Healing is the key to reducing future hurt

Holding on to past hurts doesn’t protect you from being hurt again. What it does do is keep the hurt alive. It erodes trust, sabotaging your ability to love and be loved.

You know what protects you from being hurt? Nothing! Hurt happens.

What is available to you is the wisdom that feeling hurt puts you in touch with. A deeper part of yourself is opened up to you.

It connects you with your sense of self worth, your need for love and connection and your need for certainty.

Hurt has a lot to teach you, foremost is that even though you hurt you’re still good enough.

Hurt is an experience of loss but not loss of your value as a human being.

It needs to be felt, grieved and in all other ways worked through to mine it’s riches.

Yes, mining those riches can be a real bitch.

It doesn’t happen in one sitting or with equal intensity. It can require anywhere from an ugly cry to a simple acknowledgement that you’re still experiencing some hurt but it’s less intense than it was.

Bit by bit you do the work of learning to feel safe in your body, mind, relationships and the world.

In so doing you embrace the courage to love again, to live more fully.

You know that hurt happens, you also know how to relate to your hurt as a teacher so you can welcome it instead of being shamed by it.
 

Swearing can be good for you

Why does profanity get such a bad rap?
 
Note: I swore off swearing for a good year with a pretty good average. I rediscovered its usefulness during this plague.
 
A simple online search turned up what I suspected. Profanity are words used to describe honest, raw emotion (e.g. frustration, anger, grief, fear, etc).
 
Profanity is quite vulnerable when you think about it. Feeling threatened in some way tends to trigger it.
 
Why is this kind of language discouraged in general?
 
IMO, because its a threat to the ego. If you direct it at someone they might feel disrespected or even “offended”.
 
Cussing, swearing, whatever the fuck you call it, shows emotion in an intense raw form few people allow themselves to honestly feel, deal and heal.
 
Swearing can be cathartic for releasing emotional energy.
 
I wouldn’t say people who curse a lot are unrefined. What they likely lack is an embrace of the social norm requiring you to spare feelings at the expense of honesty.
 
Reflecting upon what comes up for you when you swear or are sworn at can be a valuable teacher for you.

How to honor who you are while exploring who you can become

How do you simultaneously believe “you’re good enough as you are” and pursue personal improvement goals?

Because you’re curious, that’s how.

As human beings we want to know, to play and explore. The flavor of curiosity a person has may lead them to climb the next mountain or try a new crochet pattern.

Everyone along the continuum of curiosity is growing because they’re doing something new. New brings further confirmation of your existing paradigm, tweaks it to allow for expansion and sometimes tears it down.

You aren’t a coward if you don’t take the bigger risks.

You may find the secrets to your happiness in planting a garden. You may find it in hiking a new trail.

Journaling your thoughts may give you powerful insight into the human condition (e.g. Anne Frank), whether you share those thoughts openly is up to you.

When you follow your natural curiosity in pursuit of answers to the questions that excite you, it gives you the opportunity to show up differently. Not better necessarily, just different.

Interesting things may come about from your experiments. Things you’d like to keep doing. These little things can signal to others its okay to take risks, try new things and embrace the process (the good, the bad and the ugly).

Sharing your experiments and the lessons they’ve revealed can change lives.

So can enjoying working in your garden and showing up with that joy when you encounter another human being.

Are you ready to step into your fear and do the work you’re meant to do?

If you could predict the consequences of your actions, how many of those actions would you choose to take?

If your response is, “I wouldn’t change anything, I have no regrets” I’d say you’re full of shit. Why? Because too many people proclaim this as a dodge.

A dodge from discussing how they truly feel (e.g. guilt, sadness, grief, anger) and try to convince themselves they’re above having any kind of baggage.

Another reason they claim this is because they like to think they have they’re shit together and enjoy reminding people how they have no regrets, blah, blah, blah as though that’s how they’ve always handled things.

If there was no process you went through from decision, to consequence, to learning and growing then you didn’t learn shit!

I’m not saying every consequence requires painful introspection with gallons of tears. Some consequences may be, “Yikes, I’m never doing that again” and that’s enough to remind you to avoid it in the future.

I’m also mindful that each person has a different set of internal and external resources for managing stress. Where one person’s mountain is another’s molehill.

Now consider how often we scold our children for not thinking or speaking before they act. What the hell do you expect, they’re kids not clairvoyant.

Making mistakes is how they learn, it’s how everyone learns. Somewhere we decided that wasn’t acceptable so we beat them and ourselves up for it. Pretty messed up isn’t it.

I honestly would have said, “PASS” to many relationships and opportunities if I would’ve known how they’d turn out.

Some took me years to begin seeing the value of those experiences. Hear that insurance companies, not every problem can be solved in 10 sessions – fuck you!

I’m 50 years old and feel like I’ve grown more in the past 10 years than the previous 40. Of course, I’ve had the benefit of the lessons and tools acquired during the previous 40 years which makes certain kinds of risks feel safer to take because they’re familiar.

But unless you’re living in a militantly maintained comfort zone (which most of you are), then you’re still taking risks and discovering that what you don’t know far exceeds what you do. And it’s okay to not know. It keeps life from becoming boring.

I have many reasons I share so openly and the big one is FEAR! I’m so exhausted from a lifetime spent in fear of someone finding out I don’t have my shit together. You know what I’ve learned. not just as an idea, but finally as a truth in my heart.

Anyone who pretends they have their shit together, has always lived without regrets is living in fear of criticism, disappointment, rejection, you name it.

Do you have this fear? Sucks huh! But it isn’t your destiny to stay that way.

I’m sick and tired of being afraid. But no one gave me permission to be fearless. They told me to do it, threw a few clever quotes my way but none of them modeled it.

I got sick of waiting around for others to step up so I said, “Fuck it, I guess this will be my next adventure.”

It’s been more Mad Max than Indiana Jones and no Light sabers 

I remind the folks in my membership group and myself that risks are necessary to challenge and disprove your fears. Fears often acquired as a child you forgot to go back and question. Instead you remained afraid.

You need a safe place to do that kind of work to finally be free of that crap. I provide that space for those up to the challenge.

The pay off is increased happiness when you realize how to be more compassionate to yourself and others who are doing their best. It is so worth it. Hard work, and worth it.

Before you criticize me, have the guts to get into the arena

It would seem there are some uncomfortable with how personal my posts are, especially this past week.
 
What rules am I breaking?
 
Who is hurt by what I share and how I share it?
 
Who is helped by what I share?
 
Do you read the comments on the posts you believe to cross a line? If you did it may help you realize something that’s been missing in the discussion of mental health.
 
You preach about the importance of eliminating the stigma of mental health issues. The primary way to accomplish that is to show it without a sugar coating.
 
To show people the demons you cling to cause you live in fear. To show you its possible to break through this fear and put it behind you.
 
How do you expect this change to happen in people’s minds if we don’t risk having our hearts broken to remind ourselves they can be mended.
 
The suffering in this world has been magnified by recent events. We simply can’t fuck around anymore when it comes to confronting the ghosts from our past.
 
You were made for more than playing host to past pains like the concierge of some fucked up hotel whose guests only seem to complain about you and your hotel.
 
I’ve spent a life hiding behind a wall of shame and I’m pitching it straight into the fuckit bucket.
 
I don’t have time for critics who sit in the stands and judge me while I’m taking all the risks.
 
You might try doing the work yourself because in spite of the lies you may be telling yourself, no one who knows you believes you have your shit together.
 
Lord knows I don’t, but at least I own it.

What’s on the other side of letting go?

A wave of grief just hit me. I realized how many people I’m having to let go of to heal.

Thousands of social media connections I have no communication with. I felt a twinge of guilt with each unfriend or unfollow.

Likely the codependent in me thinking I should’ve done more to make it work.

I’ve lost business, that always hurts and beyond the financial part.

There are people from my past I’ve hung on to for so long. Haunted by the deep failure I feel for each exgirlfriend and one espouse, each of whom eventually grew bored with me.

One by one I need to tell the memory of them, “Even though we didn’t last, I’m still good enough and so are you.”

People in my family for whom I’ve longed for a relationship but for whatever reason we remain distant. I have to let that go.

I see that as each of them is released, I’ll be able to see YOU more clearly.

You who are in my life now. Supporting me in this moment.

My collection of woulda, coulda and shouldas are gonna be flushed down the shitter. Some of em might need more than one flush.

I’m looking forward to getting to know you better the more present I become with you.

3 big lessons from falling apart

A week ago I sorta had a nervous breakdown and have spent the past week getting support, crying and working to get to the bottom of it.

In the past 48 hours 3 big lessons have emerged. The last one is my deepest fear in life. I hope this process is helpful for you.

“You got this” is bullshit advice

You’re stronger than the think!
You got this!

Well intended but bullshit advice.

Sometimes you aren’t strong enough because you’ve never had to carry something this damn heavy.

Asking someone to help you carry it isn’t a “thinking” problem.

It’s a shit just got real heavy, real fast and I’m outta TP problem.

When it becomes too much then sometimes falling apart is the right move.

It pushes the stress hormones out of your body, through your tears, and helps you calm down.

I’m mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted at the moment.

I’m not strong enough right now. I’m damn fragile and raw.

I’ll get through this but it’s something I haven’t experienced before. Thank God for those who have reached out to me. I’ll be leaning on you.

Working through the goo really sucks

One of the hardest and most heartbreaking experiences in life is when you realize you can no longer live up to the pressure of being who everyone thinks you are.

You try to be who they want you to be or who you think they want you to be.

When the paradigm of who you thought you were collapses it can be soul crushing.

There are countless stories of people who seemed to have it all only to kill themselves. I suspect many of them were going through this and feared speaking up because a wave of disappointment from those close to them could follow.

I feel like I’m going through this now.

I’m choosing to stay engaged even though it’s terrifying.

Many of you have messaged me with sagely insight and kindness for which I’m profoundly grateful.

It got me thinking about the opportunity in this. I thought of the butterfly.

A caterpillar turns into a goo inside the cocoon as part of its transformation into a butterfly.

The caterpillar is destroyed before it can become a butterfly.

I feel like the goo right now. Knowing I may be able to emerge a butterfly is encouraging.

The goo phase sure does suck though.