Feeling Pretty Good – or am I deluding myself?

Hi everyone. I realize I haven’t posted in about a month. Nothing wrong, just busy with life and feeling better than I have in a very long time. Have I reached a state of some sort of balance? I sure hope so. I still don’t have a job, but the search continues. 

With my BPD seeming under control, I’ve begun examining my weight issues. I haven’t been thin for twenty years … I don’t seem to be able to “diet” so I started looking at emotional underpinnings of my weight. What might happen is I lost weight and was thin again? Scary thought!

I’ve always had a fear of abandonment – that my husband would decide that he no longer wanted to be with me, and then I would be ALONE. I was doing a writing assignment that asked what I might be afraid of if I lost the weight or what it might be protecting me from. I talked it through with a friend and had some realizations: 

When I was thin, men paid A LOT more attention to me. During a time when things weren’t very close between my husband and myself, this lead to a situation I’m not proud of and felt very guilty about. SHAME. Would that happen again? Would it bring about the abandonment that I fear so strongly? Would he not want to be with me? Or me him? God, I hope not! I love my husband deeply and sincerely. Either way, they are thoughts that are difficult to voice and even harder to try and answer. 

I also had an experience this past weekend that I didn’t like seeing … my full body in a mirror (as opposed to just my head and shoulders in the bathroom mirror.) I was at a yoga and meditation retreat on Sunday. An hour and a half of gentle yoga, 45 minutes of mindfulness meditation, lunch, repeat. As the day was ending, I saw myself in the mirror and was horrified at how huge I am, not just compared to the others in attendance either. My mind’s view of myself is so different, night and day. I should have been clued in by how much flexibility I’ve lost and how much harder some things are to do these days. But denial has been deep. I could barely hold back from breaking into tears at what I saw  – the truth. And the truth hurts. 

Even though my mental state is better than it has been in years, I have build up a, literally, huge wall around myself over the past twenty years – since treatment for bulimia and coming clean to my husband about myself. So now what do I do? I want my body to reflect the person I see in my mind’s eye, not a wallowing body of whatever I may be hiding or hiding from. But how? And who will support me in THIS journey? 

As I discussed the writing question, mentioned above, with my friend, she challenged me. She observed how analytical I get about myself. It’s an endless chatter in my head that I haven’t been able to stop. I can do words really well. I’ve mentioned that to more than one counselor. I know the things to say. It’s the doing that I have trouble with. 

Anyways, that’s where I’m at right now. Thanks for reading and helping me get back into my blog. 

I usually try to include a picture with each post. I don’t want to add another one of me though. This one is of an orchid rock rose growing in my garden. I think it’s beautiful. The petals are like tissue paper and only last a day. 

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Loving Kindness Towards Oneself

I’d like to thank Jaen Wirefly for this post. Heartfelt thanks.

I’ve been posting about my weaning off of medications and how I’ve begun meditating. Jaen has offered a lot of support and encouraged me to watch some monk videos on YouTube ( http://www.youtube.com/user/BuddhistSocietyWA ) to help with stress. I subscribed to the page and scrolled through until I came upon one titled “Loving Kindness Towards Oneself.” As I began watching it, I started to cry, listening to the message.

Bhikkhuni Hasapanna talks about skillful ways to give loving kindness to oneself, in meditation and in practice, with many examples from her own life. Be an island, a refuge unto yourself. The teacher can only teach the way. Ultimately, we can only free ourselves.

For those of us with BPD, fear of abandonment is huge. We don’t want to be left by those we love. The lost child. This video helped me to understand that I need to unconditionally love myself. I am my priority. I want others to take care of me, to love me – because I don’t feel lovable and able to able to take care of myself. But I also know that I have the knowledge within me to go forward. I have the love already, because I know that I love others. I know how to take care of others, my family, my pets. For some reason I fear to depend on that love and knowledge for myself. When it comes down to it, I am all that I have every minute of the day from birth to death.

I’m tired of believing in and giving so much less to myself than I do to others. Maybe, just maybe, if I am kinder and more loving to myself I won’t be so upset and looking for it elsewhere in the world. Kind of sounds like the good witch Glenda’s advice to Dorothy at the end of the movie in “The Wizzard of Oz.”

I believe that as I continue with meditation I will find more of this. My body, my mind, my home, my island, my refuge. Peace.

Synchronize

 

Synchronize mind and body. A new card. New meaning, new hope.

 

When you are completely mindful in the present moment, mind and body are synchronized. Here, synchronizing mind and body is connected with developing fearlessness, in the sense of being accurate and direct in relating to the phenomenal world. That fearless vision reflects on you as well: it affects how you see yourself. You begin to realize that you have a perfect right to be in this universe. You have looked and you have seen, and you don’t have to apologize for being born on this earth. You can uplift yourself and appreciate your existence as a human being. This discovery is the first glimpse of what is called the Great Eastern Sun, which is the sun of human dignity, the sun of human power. 

 

This was such an affirmation for me! I have a right to be here. I don’t have to apologize (to myself or anyone else) for being born or feel bad about being born. And if I have a  right to be here, then perhaps there is a REASON I am here, there is good to come from my presence even if I don’t see it or feel it. Regardless of diagnosis, labels, disabilities, or what I have thought and done to myself, there is dignity and power in my humanness.

 

As I continue to work on my meditation and mindfulness,  I will remember this. As I achieve greater mindfulness, perhaps there will also come moments of peace, hope and joy for my life.

 

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Clouds on a summer day

Go Beyond Fear

Fear

Fear (Photo credit: Susi Watson)

As I was sitting at my laptop responding to comments and catching up on reading blogs, I happened to see my Shambhala cards and realized I hadn’t pulled one out in quite awhile. I had been posting a few of them months ago. They seemed relevant as points to ponder; for me at least. So, pausing in my blog readings, I picked up the box and pulled out the next card, #10 … Go beyond fear.

OK, my attention has been caught! I have been struggling, as I have been meditating over the last couple of days, because there is some kind of blockage that I know is caused by fear. That fear is on top of my always ongoing fear of abandonment, loss, and a whole slew of other bits and pieces that basically have made me afraid of truly enjoying life. Go beyond fear.

I turn the card over to read the commentary.

“When you examine your fear, if you look beneath the veneer of your nervousness, you find sadness.” OMG! This is me! How many times has my husband told me that he wishes I could be happy and that he doesn’t think I ever will be. “Nervousness is cranking up, vibrating all the time. When you slow down, when you relax with your fear, the sadness is calm and gentle. In the Shambhala tradition, discovering fearlessness comes from working with the softness of the human heart.” 

I am getting reading to do my meditation; the same one that I have struggled with for the past few days. My hope is that, after having read this card and reflecting on it, I will make more progress today. I have always thought that fear was at the base of my emotions. It is a new thought to think that the fear actually masks sadness. But it makes sense for what else would be the balance to happiness other than sadness? Yin and Yang.

Meditation and the uprising

I’ve been trying to meditate several times a week lately. I enjoy it as a time of relaxation and calming of my mind and senses. There are several guided meditations that I’ve used, but the one I’ve focussed on most lately is: “Awakening Kundalini Meditation” by Kelly Howell. Usually, I feel very good and relaxed as the meditation opens up various areas of my body. At one point, energy is sent up the spine towards the head.

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Yesterday, that upward push of energy was totally blocked and was almost painful. I felt very anxious throughout it. Instead of energy massaging my brain positively, I felt a churning cauldron of colors locked in my gut. The energy would go no higher than that. Fractured images of faces – not positive ones – appeared and disappeared in my mind’s eye. I found waiting and wanting the meditation to be over with.

English: Diagram of chakras and Kundalini in a...

English: Diagram of chakras and Kundalini in a human being Italiano: Diagramma dei chakra e della Kundalini in un essere umano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve never experienced this with meditation before. Is it connected with my weaning off of mood medications? My hope is that by continuing to work through and stay with the meditations, I will be able to stay grounded and flow with the energy, not blocking it. Something is trying to happen within me. Perhaps the meditation will keep me breathing and give me a path to turn to when I’d rather turn to negativity, rage, cutting, burning, hiding in my head and hating myself. I need to follow this uprising of feeling – even though it doesn’t feel so good. That’s exactly why I need to do it. Enlightenment.

I’m re-blogging this because of a comment discussion with Jaen Wirefly after she posted it. I have difficulty being mindful because I can’t keep my attention on it. Jaen suggested that ADHD may be common (in her opinion) with those with BPD. As I see the truth of it in myself – though undiagnosed – I’m wondering how many others also see that in themselves also. So this post is somewhat of an informal survey. If you have BPD, do you also feel you have ADD or ADHD? I’d also appreciate any comments you have regarding it and mindfulness and/or mindfulness meditation meditation. I keep trying it but have difficulty keeping my attention on it if I am sitting (the more well know way.) Jaen has suggested I try walking mindfulness. I’m going to give it a try! Have you tried either?

Feel the earth beneath bare feet.