Growing Your Seeds: Self-Care

One thing that many of us excel at in life is self-care other-care. We give and give and give and care and care and care. Yet we forget to remember that we have to grow seeds in order to give seeds.

FlowersI am struck again and again of the lifespan of a sunflower. It starts as a seed and with much care (by others and nature: rain and food) it sprouts into a flower and grows. Then one day it blooms a sunflower head. The leaves stay folded into the center of the flower protecting the developing seeds. Then one day, as the seeds become fully grown, the petals unfold and reveal the sunflower seeds that the flower produced during its growing process.

 

Once the seeds are revealed, the flower drops them. Some of them set into the ground to grow new flowers, some are gathered by others to plant or eat.

So what does this mean for us as people?

Sometimes we need to

A. Let others nurture us, feed us, protect us, provide, and aid in our growth

B. Allow ourselves time to grow and bloom

C. Protecting our seeds (our gifts, skills, talents, energy)

and then- we are ready to release our time and seeds to others. Only after our own growth and self-care can we give back and care for others.

Rejected : (RE)Learning Emotions

re·ject

verb (used with object)

1. to refuse to have, take, recognize, etc.: to reject the offer of a better job.
2. to refuse to grant (a request, demand, etc.).
3. to refuse to accept (someone or something); rebuff: The other children rejected him. The publisher rejectedthe author’s latest novel.
4.to discard as useless or unsatisfactory: The mind rejects painful memories.
5.to cast out or eject; vomit.
Feeling rejected is probably one of the most common emotions felt by those in recovery. Rejected by our friends, our families, our co-workers, our peers, even ourselves. We all have those memories of waiting to someone to come around, and they simply do not.
So let us break rejection down:
Who: friends, peers, co-workers, family, ourselves
How:  a) intentionally- although we like to believe that others would treat us fairly and not internally reject us, it does happen. Sometimes it is circumstances we are prepared for such as a rejection of a job position and other times it is just bullying or somewhere in between the two.
        b) unintentionally- sometimes (and most often) our rejection or feelings of rejection were not intentional. For instance, you waited for hours for you friend to call you back, you felt rejected when he/she did not call you, and yet in reality, your friend had a family crisis and simply could not get in touch with you. **This does not make you feeling of rejection any less real or valid**
We all feel rejected from time to time- the question is: how do we handle this emotion? how do we react? or respond? what self-talk do we use?
Feel free to comment on your own rejection stories, how you responded/reacted, and what helped you get through it.

Reasons for Recovery: Freedom

Recovery is not an easy process, and yes, it is a process. There will be highs and lows; goods and bads; ups and downs; positives and negatives; growth and relapse. And most of the time, it is not fun. It is hard, repetitive, unenjoyable WORK. So, why they heck would one choose to begin the process of recovery?

Well, because sometimes the “Juice is worth the squeeze.” AKA: the benefits are worth work.

I think most people in recovery, be it from an eating disorder or an alcohol or drug addiction, will tell you there are many reasons they started the recovery process and many reasons they continue the process. But today I want to focus on FREEDOM.

To me, freedom implies the ability to make a choice based on my own thoughts, beliefs, opinions ect. regardless of any outside person, event, trigger, circumstance ext. (as long as I am not physically hurting someone else in the processes).

When I have freedom, I have the choice to eat.

Most of the time, when you are in the depths of your eating disorder, you don’t have the choice to eat. Your options are 1. don’t eat    2. don’t eat    3. don’t eat   4. eat and pay the price later   or 5. don’t eat.   I think you get my point. Ed tells you that you cannot eat or XYZ will happen. You will gain weight, you will lose control, you will have to feel something, you will fall apart, the world will collapse ext.

and this applies to other addictive behaviors too. An addiction to alcohol tells you 1. i cannot feel this 2. i have to drink 3. i have to drink 4. i have to drink 5. i cannot handle this, i must drink.

So if recovery brings about freedom (the choice to eat, the choice to feel, the choice to stay sober, the choice to not punish yourself) then isn’t it worth the work it takes to achieve ?

Love = Warfare

“Each display of love no matter how small is a powerful act of spiritual warfare that removes anxiety from the environment, replaces it with freedom and safety while inviting each person to bring themselves forward in the relationship. KYLO!”

–Danny Lee Silk

 

A big part of recovery for many, especially those dealing with trauma related issues too, is learning the concept of love. To love yourself and to love others and to allow others to love you. This quote by Danny Silk, shows just how powerful simple acts of love can be in healing and recovering.

Find small ways in your life to show, give, and receive love.

Fearful

I realized it has been awhile sense I added a (RE)learning emotions post. So here we go again: Fearful

fear·ful

adjective

1. causing or apt to cause fear; frightening: a fearful apparition.
2. feeling fear, dread, apprehension, or solicitude: fearful for his life;fearful lest he commit suicide.
3. full of awe or reverence: fearful of the Lord.
4. showing or caused by fear: fearful behavior.
5.extreme in size, intensity, or badness: a fearful head cold; fearful poverty.

02-07-2013
There are two types of fear that I would like to address, mainly because they seem so different from each other.
First is the fear of somethingSuch as I fear hight’s or I fear falling. This type of fear is usually rooted in some kind of belief about the consequence of the fear. For example: I fear hight’s because if I were to fall from something high I might brake a bone and not be able to function in my daily life like I currently do.
 Rational versus Irrational Fears
Sometimes these types of fear are rational fears (such as the example above) and other times they are irrational fears. Irrational fears usually lead a person to do or not do something that eventually harms or inhibits the functioning of that individual. For example: An individuals with an Eating Disorder fears eating because it will make them gain weight and if they gain weight they just couldn’t go on with life as it is.
Second is the fear of someone. Such as I fear my neighbor or I fear my God.
Defensive versus Respect based Fears
Typically if you fear someone (other than a Leader or Religious figure) the root of that fear is defensive. You fear being around them, being open or honest with them in order to protect yourself. Again, this is at times a legit and rational fear at other times it is not. When they persona you fear is a leader or religious figure such as your God it is typically based out of respect. For example: I fear my God because I understand and I respect his ability to change my life forever.
**Note, these are fluid categories of fear and not all encompassing by any means. Every situation is unique. But the point of this is to give some food for thought about feeling fearful and why we feel fearful**

Self-Care Tip #2

“Say exactly what you mean. “

This self-care tip fits perfectly into my last post about not being pushed into something you feel is wrong. The best way to take care of yourself is to make sure that people around you know what you are saying and needing. Communication- is key.

        1.Realizing that you are worth the things you want or need.

        2. Realizing that those things you want or need cannot be achieved on your own.

        3. Learning how to say/communicate what you are needing.

        4. Finding someone you can ask.

        5. Receive the thing you want or need.

If you can’t say exactly what you mean you will never get exactly what you need. Talking in code, although easier at times (yes, I do it too), leaves those around you confused as to what to say or how to respond to you. This usually causes you to feel neglected, rejected, unwanted, not valued, worthless ext.

2 “Dirty” Phrases

Over the holidays I was struck by two phrases from two different conversations that have stuck with me, in a negative way. Instead of writing two blogs to vent about them I have decided to combine them into one.  Here are the two phrases and my thoughts about them: just in case you were wondering.

1. “What a shame, She is such a pretty girl” This is being said in context about a “pretty girl” who has found herself in a relationship with a “jerk” or “bad boy.” There are so many things about this that make me angry but I will stick to a few of them. A girl deserves a “good boy” regardless of if they are “pretty” or “not pretty.”

2. “Do you know how he got HIV? …. He is gay.”  Being gay is not a cause for HIV. Just because someone is gay does not mean they are HIV positive and just because someone is HIV positive does not mean they are gay. That person got HIV because that person had unprotected sex (or somehow swapped bodily fluids) just like anyone can get HIV.  URGH!