Discovering Strength, Healing

Don’t Panic!

Yesterday, I Panicked! That feeling of “Oh, No!–This can’t be happening!” My panic wasn’t the result of the most awful thing in the world. No one was hurt; everyone I love was safe and sound, and the earth was still tilted and spinning normally on its axis.  But, it was life-shattering for me in my immediate moments of realizing what had occurred.

I put my photo memory card in my computer, and it wasn’t recognized. Of course, no worry yet. I had the brilliant idea of trying it in my camera. It would certainly read in there. But, NO! No response, no recognition. Hu? Why? What’s going on here? THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING! All of my pictures of my son for the last 6 months—GONE! NO! A portion of the story of our life as a family erased. And of course this is when my heart, Sank.  And panic flooded my insides…Hot hands, racing heartbeat, uncontrolled thoughts all dismantled, defeat, worry….

But wait a minute...I don’t want to feel this way!

With everything else calm and quiet around my house, I was able to grab a hold of the chaos inside me, and put it on pause for a few minutes. Okay, brain: You work. You got to help me out here: You [mind] got to get this heart of mine under control, and help me FIX THIS! I won’t accept defeat!  Normal brain function returning, I was able to start solving this problem like a puzzle: Getting out another memory card, and examining the two together, I realized a significant part of the edge around the access point of my broken card was missing.   So of course the panic returned for a minute, and then my mind started buzzing:  “I’VE GOT to FIX THIS, I’VE GOT to FIX THIS!”

Stabilizing myself, I began some creative ideas to fix this. But none seemed practical. And then I paused, as I sat at the window, and I began to say a prayer: “Saint Anthony, I know I ask you to help me with things I have lost, I’ve lost my photos. Please help me find them.“—Connecting to my faith calms me down; it re-centers me….What works for you??  Believe it or not, I started to get my answers. I went back to where I was sitting on the couch the night before, and laying on the rug, was a tiny strip of black plastic. After many cross-eyed tries at the microscopic puzzle and with super-glued fingers, I got that strip back on! I put my memory card gently in my computer. And there were my photos. BREATHE, AGAIN. All was not lost.

I realize this was a lesson for me about Life, not just about this particular moment of panic. I know in many situations when I am panicking I lose all sense of hope; i.e., I become hopeless. I feel like nothing will change. And I get stuck. But yesterday, I handled myself well. I need to remember   this experience when I lose control of other parts of my life. I know that I won’t be able to fix everything that’s placed in front of me. But I can learn to work at re-centering myself, and being more intentional about asking for help (because we aren’t made to walk this walk of life alone).

It also made me realize, how much I don’t want to sink into that trap of Depression again. It’s funny how proactive we can be with ourselves, when we are working in opposition to something negative in our lives, isn’t it?  And that’s the key here: Yes, I’m writing about not wanting my pictures to be lost, but what I am really writing about is: “I don’t want to get stuck feeling this way!”  And wanting to change the way I feel, has great power in it. This power is what I want to hold onto. It’s what we all need to hold onto when we want to change our emotional state in life. It’s not the kind of power that dominates, and dictates, rather it’s the kind of power that is gentle and honest. It’s the kind of power that says to each of us in our own unique way, “ You are going to be okay.” ” You are going to get through this somehow.” And thus, it is the kind of power that also says, “It’s okay if I don’t know the outcome, I’ve just got to give myself the chance to Live through this, rather than being a puppet of panic and anxiety.”

The best part of this lesson learned, is that the strength to get through the obstacles in life is right there inside each and every one of us. And life offers us the opportunity to tap into our inner strength daily. Sometimes this inner strength moves us forward to discover solutions (like fixing my memory card) other times this inner strength teaches us how to take care of ourselves (like in my case asking for St. Anthony’s help…maybe for you its taking a relaxing bath, meditating, admitting when you need to rest, etc).

So know you are not alone when you panic. It’s a very real feeling for all of us. Knowing this is healing. Taking care of ourselves in the midst of struggles is healing.

Somehow all will be well…Life will find its way to take care of you, when you open your arms to receive healing.

Blessings of healing and peace to you,

Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All Rights Reserved.
Please visit my photography site: Naturescapes, Flowerscapes & Life: Photography by Bella Bleue

Advertisements
Discovering Strength, Healing

Transforming Your Brokenness into a Beautiful Masterpiece

“I don’t need this boo-boo any more. Take it away!” So there you have it, getting rid of hurt, pain, bruises, bumps and everything else is as simple as saying, “Take it away:” and then it is gone. I only wish it was this easy!

When we are 2 1/2 we climb on play sets, jump off stairs, climb up on chairs, drive our toy cars and trucks around the yard…we bump our legs, go on our way, and think nothing of the marks that are left. We just keep moving and living life. Until we stop and notice. And then we think to ourselves, where did this come from?

This is true for us as adults too. Sometimes we let the boo-boos, and the hurt keep happening over and over because it becomes so routine, an every day occurrence that we accept as part of life. Or maybe it’s just that the painful things that have happened in our life, have become such a part of us, that we don’t know how to imagine ourselves or our life any differently. Or maybe we don’t believe that life could be any different: “I just got dealt bad luck or I don’t deserve to be happy…this is my destiny.”

But the truth is, YOUR LIFE CAN BE BETTER! and YOU CAN BE HAPPIER!

When I was finally able to name, that depression is a part of my life I began to heal. When I was not aware of my depression, and often in denial of it, it had power over me.  When depression was in control, my moods were based on the direction depression wanted to take: sad, lonely, unmotivated, feelings of worthlessness, anger, etc. Basically when depression was in control, I wasn’t a person who really wanted to wake up in the morning, and happiness was completely out of my reach.

But!

When I finally hit my lowest of low, and had to force myself to take control—for the sake of my baby and husband—who I love very deeply—I had to actually say out loud, “I have depression,” so that I could begin to heal.  There is great power in Naming* what we feel or are experiencing in life. When you can do this for yourself, you take the power away from the disease, hurt, etc. and instead of being the victim, you become the conqueror.

The more I openly admitted that I have depression, the less control it began to have over me and the way I feel. In fact about 6 months after I started my therapy, I was smiling again and even laughing out loud! I realized during those 6 months that ” I am me. I am wonderful, amazing, and I deserve with every ounce of my being to be HAPPY! I decided that depression was no longer going to define me. I now define myself and own my feelings. Depression doesn’t get to have control any more.

But, I don’t suffer from depression, so how does this relate to me?

We all have different reasons we are broken in some way or another. If you are writing about it, you already know that by talking about your brokenness or by reading about others’ brokenness– that might be like your own, you are releasing the control the hurt, the pain, the anger, the betrayal, etc. and instead are replacing these negative feelings with love, connection, peace… In other words, when you begin to accept and know that you have places within your being that are broken, you can begin to heal these places and be proactive about feeling better about you.

Can I be completely healed by admitting to myself and others that I have broken parts within myself?

I don’t know if any of us can ever be completely healed from our brokenness (If anyone knows differently please share). I know for me, that depression still tries  to sneak up on me or puts out its net and unexpectedly catches me in its hooks….but because I have become aware that depression will do this to me I can say to it, ” I don’t want to feel this way;” and then I can begin to work towards healing instead of falling into its bottomless pit. I’ve learned that to just tell myself, get over it and move on doesn’t really help me. What I need is to take some time to be gentle with myself: and offer myself compassion. If I need to cry for a bit and let out the frustration or sadness I now let myself do just that. But afterwards, I say I know I want to be happy, and I don’t want to feel this way, so I can maintain being me, and not let depression be in charge. Then I turn on a good song, eat some ice cream, go for a walk,  go outside and visit my flowers…whatever I need during those moments to take care of me.

When you are feeling broken, are you able to show yourself compassion and love? What do you do to treat yourself with gentleness and care?

As you go through each day and begin to love yourself more—to actually get to know yourself better, and be in control of your life, rather than letting the brokenness in, you begin to see this really wonderfully created individual in the mirror…and you discover that the masterpiece you were looking for is YOU.

May you be blessed with the joys of discovering yourself—the amazing, wonderful, fabulous YOU!

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All rights reserved.

Related Articles:

Emotional Literacy

*Naming feelings is something I was taught in my education in Psychology as well as in Pastoral Counseling/Spiritual Direction…it has been very helpful in my own life as well as the lives of people I have shared counseling with.

Blessings.

Healing, Health

I’m Grieving and I’m Healing

Last week I wrote about how to deal with unexpected change. I was blessed with some very supportive answers from fellow bloggers…and an underlying message was to take some time and listen…which I did. I discovered that deep down I was anticipating the grief: the sadness, and pain, I was going to feel because of the change I would be undergoing.  And this anticipatory grief was getting in my way—my feelings were not being tended to, and I couldn’t make any choices because I was ignoring what I was really feeling. It was hard to discover my true feelings because what was going to happen was something good, and yet, I was feeling sad.

When I did my residency at the hospital years ago, I used to talk about anticipatory grief often with my colleagues. I worked in the ICU and Transplant Units and could often tell when death was near and I knew when I was feeling sad about losing my patient and watching the family grieve as well. I understood this grief. It made sense. I could call it by its name. Grieving death was normal…something to be expected—and the people I worked with understood it too. They created a safe place to talk about grief. 

BUT! Grief isn’t just an experience before or after someone dies—Grief  is also very normal in the every day dealings of life. Every Day Grief can happen when: we have a baby & everything in life changes, or the kind of grief we have when we finish college, or the kind of grief we have when we move out of state, or the kind of grief we have when we realize we aren’t living the life we had hoped for and so on. [This kind of] grief  is not something we usually want to talk about in our culture. Consequently, when I say, I’m grieving about some future event or something I’m going through, I notice I often get the expected response: “It will be okay. Don’t worry so much.” Yet, the response I really need is a good LISTENING EAR, that is comfortable with my feelings…that says, “I hear what you are saying, and if you need anything, I’m here for you.”

I believe that  if we, as a culture, were more comfortable with grief, we all might be a lot happier & healthier in life: We could talk about what we feel—and feel listened to—and be able to move through our grief more naturally and comfortably.

  • We wouldn’t be hiding our feelings: Our grief wouldn’t be a hidden experience in our lives that keeps us feeling down—we would be dealing with what we were feeling and give ourselves the chance to understand what we really need at that time
  • We would be dealing with our feelings while they were happening: We would be able to be in the moment instead of  misunderstanding our feelings for something else.
  • We wouldn’t be as reactive to people who are close to us: Sometimes when we don’t understand our grief we may be more reactive towards  people we are close to. For example, we may get angry with our spouse because he or she says the wrong thing, when the real reason we are angry is because we don’t feel like we are being cared for—
  • We would be able to ask for help or care more easily when we know that we are grieving—if grieving is an accepted part of life–people won’t feel shamed for their feelings or experience of grief and thus, be more in tune with themselves and what they need when feeling this way.

Do you recognize when you are grieving?
Are you comfortable about feeling grief?
Are you able to talk openly about your grief? Whether it be about death, change, loss of self or identity, etc.?
 

It is always amazing to me how so many of us talk about wanting to be happy and positive all the time, but in doing so we often forget how important it is that we allow ourselves to feel sadness, anger, loss, etc. because by allowing ourselves to be open about our feelings we actually are allowing ourselves to heal—and the healing invites the positive, happy, joyful feelings to naturally arise.

Give yourself the gift of being tender with you, and let yourself grieve when you need to. Grief comes and goes whenever it wants to show up so don’t be hard on yourself and say, “What’s wrong with me?…Just let it be: accept it and love yourself enough to say, “It’s okay that I feel this way today.” And trust that there will be better days ahead when the time is right!

But also remember that being consumed with grief that leads to depression or grief that begins to interfere with your life, is not healthy— and you should seek help when you need it! You deserve to be well!

Blessings,Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™

*photo from Wikpedia: Angel of Grief

Life's Journey

Choosing the Right Path: Sharing Your Wisdom With Others

Sometimes good things fall apart so that better things can fall together.

                                                                                                     –Marilyn Monroe.

The last few days I have been navigating uncharted waters. I’m trying to figure out which direction to take on my current life journey, and  I am really unsure where the compass is trying to lead me. The needle is always supposed to face North, but somehow the electromagnetic pull is out of sync, and it’s leading me all over the place.  More simply stated: I’m not liking the idea of change in my life.

How about you? How do you deal with change?

I’m particularly good at dealing with change by being anxious. I get anxious about the unknown future ahead of me when big changes could possibly happen. And instead of being able to be right in the moment…LIVE FOR THE MOMENT…I’m already 2, 000 miles ahead of myself saying…BUT WHAT IF…? But I know this isn’t always the healthiest way to deal…

For those of you who’ve been with me on this journey, you have probably noticed I write when I’m anxious. It really does center me. And I really need grounding when I’m feeling lost.

I always come up with things to help me:

  • My biggest help often is my faith…or at least turning to the Divine and remembering, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jer. 29:11).  These words are helpful to me, they are words that I turn to when I do feel lost or unsure.
  • Sometimes, it’s turning to Beauty, and Nature.
  • Sometimes it’s emotionally connecting to those I trust and Love.—being listened to, talking it out, recieving their points of view.
  • Sometimes it’s remembering how much my son &  pets trust that I will take care of them…and remembering that if my energy of love & care is being put into the universe, in return, I can only receive love and care back.

So, I want to say thank you to each of you, for sharing in my journey and for accompanying me with your support.

  • Where does your guidance come from when you are unsure of choices you have in front of you?
  • How do you discover which path to take?
I invite you to share your wisdom…it will be a gift to all those who search for answers like me.

For no one person can know all, that’s why we need each other, and have each other to share in the journey.–Bella Bleue

THANK YOU.

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™

Depression, Life

Getting Back in the Driver’s Seat

Do you ever get that feeling of being out of control? The kind of feeling you get when you are at the highest point of a roller-coaster and you drop completely out of the sky in a free-fall with no one to catch you?

I do.

It’s that feeling of being completely helpless and disconnected from reality—

It’s uncomfortable.

And yet as you walk through your day, you know only too well, this is your Life; it ‘s not a dream; you are wide awake and living.

When I used to get like this, I’d fall into that yucky pit of depression. But now I intentionally sit back, give myself some space from my life, and reflect—It is so important to give yourself permission to be removed from whatever it is that’s making you feel out of control—like today…I am grateful that my toddler son took a nap. I needed some “Me-time.”

WE ALL NEED ‘ME-TIME.’

Thankfully ‘Me-time’, provides space for reflection and gives me the distance I need to reconnect to myself, and realize, “Yes. Feeling like this isn’t any fun. And I don’t want to get stuck here. So how can I make a change? What can I do right now to get myself off the side of the road, and back into the driver’s seat of my life?”

I ask myself these questions:

  1. Why do I feel this way today?–I am feeling angry/sad because…. (these are the emotions that make me feel out of control…what are the emotions that make you feel out of control?
  2. It’s okay that I feel_____. (Affirm your feelings—they are a part of you—and nobody’s perfect!) But I don’t like feeling this way.  So how can I change the way I feel?
  3. I can change the way I feel by changing my state: I want to feel happy/good. What can I do to make these positive feelings real for me instead of the negative feelings I’m having?
  4. What are proactive things you can do for yourself that will help you feel the way you want to?

Then the answers start coming…For me, I need to write, when I’m feeling out of control. It grounds me. It re-centers me. It brings me back to my core.

This re-centering has helped me feel better now—I feel more like me again; I’m back in the driver seat of my life, and I can see where I’m going. No more free falls for today!

How about you? What are you going to do to help yourself feel better today/tonight?

And remember to give yourself that gift of  ‘ME-TIME’  

You deserve it!

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©
Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All rights reserved.

See related post by Reality In Progress

If you like what you read, and want a dose of a colorful daily inspiration Like my Facebook Page.

Inspiration, Life

Oh, Anxiety! Why Don’t You Just Leave Me Alone?!

I hate that feeling of anxiety. The kind of anxiety that is there when you go to bed and still there when you wake up. It’s that kind of anxiety that comes from uncertainty…the unknown.

I would love to create something that would just make it all go away….I guess I’d have to know the future then. And if that was the case then the enjoyment of creating my future would disappear, because I’d already know what was going to happen. Plus, I might not like what was going to happen. Or I might be too focused on the future excitement, that I would forget to live in the present moment and just enjoy being alive.

So maybe being anxious is what I’m stuck with.

MAYBE NOT!

Ok!

Breathe

So I’m not going to let the chronic anxiety take over. I’m going to be sensible and  just let life be.

Breathe

Let life be. But that’s what’s making me anxious.  So I’m going to do something!

Breathe

I’m not just going to sit by and let my life happen.

Breathe

 I’m going to do something about it!

Deep Breath.

I’m taking the time to pray and ask for some guidance…

My inspiration came from my husband this morning. I said, “I don’t know if I’ve got it in me to write my blog right now. I’m just not feeling that inspired. I’m worried about…” He replied, “Well, this is when you need to be writing the most. This is when you need to challenge yourself.” Okay…I’m challenging myself. And the funny thing is he was right. Writing about the hard stuff…unwanted feelings of anxiety…actually helps make the anxiety have less power. Writing forces the anxiety out. It doesn’t just sit right on top of my gut.  I think I will be better off today. Maybe I’ll be even more proactive because I’m not letting the feeling of anxiety control me. Instead I’m in control of my destiny. And I have the choice to determine how I’m going to feel about it.

So chronic anxiety, I’m dissing you today. I’m kindly asking you to leave, and if you don’t my other feelings of hope and inspiration are going to have another thing coming to you!

Be well all of you, and keep your head up.

It’s a new day!

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health, & Inspiration for Your Life™

Health

Healthy Living is Worth Laughing About!

Yesterday, I was tickling my son. His laughter rang through my ears, and actually caused me to start laughing too! He loves being tickled, and loves laughing! It’s amazing how fabulous laughing makes you feel! When I was starting to feel well after my long bout with post-partum depression, I sat down and watched, My Big Fat Greek Weddingand I started to laugh! Until the laughter started, I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I last laughed! And at the same moment, I realized how good I felt! And I stared laughing throughout the movie. And it seemed that after I laughed that night, I was finding things in my life to be happy about again!

It’s amazing how easily and readily children start laughing. Its a part of who they are. So…we were all children once upon a time, thus laughter is in our blood-literally! Children are spontaneous &  often do things in life that, we as adults, wouldn’t think twice about! Put your chocolate birthday cake all over yourself and smile about it!

 

Are you smiling yet?! Maybe even feeling a bit like a laugh could come along?

I know when we are stuck in a rut, or feeling depressed, its really challenging to just read along and change your state; so do something intentional to change your state:

  • Turn on a movie that’s always made you laugh,
  • Go on YouTube and search for something funny
  • If you have your own little one, laughing along with them while you tickle them.
  • Go out with friends, who always seem to laugh about something
  • Play with your dog or pet

Whatever it is that you discover to make you laugh, know that by laughing, you are making yourself healthier!

Laughter encourages health:

  • Laughter relaxes your whole body
  • it boosts your immune system
  • it releases endorphins–your body’s natural feel good chemicals
  • it protects your heart–protects your blood vessels and increases the flow of blood
  • For more medical support on laughter’s good effects, check out:

Give Your Body a Boost-With Laughter by WebMD

Stress Management: Laughter is Good for You 

So do something really wonderful for yourself and Laugh-Out-Loud! LOL!

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue


Copyright, the blog, Bella Bleue Healing Health and Inspiration for Your Life