me so much about socialising with other people?

I find it all too intense. Other people’s energy seems very “loud” if that makes any sense to you? I feel very overwhelmed by it very quickly. At some point I even questioned if I have Aspergers. I certainly fit some of the criteria, but not enough for a diagnosis I don’t think.

The overwhelm doesn’t just come from the other people, but also the environment we are in: noise, visuals, other energies around us.

But even in a peaceful environment, one-on-one with a friend, I can only manage a small amount of time before I feel overstimulated.

I am constantly aware of how the other person sees me, perceives, judges. I am constantly monitoring myself and them for signs of doing something socially inappropriate or upsetting to someone.

No wonder I get so overstimulated, and fearful also. I put myself under a microscope and am super-conscious of everything I do.

Exploring my fear has helped me judge myself less. I almost feel I am observing a frightened child, one who hasn’t managed to learn how to accommodate her sensitivities, and judges herself harshly for not fitting in, and not wanting to socialise. It feels easier to be kinder and compassionate towards her.

I find online friendships helpful. They create a little bit of distance and I like that I can reply in writing, which I can take more time over, and am not in a situation I find pressurising.

This social anxiety has greatly impacted my ability to hold down a regular job, coupled with bipolar. I think when the anxiety is all the time, everyday at a job, and I am constantly exhausted from it, that is when the mood swings kick in and bipolar cycles begin and escalate.

I wonder if part of me, maybe part of my ancestral karma, is extremely judgemental of mental illness. It shocks me to think so, but I feel emotional at this realisation, which makes me think there is some truth in it.

It’s slightly horrifying seeing as mental health conditions are so rife in my family.

Perhaps we have ancestors or past lives that involve severe judgement or abuse of the mentally ill. Of course I seriously hope not, but there is definitely part of me that judges myself harshly for not being “normal” (I don’t see others’ mental health issues in this way at all) and sometimes I think I do bully myself. I feel ashamed that I’ve always found adulthood extremely difficult- dealing with a job, plus housework, cooking, washing etc. In fact the last three alone I find challenging enough.

I feel ashamed when people ask me “so what do you do Rachel?”. I never know what to say really. I don’t have a job. At the moment I don’t use my time very wisely either- too much TV and internet, not enough writing, art, piano and flute. I think I do try and bully myself into doing them, which inevitably makes me not want to do them. I’m extremely judgemental of myself when I do participate and am a perfectionist. Not much fun!

Then on top of all that I feel like I’m putting myself into a position of powerlessness by attaching to beliefs about being a victim.

I just can’t win! 😂

So, it would appear I need to do a whole lot of release of judgement, and a whole lot of forgiveness. I know these things take time, and it happens in baby steps. I’ve identified the problem, so now I can do something about it by being much more compassionate with myself, much kinder and gentler. One step at a time.

It’s funny. I asked my husband once what he most loved about me and he said that I am kind and caring. Not to myself it would seem, but hopefully I will be able to turn those qualities inwards.

N.B It has occurred to me that just by acknowledging and accepting our shadow qualities, we are being courageous.

Making Friends with Fear

Last night my husband and I went food shopping at the local supermarket. As expected, the shelves were very empty and I found myself taken aback by a wave of fear and panic that hit me like a tonne of bricks.

I knew this fear was not just my own, but the lingering energy of the hundreds of people who had walked in the doors over the last 24 hours or so, shocked, and some even quite terrified to see, for the first time, the effects of coronavirus in our rural town. The collective fear felt more foreign to me, like lots of voices and thoughts all chattering at once:

“what will I do if I can’t get milk, or tea, or toilet rolls?”

I know it sounds superficial when you consider that people are in serious pain with the virus, or have lost loved ones, but it is a very real fear to have your sense of security and safety tugged out from beneath your feet. We live in our own little bubble of the routine and security of an efficiently functioning society, so any disruption to that is bound to feel jarring.

If like me you have felt this cloud of fear when out shopping, or at home with the media flowing through your mind, then it is a good time to just acknowledge it is there.

My natural reaction to any uncomfortable emotion is to try and suppress or deny it. Distraction plays a part, but too often I’ll turn to obsessive or compulsive behaviour.

Today I felt a connection with my guides and angels as I finally stopped to feel this fear. I realised that I have been so scared to feel it, or any uncomfortable emotion, that I’ve desperately been pushing against it in resistance. But the wisdom they gave was to allow it. Allow the fear to be with you. Allow the fear to rest in your body and around you. Feel it in your body. Where do you feel it. Don’t try and change it. Let it be there. Is your stomach tight? Your shoulders tense? Your jaw clenched? Feel into the body. Be an investigator! Ask your body what it needs. Ask your spirit what it needs. Listen to your intuition and trust it. Talk to the fear- what is there that is so scary?

The more we spend time getting to know what we are feeling, the less frightening the fear will seem. We can send love to ourselves, give ourselves a big hug.

It is ok to feel fear.
We are not bad or weak or cowards for feeling fear.
It is all ok in this moment.

Ask that any fear that does not belong to you be cleared from your body and energy field. We help nobody by taking on this burden, particularly as it is so easy for Spirit to help us clear this- just ask! We are worthy of their help. Every single one of us.

Surrendering our feelings helps so much.
If we don’t know how to release fear, that is ok. Love yourself anyway.
Whatever you are feeling- tell yourself it is ok and that you are worthy of love. You are love.
Surrender any feelings of not knowing. Release into the uncertainty.

As I walked the dog this morning I noticed how “normal” everything felt out in nature. I didn’t feel a fearful vibration. The birds were chirping and carrying on about their daily business as usual, and I found this very comforting. If you are sensitive, I highly recommend spending some time in nature every day, even just to feel the normality of birds singing their joyful song, or flowers unfolding their petals in perfect timing with natures rhythm. Nature trusts in the universe. That everything is ok.

It is in our society where the fear is accumulating- our unnatural society of consumption and power and gain. In nature the earth is breathing a sigh of relief as pollution levels decrease significantly due to coronavirus. There is a natural healing process taking place. Everything is ok. Trust in the process.


Resources

These posts are all on my sister-site The Light Sanctuary, where I delve deeper into spirituality:

Divine Light Meditation– clear energetic vibrations of fear from your body and energetic field.

Sensitivity to World Events

Sensing Light Out Into The World

What if “the story” is the answer?

I’ve recently discovered Matt Kahn on You Tube. If you haven’t seen or heard of him, he is a spiritual healer and speaker who just seems brimming with wisdom and what, to me, feels like truth. (As a bonus he also happens to be hilarious!)

Some spiritual teachers talk of not getting stuck in “your story”- referring to our tendency as human beings to replay our past and over-identify with our traumas. I think they mean this is the sense that we shouldn’t wallow in self-pity and nurture victimhood and resentment, which may seem like a very sensible thing, and perhaps easier to accomplish when you are out the other side of the tunnel.

But Matt Kahn speaks of how this can seem a very rejecting and unkind thing to do for ourselves. Most of us have been through some shit!! To be told to stop wallowing in “our story” is a kick in the teeth when many of us are perhaps hopelessly entangled in it, and perhaps haven’t finished working and learning from our pain. We might not have finished being angry and resentful- we might need to be angry and resentful in order to heal further.

He talks more of self-compassion, and loving this angry part of ourselves unconditionally. This part of us that is still attached and in the grips of whatever abuse, neglect, or loss we’ve endured- this part needs our love more than anything, not to be told to suck it up and stop wallowing. The way out of the tangle and mess of our past traumas is loving and accepting ourselves when every single part of us IS “our story”. We may not always be so identified with it, but when we are, to be told to reject it is to be told to reject ourselves. That is pretty harsh and not very helpful in my opinion.

I think that everyone can be helped in different ways. I find loving and accepting ourselves when we are entwined with “out story” to be much kinder and more compassionate than to be told to just get over it and move on. For some people this might even be abandoning their inner child even more, when what they need is to be guided gently through the pain by our loving adult selves. Of course some people might need the firmer approach, it might be totally appropriate for them, but I’m not one of them.

Matt Kahn on You Tube – the funniest spiritual teacher I’ve discovered!

Dealing With Unkindness

An underhanded, sarcastic comment threw me last night. It was clearly aimed at me and full of passive-aggression. Only those “in the know” would have understood it- there were a few sniggering looks between those people. Flashback to school and similar experiences. Within seconds I was panicking and questioning- “was that aimed at me?”, “did she really say that?”, “am I just being crazy?”.

It’s those subtle remarks that really set off self-doubt in what I am perceiving and how I’m interpreting it. When other people around you don’t notice anything, you have nobody to validate your way of perceiving what happened, so you continually question and doubt yourself, all the while trying to deal with any emotions that automatically switch on- mainly anxiety, later anger.

In the past- mainly school and work environments- people have always said to me “you’re too sensitive”, “you need a thicker skin”. I don’t agree with that. If I lose my sensitivity, I lose my ability to love deeply, to experience deeply, my innate spirituality, my creativity, my passion. These are things I now see as gifts. It’s taken a long time as I previously believed that yes, I was too sensitive and should learn to be like everybody else. Maybe because I’m sensitive I am also kinder, more compassionate and empathic? In my opinion these are definitely qualities that need to be out there in the world.

But I would like to be less afraid of being hurt. I am so scared of harsh comments, criticism, unkindness and bullying, that I isolate myself enormously.

I think to feel more protected I must love myself so much, and be so involved with serving a purpose in the world, that these comments or unkindness’s just roll off my back, because I’m so into loving and living my life, that I barely take any notice.

When other people behave unkindly I think it is also a good warning sign to keep them out of my life, and to spend time with much kinder folk. There is a strange part of me that is determined to get involved with unkindness and show those that have hurt me that I didn’t deserve it, or to change the person’s view of me to something more positive. My ego views other people’s opinions of me as so important that they are the ones that form my view of myself- my whole identity, so any negative comments coming my way are seen by my ego as major attacks on my psyche.

The more conscious part of me knows that it is my own opinion of myself that matters. It is good to take others’ views of myself into consideration when they are coming from somebody who knows me well, loves me, and is honest and truthful, but nobody has the power to dictate my identity. It happened in childhood- it’s a pattern now that I will break. As a child it was about survival- be the person my parents/teachers want me to be to avoid abandonment. That’s in its most basic form. But I don’t need to do that anymore. I am safe. I will not abandon myself anymore.

The Empath: Extreme Sensitivity

ID-100126946A few years ago I wrote a guest post about Bipolar Disorder and High Sensitivity for the website Mental Health Talk.

It’s been interesting to read it back to myself. I realise I’ve changed my views slightly since then- mainly that I no longer see bipolar disorder as an illness:

“From here onwards in my blog I am going to use the term “Bipolar Disorder” only to describe behaviours that have been grouped accordingly by psychiatrists. So the term will henceforth appear in italics. I no longer believe I have Bipolar Disorder, but am a completely whole individual, 100% healthy, but who just requires a different lifestyle to maintain balance.”

From my blog post Abraham Hicks Part 1: Bipolar Disorder

I believe I was diagnosed as bipolar due to the fact that I am extremely sensitive and it is this which has caused major life challenges for me, coupled with reaction to chronic trauma throughout my infancy through to adulthood.

I definitely relate to Elaine Aron’s perception of the Highly Sensitive Person: somebody who is more sensitive to stimulation from environmental cues, as well as more easily overwhelmed. For more in depth discussion on this, please see my article Bipolar Disorder and High Sensitivity.

But I’ve also never felt that this fully describes the deeper extreme sensitivity that I feel. The only term I’ve ever found to explain this is Empath.


PeacockEmpaths: Energy Sensitivity.

My understanding of the term Empath is a person who is extremely sensitive to the emotions and energy of other people and the environment.

Being a Highly Sensitive Person or HSP, has never explained how I can become overwhelmed by somebody else’s sadness or joy. I don’t just imagine it, I feel it. It’s as if I can merge myself with them and actually feel the emotion they are going through.

Without an awareness of this, therefore no skills or training in managing this energy sensitivity, it is no wonder that I got diagnosed as having bipolar disorder as my emotions were all over the place!! I could take on suicidal depressions, raging anger, irritability- any emotion and it probably didn’t originate from me!

It is not just being around an angry person that may cause me to feel their anger- which I often experience as a very fearful defence. Anger or any emotions can hang around in the environment. For example- if work colleagues in a meeting have just had a heated discussion about an issue that has generated frustration and anger- the anger and intense emotions can hang about as a cloud of energy in the room. So when I enter the room I immediately feel the intensity and chaos of emotion- it’s like the molecules in the air change. That’s how it feels to me.

Learning to defend myself against these energies and protect myself is a massive ongoing project. A big part of this is clearing my energy so that I release any energy that does not belong to me. It’s kind of like an energetic shower! Since working on these skills, I have noticed a definite improvement in my mood changes and ability to remain balanced and peaceful.

In my opinion there are many people out there who experience energies in this way who have no idea that they are being affected massively by other people’s emotions. They turn up in doctor’s offices with depression and anxiety that could be cleared and managed on an energetic level. It is empowering to realise you can take back control of your emotional experiences, rather than experiencing your emotions as out of control and running away with you.

Empathy as a GiftID-10023748

Once on the road to managing and balancing energetic sensitivity, it is possible to use this skill in a way that helps other people. Being able to feel how somebody else is feeling, but also being able to clear it away when necessary, can help you relate to somebody else’s experience and help you develop as an effective counsellor.

But it can be taken further to a psychic level.

As well as experiencing the energy of other people, you may be able to read their aura. It is possible to get a sense of what they like, what is going on in their life, what they spend their time thinking about etc. You may receive visual images or words in your mind, or feel a sense of what they are like as a person.

This is not only possible with living people, but we also pick up on energy of beings in spirit. We may receive images/thoughts/feelings from spirits who may be trying to communicate with us, or again, they may leave an environment in a cloud of feeling, like anger or fear. Think of visiting an old haunted house- any feelings of the place being creepy and unnerving are completely valid, as the spirit is likely to be fearful or angry.

As well as more negative energies, we can also communicate with higher energies- those in spirit who are peaceful and loving, as well as guides, and angel energies. This is such a beautiful experience and so worth developing and spending time on. I’ll definitely write more this in future as it is an important part of my life now. There are many benefits to connecting with loved ones in spirit, as well as guides- you receive so much love and support, as well as guidance and wisdom. To know we are not alone and are always supported and championed is so comforting and uplifting!

We learn to control who we interact with through intention. I always have the intention to work with the higher energies only. This can lead us to become really great healers.

But again, if you have been picking up on the energies of spirits as well as the living- no wonder your emotions are rocked around tumultuously!

ButterflyIs an Empath born or made?

I don’t know for sure!

My understanding is that we can be born highly sensitive. Due to that sensitivity we may be more likely to experience events and daily living (that other people cope with easily) as traumatic, or experience extreme trauma. Trauma would then increase our sensitivity as we are always ‘switched on’, scanning the environment for potential trouble so that we are able to control what we can in order to avoid any threat- for example, conflict. This is called hypervigilance. We are so tuned in to other people’s wellbeing, emotions, and our environment that we are basically practicing being even more sensitive without realising. We become so good at it that we enter the realms of being an empath.

So basically I think that Highly Sensitive People are born, and that trauma can create an empath from a Highly Sensitive Person.

This is just a theory that feels right to me.

To me it explains why I have found it so difficult to function in the world. Everybody else seems to get along with life so easily, whilst I have felt tossed about by every little thing in the environment. But knowing that I can have mastery over this energy sensitivity is so empowering. I can take back control and learn to use this as something positive in my life.

Being labelled as bipolar is so disempowering, that suddenly realising that actually you are experiencing energies as an empath can feel very exciting! Due to our sensitivity it could trigger a burst of positive high vibration energy, which is important to manage through your awareness of it, by staying grounded, and working on staying peaceful and centred. More on this in a future post!

It is easy to see being an empath as something quite special, which it is, but it does not mean we are in any way better than anybody else. Some people are good at carpentry, some at sport, we’re good at being empaths!

There is so much more to this topic which I’d like to explore in future!

Related Posts

Bipolar Disorder and High Sensitivity – my guest blog post on Mental Health Talk.

Bipolar: Your Mood May Not Be Your Own – guest post on Mental Health Talk.

Absorbing Others’ Energy – a fascinating and very useful video by Ralph Smart.

You’re So Sensitive

Hypomania and Grounding

Depression and Grounding

Grounding for Emotional Wellbeing – a video featuring a meditation exercise to help you to ground yourself.

 

 

 

 

Nikki Grahame: In Therapy

42ed1fd300000578-4757264-image-a-54_1501764528746I recently watched an episode of the Channel 5 (UK) programme In Therapy. Each episode of the programme follows a different celebrity through counselling sessions, in the hopes of resolving certain issues.

I was particularly interested to see this recent episode as it featured Nikki Grahame of Big Brother fame, who developed anorexia at a very young age and spent most of her young years in treatment centres. Nikki endured herself to many, myself included, with her witty personality and intelligence, but sadly also her temper tantrums which displayed genuine distress.

I think the documentary can be accessed by UK viewers via Channel 5’s catch-up service below (sorry everyone else!):

Nikki Grahame: In Therapy

The Therapy Sessions.

The counselling sessions with therapist Mandy Saligari began with Nikki having a meltdown (panic attack?) about having to open up about the past.

It was sad to see this, and part of me wonders whether the media are exploiting her in the name of entertainment. But that’s another issue in itself.

For the most part I feel her open-ness about her condition is beneficial in helping people to understand their own issues and to reframe themselves and their identity in a positive light.

A Distorted Perception

It was clear during the therapy sessions that Nikki is very hard on herself, even to the point of hating herself in some moments: as suggested by the disgust she has felt looking at her body in the mirror- which she now avoids.

I think many of us who have an extreme sensitivity and have been through childhood experiences that invalidate our sense of self-worth, may have felt similarly that they do not like themselves, perhaps to the point of hatred. I know I have and it is painful to remember those dark times.

It is also clear we are looking at an intelligent, witty young lady, who also has insight into her condition and its effects on others. It is so easy to see the good in her. Her past anorexia has distorted her view of herself physically too- self disgust, yet she presents as anything but disgusting!

So, if I am feeling bad about myself, I can be assured that my opinion is probably completely distorted towards the negative, and perhaps other people see something good and worthy in me. I start then to think of good qualities they may see and then the good thoughts multiply and add to a growing positive relationship with myself.

9496tn1l70tebfRecovery from many mental health conditions seems to be about making friends with yourself, loving and taking care of yourself. This is what we haven’t developed throughout childhood- we’ve had mirrored back to us only the negative (the majority of the time anyway) which has coloured our perception of ourselves as “bad” and “shameful”.

Consciously Denying Feelings

One particularly disturbing moment of the shows Nikki respond to perceived criticism by Mandy, by making the decision to not talk. She stares at the ceiling and seems to numb herself to any feeling she might have about this. It’s as if she decides that she doesn’t want to deal with this situation or person anymore, like she can’t cope with it, and the only way she feels she can deal with it is by numbing herself of all feeling and denying it.

This was very familiar to me. I developed a similar pattern of behaviour (though less overt) when I felt I couldn’t cope with certain situations throughout childhood. It is a very childlike way of coping. But we have been taught no other way of dealing with our own distress, so have developed our own coping mechanism at 3,5,9,10,11 years old, whenever, and that part of us is stuck there with this behaviour. We have learnt no other way of dealing with overwhelming emotions.

At one point, Mandy makes the point that Nikki’s emotions are no stronger than anybody else’s, she just hasn’t learnt to manage them. I actually disagree with this. I think some of us do feel emotions much more strongly than others- our sensitivity makes it so. To imply we all feel the same intensity of emotion is quite simplistic I think, and invalidates Nikki’s experiences of her own feelings.

Thankfully Nikki begins talking to Mandy again and they work through what happened in a healthy way. She could have remained in the cocoon she created for herself and refused to finish the counselling. This is a majorly positive step, anybody who achieves a breakthrough like this in counselling or life in general is moving forward positively, to greater maturity. Congratulate yourself! Achievements in life don’t have to be about academic or vocational gain. We must learn to see all the positive steps we take in life, in order for us to see who we truly are- wonderful beings!

A Positive Future

Nikki has moved on from feeling so controlled by anorexia, though she still admits to obsessive cleaning. But it is evident she has more self acceptance than she had in the past and is developing a more positive relationship with herself. This is such a hopeful thing to see- we are all capable of growth and developing self-love. We will move towards the positive and recovery, if that is what we want.

Related Posts

Binge-Eating: Empty Inside

Counselling: My Wellbeing As Priority

I Am Angry and It’s Okay.

Body Image and Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’.

You Are Amazing!

 

Abraham Hicks Part 3: Feeling Thoughts

Following on from my last post Abraham Hicks Part 2: The Emotional Guidance System, I’ve been trying to practice thoughts that raise my vibration up the Emotional Guidance Scale.

emotionalguidancescale

This morning was a good opportunity to do that as I woke up, weighed myself and discovered I’d put on a few pounds. My immediate reaction was panic, which I think is probably as low as 22 on the scale (fear).

“How did this happen?!!”

“I didn’t really eat that much over the last week did I?!”

“Arghhhhhh!!!”

“Are the scales wrong?”

“I feel so out of control!!”

Feeling Thoughts

Abraham Hicks describes these thoughts as “feeling thoughts”: thoughts that create a feeling or emotion. These thoughts immediately made me feel panicky and fearful of being out of control.

So, I thought about what I wrote in my last post- moving up the Emotional Guidance Scale. What thought feels better than this? I consciously spoke to myself as if I were a friend and tried to be supportive of myself:

“It’s ok, I know how to lose the weight, I’ve done it before and it’s actually quite easy once I get into the flow of it.”

“It’s easy to get back in control.”

“I’m still lighter than I was this time last year.”

“It’s been ultra hot the last few days and I’ve been drinking loads. I might have retained water which has increased my weight.”

“Weight is just a number. I am so much more than this.”

“I’ve got something exciting arriving in the post today.”

“I’m looking forward to practicing the flute again. I’m doing really well with it.”

“Teaching my pupil on Monday was brilliant- she’d practiced so hard and I was really proud of her.”

See how my thoughts naturally progressed from being about my weight to being about the things that really matter to me or things that make me feel good? This was totally a natural progression, so much so that I hardly noticed the shift. And yes, I did feel better with these thoughts. It felt easy at first to slip back into the panicky ones, but after a few hours of dog-walking, chores, and TV watching, I am now feeling more secure in these better feeling thoughts.

Awareness & Mindfulness

Awareness of your thoughts is key to noticing what’s going on in your mind.

Awareness comes with mindfulness which really isn’t this big subject that requires you to read books or take courses, like we are perhaps led to believe. Yes, it can help very much, but basically it requires your attention to be focused on the here and now.

Your awareness is on how your body feels, your breathing, the thoughts going through your mind, the room you’re sitting in.

It can be so easy for our minds to wander off into the future: planning, worrying, etc. This is all completely natural, and mindfulness is also about being completely non-judgemental of your thoughts and feelings- just accepting them as they are.

Without this mindful condition, it is difficult to have an awareness of what is going through your mind in the present. Your mental energy is focused in the future- with plans or worries or even excitement and anticipation. Or it may be in the past- remembering something that made you feel bad, or good.

Mental energy may also be focused on distractions which also take us away from the here and now: TV, the internet, work- we are giving our mental focus away to these experiences.

From these energetic positions, we are unaware of our current emotional state, and from that perspective, have no power to change it by creating new good feeling thoughts.

Directing Mental Energy

Mindfulness is about directing this mental energy, that we have projected into the past or future, back to ourselves in the here and now. It is in the here and now that we have the power to change our feeling thoughts and develop a healthy, nurturing relationship with ourselves.

To me this is all a completely new concept, as I’ve grown up with the programme installed in my mind that I’m never good enough, and critical thoughts automatically seem to appear from out of nowhere and often trigger shameful feelings.

To notice these bad feeling thoughts is the first step. It requires focus, intention and effort, but it is not difficult.

Once you are noticing and have the awareness of the thoughts flowing through your mind, you are then in the driving seat, in a position of power, where you can re-programme your mind by creating good feeling thoughts.

Positive Results!

If I hadn’t have tried to change my mind programming today, I may still be stuck at 22. But now I feel at a 4- with positive expectation and belief! That’s quite a big jump!!

I think it’s probably a good idea to record these results that I’m generating, to keep an eye on how successful the whole technique is.

I am fortunate in that I am not going to a busy job, in a noisy environment, and that I have the time and quiet to be aware and be mindful. I don’t always do it, but I’m working on it, and today has been successful so far!

Related Posts

Abraham Hicks Part 1: Bipolar Disorder

Abraham Hicks Part 2: The Emotional Guidance Scale

What Is Bipolar Disorder? Abraham Hicks: A Conversation

You Are Amazing!

Bipolar Management: Mindfulness and Meditation

 

 

 

 

 

Abraham Hicks Part 2: The Emotional Guidance Scale

So today I’m finding it more of a challenge to feel positive.

Today I’m feeling the effects of the hot weather here in the UK. I’m extremely tired (probably through poor quality, broken sleep) and cranky and my energy feels low.

It is on days like this that I find my spiritual and positive intentions more difficult to achieve.

And I think that is very normal- even though I’ve spent portions of today letting my mind run with thoughts of: “why can’t I just get on with things?”, “why am I so lazy?”, “why am I so unmotivated”, “I feel so useless”.

Okay, so I really am just being very normal. I may have been brought up to believe I should always be grateful, and joyful and have a smile on my face, but this is totally unrealistic, and not a match to who I truly am.

It’s ok for me to feel fed up and frustrated with myself. It’s normal!

But I can feel better if I want to.

And that’s where my post from two days ago fits in (see Abraham Hicks on Bipolar Disorder). I strongly recommend reading this first before continuing here.

At the end of the post I asked a few questions that I intended to answer in further posts. Well, here I am considering the question:

How do we reduce all this bouncing around (emotionally) and allow ourselves to be more balanced?

To answer this a familiarity with The Emotional Guidance Scale as offered in Esther and Jerry Hicks book Ask and It Is Given.

emotionalguidancescale

As you can see, the scale lists different emotions and they are ordered as such that the emotions at the top of the scale are those that will feel good to us, and those at the bottom will feel bad.

There is a continuum implied whereby number 9: Pessimism will feel better to us emotionally than number 10. Frustration/Irritation/Impatience. Number 1. Joy, will feel better to us than number 5. Optimism, which in turn will feel better than number 7. Contentment.

Of course, this is a much simplified perspective of our complex range of human emotion, and what feels good or bad to each person is going to vary.

You might argue that some people feel good when raging at other people, or harming them in some way- they get some kind of energy or kick out of it?! But this may only feel good to them in comparison with how they were feeling before- extremely guilty perhaps?

So too, I would add the emotion of shame to the bottom of the list, and peace to the top of the list. We can all tweak it in a way that speaks most accurately to ourselves.

Moving Around the Scale

So yesterday I shared the experience of mania as described by Abraham:

“If you didn’t eat for about a week and someone turned up with a pizza, we’d see mania.”

I love this!! Suddenly we have the most enthusiasm for pizza we’ve ever had in our lives.

Abraham is talking about pizza as us being in alignment to who we truly are, about being in alignment with Source energy. To us this may be being in the creative flow of writing a book or making art, or feeling a sense of peace, joy and being at one with the world, after a period of us somehow blocking this flow- perhaps due to feelings of unworthiness, lack of self-belief etc. So when we get back into this flow- wow!! It feels so good!

I know this feeling! Suddenly I feel I have purpose in my life again when I allow that stream of energy to flow. When I don’t block it with my beliefs of my own limitation. I feel free and alive and everything feels so right and the sense of euphoria can be so intoxicating!

But if we do block it again, maybe with a belief that this wonderful feeling can’t possibly last, and become scared of losing it- we then plummet into the lower energies and completely disconnect from Source energy, from who we truly are.

So, back to the question I posed earlier:

How do we reduce all this bouncing around (emotionally) and allow ourselves to be more balanced?

Well, to me the answer seems to be to eat pizza more regularly, so we don’t get hungry.

I’m serious!

If pizza represents the actions that align us with who we truly are, with Source energy, then we won’t ever be completely disconnected.

Quite often for those of us labelled with bipolar disorder, our powerful flow of energy goes against the grain of society. We may love to do unconventional things with our creativity for example, but have been criticised for this- which encourages us to stop. Stopping equals being out of alignment with who we truly are, with Source energy. It may be very challenging for us to be who we really are!!

The energy of someone with bipolar disorder I see as a wild, powerful stallion running free. To be able to ride the horse or use it purposefully, the stallion needs some kind of taming and training. The energy is directed. (This is just an analogy and I’m all for horses being wild and free, it just makes sense to me this way!)

We can manage our own energy by learning to take ourselves up the emotional guidance scale. We need to “be ourselves”, allow our creativity etc. often, regularly! We need to feed our hunger for being in alignment with source energy, so that we don’t become ravenous with hunger for it!! If we do this then we will be able to stop and rest, rather than stay up for nights on end writing or creating in any other way. We won’t become so “high”, but our positivity will remain more stable and manageable. Our energy won’t increase so intensely that we want to clean our houses all night or be so manically optimistic that we make unwise decisions with our money. Just examples of course. No doubt you’ll have your own particular manic ways!!

Therefore we are much less likely to dip so low into depression. We will come to realise that we are never truly without Source energy expressing itself through us- we are always living as our true self. There is never any loss of connection with it- which is where depression comes from.

This all makes sense to me, but if it doesn’t make sense to you please feel free to comment and I will try and explain as best I can.

I do realise that these concepts are pretty “out there” in terms of modern-day psychiatry and societal understanding. If it resonates with you- great! If it doesn’t, that’s ok- just move onto whatever does! (Just please don’t tell me. )

The Emotional Guidance Scale

So, instead of us bouncing from a 1 to a 22 on the Emotional Guidance Scale, we can use it a bit more gently and learn what feels a bit better (not a million times better).

We can learn what brings us up from a 1 to a 2, or from a 7 to a 9.

These may be simple action steps such as taking a shower, or chatting to a friend. They may be more profound and involve creating or learning in some way.

I’m definitely still learning this, but over the last 18 years of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder (and yes I am on medication and would never recommend coming off any you are taking without consulting your doctor), things have got easier.

I know I feel better when I go for a walk in the morning with my dog.

I know I feel better if I eat toast for breakfast rather than chocolate.

I know I feel better when my hair is freshly washed.

I know I feel better when I’m playing the flute.

I still have days where I’m lower down the scale, but I think I’m better at getting myself back up the scale again at a more gentle pace. So that means no spending loads of money on my credit card on beautiful things I don’t need- that puts me up to a 1, but only lasts for a short time!! Then I feel worse at the accumulation of debt, and have probably forgotten all about said beautiful things which are now crumpled up at the bottom of my wardrobe. Back down to 22 we go!

I think it’s all about us learning how to use our powerful energy in a way which feels good to us all the time. Not amazingly, overwhelmingly, euphorically good, but a more gentle, fulfilled, positive kind of good, which is way more manageable.

We need to keep asking ourselves “what feels better than this?”, even if it’s just a little bit better.

Related Posts

Abraham Hicks on Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder? Abraham Hicks: A Conversation.

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

Why Depression? (The Law of Attraction).

Resources

Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks

Abraham Hicks on You Tube

Abraham Hicks- Just to Live Your Life With Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder- Abraham Hicks

Bipolar Depression and Suicidal Feelings