It’s Not All About You 

I tend to be quite sensitive.  Lately, my feelings were hurt even though they didn’t need to be.  Someone who normally goes out of their way to be kind and generous appeared not to notice me.  Intellectually, I knew it had nothing to do with me but my emotional self noticed.  I didn’t think too much about the incident but later was informed about what had happened that day that I wasn’t aware of.  When I heard what was going on with this person, I heard a voice in my head exclaiming “It’s not all about you, Susan”.  After hearing this, my stomach calmed, my muscles unclenched, my mind stopped swirling.  I was totally focused on the other person and what their day had been like. I saw areas where I could have been of help that day instead of well….doing whatever I did.

The realization was liberating.  I was able to apply it to several other instances around the same time and saw things more clearly.  I was reminded of the first of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – Don’t Take Anything Personally.  I understand this concept, agree with its meaning, like living that way but I know it’s not as ingrained as I’d like it to be.  I believe lessons continue to present themselves to us until we master them.  Some lessons I think I’ve mastered only to have them slap me upside the head later on. When this happens, I know that there is more for me to learn and more room for me to grow.  Fortunately, the lessons in life aren’t always painful or uncomfortable.  The other day I was anxious about leaving the house to do some errands.  Someone told me I was loved and adored and to take that out into the world with me.  It worked.  My anxiety subsided.  This is something I want to remember more often but eventually might forget.  At this point, I hope the lesson sneaks up on me again and slaps me upside the head so that I get it, I truly get it.

 

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Running Too Fast

20170913_063519.jpgLately, I’ve noticed I’ve been rather harsh with myself for not being where I think I should be; for not having yet reached the goals I’ve set for myself.  I was feeling frustrated with myself and in a bit of a panic that I hadn’t gotten from Point A to Point C.  I forgot that I need to go to Point B first.  While I was thinking about this, the words from a poem I wrote not too long ago popped into my head.  The poem is:

Baby Steps
Sometimes, I try to run
when I need to take baby steps
I fall and realize
this is not a race
I go back to the baby steps
I trip over myself
when I go too fast
I remind myself to
take baby steps
I try to do it all at once
but then remember
I cannot
I must take baby steps
It might take me longer
to reach my destination
but I will get there
with these baby steps
I will get there
(c) 2016 SM Hannon

After reading my own words, I remembered this is how I do things; this is how I accomplish what I need to accomplish.  I’ve been trying to run when I need to walk.  I’ve been going too fast and tripping over myself.   I have forgotten to take baby steps.  I thought more about it and realized that in the last year and a half, I’ve taken plenty of steps.  My life has been transformed.  With each action I’ve taken, I’ve been laying the foundation to be successful in reaching my goals.  Sure, I could jump from Point A to Point C but I know I’d be setting myself up for failure.  I’ve done that before and don’t want to do it again.

So, I’m going back to the baby steps.  This is how I’ve faced and overcome the significant challenges I’ve had in the last two years.   I know it may take me longer to reach my destination but I will reach it.  In the meantime, I’ll do what I need to do and I’ll be grateful for what I do have – a home, a loving supportive partner, family and friends, my health, my ability to learn, my ability to persist and my ability to build myself back up.  I’m also grateful that I remembered the words from the poem and listened to myself.  It greatly eased the angst I’d been feeling.

 

As You Carry Me

I cling to you as you
carry me through the water

I close my eyes
and am lost
in the darkness
soft skin
warm water
and gentle motion

Thoughts finally leave my mind
as you carry me
Tension flees my body

Just for these few precious moments
I can rest
surrender
be at peace

As you carry me through the water
I realize 
I am home

(c) 2017
SM Hannon

I Accept Where I Am

I accept where I am. Does that mean I don’t want to better myself or my life? No, it doesn’t. Others may think it means this but they would be wrong. If I don’t like where I’m at, I work towards being where I want to be. I don’t announce it but step by step, I make my way. It may not be the way someone else would go but it’s how I go. I make my way slowly and methodically but I do make my way. I don’t pretend I’m there before I’m not. I don’t always talk about it, I just go. I can’t berate myself into being somewhere else or I’ll never get there. If I berate myself, I’ll go backwards. So, that won’t work. Instead, sometimes I need to be alone, block out outside voices and make my own way. I’ll get to where I need to go – not on someone else’s time table but on my own. That’s the only way I know how to go. I don’t know if that’s right or wrong, healthy or unhealthy, normal or abnormal but it’s the way I know. And it gets me there so healthy, normal, good or not, I’ll get there and that is all I need to do.

Alternative Meanings

I find it interesting how often we can take a comment made by someone else, focus on it, and attribute all kinds of meanings to it.  It seems to be especially the case when we perceive the comment as negative or as some form of criticism; at least that’s how it is for me.  The rest of the conversation may have been wonderful but that one comment will stick in my head and will not want to leave.  The comment may not hold the meaning(s) that I attribute to it, but then again it might.  I often don’t know.  Sometimes it’s just the phrasing of a comment or the tone of voice used that affects me and not the actual words.

I’m talking about this in a general sense, not in regards to any certain individual or conversation.  I used to think like this often.  It was exhausting and emotionally painful.  It happens less frequently these days.  But, when I get a little insecure, a little anxious, my thoughts can spin and I start to panic about what was said and what it means.  Old issues I thought I’d worked through, pop up with their ugly heads. I know it is exhausting and irritating to others to be around me when I am like this.  I am absolutely miserable when it happens.  I often need someone (besides myself) to tell me to stop it, that I’m okay.   Now that I think about it, I do this with positive comments/actions as well.  I think about them and the meaning held.  This is much more pleasant.

Sometimes I am simply confused by a comment or don’t understand and I ask for clarification.  Other times I am hurt – especially if it contradicts previous comments by the person. Depending on who the person is, I can ask them what was meant just to reassure myself.  Others are hurt if I question anything they’ve said and/or take offense sometimes, taking what I’ve said and end up giving what I’ve just said a negative meaning.  I’m not criticizing or making accusations when I ask for clarification.  It’s just me trying my best to take care of myself and to have healthy positive relationships.

While some of my thoughts about the meaning of a comment may be correct, it is just a comment and I have little, if any, control over it. It may hold a meaning that I don’t like or that is hurtful to me.  It is also possible that the comment has nothing to do with me at all.  It’s always good for me to remember that it’s not always about me and other people have their own issues. If their comment did hold the meaning I originally thought, I don’t have to give that person or their comments power over me, at least I don’t want to.

The Crying Tree

In soil, rocks, layers of earth
angels watch over the crying tree.

Despite its sorrow
despite its weeping
or
maybe because of it;
the tree gives sanctuary
to those in need.

The crying tree
provides shade
for the weary.

All are welcome
to nest in its arms and
rest in its strength.

The crying tree’s
roots grow deep.
It bends and sways
as the fierce wind blows;
when lightning strikes,
when the earth shakes,
this tree does not fall.

The leaves of the crying tree
are the greenest of green
multi-colored and barren.
They change with the season.

This is the tree that weeps,
that openly cries out.

This is the tree
that provides safety.

This is who the tree is.

It's roots are buried
in layers of earth.
It's wings reach
for the sky.
This is what the tree does.

In soil, rocks, layers of earth
angels watch over the crying tree.

(c) 2017 SM Hannon

The Truth

From 2009

We are no longer together
and still you ask if “something”
is going on with me and a friend

You say,
if I only tell you the truth and
not lie by omission
(I think you’ve mixed the two of us up)
I shouldn’t be afraid of your reaction
you’ll be fine with it;
you only need the truth

But you don’t believe the truth
You never have
Truth doesn’t matter to you

Do you want me to lie?
tell you what you want to hear?
confirm your suspicions?
Any answer I give will be problematic
This is another no win situation

And, to be totally honest,
the truth is
it’s none of your business

not anymore