When Nothing Makes Me Feel Better

The last few weeks have been a slow roller coaster.  My moods have traveled up and down, and longer in the downs.  This week I’ve settled, a blessed relief.

I could list the reasons, but it’s easier to simply list ‘life’.

I am exactly like my son when he was five years old.

It was a tough day at school (kindergarten is not always easy), and he came home angry.  He didn’t want to talk, and he bashed his way around the house until I became angry too.  Better we separate when we’re both angry.  I told him to go to his room. I stayed in the kitchen.

I listened as he stomped away, as his door slammed, as the noise and activity level in his bedroom peaked, then quieted.

After a few minutes, concern and curiosity led me down the hallway.  I knocked on his door, then opened it.

He looked at me, mourning written all over him.  “Mom, I’ve tried everything and nothing makes me feel better.”

The evidence of his effort lay all around him, on the floor and the bed.  Toys, Lego pieces, stuffed animals, his favourite blanket.  He had tried so hard.  My upset dissolved in an instant.

Love is what I gave my precious son that day, and received love back.  We sat on his bed and hugged, held hands, talked about nothing important.  We had all the time in the world.

I’ve tried and nothing makes me feel better–I know that place.

Luckily, I am now old enough I’ve learned what to do.

I don’t push the feelings away.  I don’t try to make myself better.  I’m upset for a reason and my feelings are broadcasting what and why.  I need to feel and listen, so I do.  I put on music, or let the house be silent , wrap myself in my favourite blanket, cocoon myself on the couch, become still.  An hour or a day, I feel and listen.  I treat myself gently, a precious being broken and hurting and needing love.

Love is what I give myself when I am hurting and needing.  Love and all the time in the world.  Love fills the cracks and mends the breaks.  Love tells me I am something precious, and makes me whole again.

My son doesn’t remember that day, but I do always.  He gave me the most perfect gift of feeling and understanding what keeps us whole.  Love.  Love.  Love.  Love.

________________

In this post:

I didn’t always know how to love myself.  I still forget sometimes, but each time the gap is smaller.  Dee Wallace’s Red Dot Exercise is one of the things that helped me learn what unconditional self-love feels like. 

My experience doing the Red Dot Exercise is here on my blog, postings from December 23 and 24, 2014:

Dee’s website is at https://iamdeewallace.com/

Beautiful Lady

Old Coyote Trick (standing out) - detail
Old Coyote Trick (standing out) – detail

We share a home with another couple. Upstairs downstairs. We’re the downstairs pair.

The upstairs pair headed out yesterday. Holidays. We’re caring for their place while they’re gone and, more important, caring for Lady.

Lady is a rescue dog. A beauty, both inside and outside. All black but for a medallion of white at her heart, and white at her chin and nose. Age marking her. Her head reaches above my hip when she leans against me, hoping for treats.

We are part of Lady’s pack. She loves nothing better than when all her pack is together, talking, laughing. She goes from one of us to the next, collecting maximum head and back and belly rubs. She, a lady of venerable age, becomes all puppy when this happens. Dancing on our toes, thumping against our legs. Tongue hanging out in sloppy dog laughter. Love and perfect joy.

Our upstairs friends are the alphas of Lady’s pack. Her true loves. Her rescuers. Lady pines for them when they are away.

She lets us distract her with our love, attention, treats, walks, and rubs. And then she goes back to the front deck, or the upstairs door, or the end of the grass by the road. Watching. Waiting.

I watch her from our front window. Lady at her vigil. My heart is heavy for her. I know that vigil and that aloneness. I would take away her pain, if I could.

I can’t.

They’ll be back soon, I tell her.

I rub her head, her soft chest, her back and belly. Give her two treats. Give her my heart. Watch her walk back to the end of the grass and sit down.

Beautiful Lady, they’ll be back soon. I promise.

Mirroring Love

Coyote Sings to a Broken World - detail
Coyote Sings to a Broken World – detail

This morning I look into the mirror and what do I see?

I see love.  I see big, fat, wonderful, cushiony love.  I see care.  I see kindness.  I see compassion.  I see forgiveness.  Passion.  Joy.  Play.  Love in all its shapes.

I never realized love had so many faces.  I could have guessed.  I know love is Source,  everything, all.

The version of love I have been is not like this.  It’s limited, conditional.  I’ll love you if you’ll love me.  You love me first, and I’ll control the situation and decide if I want to love you back.  If you love me enough or in a specific way (which you have to guess), I’ll love you too.

This is not love.  This is being closed and cautious and afraid of getting hurt.  This is not actually loving you here in front of me, and not loving myself either.

I am discovering that if I love myself, no conditions on it, it is easy to love the other person, you.  When I love myself unconditionally, my love spills over into the space around me.  Yes, the space where you are standing.  And then you feel love, too.

I love love.  It never runs away or runs out.  It’s always here when I open to it.  Constant.  Waiting for me.  I open to love, and it hugs me back fiercely.  So excited, so happy I am here too, and let’s play!  Love as a four-year-old child sharing all in her toy box.

Unconditional love mirrors me.  It shows me the true me.  It makes me the true me, when I stand in love and only love.  Other things—judgment, limits, holding back, hiding, control—cannot root here or live here.  They need something to push against in order to exist, and love gives no resistance.  They try to push against love, assert themselves, and instead they fall through and away.

In the mirror of love, I see you and me as we truly are.  I see all we have to offer.  The best.

Bright shining stars.  This is us.  In love’s mirror.