Self love is selfish

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The river runs fast and with power, 

carrying with it all the debris of the things gone wrong with it – away!

Though dark and gray the afternoon sky

There is a fresh new hope building,

as I know that after the darkness light follows!

Today was a long, enlightening, fulfilling day.  The entire day was filled with doing things to take care of myself.  The entire day.  I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned, I prepared and enjoyed healthy foods, I went to Pain Clinic (which is 3 hours of intense therapy) and then had my first visit with the psychologist and my first EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) session.  I also came home and did an online  SMART Recovery meeting.  All for me.

For the last year or so pretty much everything I have done has been an concentrated effort to love myself and take care of myself.  Many view selfishness as a negative thing.  I know I used to.  Today,  I know that to love myself is the only way I am going to heal, and that is the only way I am going to have the life I deserve and desire.

It feels good.  I don’t do it perfectly.  I have probably said and done many things in ways that were less than ideal during this time.  Yet, I am evaluating it all and making every attempt to learn from it.

So what things are included in my selfish life?  What are the activities of self love?

  1.  Caring for my body by being mindful of what I put it in.  Plenty of hydration, the best food I can get with the resources I have available, resting, being mindful of anything that isn’t food or water and is it going to cause any damage.  It takes time and energy to create healthy foods to eat.
  2. Meditating has been a lifesaver.  I spend at least 10 minutes in the morning and fall asleep each night while meditating.  I purposefully choose to meditate to sleeping meditations due to a long history of insomnia.
  3. Getting fresh air has helped in so many ways.  Getting out, even if only for a 5 or 10 minute sojourn to the front porch connects me with nature.  Nature is a natural anti-depressant.
  4. Exercise.  See above.  Getting in touch with building my body back to health and connecting with the knowledge that I have a part in my health gets my mind straight.  I have begun walking 4 out of 5 days for at least one mile distance.  However long that takes is how long it takes.  I also have been doing an exercise program for 10 days now.  It also is 4 out of 5 days taking approximately 15 minutes.
  5. Mental health therapy is allowing me to process some extremely difficult situations, thought patterns and coping mechanisms as well as teaching me new tools to manage physical and emotional pain.  I currently have 2 therapists and am getting filled up with new understanding.
  6. Community.  Finding folks to hang out with and then spending time with them takes courage and time and energy.  I need to connect with others who can show me that I am not alone, that can help me with things that I can’t manage on my own and bring me a sense of belonging.
  7. Reading and learning.  I spend 30 minutes a day at the minimum to learn about something I am interested in and that will improve my lot in life or the life of another.
  8. Being of service.  Ha ha.  How is that selfish?  It is selfish in that it gives me so much joy and satisfaction that the more I do, the more I want to do.  Sharing encouraging words, finding the answer to a health question, giving support to someone struggling make me feel a part of.
  9. GRATITUDE:  Spending time each day being grateful for what is in my life at the moment is so selfish.  It is realizing what has been provided for ME!

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More growth!

Any time with this precious little boy is worth any discomfort to me!  Grandchildren are the gift of living life and staying alive!

Any time with this precious little boy is worth any discomfort to me! Grandchildren are the gift of living life and staying alive!

I am uncomfortable in my life right now. It is not the first time, nor will it be the last. One thing that I hold on to…I have much to be grateful for no matter all the circumstances of a day or even a couple of weeks.

I had many experiences during the last couple weeks. I had revelations. I had “ahaa” moments. I laughed and cried and was hugged as well as rejected. I felt loved and gratitude as well as judgement of my life today as well as for past sins. It was a heck of a couple weeks.

I was with family!!!

This pot was my Grammy's. My daughter has it and has filled it with her son the last two years.  Violets were Grammy's favorite!

This pot was my Grammy’s. My daughter owns it now and her and my grandson keep it filled each spring. This year it has violets…Grammy’s favorite!

My chosen family as well as my birth family and the family I birthed myself. That is just too much family for anyone to deal with in a 10 days time at my age. Seriously!

I have so many thoughts and emotions going on after finally arriving back to my little haven, which has it’s own issues. There are 35 baby chicks in the shop under my apartment and they are 13 weeks old and stink to the high heavens. One of my own layers is being a rogue at night and not coming in to roost! I have a mouse that comes at night and steals the treats I leave on the mousetrap! The last little bit I had set aside to rely on financially was depleted by a substantial amount from this trip. More than I anticipated. I pretty much came home broke!

Welcome to my life! It’s the only one I have. It has never ever been an easy life. I believe it is because of that I find such solace in my Layers and my Littles and my quiet life in the hills and dales of Southern Oregon. Most of the time anyhow.I caught this Gray Heron fishing on the Rogue River!  Amazing!

 
I caught this Gray Heron fishing on the Rogue River! Amazing!

I left home on Thursday April 26th to spend the night in town with my guy before leaving on my journey. I had an early departure to caravan with another vehicle of friends heading to Seaside on Friday morning at 8:30 am! I was going on retreat at the beach! It was going to be wonderful!

This was at the rest area just south of Salem.  I stopped there 29 years ago on May 30th, my birthday bringing home my 2nd son from being born at Salem Hospital!

This was at the rest area just south of Salem. I stopped there 29 years ago on May 30th, my birthday bringing home my 2nd son from being born at Salem Hospital!

Stopped here for lunch

Stopped here for lunch

This cute guy seemed to be questioning me.  I was drawn to him.  He had two legs and wings.  I miss my girls when I am gone!

This cute guy seemed to be questioning me. I was drawn to him. He had two legs and wings. I miss my girls when I am gone!

The Oregon coast is so beautiful!  This was just north of Tillamook, OR

The Oregon coast is so beautiful! This was just north of Tillamook, OR

My caravan headed up I-5 with a stop at a rest area, a gas station and then lunch in Forest Grove, OR. I lived there back in the 1980’s. I still have a dear friend in the nearby town of Gaston that I try to visit whenever I am passing through. We passed one another on the highway the day I was heading to the coast! 🙂 (I also stopped in and saw him for a few minutes on my way back through headed to The Dalles). I also lived in Forest Grove back in the 1980’s and gave birth to my daughter in her Great Grandparents house there!

The beach was lovely. I was tired after traveling. I really don’t travel well. It exacerbates many of my pain issues. Saturday morning I woke in blinding pain. My fibro was in full swing! The change in the barometer as well as the 8 hour ride in the truck the day before had taken a toll. But I had offered to cook breakfast for any and all that wanted it so I forced myself to get up and move!!! Thank goodness I did lots of prep the night before. I was serving O’Brien hash browns and Bacon Mushroom and Swiss Fritatta for 9am breakfast and I cooked for 15. I was working in an unfamiliar kitchen. I cried while cooking. I was embarrassed about my pain and yet I followed through and did what I said I would do. It hurt physically no matter what I did, so at least I had to sense of accomplishment when it was done.

This was my view on a Saturday morning....I found some spiritual connection here...thank you God!

This was my view on a Saturday morning….I found some spiritual connection here…thank you God!

A nicely appointed kitchen for a rental place!

A nicely appointed kitchen for a rental place!

Bacon, spinach and swiss frittata made with eggs from my girls!

Bacon, spinach and swiss frittata made with eggs from my girls!

I went back to bed and slept for a few hours and then was up and out to workshops. I enjoyed a nice dinner with lots of old and new friends and then was back to the lovely accomodations at the lodge and a good nights rest. After a closing prayer on the beach Sunday morning with hundreds of people hunting clams in the distance, the retreat was over and it was time to head up the Columbia Gorge to help my daughter in the first days after a shoulder surgery.

Let me just say right now…I love my kids to a fault! I forgive them many things in hopes of being forgiven for my past misdeeds. I need to stop doing this! Not the loving part, but doing above and beyond the usual for others at this time in my life when I am doing all I can to just take care of myself is not healthy. I have been living a good life of recovery the last 3+ years. I may not do it perfectly, but I do it much better than I have before.

It was wonderful to be with my grandson and to see my daughter and my son who lives in the same apartments. It was nice to see such a different and yet beautiful environment. It was wonderful to be of service.

And then there were the not so comfortable times. I choose not to divulge them all here for the world to see. I will just say that family is not always easy. Especially for people in recovery. I had an overload of family and many times reverted to old coping mechanisms! They still don’t work. I don’t tolerate many things like I did in the past tho. My self preservation kicks in and not everyone likes the new me. The me that cares about ME! The me that sees how hard I am working and doing the best I can one day at a time. I have had many hard lessons that I can’t please everyone all the time! Nor should I have to.

It was good until it wasn’t, and then it was time to come home. My place of refuge. The place I can focus on me and taking care of myself. The place where I am loved and appreciated…if only by chickens! 🙂 And yet, I know that not to be true either. I have many wonderful people who have watched me grow and love me how I am wherever I am! And today… I love myself enough to do the next right thing for myself! That truly is growth.

My journey has led me home, where I can work more on healing old hurts, finding out how to live life on lifes terms and taking it One Day at a Time trusting God to provide all I need. It is the only way I can do what I do. It isn’t always comfortable and I still have not found and easy way in life! Life is work! Recovery from a life that has marred one is really a LOT of work! I may not have a J O B…but I am working…trust me!