Why we should trust life even when it’s dark

Why we should trust life even when it’s dark

trust-life

Here’s what we know about life:

There will be hard times.

Dark times.

Scary times.

And there will be happy times, too. Joy. Contentment.

Life presents us with all sorts of challenges. We’re meant to face them.

One of my favorites of the Women and the Hourglass cards and prints.

And the entire range of human emotion. We’re meant to feel them.

We can fight life or we can trust life.

Trust that life means walking through the light and the dark both. With purpose.

Because life here is really Soul School. We’re learning.

And that’s the way it works.

So, as my friend Marylou Falstreau says in her Women of the Hourglass series of prints, cards and more: Trust Life.

You can find beautiful Women and the Hourglass inspirational cards, prints and more at Marylou’s site.

Hold on lightly, not tightly

Hold on lightly, not tightly

let-go“I don’t think she realizes how rigid she comes across,” a colleague said to me not too long ago.

I agreed. So few of us really see ourselves the way we really are and the more tightly wound we are, the less we realize it.

For so many, the outcome we want can become the outcome we try to dictate. Demand. Insist on. Our rigidity — our attachment to outcome — begins to define us.

Now, look. I get that there are things we desperately want.  We want pain to go away.  A positive outcome to treatment. The wellbeing of our loved ones. A healthy relationship. But we also can want our way on less important things.

As it turns out, though, the tighter we hold on to something the harder it is to grasp.

If you’ve heard “Let go and let God” then you know it’s about detaching ourselves from outcome. About trusting that our highest and best good is always being served, no matter what happens. If we’re super-desperate for an outcome it’s often harder to come by.

When I write things like this I always think about my friends who have chronic illness. Life ain’t easy for so many of us. The hard truth is that we are not promised a smooth ride. For some of us, the ride is harder than it is for others. There’s always a reason, although we may not see it at first. We may not want to see it. But a looser hold–letting go and letting God–really does serve us.

And then there’s the way we are with others. Who bothers to hold the mirror up? Not many. But….A little self-reflection can be a good thing.

I remember someone mentioning in an offhand way that I wasn’t a mellow person.

WHAT???  I was shocked. I was in my 20s and clueless. I thought I was VERY easy-going. The fact that I wasn’t? That was news to me!

But it was also a lesson.

I was someone who held tightly to outcomes. As I matured, I found that if I loosened my grip, I got further. But it took trust and that wasn’t my long suit.

Trust is something that most of us have to learn and some of us, burned once, are twice shy. And three or four times. But sometimes we must take a chance and let go.

Want to discuss this? Or talk about ways to manage pain and symptoms? Contact me at Carol (at) ahealingspirit (dot) org.

Why we should trust life even when it’s dark

Why we should trust life even when it’s dark

trust-life

Here’s what we know about life:

There will be hard times.

Dark times.

Scary times.

And there will be happy times, too. Joy. Contentment.

Life presents us with all sorts of challenges. We’re meant to face them.

One of my favorites of the Women and the Hourglass cards and prints.

And the entire range of human emotion. We’re meant to feel them.

We can fight life or we can trust life.

Trust that life means walking through the light and the dark both. With purpose.

Because life here is really Soul School. We’re learning.

And that’s the way it works.

So, as my friend Marylou Falstreau says in her Women of the Hourglass series of prints, cards and more: Trust Life.

You can find beautiful Women and the Hourglass inspirational cards, prints and more at Marylou’s site.

Put your own mask on first

Put your own mask on first

self-care

Many people I know are in constant motion and most of that motion is spent doing for others.

The reasons for that are complex. Some have kind hearts.  Bottom line. They act completely out of kindness.

Others do it out of a deep sense of insecurity, to prove their worth and ensure others think well of them.

And still others feel a sense of obligation. Or even guilt.

Self care is not a priority.

The piper must be paid

One day, though, they may find themselves failing. A mental or physical health crisis occurs. Or a job crisis. Sometimes it’s exacerbated by the fact that they’ve run themselves ragged for others — and failed to honor themselves.

Sometimes, we think there’s something selfish in honoring ourselves and putting ourselves first. If we honor our own value.

But it’s not true.

Only by putting ourselves first can we even begin to be there for someone else.

We might even be comfortable with the concept:to  honor our own value. It’s a hard lesson, learning to fill our own cup first.

Airplanes as a metaphor for life

There’s a reason flight attendants direct us to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others.

Whether it’s on an airplane or in other parts of life, we can’t be there for someone else if we aren’t there first for ourselves. There’s nothing selfish about that.

If you do nothing else this week, take time to honor your own value.

Read a book. Take a solo walk in nature. Or a nap. Meditate.

Watch the sun set … or rise.  Play with your pets. Listen to music. Play some music.

Savor a cup of tea or coffee. Stroll in a garden. Relax on a beach.

Do it for yourself. To honor your own value.

Those other needs? They’ll still be there when you’re done.  And you’ll come to them more refreshed than you have ever been.

Trust me on that.

 

Why it’s important to trust who you are

Why it’s important to trust who you are

trust-who-you-are
Trust who you are. Sounds easy, right?  But not so fast.

We lose confidence when others act out against us. Say mean things. Act unkindly.

Sometimes, we feel unprepared to make decisions, especially big ones.

Or we don’t get the validation we think we need.

Trust –in ourselves–can be difficult.  And yet, trust we must.

This came to mind a while ago while talking with a young client whose significant other refused to validate something she’d gone through.

“He’s not taking it seriously,” the client told me.

I felt that pain.

“It’s enough,” I told them, “that YOU know it and validate yourself. Everyone has their own journey. They aren’t at the same place you are. They are unable to validate you and that’s ok. But that took ME decades to understand.”

It did take me that long. And sometimes I do waver a bit. Just a little, because at this stage of my life I do trust myself.  Most of the time. 😉

Confidence. Trust. It’s a big step and sometimes a giant leap. But trust in ourselves is a necessary part of  human development and good mental health.

How about you? Have you learned to trust yourself and what led you there?

How to tell the difference between good decisions and epically bad ones

How to tell the difference between good decisions and epically bad ones

making-decisions

Every day a surgeon makes decisions that can go one of two ways:
either very good or very, very, very bad.
The problem is that the epically great decisions
and the epically bad ones look exactly the same when you’re making them.

This wisdom about making decisions brought to you by the character Meredith Grey on the TV show, Grey’s Anatomy, one of my favorites.

The secret to the success of Grey’s Anatomy is that Shonda Rhimes knows that medicine is not just a matter of life and death , it’s a metaphor for life. Her writers show us that every episode. Ok, yes, at times it can be over the top. But then, there are stunning lines of dialogue like the one above.

My life has proven that the best and worst decisions look identical when we’re making them.

Back in my early 30s I accepted a marriage proposal after dating someone less than a year. My rationale was that I loved him and so did it matter whether I married him now or in a year?

It mattered. But my decision and its rationale made perfect sense, to me.

It just didn’t to those who loved me. Boy, didn’t it.

And that’s the thing. Our decisions almost always look good to us or we wouldn’t make them.

But reality-test them with a few loved ones and you just might get a different answer.

I married him. And divorced him. And then I saw the value of reality-testing with trusted friends.

Once I learned to do that I was forced to hear points of views that differed from mine.

I didn’t always listen, though.

And as a result, I made some epically bad decisions.

It’s hard to have regrets because my life ended up okay. But who knows where I might have gone had those bad decisions not been so epically bad?

Yes, decisions are hard. It’s helpful to remember that we don’t look at them clearly and that getting other points of view can be helpful.

And sometimes, we really should actually listen to them.

I love talking to clients about their decisions and helping them sort through. I’ll do that for you for only $29. That price is good from now until May 31. Enter code fwd (case sensitive)  to purchase, then email me at carol (at) ahealingspirit.org to make a phone appointment.

 A version of this post originally ran in April 2014 on CarolCassara.com