Today I was faced with two challenges right off the bat. Here was a story of feeling peace and joy after miscarriage.
Here was a mentor and role model encouraging our community with choosing how they feel ... there isn't time to take emotional temperature and check in with your feelings.
Man I respect that message, I believe in it even. AND YET...
I know both personally and professionally that this sometimes just seems so far from the truth. So impossible. A privilege of those who have not experienced a mental health disorder and don't get it.
Or freaking delusional! Yea! Good luck outrunning your problems and seeing how they come back to bite you!
I got angry! This perpetuates a lack of self care when tending to our mental wellbeing is grossly neglected and contributing to so many personal and societal issues right now!
See the reactions here? Let's pause.
I suffered from lots of burdensome trauma and mental health issues as a child - I'm grateful to be free of the burdensome part of these challenges and in touch with what feels like the beauty of these challenges now. My heart is all in on doing what I can to provide support to others facing this struggle.
I KNOW now that reactions don't have to be compulsions.
I KNOW that we can grow the awareness of choosing our responses from a peaceful place.
I KNOW we can become empowered - free of the burdens of mental health issues and trauma.
If you're calling BS, take me up on it and read on.
What's one powerful way forward?
Let's look at the miscarriage story. This is from Ina May Gaskin's Spiritual Midwifery - an amazing book being read here by someone who is not a doula or a counselor (which is why I was excited to see it) but because it is just a beautiful book full of wisdom.
Beautiful story, but again, but choosing spirituality over depression is not something everyone relates to who has been there.
So what was it?
"He was very accepting of what happened"
...."he'd let me talk out whatever was in my head no matter how silly or paranoid"
This. Acceptance. This is how we get to choice. Acceptance during these devastating challenges can be so hard, but also the key to moving forward.
So how to work on it?
Hand to your heart: "even though I feel X uncomfortable emotion (so much pain, fear, confusion, overwhelm,etc.) I love and accept and the fact that I feel X.
We know from experience, and from scientific study, that resistance of emotion creates persistance of these emotions.
We also know that just naming an emotion can have a hugely calming effect.
Allow yourself to feel the uncomfortable experience
without resistance for a few breaths. Give this a minute a day - in the shower, brushing teeth, washing hands, at stoplights, etc.
Talk about this emotion with accepting people - find an in person or online support group or forum.
If you need a hand, reach out. This is my passion, my heart's calling and I would love to help. That's why I always offer free 30 minute sessions.