The Voice That Saved My Life.

Kerry 2 Kerry 1

One of my favorite authors as a child was Shel Silverstein. One of his famous quotes that provided a light for me was this:

There is a voice inside of you

That whispers all day long,

“I know that this is right for me, I know that this is wrong.”

No teacher, preacher, parent, friend

Or wise man can decide

What’s right for you, just listen to, the voice that speaks inside.

 

As a child, I was born into a cycle, we all were. I had no idea, of course, of the chaos I was to endure….the chaos that was laid long before I arrived, the imprint I was to follow. I had no understanding of the job I was being given. I came into this world, as we all do, innocent, a clean slate, a sponge.

We are all the recipients of either a positive familial cycle or a negative one. This forms who we are, who we will become. It’s luck really, or predestined depending on your beliefs, as we don’t get to choose who will guide the first twenty something years of our lives. We just go along for the ride. We are in for a childhood of respect, guidance, love and honor or we are in for disrespect, little guidance, resentment, anger and the imprints of a cycle that started long before us.

For most of us, our childhoods are a mixture of all of these things. The difference lies in how much of each quality or behavior was in our particular family recipe. Our unique recipe, creates who we will become. If we have children, our recipe becomes their recipe.

As a psychotherapist, I lend compassion. I lend belief in more. I lend hope. I lend my voice, for when you have trouble hearing your own. My goal is always to help your inner voice become louder. As it is in that voice, that we find our true selves and are able to change cycles.

My inner voice is what helped me endure my childhood. In my darkest hours, my voice saved me. She said……

You are going to be somebody.

You are somebody already.

It’s NOT all your fault.

You don’t deserve this.

They are troubled, you are not.

You WILL get through this.

You will parent differently.

You are not responsible for their anger and resentments.

And I am, and it wasn’t, I didn’t, I did, and I do.

My inner voice knew something that my childish conscience did not. She knew that we are who we say we are, not what others label us. She knew there was love, it was just cloaked in anger. She knew I had someone great inside of me, and she helped to nurture me, there in that dark room as I cried from pain. Pain from the blows, pain from the words, and pain from the cycle.

She knew I deserved the best, not the scraps.

She knew I was born to help others, so she helped me.

She knew that the cycle I was in was to polish me so that I could see others with loving eyes.

She knew that everything I needed was inside of me at that very moment, it just needed nurturing, slowly, carefully, non-judgmentally.

She stood in as my loving parent, when my own parent’s troubles got so big that they spilled onto me.

She was there in my darkest hours, and my most brightly lit moments.

She was there, and she is there now, still.

She guides us you see. Having trouble hearing her?

Sit in silence, she is there.

Get into nature, she is there.

Notice your thoughts, she is there.

Breathe deeply, she is there.

Look at your children, she is there.

Write in your journal, she is there.

Give away compassion and kindness, she is there.

You MUST find her, you see? She loves you, she guides you, she sees you, she IS you!

At some point in our lives, if we come from dysfunction, we must become our own loving parent. We must stand in for ourselves. We must stand up for ourselves.

Our inner voice is our guide, without hearing her, how can we know which way to go? How can we know how our lives will unfold? How can we hold onto hope that things will get better?

I remember distinctly, at 17 years of age, with tears streaming down my face, writing a letter saying goodbye to those I loved. I wrote in detail why I couldn’t go on anymore. I apologized that I wasn’t strong enough to endure what I had been handed.

Then she spoke to me, and I listened.

She said, oh no you will not.

She said, you are needed.

She said, it gets better, I promise.

She said, this is not how it ends.

 

And I listened. I listened as she loved me, in the exact way I needed to be loved. And I am thankful for her, every single day of this beautiful life I have created through belief in the voice that lies within.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Beautiful Life Includes Rain

Hospital

Isn’t it amazing, how programmed we are in life? Over and over again, we let our anxiety get us worked up, knowing for damn sure that worry changes nothing. NOTHING. Our bodies are programmed to react with fight or flight. Our cortisol shoots up, our bodies tighten, and our brains are on fire, with worry.

Yesterday, I had a medical procedure done that made my body shudder with fear. Just the name of the procedure, sent shock waves through my entire being. I was scared, no doubt about it. However, my brain knew that rationally I would be fine. Rationally, the pain would be momentary. Rationally, I would get a couple days of rest and relaxation after, and we all want that right?!

It didn’t matter what my brain was telling me, my body knew better. For weeks, I dreaded this procedure. For weeks, my body messed with my brain. I noticed my stomach being tight…. for no reason. My throat constricting….for no reason. My heart racing…..for no reason.

You might be saying to yourself, but you practice Mindfulness, why are you experiencing these reactions still? Because I am human. Mindfulness helps me on a day to day basis, with lessening my reactions to everyday stress. However, we are still human. We still have fear built into us. We still fight to be mindful, when our fear is at its worst, especially if we don’t set a plan for keeping mindfulness on track.

Yesterday was a fight.

The fight reminded me, I am still on a journey.

The fight reminded me, I will still have fear.

The fight reminded me, I am only human.

The fight reminded me, I fear death.

The fight reminded me, I love life.

I…..LOVE……life.

What a beautiful message to land on. I love life. With all of its adversity, fear, negativity, and hardships……I love life.

While I laid on the table with doctors over me, Mindfulness brought me to the place of loving life.

I breathed in gratitude, love, and acceptance. I breathed out through my area of pain. Releasing, fear, anguish, worry, and the fight.

Instant relaxation. You see, while Mindfulness has reprogrammed my brain over the last few years, I hadn’t set any intentions for how I would deal with worry over my health. So my body reverted to old stories, old reactions and old habits. I was a worrier. I feared death, so I worried. My body remembered this, and reacted accordingly, telling my brain to worry. Going forward my intentions are different than how I dealt with this instance of fear.

I will take in information about my health, knowing that it is just more knowledge than what I had before.

I will recognize that knowledge is power.

I will use that knowledge, not to fuel my fear, but to fuel my resolve.

I will use that resolve to calm my body.

I will utilize a calm body to coach my brain.

I will employ my brain, to remind me I LOVE LIFE.

Even these parts of life…..the worry parts, the hard parts, the scary parts. Because, they are going to come friends.

A beautiful life includes rain……a beautiful life includes rain. Lean in to this. As it can guide your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

I finally reached that mindful place, right there on the hospital table. I felt my brain relax, and lean into the pain. I felt my body  release its programming, and I felt my heart swell with a deep, abiding love for my life, for the people in it, and for the future.

I beat fear yesterday, and I realize my peace could have come sooner, had I prepared appropriately. Had I set my intentions, and been mindful of following those intentions, I could have saved myself from days of fighting fear leading up to this.

Intentions are a plan, a plan to succeed. In life, in fear, in adversity. Intentions lay the foundation for a love of life.

My hope for you, is that you are able to use your love of life in all situations of fear.

Meet fear with love. Let love inform your body. Let love inform your brain. Let love lead your fight. Don’t beat yourself up for having fear…..invite the fear in, and meet it with love.