Author Topic: What I've found that helps  (Read 5536 times)

HeartofPilgrimage

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What I've found that helps
« on: July 25, 2009, 02:13:06 PM »
The first thing that has helped me is my faith. I feel incredibly blessed that although my "faith orientation" is the same as my parents, I also come from a tradition that requires each person to take responsibility for his/her own spiritual development (to have their own relationship with God). I also am incredibly blessed to have had pastors and teachers that saw me as valuable, and even supported my times of questioning and doubt. I was able through this process to incorporate my faith as genuinely my own, not as some copy of what I was told to believe. Therefore, my spiritual life has supported me and even demanded that I make my own decisions and do what I thought God wanted me to do regardless of what others in my life demanded. This has facilitated my process of healing more than anything else.

The second thing that has helped me is learning to meditate, and to practice contemplative prayer. These practices help me silence or at least quiet the disturbing voices of people in my past, and to help me cope in a healthy way with the disturbing people in my present.

The third thing is the development of healthy relationships. Healthy relationships have helped me recognize how it's SUPPOSED to feel when you are in relationship with someone. I kind of "fell into" a healthy marriage even though both of us had some serious junk in our families of origin. Even then, I had to learn to set firm but flexible boundaries. For a long time, I ping-ed between no boundaries (giving in even when I didn't want to) or inflexible walls (not giving in and refusing even to consider the other person's point of view). I had to learn it wouldn't hurt me to hear my husband out, and that I didn't have to do it his way just because I listened. I also learned that calmly sticking to my opinion with him worked better than getting angry. I learned to trust his love for me, and that if I stayed calm and steady he would listen to me better. I learned to let the kids grow up and make their own decisions when they were developmentally capable of it. I learned to love them whether or not I approved of their choices. I learned to be there but also to set limits about what I would give them or what I would do for them, based on my values and also on the fact that every person has limits (of energy, time, money, etc.).

Another thing is education. Both education about the problems but also education in general. Reading books about all sorts of things takes you out of yourself and gives you perspectives you might not get from just living life. Also, I found that a good-quality liberal arts education forced me to consider other points of view, and shook me out of the one-track-mind that came from a dysfunctional family of origin.

Another thing is being OK with whatever it takes to feel better. Really feel better, not a temporary high or temporary numbing out. I determined that I was not going to let depression roll over and have me. So I take antidepressants, I get a weekly massage, I have gradually increased my exercise, I have pursued things that interested me purely for the joy of doing them.

intrinsic mothering

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Re: What I've found that helps
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2009, 11:01:19 AM »

Poem to inspire you....
                         
    Still I rise By  Maya Angelou..
 
 
  You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou 
 

HeartofPilgrimage

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Re: What I've found that helps
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2009, 03:19:28 PM »
Beautiful poem!