“The reason mercy is so important is because we need so much of it.” Jeanne
“The reason mercy is so important is because we need so much of it.” Jeanne
We turn ourselves into a living indictment to the people who hurt us, because often, when we release our pain, there is a subconscious wrestling with justice that the person who hurt us is being let off the hook.
Consider . . . Strength is 10% muscle and 90% resilience.
“We all make mistakes. It’s what happens why you try.” Barack Obama
This is my favorite quote of a turbulent week. It rises above all politics and prose. It, for me, is simply the truth. The first sentence of Mr. Obama’s statement is hardly news. His opine on the fact that we all make mistakes, however, is the crux of the matter for me. It’s what hit home. The fly in the ointment.
There is a sometimes troublesome mathematics to life. The more we do one thing, the more another thing is likely to happen. Yes, if I’m trying all the time; attempting, experimenting, engaging, I’ll sometimes be failing, stumbling, miscalculating.
I guess the big question is, is it worth the mistakes in order to try? Is there an aspect of trying that is a process of elimination and learning? And can that be okay? Can I live with that? Can I weather those storms? Do I want to?
When I think about the many many times in my life when I’ve felt parallelized, I also think about my fears – fears of being judged or criticized or misunderstood or just plain wrong. My hands are getting sweaty as I write this so I know it’s true. Staying still so that I don’t make a mistake has it’s virtues. If I don’t move, I can’t make a mistake. I’m a fan of safety!
I’m also a fan of meaning and purpose, however, and I’m not of fan of boredom. So the ultimate question seems to be, how do I manage the risks of trying? Step one: I decide if it’s worth it. Yes. Step two: Do I have a plan if my trying heads south? Yup. I’ll breathe and tap and pray and trust and learn from my mistakes so I can adjust my course for next time. Step three: When I make a mistake, I’m prepared to sometimes be parallelized while I build the courage to try again. Thus, I know I’m not a bad person when I get stuck (at least most of the time :”). I know I was brave enough to move.
Okay. Good to go. Onward if not always upward. But onward with a heart that tries.
Every once in a while someone will tell me that they really like keeping a journal. Many of these same people also tell me that they haven’t made a journal entry in a while. I suggested to one person recently that for now she might be building new experiences to write about later. Sometimes we can be so busy capturing the moment with camera or pen that we’re not fully living that present, meaningful experience. Maybe she just wants to flow in the moment.
Remember the great athlete and activist, Jackie Robinson? He offered a useful observation, “Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grand stand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”
Now sometimes, flowing with camera or pen (or keyboard :”) is the experience of the moment. Reflection, private introspection and reaching out to the world to share are all full fledged experiences in their own right. Just remember that you can only be immersed in one experience at a time. If camera or pen is part of the experience – helping you be present, all to the good. If it’s splitting your attention – diluting the intensity of experience you’re having, then put your journal away. It will be there waiting for you, ready to hear all about your latest insight, pilgrimage or great adventure.
“Whatever you do, do it with love. If you can’t do it with love it will be a dead end.”
It can take a long time for some emotional wounds to form. It can also be surprisingly hard to know for sure when a wound is healing, especially at the beginning.
Let’s think for a moment how these many wounds happen. Frequently they’re cumulative. A number of similar experiences or habits repeating over and over. Chronic criticism over many years can evolve into you then continuing now to remind yourself your needs don’t matter or admitting defeat after you’ve just barely started something bold and new, to name just a few.
Think about it physically, one action, word or thought, like one quick swipe of sandpaper across your skin, it wouldn’t feel good, but it also probably wouldn’t do much damage. If you keep rubbing the same place with the sandpaper over and over, after a while, the wound will be very big and painful. So, I think you’d agree that step one would be “ditch the sandpaper”. Good idea, but the wound still looks awful. Some people might think “the sandpaper wasn’t the problem, look at this terrible wound!” True, but you only stopped rubbing a minuet ago. What might happen to the wound after a day, a week, a month with no new wounding? It could be profoundly better (especially with a little TLC thrown in like keeping it clean and a nice, soft bandage).
I can be touch to ditch the sandpaper. We might now know it IS sandpaper and/or it might feel so familiar that it’s strangely hard to stop rubbing. Maybe it’s always using the word “should” instead of “could”. Maybe it’s looking at the world with a critical eye, seeing what’s wrong rather than what’s right, or a hundred other possibilities that leave us with wounds of discouragement, fear or defeat. It’s a leap of faith to allow time for healing to show – to give it time to prove it was the sandpaper after all and that healing can happen.
Someone I knew a long time ago always used to say, “It’s a great life as long as you don’t weaken!” He had big wounds of disappointment and discouragement with life that never seemed to diminish. There had been a lot of sandpaper moments in his childhood, but he kept the sandpaper and kept using it on himself long after he could have thrown it away and let his woulds heal. Far longer than it needed to be, life continued to feel like a battle to him.
What’s your sandpaper? Be on lookout for it. A common thought. A frequent phrase you use. It’s entirely possible that it’s unconscious, swiping away at a wound that’s never had the chance to heal. Find it the sandpaper, let go of it, add a little TLC (mindfulness, loving kindness meditation, tapping, etc.) and trust the healing will happen as you return to your true, unwounded self.
This meditation may help (remember that “home” is your own deepest true self).
So often people come to me with global problems – I’m anxious. I don’t communicate well. I Just can’t get going, etc. Those are big problems, but they’re also not very specific. One of the many things I learned teaching Clinical Medicine at UCONN School of Medicine is the way medical students are taught to help patients get specific. You have headaches? Where exactly in your head? Behind your eyes? Is it the same in each eye? Do you have any warning signs that a headache might be coming on? Nausea? Blurred vision? Is there something you’re often doing before a headache comes on? Does anything make your headaches worse like rainy days or eating strawberries? Better?
I think you’re getting the idea.
What if you asked yourself the same kinds of questions regarding a fear, anxiety or resistance to something? It’s one thing to say, I never get around to making the phone calls I should for my business. It’s another thing to realize the first call is the hardest, and, after that, it gets easier. If I really just sit with myself for a minute and imagine making that first call in the morning, I can feel my stomach tighten. If I tap and breathe on that tightness in my stomach, I begin to have awareness that I’m not sure I’m ready to make contact with the outside world yet. Oh, wow, I’m worried I’ll get overwhelmed.
Now we’ve got a clearly defined target. Maybe it’s not as important to tap on “It’s hard to make phone calls” as “I’ve come to feel worried about connecting to the world” or “The world sometimes feels too big and I get overwhelmed.” I think there’s a very good chance you’ll get farther with something specific rather than global.
So . . . play doctor. Ask lots of questions, When? How? How much? How often? Imagine the situation actually happening and follow sensations in your body. Tap and breathe and see what you find out. What thoughts come effortlessly to mind? At what point in the imaging does something in your body get tight or numb or shaky? Just seeing how something works can be a relief. And, it gives you choices about where you go from there. If you decided to tap on the specific concern, go for it, focusing on just the right feeling at just the right moment.
Experience finding your “trail of breadcrumbs” October 8th – The Taproot of Truth – Workshop and Retreat
I can’t. I shouldn’t. I don’t. is the old voice – a familiar habit that keeps you stuck. Cultivate the same kind, encouraging voice in you own head that you would offer to a friend.
Some mistakes take less of a toll on me than others. I think some of if the hardest for me are the ones I make when I’m trying VERY hard. Trying my absolute best should to do the trick, right? Alas, no, not always. Trying hard certainly stacks the deck in one’s favor, but it’s no guarantee. Things still happen that alarm and disappoint.
Let’s take today for example. After much work, editing and proofreading, I sent out my email blast this morning for the upcoming Second Annual Tapping Prayerfully Retreat – The Taproot of Truth. I was so excited. I worked hard on it and was sure I’d covered my bases. Then, I get an email from a good (and very observant) friend letting me know that the buttons to the registration page were taking people to LAST YEAR’S PAGE. It cheerfully says, “Event over. Registration closed.” UGH. Being the grounded, wise, peaceful soul that I am, the first thing I did was PANIC. “I failed. I’ve confused everyone. Now no one will come, and it was going to be so good.” I really went to town.
Then I remembered to tap. “Even though my very best may not always be enough, I trust at my core that I’m a good person.” “Even though I have dyslexia, and my eye doesn’t always catch details, even when I’m trying hard, I know I’m so much more than one challenge in my life.” “Even though I want my gifts to always be perfect, I choose to love my humanity.”
I didn’t have much more tapping to do from there. Just the set-up had brought me a long way. From there I tapped and breathed and ended with the calm thought, “This can easily be fixed. I have what I need to take care of this.”
It is fixed by the way :”) I replaced the links and I sent out an Ooops email with the buttons happily taking people to the right page. The retreat will be great. You may want to Check it out
All human beings welcome. Blessings, Jeanne
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