Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Being Humam 101
It's been a little while since I've come here to blah onto the page. This is such an effective and useful coping tool for me, I should come here more often. I hope that I do. I've got lots of ideas, inspirations, and recent events floating around in my head that I could write, but I often give my own sweet self this advice, "First thing's first and one thing at a time." Ok, well, I kinda melded that statement based on good things I heard at various Alanon meetings. :-)
Let's talk about being human for a little while. Why is it I keep forgetting that I am a human being? I absolutely do this and work with families and children who do this. I do not want to just BE. I want to be DOING something. I want solutions and an action step to work on. Just tell me what to DO and I will fix anything. This is my hope, but not at all the way my Creator made me to function. I was created with these annoying things called feelings that seem to have no other function but interrupting my attempts at being a Super Hero. If I just wasn't feeling so overwhelmed I would be able to attend one more meeting and keep people happy. If I just wasn't feeling so angry, I could do your job for you again today and keep the peace. But, no, being human stops that every time.
Here is what I have learned about humanness-- If I try to push myself beyond my own reasonable capacity, it will always end in depression and anxiety. It might take a few months before I wind up there or even a few years for some people, but it never ends good. I cannot deny myself of basic human self-care for extended periods of time and think there are no consequences for that. By basic human self-care, I mean we take care of our bodies. We eat healthy, avoid excesses of all kinds, sleep, and get routine medical care. But I also, and especially, mean taking care of our feelings. Our creator gave us these beautiful, fragile, and indispensable feelings that are there for our own good. Although our feelings are not FACTS, they are ours, completely and utterly ours. It is not weak to have feelings nor is it weak to attend to them the same way I would attend to my body's needs.
I want to clarify that I don't mean I coddle my feelings. Caring for them means I first acknowledge that they are present! Feelings become loud and dangerous when routinely ignored. Then I listen to them and hear where they are coming from. Honestly, for me, that usually settles them down pretty quickly. Our feelings are our friends. Our feelings want to let us know when we are being taken advantage of. Our feelings want to let us know when there is a hurt that needs to just spill for a little while. Our feelings are there to act as friendly guides, especially the uncomfortable feelings like grief, anger, and loneliness.
When I ignore the friendly and helpful feelings of grief, anger, or loneliness, they evolve into the crazed and unhelpful feelings of depression and anxiety. How many times do I need to ignore my feelings and watch them turn into depression and anxiety before I finally get it? If I could count how many times I've done this in the past, it would have to add up into the thousands. I am HUMAN and it is good to have feelings and respect them. Today I will choose to honor even the uncomfortable feelings because I love myself. It may have take 30+ years, but I finally figured out how to derail some depression and anxiety!
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