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Comfort in My Process

I don’t like being misunderstood. My self esteem and confidence seem to leak out the bottoms of my shoes when a comment is made that completely misses the gist of my sentiment. Who is it I am trying to impress?

I have had a lifelong relationship with misunderstanding. As a child, being misunderstood meant judgment and punishment. As a young adult, misunderstood meant waste of time, hurt and end of relationship. After years of practice, my voice has grown louder. I stand straighter and stronger.

I’m still practicing using my voice to represent the essence of me. Some days I am strong, articulate and direct. Other days I am challenged and triggered by the world around me, and hear the still small voice in hiding.

I am a work in progress.

I realize it is all about safety – feeling safe in an unsafe world. As I continue to build the strong foundation I stand on, my safety is less an issue. I abandon myself less. I trust myself more. I am listening for what I need and providing it if I can. Yet there are times I feel the yank in my stomach when someone responds to me completely missing my intent.

I get to choose my reaction now. I can assess whether it’s worth the effort to express my intent standing on my soapbox or let it go and know I am okay. I am safe. I am safe.

I take it one step further still—I offer me comfort when I feel the yank.

Comforting the yank is a recipe only I can create. Patience lines the basket along with sounds that ease me and colors that soothe. Warmth comes in from a soft blanket and above all else a soft loving presence. Sometimes it’s my bed; sometimes it’s the couch; sometimes it’s a book; sometimes it’s a walk.

I’m still practicing my voice to represent the essence of me. My voice has grown louder. I stand straighter and stronger. I am in process in my progress.

"at some point you have to sit with yourself and learn who you are. you have to take responsibility for the way you’ve been treating yourself and the way you’ve allowed others to break you down. you have to go back to wherever you abandoned your love for self - thinking that someone’s love for you is more important than your own - and pick you back up! you have to ask yourself, “why do I treat others better than I treat my own self?” then you have to accept yourself.. because at the end of the day, the only person who’s forced to deal with the broken pieces of you, is you. don’t fault yourself for any of the past - just accept who you are today. accept your truths, your hurt, and your heart. and finally, you have to love YOU. love every piece of you - and never ever let anyone come in and damage you again. Heal your heart and Protect yourself better." Reyna Biddy, from Read Poetry

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Thank you. I really liked the line “I am in process in my progress.” I usually don’t hear those two words together, but it made me stop and think in my meditation. If I am in process, I am not doing all the work. I am present, I am engaged, I am surrendering or I am working hard at it. But it is all of that together. I am participating, I am in process in my progress. Progress is with achieving, you are pushing, setting goals, achieving, making progress. I like to think that it’s all of those things that make our progress.

  • Thank you. I get infuriated when I feel misunderstood or not heard. One of the things that has helped me is the Four Agreements. One of them says to be impeccable with your word, and say what you mean. I used to think people would know what I meant. I’ve been learning to speak up about what I need and how I feel. I’ve had this voice condition for 25 years and that’s been a process for me. Another agreement is to not make assumptions. That one is huge because I would assume people are doing things or are hurting me because of some reason. I learned to ask questions to avoid that misunderstanding. I love those. Another one is always do your best. My best changes when I’m feeling good. Like you said, I can get triggered and those feelings can ooze out. I can be hard on myself. Always do our best. It’s a process. It’s nice to have a safe place to process.

  • Thank you so much. That was powerful. It got me thinking and it describes my process of learning to love myself and accept myself over the last many years. I always wanted someone to take care of me. I had to learn to take care of myself through therapy. I’m facing tomorrow. It’s the first Thanksgiving I can do whatever I want. I’m in charge of my dinner. It’s a novel idea to me. I’ve always let other people take care of me. I will make Thanksgiving the way I want it. It’s different, it’s good for me. Taking care of myself and the choices I want. Put effort into it, an intent of being loving towards myself and taking care of myself. I deserve it.

  • I found myself thinking about the fact that taking care of myself actually is a good thing to do. I need to unhook from resenting the fact that sometimes I need to do things I wish that significant others would do for me. I have to let that go. If I want that, it’s my job to get it or to find it or create it and not say ‘you should have’ or ‘why didn’t you?’

  • I think there’s a step further: feeling the feelings of being let down or disappointed. We don’t have to punish ourselves by denying what we want. They are two separate things.

  • That was always a hot thing around my birthday. I felt that people would know what I want, and then I’d always be disappointed.

  • Birthdays are classic things. Over time, in my process, I realized no one was going to make me a birthday cake. I finally came to the realization that if I want a birthday cake, I could go out and buy one for myself. One year, I was so mad about it, I asked the bakery to write my name with a birthday wish on the cake. That was taking it to the next level. Sometimes, even though I wish it was some different way, I’ve learned that there are things that I just have to accept the way they are. And if we want something, get it for ourselves. Over the years I’ve learned, if I want those things, maybe I can go buy them myself.

  • I’ve learned to discern who I am willing to battle with over being misunderstood. Last night, we had an airing of We Did It For You!, and I was sharing on the chat afterwards. Someone responded to me in a way I felt misunderstood. I took the comment to bed with me and woke up completely misunderstood. It was a stranger that said the comment. I have to let it go. If it’s an issue in here, something out there will make it stick. That’s something I have to work on. That’s my little rant.

  • I loved your little rant. The reading took me to a place of recognizing presently one of the ways I am really being present with myself in a loving and caring way. I had other thoughts as well. I wanted to share that it was so comforting how I was with myself. For the last few days, when I awaken in the morning, I’ve had excruciating pain in my lower back. I have to get out of bed, use the bathroom, get ice, take a hot shower. Thinking about being in pain and how I get up to the bathroom and back to bed is what I was taken with. While I am in that process, I am saying things to myself in a loving and helpful way, totally surrendering to whatever I’m needing and supporting it, not beating myself up about it. I could keep crying and wincing and expressing the pain. But whatever I do, I have to move. I was able to be with that piece of me that totally feels helpless and wants someone to help me. I’m it and I’m appreciating that I’m it. Being the loving presence that I want.

  • Thank you for the reading. Yesterday was my last day with my client that I let go of. That was about taking care of myself. I needed to let go and I experienced a lot of grief and guilt. I almost reversed my decision. At the end of the shift, I got a message that a new client appeared who feels safer. Already it feels right. I realized that yes, I am making decisions and taking care of myself, and I feel so supported by the synchronicity. I feel like there is a lot of support around this new client appearing. I want to acknowledge all the spirits and angels. I feel like I am not alone. I am held.

  • Thank you. I still have my husband’s truck and it sits. The battery dies because I don’t use it. This week, I tried to move it and the battery was dead. I can’t jump it from my electric car. I thought I could call neighbors to help. It bothered me. So I got a tiny battery pack that I could use to jump the truck. Something about spending $50 so that I can feel like, no matter what happens with that truck, I can start it any time I want. Everything trickles down to my mother. I have a memory of her dragging me up the steps of the school to be confronted for something I did. I was very aware that she didn’t have my back. I never learned to ask, not only from people outside, I also never learned to ask from the inside. My recovery has been a process of learning to ask and learning to receive. Also, learning to discern what do I ask of myself that I can provide, and what do I need to ask of others for them to provide for me. Through the meditation, I was thinking of something as simple as joining a group like this is such a way to honor and acknowledge that I need additional support and inspiration. You guys provide that.

  • I waited too long to think of my own needs this Thanksgiving. I thought about neighbors and friends. In the back of my mind, it occurred to me that I would be alone for Thanksgiving and what did I want. I decided I want a Thanksgiving meal. The neighborhood coop was making meals but I called too late to order one. It was a lesson to me not to wait til the last minute to think of what I need. I found another place that can fulfill my Thanksgiving ritual. It was a lesson in taking care of myself, to not wait til the last minute.

  • Thank you for receiving my words, spending time listening with your heart, and choosing to be patient with yourself. There’s such an inspiration here as we share and witness. Thank you for being here. We’ll be here tomorrow. I hope you all have a gentle day, however it’s defined. We can define what we need and give it to ourselves and be grateful. Best to you.

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