- Religion and Philosophy
How I Found Peace from Within
How to create an inner strength to protect you from being hurt by those you love.
I have found a way to restore my personal peace whenever I am injured or in danger of doubting myself or my worth. It's a process more effective than watching "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart. It is something I came across by reading several books about walking on eggshells.
Some of my family members (we are a blended family) have never accepted me and say and do things on purpose that hurt me deeply. Other family members have not meant to hurt me, but they were only thinking of themselves and have also hurt me profoundly by things done and said. In addition, I know I have said and done things that have hurt family members; things I deeply regret.
Hopefully, this article will help people on both sides of the coin to regain their personal power. The reality is, when we hurt people we love, when we hurt any other human being, we are going against our core being and values... therefore we are actually hurting ourselves.
Then , because we are hurt, we sometimes lash out at others which increases the cycle. It's upside down.
The first time I did this, it took longer to feel every feeling, and absorb every sensation internally. It took longer to feel the strengthening of my defenses and soften my own heart. Soon, however, it only took about 10 seconds to go through the various steps and feel the effects within me.
FIRST: I imagine that am in a very hot desert with no water for days. My mouth is so dry I cannot swallow. An infant in my arms is crying. I find a teaspoon of water in a plant and give it to the infant, then try to comfort the child. Eventually the child goes to sleep in my arms. I feel compassionate.
SECOND: Self Affirmation
I must think about the most important thing about me as a person.This would be what I would like to have said about me in a eulogy.
The way I see myself is that I am a good person; I am kind and smart. I try to always think the best of people, and always give the benefit of the doubt.This does not mean I am perfect... it just means that I am recognizing my core goodness, and I feel self-assured.
THIRD: The People I Love
Next, I think of the people I love: husband smiling at me, children when just born, grandchildren running into my arms, other family and friends...
During times of depression, we might feel that we are not able to feel love for anyone else. The truth is, we don't love ourselves. That makes it difficult to feel anything for anyone else.
Try to get past that. Go deeper until you feel that love for others in your life. When I do this, I feel companionship.
FOURTH: My Connection with Christ
The next step is to remember my connection to the spiritual. I think of my Savior. I run to him and bow at his feet, bathing his feet with my tears. He pulls me up and embraces me with strong arms of everlasting forgiveness, grace and love.
Whenever someone hurts me, I can also imagine them on His lap. I look at the way He looks t them... the way He loves them too. Then, my heart begins to soften towards them... and I begin to feel love for them too.
I also think of the time when the Lord showed me the beauty of a chandelier. I was able to see every possible color from every possible surface at once. "This is how I see you. You are beautiful to Me." I feel so completely loved.
FIFTH: The Beauties of Nature Sooth My Soul
One of the most beautiful things in nature that comes to mind is the day when I saw a Tiger-Swallowtail butterfly which had just emerged from its cocoon.
It's heavy wet wings were limp and large. I watched as it pumped blood into the beautiful yellow and black striped wings, fanning them until they were finally fully formed and dry. Then, the creature with long black legs suddenly flittered away... off to a new life. It was the most amazing thing in nature that I had ever witnessed.
I then remember the day when I stood 10 feet from a buck with his antlers in velvet and fire in the sky behind him as the sun was setting behind the scene. There had been fires in the mountain, so the smoke in the air caught all of the colors available. He just stood there looking at me, waiting for me to take a picture... but my phone was dead. :)
It was breathtaking. I still see these images etched in my mind.
I remember a wild thunderstorm with the wind blowing my hair violently. I felt the electricity in the air just before a large thunderclap. Being part of the power of that storm was exhilarating! I love all thunderstorms. It is a reminder of the power controlled by God.
Then, I think of a beautiful sunset with fire colors in the sky and rays radiating in every direction. Every sunset takes my breath away. I feel so grateful that I can see it. I feel thankful to God for creating a world that gives such beauty. I feel honored to be part of it.
I remember standing on a mountain in Durango, CO on the 4th of July and hearing the fireworks boom move through the mountain range, through every cell of my body, then continuing on past me down the canyon. It was an amazing sensation.
The closest thing to that which I have felt was standing near a large speaker with huge sub-woofers at a Moody Blues concert. You could feel the waves of sound slamming into your body. But this was different... you could hear it coming and going on as though you were not the destination... The destination was farther down the life-cycle of the sound.
I remember this, and I feel amazed.
I smile as I imagine putting my feet into the ocean, feeling the sand escape beneath my feet as the water recedes, smelling the salty air and hearing the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. I must do this every time I am anywhere near an ocean. I know it's silly, but I love being part of something that is so much of the earth at once.
I think of the life and death struggle and balance going on in such magnitude in that body of water. I think of the life-cycle of water from the clouds, to the streams that feed into the ocean; giving life all along the way. Each time I dip my toes into the ocean, I feel invigorated and new.
SIXTH: Something beautiful I created
Then, my mind shifts to something beautiful that I have created.
I remember the experience of making the Native American flutes out of wood, playing them, recording their haunting sounds... and the joy of connecting with my Cherokee ancestry. I feel whole.
People tell me that my music brings them peace and comfort. People who are struggling with Cancer, people who are struggling with many things tell me this. I feel grateful that I can share something I love and have such profound affects on other people's lives.
SEVENTH: How I "Paid it Forward"
Finally, I remember a few specific people I have helped... like paying it forward. Those who I have made an impact upon in ways that makes a real difference. I feel honored and useful.
Now, whenever someone I care about says something condescending, unkind, or thoughtless... whenever someone I love ignores me or is hurtful... I am unscathed. I have a force-field around me that saves me from harm. It's like a beautiful translucent bubble of protection.
It only takes about 10 seconds, now, for me to experience all of these empowering memories and thoughts.
Funny, how simple things can have such great power for change. And the law of change is that when one thing changes... something around it must also change.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference. -- St. Francis Assisi
Of course this is not intended to be a way to deal with evil or narcissistic, even entrenched abuse. This is simply the way I have dealt with my personal emotional distress.
This is something I CAN change... So can you!