Reflection: “Pride gets in the way when we tell ourselves we are strong and that we shouldn’t burden others with our problems." Yehuda Berg
The tank is empty…
When we are hurting deep, down inside, there is a thought that tells us, ‘do not bother anybody with this problem. They have their own problems. I should be able to handle this myself.’ Or, ‘people will think the worst of me.’ Thoughts such as these promote and insure emptiness, isolation and separation.
Each person takes the sum total of their lifelong experiences, especially those we have early in life, and use this summation to build walls. The belief is that the walls keep the ‘bad’ things out. What they do in actuality is keep us in a remote, secluded place, a prison of our own making. Why do humans do this? Why would we choose to pull away from those in our life who might offer a helping hand, a moment of peace?
We do this because the lessons learned were if we let someone in they will hurt us. They will disappoint us, and as the final act of separation, judge us. These acts of treason leave a lasting and indelible mark on our heart and the actions we choose moving forward.
Lessons and tutorials…
Life has a way of bringing each of us our soul lessons one way or another. How sweet life would be if lessons could be learned the easy way, with a light tap on the shoulder. More often, we are slugged with an oak tree or a redwood if we are terribly stubborn! Where do these lessons come from?
There is a theory that we design the life we are to live before we actually take our first breath. That our soul and the soul of our birth mother agree to the lessons we are to learn as we go through life. These tutorials start out small. We, the hero of the story, brush them off and stoically keep going. Each time the tutorial appears it becomes bigger, the lesson a bit more harsh and painful. In other words, when we do not get ‘it’ when things are small hurts, they continue to come to us increasing in size. By the time these moments are super-sized, we are in a place of despair, depression, despondency. Nerves are raw to the point of anxiety; health takes a nose dive as our immune systems gives up the good fight! And to make matters worse we have closed ourselves off. If the possibility of an open door exists, in our desire to protect ourselves, we slam it shut! In all of this one might wonder who the real enemy is!
What might we do instead? Time to take a deep, cleansing breath!
Another way for you, you, you…
Suppose you decided to resist the temptation to retreat into isolation when you are suffering a grievous, bone crushing loss, change or what you deem to be failure. With practice and baby steps you can do it! You can stand firm against the urge to go it alone. You can break the links of the chain that bind you to the past, or to a very lonely present. The first step is to remember to take one deep, cleansing breath after the other. Then think about those in your life that you do trust. These people may or may not be your closest family. They may be friends, co-workers, acquaintances or even a therapist. When you take the time to reflect on the many people you interact with on a daily basis, you will find a select few that you realize you are willing to rely upon.
Perhaps you will only think of one person to reach out to. This is the first step to trusting. Believe that you have the wisdom to choose the right companion with which to share who will not judge.
Establish a time to get together with the one or the few special people, whether by having a telephone conversation or meeting over coffee. If you are not ready to speak eye to eye with another, the phone is a great way to express what is tearing you apart. As you are the one in need, it is up to you to set the rules of the conversation. You may wish to express that you are not looking for methods of correction or instructions of any kind. Let your ‘friend’ know you simply wish to borrow their ears for a while and you deeply appreciate their being willing to simply listen. Tell them of your need to get things off of your chest, to unburden to one who cares enough to be there and not judge. If you are ‘seeing’ a therapist or counselor, tell them exactly what your goals and needs are.
Often, when the situation feels like you have hit the wall, perhaps slammed into it, what you need most of all is someone to put their arms around you in a healing and loving hug. Perhaps what you need is a hand of strength to hold. These moments of sharing whole and tranquil energies will provide you with immeasurable peace! Such gestures will help you to find a place of calm in the midst of your storm.
Have you noticed some of the central words in a couple of the previous paragraphs were ‘not judge?’ This is the most important component, requirement of the one you choose to share with. There can be no judgment. Allow your inner wisdom to reign supreme and the person you choose will be just what you need.
Not a burden…
For those who wish to be a shoulder upon which one may lean on for a time, the reward is astounding. Being able to offer even the minutest reprieve from pain to another profoundly nourishes one’s soul. Helping someone lost in a cycle of suffering, providing a space within which they can be proactive reconnects us all to the light of the Universe; it binds us to the divine love that is God.
When pride is a cloak under which we hide, the weight of the darkness surrounding our hearts then becomes cumbersome and we lose our way. This shroud we use to disguise our fear engulfs us in our own judgment. Not only of ourselves, but of those who may be the light we seek.
Whether you are in a time of trouble or, you are in a place of tranquility in life, reach out! Extend yourSelf to another in trust and companionship and watch what grows!