Friday, April 20, 2018

Feeling Trapped?

I'M INNOCENT!!!

Poor Jack...his "imprisonment" of cage-life will be over in a week, then he has his sweet freedom. :)

Interesting comparison, but sometimes I feel like I have lost my freedom lately.

I am someone who is constantly in the process of self-improvement, self-therapy and healing. Way back when, I used to deny everything and brush it under the rug...filling the void with shopping, alcohol and eating. I was bitter, unhealthy, obese and broke. I hated my life but didn't know how to change it...or maybe I was just in a comfortable rut and didn't have the strength to try? I don't know...Dr. Phil had a very straightforward way of putting it..."How's that workin' for ya?"...in my years of depression recovery, I watched a LOT of Oprah and Dr. Phil! :)

But it's so true...how IS that workin' for ya? If something isn't working, why not change it? Of course, some things aren't easily changed due to emotional attachment, financial responsibilities, health challenges and so on...but nobody is really trapped are they? Nobody can control our thoughts and emotions as long as we don't let them.



We've become a society of complacency. Whatever the status quo dictates, a lot of people feel that's the way it should be. It ISN'T how it should be. Our lives should be led the way we want to lead them, end of story.

Most of my friends know our dog situation. As we get closer to the imposed deadline we gave to Stella and Pavlov's owner (Sunday the 22nd), I've been getting antsy, resentful, distrustful and very cautious. The last seven months of taking care of his dogs, his lies, his stalling, the stress it's caused, my routines and habits broken...it's gotten to me. Not only to I feel great sympathy and compassion for those two dogs whose lives have been so up and down the last four years...I feel betrayed. I really feel betrayed and I'm angry about it.

I've been reading so many articles lately on how to overcome feeling trapped. I've really been working on myself this week and have come up with these 7 ways to help you "un-trap" yourself and live a more joyful life:

1. Take responsibility: Are you feeling like a victim? Is someone or some memory of the past ruling your life and choices? What is stopping you from creating change? Happiness only comes when you step up and own your life. When you realize that (as an adult) your life is all about your own choices...you really become empowered...or overwhelmed...but it really is about choice.

2. Baby steps: What do you need to change? What little changes can you make each day to regain your confidence and make this change? Some things can't be changed all at once! Some things need gradual changes with small steps ahead, sometimes a few back too. If we rush into change like a bull in a china shop, we risk failing and giving up.

3. Crap I don't need: Make a list of everything in your life that you are doing out of obligation or that you really don't want to do. Why are you doing this? Time to escape the crap...write down what you need to do to remove this from your life. I have a "crap" list...it's so much smaller than it used to be thankfully!

4. The heck with others: Do you care too much about your image? About what others think of you? Do you put other people's emotions before your own emotions? Do you go along with what others want and neglect yourself, your relationship or your family? Be courageous...put your feelings first. Are you trying to impress people at the expense of your own happiness? Time to stop that and figure out why you need approval from others; the only person you need to impress is yourself.

5. Stop being a hero: Are you a people pleaser? Do you feel like you must always say YES!? Create and enforce boundaries to make your own life less stressful. Boundaries is such a buzz word, but honestly it's sound advice. Decide what you will and will not put up with and stick to your decision. I have been bad with boundaries in the past, and it takes a lot of courage and confidence to enforce them, but once you do, your life really does improve. I had iffy boundaries with family members who were abusive...I let them get away with too much and I was miserable. I finally enforced my boundaries, though it was tough...I am a much better person for it.

6. What if?: Do you suffer this syndrome? Ask yourself, what if the worst thing happens? What can I do about it? Usually the answer is "nothing" so stop with the what ifs! All it does is cause self-doubt and worry. We don't need that!

7. Feed your spirit: Most people link spirituality with organized religion. If organized religion is what keeps your faith strong, I respect you for it even if I don't share your belief because faith, no matter what form it takes, is a wonderful thing! :) But if you don't have a religion, it's still important to feed your spirit, your life force...do what makes your entire being feel blessed, happy and grateful. Do this daily. When your spirit soars, you can't possibly feel trapped.

I'm journaling like a mad woman these days but it's really helping me see perspective and not let all the turmoil be the center of my thoughts and emotions. I hope this post was helpful. :)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Enjoyment

Thank you to all of my friends for your lovely comments the last few posts. I'm so sorry I haven't been able to respond personally and I feel bad about that. Life has been too complicated, dogs have been sick, friends have been irresponsible, life is nearly a shambles...we have been suffering stress that we don't need in our lives. I just want my life back...I am trying very hard to remember that this too shall pass!


I've been reading a book called The Language of Letting Go. It's a lovely book that has a daily message (she calls meditation) on self-healing. I love it. On my sidebar I have a contact form, if you want to "borrow" it, just email me, but you need an e-reader that opens "Epub" files to open it.

Here is a bit of April 13th's message, titled Enjoyment:

"One of the prohibitions many of us learned in childhood is the unspoken rule Don’t have fun and enjoy life. This rule creates martyrs—people who will not let themselves embrace the pleasures of day-to-day living.

We can go through the day making ourselves feel anxious, guilty, miserable, and deprived. Or we can allow ourselves to go through that same day feeling good.

There is much to be enjoyed each day, and it is okay to feel good. We can let ourselves enjoy our tasks. We can learn to relax without guilt. We can even learn to have fun."

We can ALLOW ourselves to go through the day feeling good. Yes...I do believe it's a choice. But you know what? Sometimes we need to feel bad to appreciate feeling good. Do you agree? I am such a sensitive soul...I feel as though I'm quite fragile most of the time. I have learned to deal with stress and create a life for myself that I can manage quite well. But throw a wrench in there and boy do I have a pickle of a time figuring things out!

I've been under a bit of a dark cloud lately. But...I see bright days ahead. Now if only Mother Nature would cooperate! It's been a LONG winter and I know that's not helping my mood!!! :)

Thanks to Pam for your encouragement you sweet lady. :)

Monday, April 2, 2018

Persephone: Queen of the Underworld


On April 3rd of each year, ancient cultures would celebrate the annual return of the goddess Persephone as a celebration of Spring's return.

The myth tells the story of a young maiden, Persephone, who was abducted by Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Persephone was tempted to eat pomegranate seeds, knowing that this would bind her eternally to Hades. She yielded to temptation and was cursed to spend three months of each year with Hades, learning the secrets of the dead as Hades' bride. 

For nine months of each year, she was allowed to return to Earth to her mother Demeter, wife of Zeus. During this time she was bound to her secrets. At the end of the nine months she spent with her mother, she returned to the Underworld. Demeter's anguish turned the Earth cold and barren during winter. When Persephone returned three months later, Demeter's joy restored spring to the Earth.

I think that everyone is tempted by something that they know deep down is not good for them, that will cause them to suffer. We can mask this as naivety or we can be honest with ourselves and realize that our need for instant gratification triumphed over patience, choice or will.

Persephone symbolizes secret keeping and being bound by silence. Sometimes it's not a bad idea to keep silent, but if it inhibits our growth, joy and leaves us with regrets, fear and resentment; then we have to find a way to release those secrets and not be bound by them.

I have some things that tempt me on a daily basis. If I give into them, I will not reach my goals and I will live in fear and regret. This option alone helps me make the right choices for myself.

My secrets however...those ruled me for nearly four decades. As my friends know, I'm pretty much an open book (now) and I talk about everything. Being reserved and withdrawn was my way of sheltering and protecting myself. All this managed to result in was nearly 40 years of misery.

Why not contemplate these things as you bond with Nature: sit outside, listen to the creek flowing, listen to the birds singing, watch the skies, feel the sunshine, feel your spirit and body, go for a walk or sit by your window by candlelight petting your dogs or cats. We only go around once and we have to work with what has been given to us. Regret, doubt, anger and trepidation are NOT options! :)