Tag Archives: Bitterness

Masks and Racism

Psychologist here. Well, where are we now? The virus and all its challenges we thought was lifting and we thought life would come to a new better normal. Now, we have riots, racism that has been underground for decades. Now the virus is escalating. Now we have no clue what the politically right words are to use any more.  BUT all of it needed to surface like our trauma that is buried deep in the community so we can heal. Otherwise the darkness and all its pain in world go deep and infect us. This includes hatred, pain, fear and lies to name a few. We have to look at ourselves and see where we can make a difference and change our world.

The damage of racism is deep, old and full of fear. It is a place to put our insecurities, fear, anger, hurt and hatred. When we can blame and dump our stuff on someone else, then we sadly feel better and superior so we don’t deal with our stuff. Repeated thoughts and feelings create permanent neuron paths so racism is usually well entrenched physically in our brains so we have to WORK at changing it. We have to WORK at being kind and caring. My parents were racist due to culture and ignorance. I chose to do better for me and my children which meant I had to change deeply imprinted hate messages to God’s love messages. It took work!

And now to masks which is more complicated than it appears. That tiny mask is loaded feelings, beliefs, thoughts, hurts, sadness and tons of FEAR and ANGER!! We are afraid and angry about ours and the world’s situation. Basically, we can do nothing to be in control or change it, or in our world for that matter, except for the choice to wear or not. Our fear says we have lost control and there is no safe place in the world. Our little mask becomes something we can control. There are many reasons to wear or not so there is constant debate about it.

What is the answer? Feeling our feelings fully and APPROPRIATELY. NEVER act out on your feelings. Never hurt anyone because you are feeling. Seek God. He loves you dearly even if it does not seem like it. He is the only one that can fix and save us and our world. God helps us with the hard choices of choosing to be kinder and reaching out to help others. No laws are going to make the changes we need, only God can save us from ourselves.

 

LEARNING FROM THE VIRUS

The more we are in this time of seclusion the more I am wondering what it is we are supposed to learn.  I am to learn more patience? I personally never wanted to learn it, but God in His wisdom knew I would need it. BUT patience gives us the time to evaluate a situation to make better choices and wait to not act out on my frustration or anger. Actually, frustration is a kissing cousin to anger. We need time to feel our feelings appropriately so we don’t just do what just “feels” right.

I realize this virus is getting to me. I wanted to get rid of something and it was very heavy, took it to the store and found out they would not take it when they usually do! I reacted with I am going to make you feel sorry for me so you will do what I need. Didn’t work. Afterwards, feeling my feelings of frustration and then my need in comparison to keeping the people working safe, my need was not important.

I realize my reaction was a direct connection to the world’s virus. I was and am tired of “putting up with all this.” I want what I want and want it now! This is enough I have tried to kind, patient, sweet, helpful…. I’m done!” Whew! Yup! That is what came and maybe true for many of you. The bottom line was I needed to do my feeling work which has been building in me– the frustration, anger and fear.  Being short with the store person was not okay. He did not need or deserve my reaction and my attempt to get what I wanted. He deserved kindness and understanding.

Most everyone in this world is struggling, hurting and scared at some level, maybe they can’t see even any hope for the future. We need to pull together as a world community. Stop criticizing and help each other. I you don’t like the way something is happening, what can YOU do to change it. Our complaining, being upset, criticizing people from the president on down hurts us and the world. Gratitude, kindness and understanding puts loving and wonderful healing energy into our world. Criticism puts anger, hurt, and fear into this world. So, that is our choice. Which side are you going to be on?

It is a hard time in the world, we are going to get out of it. Yes, our world will be different, it has to be. I have to become more caring, kind, thoughtful and thankful; not angry and spiteful. We have to share and realize we are not going to get our way from politics to a corner store. We have to learn to see the viewpoint from others point of view. To agree to disagree. The hatred in this county is destroying us individually and as a country.

We can all make a difference. Do something to help someone or support the people who are doing something.  We have to pull together, learn and grow. That is what life is, and we grow and learn when we hurt and struggle.

Blessing and safety everyone

 

 

FEELINGS AND THE VIRUS

I just came back from a walk on my favorite lake, Lake Michigan. Yesterday it was a beautiful day and totally blue skies. The Lake was gorgeous and light blue. Today when I went, it was another gorgeous day with blue skies, BUT the lake was dark and seemed angry. How does it change like that? It should have been blue like yesterday! Maybe our earth is feeling the effects of the virus too? I don’t know I just know when the skies are blue, so is the lake and it wasn’t. This is like our life right now, it is Spring gorgeous and we in the darkness of this virus.

We are all feeling the effects of the virus – still in the house, battling on the front lines, struggling to get needed supplies and trying to maintain our mood without using alcohol, drugs, yelling or hurting someone. We are feeling irritable, stressed and maybe angry. Our stats for domestic violence and child abuse are up and so is the use for some of alcohol and drugs. Please remember alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs we have in our world.

So, what do we do with our pent up, fearful, stressful, frustrating, angry feelings? There are three rules to following to feeling our feelings appropriately so we don’t cause damage with them. These apply to all ages of people, all:

  1. Can’t hurt ourselves. No cutting, suicide, alcohol/drugs, etc.
  2. Can’t hurt something alive – plants, animals and PEOPLE! This means no yelling, hitting, etc. Yes, you can pull weeds, LOL!
  3. Can’t damage property you don’t want to damage.

ALL OUR FEELINGS ARE GOOD, WHAT WE DO WITH THEM I GOOD OR BAD! All our feelings teach us about us and our world things we need to know to make a good decision. NEVER, NEVER make a decision based on your feelings unless in a dangerous situation. So, following the three rules we can feel our feelings safely. Here are some examples:

Anger – yell into a pillow, beat a punching bag or something else, fill you sink with water and yell into it, throw a ball against an outside safe wall, write an UNMAILED, UNSENT, letter to someone you are mad at and then destroy it. DO NOT WRITE ON EMAIL OR FACEBOOK, INSTANT GRAM, OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

Sadness and Loneliness -cry, talk to someone on the phone or online, reach out to someone alone, etc. Fear – feeling the feeling of fear needs us to relax into it, feel it and learn from it.

Blessings and safety to everyone.

FORGIVENESS AND THE VIRUS

This blog may be hard for some people but very very important. These days of uncertainty we don’t know when a person may die. Don’t know if we will have a chance to say goodbye, or even have a chance to, without saying we’re sorry or forgive them before it is too late. We may not even be able to have a funeral. Please hear this, please.

So many times, I have worked with people and helped to comfort them when they are in deep deep sorrow and loss of someone, they really did love BUT became angry for whatever reason, in hindsight these reasons are never important. Or they decided to distance themselves from these people in their lives because they decided never to forgive them. I am not talking about situations where there is danger.

This is also true of the other way when people decide that we have done something so horrible so awful that they can’t forgive us and they decide to punish us for years. And there’s nothing that we can do to change it no matter hard we try.

It may sound like “I will never love you.” “you will never be welcomed in my home again.” ‘I will never talk to you again.” “You will never see your grandchildren again.” They My have believe lies about us that others or family members have said. Or they may create lies about us and get others to believe them.

It could be that WE choose to keep our distance physically, mentally and emotionally and not talk to them or share with them or share our lives with them. And we decide not to be around them. But whatever the reason or whoever does it is because they or we decide they or we are hurt. This may be true or not true. Or we couldn’t handle any more pain from them. Or they couldn’t handle any more pain from us.

At this point I am saying to you is it does not matter. What matters is bringing peace and healing to the situation. Healing is all that matters and is all that is important. Holding on to old hurts or pains or things you don’t like about somebody is wrong. We all goof, we all make mistakes and we all need to and have to forgive to be free of pain.

So, the pain and anger are handled all the wrong ways. We have to feel our feelings fully and appropriately, we do not hurt something else alive like people or animals. Hurt only causes more hurt and pain. It never feels good it never does what we think it should do like hurt somebody else that has hurt us.

Whatever has happened this is a time of forgiveness. Forgive them. Ask for forgiveness, forgiveness has an absolute miracle in it that God has put there for us. The three words” I am sorry.” And “Forgive me.” Are some of the most powerful words that can ever be said. Please, please hear me, please don’t let another day go by without bringing forgiveness in a situation that you may have hurt and pain and anger in it. This is so important.

If you choose, God forbid, not to do this then you may live with major regrets for the rest of your life. Those regrets don’t heal for a long long time and are very painful. You may become bitter for the rest of your life. Medical research says holding on to hurt anger, etc. hurts our physical body and we will get sick and die early.

Reach out to those people in your life where there has been conflict, hurt, anger, and unforgiveness. People that you need to forgive. People you need to ask forgiveness from. The miracle of forgiveness is so powerful it changes our and other’s lives.

Sadly, if the other person will not respond they choose to stay angry, God still has the miracle of forgiveness for you and will bring you peace. Still forgive. Don’t hesitate, Risk everything to do this. It helps you, others your family and it help the world to have less anger in it, and help everyone to heal.

Praying for all of you. Peace and blessings

VIRUS AND OUR CHILDREN AND TEENS

The virus has its loneliness and anxiety/fear. We adults are being affected and we are adults. Our children of all ages are being majorly affected. They are asking the adults in their lives how to handle this; what happened when it happened before; what do we do to get through this….and the questions go on. Many are terrified. The most difficult answer we have to give is, we do not know, we have never been here before.

We need to help them, here is how:

Talk to them, but do not awfulize. Give them the facts that are appropriate for their age. They should not have all the details unless they are older teens.

  1. Be honest that we don’t have the answers yet, but are working to get answers, and will get them.
  2. Talk to them about how they feel without judgment. This includes anxiety/fear, being terrified, sadness, etc.
  3. Teach them about their feelings, if you don’t know about them, learn about them. See my previous post. It is important we learn from our feelings by feeling them appropriately.
  4. Many are having nightmares. Ask them to tell you about their dreams, have them create a story and draw a picture about it. The most important thing is to listen, honor and respect their feelings.
  5. Have fun times. Use this time to get to know your children and how they handle anxiety. Be there for them.
  6. Teach them about their feelings
  7. Talk about the unknown, and maybe make plans for what they would like to do after this is all over.
  8. Tell the good things that are happening with the virus, i.e., people recovering
  9. We can’t meet with friend or family, but what could we do…Skype? Zoom? Write a letter?
  10. Teach them about God and your religion. Give them something to turn too when there is no other place to turn.

VIRUS AND LONELINESS

I have been talking about loneliness. Now with the virus in everyone’s life one way or another, loneliness has a new difficult dimension.  We are meant to be social, helping and encouraging each other. Now we have a stay at home and six-foot rule. This creates more loneliness world wide that we ever could have imagined.

We do have to feel what is happening to us. Do it safely. All our feelings are good and help us get information from our world. Right now, the big one is anxiety/fear. So, release it but feeling it appropriately. REMEMBER WHAT WE DO WITH OUR FEELINGS IS GOOD AND BAD NOT THE FEELINGS THEMSEVLES!

To release your feelings appropriately so they don’t build up inside of us, we have to follow these three rules. We have to use these to feel our feeling fully and safely:

  1. Can’t hurt yourself
  2. Can’t hurt something alive – plants, animals, PEOPLE –no yelling or hitting
  3. Can’t damage property you don’t want to damage – no phone throwing….

What else can we do with this? There are a number of things we can do to help us and other through it. The important thing is to know we are going to get through this and I know that good will come out of it even if that doesn’t seem possible now. Here are some ideas:

  1. Call people
  2. Skype or Zoom with people
  3. When you see people, we can still wave, smile and say Hi!
  4. Pray for people, the world and the ending to this virus
  5. Attend religious services online
  6. Use this time to develop a hobby, clean, organize, play with your family, do projects, read, etc.
  7. Take time to get to know who you are and explore goals you want to accomplish
  8. Go for a walk, exercise
  9. There are good things happening in this world with the virus, the media seems only want to focus on the awful stuff. Look for the good stuff
  10. The more positive we are, the more we are going to feel better, less stressed and less anxious.

We are going to come out of this.

Please see next on helping our children

STAGES OF LONELINESS CONTINUED

The stages of loneliness continue in this blog. Remember, like grief stages, these may occur in random order.

2. Bitterness – Painful Feelings channeled. When we do not deal with our painful feelings, they may fill up and spill over and come out in ways we never intended. One of those ways is becoming bitter. When this happens, we may feel helpless and not have any survival skills that are working. The painful feeling turn into anger and we lash out at others.

This is a big one because we become someone usually, we do not like. Bitterness can consume us. We may seek vengeance. Again, when we don’t do our feeling work by feeling our feelings fully, they build up affect all aspects of our lives.

When I have become bitter, there is nothing okay in my life, everything is wrong, horrible and I feel like I want to lash out at anyone and everyone. Everyone is fair game.

I may even rationalize that it is everyone else’s fault and blame everyone for everything. I am critical, angry and obnoxious. This drives people further away and create more loneliness, the more loneliness the more bitterness. Often loneliness is so intense, the person gives up trying to be around people and isolates, which leads to more depression, fears, anger and bitterness.

3. Abandonment. A deep-seated fear, terror and panic is abandonment. These feelings are powerful and the core of our survival. As we all know, when we are born, and for many years as children, we have to have others taking care of us. HAVE TO! Or we will not literally survive. We will die. This is genetically ingrained in us. So, when we are abused/ neglected the fear is triggered and we know we will not make it. This is a primal fear. I then combine with the sadness that no one is there for us. We then have loneliness and terror of the most profound kind, literally- survival. This is a deep, deep seated terror because life always strives to live.

Underneath the loneliness is the fear, terror. It is part of the trauma, yes, but it is also part of the abandonment. We usually learn early that we have to hide the fear or we would get hurt worse. So, our protection system works to keep us away from it so much so we are not aware of it at all. We couldn’t face it, deal with it and keep going. It would have stopped us because it holds devastating truths about our lives.

To deal with this fear, we have to allow ourselves to be in the loneliness. We have to put our protective system on a shelf so we can allow ourselves to feel the feelings and go deep inside of us. Then these powerful feeling of fear surface and we can heal.
They are intense and have worked to take care of us all of our lives. These feelings have worked to protect us from the world as well as from the pain inside of us so we could keep going. I wanted to use ALL my OLD protective survival skills, we never lose them, just don’t need them, usually.  I choose to go after the healing and gifts it had for me. Here is some of getting to the core experience and its entanglement:

They will find out about the real me! Panic! No! Please no! They will then know for sure I am not okay, bad, awful, terrible and defective. They will know am the shame! Why would anyone be around me? I can’t survive! I decided because of what happened to me and how I was treated that I am the problem, actually many people in my family told me that I AM the problem. If I would just change then everything would be better and I would be accepted.  What a lie, it is an illusion on their part, using me as a scapegoat and desperate hope on my part. Since I am not okay, it then follows that people don’t like me because I am not okay and they don’t want to be around me. That is why I am lonely. Its’ all my fault. Whew! What a complicated way to not be okay.

Invitation to Breaking Free from Trauma class every third Thursday in Muskegon , MI. It is Live-Streamed!

STAGES OF LONELINESS

The Experience of Loneliness

Loneliness seems to be a constantly companion in our survival journey. There are moments or seasons of our lives where it doesn’t seem so bad, then it surfaces like an additional punishment until we deal with it. Loneliness has feelings of being lost, afraid, sad, depression, desperation, defective, rejection, and other feelings. All of them need to felt, processed and learned from.

Tom said it this way:

“I can’t keep pretending! I can’t! I am lonely! Horribly lonely and there is no escape! I can’t escape me! I am the one that is bad and terrible because I don’t have any friends. Actually, if I am honest, I never really did. I knew I wasn’t okay and that is why I didn’t have any friends. There was a time when I was raising my children when it didn’t seem so bad. But since then it has come back to punish me. Now I’ve carried that awful pain into adulthood and I don’t let anyone close to me because they will know how awful I am and defective. I really don’t know how to be a friend. I have come to accept that I will be lonely the rest of my life.” (Tom came to accept his loneliness as permanent, until he did his healing work.)

I have wondered about loneliness, are the existentialist right? Are we destined to travel our lives alone with intense loneliness? With loneliness comes depression, anger, hurt and tangles around everything in our lives. We may blame others when we are lonely – Why aren’t they there for me? Where are they? They don’t care! Don’t they know I am hurting and so alone and lonely. If they would just…. But that never takes the pain away. We can be alone and be okay. We can be in a crowded room and be intensely lonely. It is a journey.

Here are the seven stages of loneliness I have come to understand.  It will take a few blogs to get them all in. Like grief the stages are not rigid, it is a process.

Parts of Loneliness

  1. Feeling lonely. This stage demands we acknowledge it and then feel it. We can’t out run it, it is inside of us. Its pain can drive us to do things we would not otherwise do such as: alcohol/drugs; promiscuous; travel (run); become bitter/angry; divorce; isolate self; never be alone; abuse; and the list goes on. The ultimate running away is suicide. Suicidal thoughts are not unusual when feeling loneliness or on the healing journey. Please never act on them and get help immediately. There is hope!

 

Reminder: Breaking Free from Trauma Class. Every third Thursday in Muskegon.  Also Live-Streamed.

SPIRITUAL LONELINESS

Spiritual Loneliness: The Ultimate Loneliness

The ultimate loneliness is a deep core spiritual loneliness for God. Some people tell me, I don’t believe in God, I don’t need Him.  He wasn’t there for me when I was being hurt. The reality is – there is a God. God loves you beyond what you can ever imagine. God wants to help you heal. God cries with us and we are told He even collects our tears. Whether you believe in God or not, God is always with you. You can’t get rid of Him/Her. All healing happens with God whether we know it or not.

One of the strongest areas of loneliness is missing God. We even have a physical spot in the upper abdomen, solar plexus, which is considered the spiritual area in our bodies. When we are lonely, that spot often feels like an emptiness, a gnawing deep inside of us that never goes away causing a deep dark depression and desperation. It may even feel like a never ending hunger and we try to fill it with food! Or we may go to the doctors thinking we have physical problems. This type of hunger can only be filled spiritually. Please understand that it may be a physical problem so see you doctor. And it may be a spiritual emptiness that nothing physical can fix.

I believe we are spiritual being, having a human experience in a very intense, difficult lifelong school. We are here to grow and learn how to love and be loved no matter what happens to us. It is hard and we have to work to transcend and go above and beyond not just endure and get through what life throws at us. For me, I need God to help me graduate with honors.

Whether we decide to be connected to God or not, we have been created to be in a relationship with God. We are not complete or whole without developing our spirituality.  Without being connected there will be the existential loneliness or depression constantly in our lives.

So what do we do if there has been no connection to God? To start, take time  to meditate, walk in the woods and ask God to let you know He/She is there.  Nature has a wonderful essences of love and lifts us through biological and chemical process just by being in  it. It is a choice! Choose to be open to developing and learning about your spirituality.  Everyone has a spiritual part, everyone.

 

Breaking Free from Trauma class is live streamed on Facebook. Come join us! Every Thursday at 6:30 PM at 1560 Leonard in Muskegon MI. Under Donna LaMar.

Reacting to Loneliness

Ok so how do we deal with it?  It is painful, awful and I want to run from it.  When I decided to write about loneliness, my old ever helpful, maybe not healthy, protective survival skills surfaced trying to keep me away from the pain. That is that systems job in me – to keep me away from the feelings so I can keep going. BUT I came to a place where I couldn’t keep going.

 

My fears  surfaced! I was going to do what? Face my loneliness in a way that reveals it to the world? No way! But yes, that is what I am doing because I want to help you heal and grow and not be afraid of your feelings. I want you to know, like me, you can feel them, and release the pain that is in you and heal. Feelings are here to help us, all of them, even loneliness and have much to teach us.

Preparing to write often takes days, sometimes weeks. I don’t’ usually just sit down and wow it is there! As Clark Moustakas said, we have an incubation time where we immerse ourselves in the experience.  So I had to and needed to feel the pain of my loneliness. It came up like a vengeance. I hurt in a way I didn’t think was possible. I was intensely lonely and terrified. I isolated. I silently judged and was critical of everything and anyone. I was edgy and nervous. I forced myself to smile at people, but was a fake. The pain and loneliness colored everything and not in a good way.

Deep inside, where I really lived, I was desperate for someone to help me, to reach out to say something like – How are you really doing? Someone to just come and give me a hug, a “just because you need it hug”, hug. A few did, but they did not come close to touching where I was living in all my pain. But it was a lifeline. But truthfully and sadly, nothing really would have helped, because I really didn’t know what I needed. How like loneliness. We can’t be reached because we have walled ourselves off so we won’t be hurt. But we have to let people in to not hurt and be reached. There is no winning in this, except to feel the feeling fully until they aren’t anymore.

 What do we do with it?

We have to embrace loneliness and make it our friend or be destroyed by it. We can make it go away by being busy, pretending, addictions, etc., but at some point it will surface. When we embrace it, we learn, grow and heal at a deeper level. My loneliness taught me and helped me heal at a deep level I didn’t know existed. Thank God for being with me each step of the way!

Sometimes we think we have felt enough, but it just isn’t going away. At those times, we may judge us and think “I must be doing something wrong or I would not be feeling all this pain.” “I goofed.” “I am the bad, terrible person.” “I didn’t work hard enough or I would be out of this pain.” Something is still so wrong so very wrong with me because I can’t heal.” Here was mine: “Here I am supposed to teach others about healing and I am still in horrible pain. Yes I get! I need to feel and learn about it to help others, but enough is enough!” None of these are usually true. If we keep on the healing journey, we will heal.

Allow yourself to gain an understanding and compassion for and about you. We get this as we feel and go through the pain. I needed to face the pain of my decades of loneliness and gain its gifts. This writing  is one of those gifts for me.