Sunday, March 5, 2017

Making a Difference

I seriously don't believe that anyone escapes the feeling that you are alone. The reality is that we are alone. We come into the world alone and into the waiting arms of someone who loves us just because we were born to them! We leave the world if we are lucky surrounded by those that have loved us, but basically we leave alone. But in truth we are not alone! There are myriads of others having this shared experience of LIFE . I think the purpose of this life is to share the path with those we find around us.
Our parents are our first gift of love. Some of us grow up with our siblings. The idea is of course is sharing the experiencing of childhood, family and community.  The next gift in life is finding someone to share the growing up with...a friend, sibling, cousin...what have you, a bestie! Then the next gift is finding that special someone when we are older to marry and start the process all over again. That is a very bare basic look at life.Alls well that ends well. Ha! Unfortunately not every one has an ideal life. 
While we are growing up we have all kinds of experiences that are different than others. We may grow up in an intact family.  We may grow up with a single parent. We may grow up with two families because of a divorce. We may grow up in a family where there is another member who is adopted or one that is  challenged in a physical or mental way...we may grow up moving all over the country, having to make new friends in new places and learn different ways or languages. We find ourselves in varying circumstances all throughout our lives.  Hopefully the thing that pulls you together now and again whether it is a trip, a shared mealtime, someones birthday, wedding, funeral, is family. I think family is a core part of your being.
Your first friends. Family. The place you can go if you need a hug or a listening ear. Sometimes its your siblings, grandparents, sometimes it is your aunt or uncle, a babysitter, your parents, your best friend but by in large there is always someone in your family or extended family that will set down everything for you and be there to listen while you share your experience, will hold you while you cry and really listen to you pour out your feelings. 
The hurdle to get over is letting yourself be vulnerable enough to share how you are feeling. My yoga teacher calls it getting into your "feeling body". 
The first step is recognizing that though we are alone we do not have to be alone. We can go for a walk. Getting outside and seeing all the beauty around you is great therapy.  Make a phone call to a trusted person.  Talking is a great elixir for the heart and mind.  If those things don't work...sit quietly and listen to your body...not your mind. 
Experience in every part of your being what you are feeling. How do you feel in your belly.? How fast is your breathing? What do your fingers feel like? Your toes? Are your eyes darting? Are you holding everything tightly? Now go to your thoughts. Can you calm the thoughts that are taking you outside of your body?   Bring your breath to each part of your body and gather the information that is there for you ...reign in all the thoughts and try to sit and just breathe in and out for at least 10 minutes..You may feel like crying and there is nothing wrong with having your feelings! Cry. Cry for as long as you need to...then if you can, write down what was going on for you in a journal. It does help to be able to put it down on paper and then go back and see the journey through your journal at a later datel.
Once you have done that, the potential for sharing it with another is even greater.  I have three friends that I know I can call and will call me and just cry without them trying to fix anything...they are listening to my heartfelt sobs and holding me...for that time. It is a deal we have with one another. We talk later...but we let the feelings out. No shame. No judgement. Just listening.
There are many ways of sharing with others writing, calls, talks, walks, therapists who are paid to help you through certain harder times all these require for the most part is taking the first step. Sometimes that is too hard to do and the feeling of gratitude towards a loved one that makes an effort to contact you is always a relief and feels warm. 
I think that expressing oneself in the written form is one way , we can make a difference in someone's life. I often find that I read something on Facebook that really helps me make a shift in my thinking...and gives me courage to share some things with others myself.  You have had the experience of reading something...or hearing something like music that someone else has shared and suddenly I find I feel less alone. The knowledge that someone else out there feels similar or exactly the way that we do...or even differently what counts is that they were vulnerable and put it out there...and it made a difference in the life of both...the giver and the receiver.