Sunday, July 3, 2011

My summer read

  In no particular order, I spend most of my time and energy on keeping our home, mothering, my relationship with Richard and developing Knees and Paws.  This summer I'm awakening to the fact that I forgot to put myself on the to do list.  There is no excuse, especially since Elliot is becoming more independent every day.

  Recently we've had beautiful weather. This has helped me to help myself. Several days ago we had a heavy rain storm that was followed by days of blue sky, low humidity and reasonable temps.  I took advantage of this by running in the mornings, possible again because Emily is available to help Elliot if an emergency arises.   These runs have triggered good feelings and deep relaxation. 

In order not to neglect myself, I've also made time to read for pleasure. This time I'm reading Be Happy by Robert Holden. I chose it because I like to examine my human condition through a scientific lens. It helps me remember that I'm much more complex than the reflection in the mirror. It helps me to avoid the trap of evaluating myself  in comparison to the media's standard of what is "good" or "perfect."

So far, one particular passage in the book has been a complete revelation.  I was surprised to discover that emotions are like messengers. Perhaps you already knew this.  Just in case it is helpful in any way, I'd like to share the following passage:

Fear---- wants you to know you are being way to independent and not trusting enough in life, God or others to help you.

Anger--- is trying to tell you that you keep giving your power away inappropriately in certain situations.

Stress--- is an invitation to change something.  You are being asked to make better, smarter choices.

Resentment--- wants you to see that you are in sacrifice, playing the role of martyr, and leaving yourself out of your life.

Guilt---- is a sign that you are out of integrity with yourself and it's time to be as God created you.

Exhaustion----is a message that there is a better way. It wants you to listen to your wisdom.

Envy--- is a siren that says, when are you going to see how beautiful you are?

Depression-- is a call for love.  It wants you to know that you need to love yourself and accept more love from others.

Wounds--- are invitations to practice forgiveness so you can set yourself free again.

Grief---- wants you to give yourself the gift of your own attention and to make sure you don't lose sight of what's really true.

Pain---- is a reminder to be true to yourself, to remember who you are, and to stick to your true purpose.

Anxiety----is a call for help.  It is asking you to be open to more help from everyone and everywhere.

Holden closes this chapter with a line that I love.  "And the truth is that you are not meant to do your life on your own.  That's what unhappiness is really trying to teach you."     

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