Notes from my journal
January 12, 1998
I find myself in sad places, trying to make sense out of what has happened.
When I am in this state it is as if I’m in a pool of sadness, no energy flowing in or around me. It feels dead and lifeless. It’s no fun. I make myself stay in this place.
My first response is to get up and get out of it but I’m trying to look at sadness in the face. Look at it and identify every part of it. Maybe it’s the identification that is “making sense.” Maybe each day will be incrementally better. That’s what I’m betting on.
My goal is to sit in these “pools of sadness” so that one day I will find that the pool is dry and because of the sitting and careful attention, the ground will be fertile and new life will grow.
It is the process that is most important now. Paying attention everyday is what is important; mindfulness.
January 13, 1998
Sadness. Pools of sadness. It’s all over me and yet I’m so grateful to the Universe for loving me so much.
Sadness. It is a good and right place to be. Necessary. I must pass along this way to get to my freedom, true freedom. Maybe this sadness is the acceptance that this has happened, to accept this. I must touch it and the touching is feeling the sadness.
The pools of sadness are calm and quiet. They are not like the raging white waters I’ve been through last year. I feel as though I must bathe in them, get soaked by the sadness. I trust myself that I will get up and walk out of the pool and let go. But first I have to accept.
This is a necessary place to be. I have to tell myself this or I will move on. That’s my nature, move on to the good feelings.
January 14, 1998
Pools of sadness. I’ve noticed that choosing the word to use can put me in a different place to stand. The struggle to freedom or a journey to freedom? It can change my mindset and how I view the process; positive or negative.
When I think of this pool of sadness, it’s not a bad or scary place. It’s a place of warm waters, healing waters that are running over me, washing me, healing me. This place is not familiar to me and there is no other person with me but there is a loving presence. I know that I am safe and loved.
This place is new to me and so I’m not real sure about it. My tendency has been to look away from pain and sadness and run towards the good feelings. Accept this reality. Bathe in this reality so that I can let go.
February 12, 2018
I recently went back and found these three separate entries from my journals and was intrigued by them. These entries were made a year after JMF had left me. It is also about 2 months before I first heard about Conscious Discipline®.
Angry, scared and sad came to visit me in 1997 and 1998.
So how would I know how to handle angry, scared or sad?
I didn’t know how to handle these feelings because my parents didn’t believe that feelings were important. My Mom would say to me to “wipe those feelings off your face.” That’s the way it was back in the 1950’s. You can’t teach something that you don’t know. So I had no idea of what to do in 1997 and 1998 with these big feelings.
Thankfully my therapist, SL, encouraged me to journal in January 1997. Journalling had become a way of life by 1998. Journaling was my friend! Baring my soul and becoming real to myself felt good and right. This is how I became friends with my feelings. I began to accept these feelings so that I could slowly feel the feeling and let go. And this was was the sweet spot; becoming friends with sad and allowing myself to sit with sad.
It has taken me years to identify how my Mom dealt with my feelings. She ignored them! I learned how to ignore my feelings at the feet of the ultimate ignorer of feelings. Here is a link to some videos that have helped me to identify how my Mom handled my feelings.
So here are my friends from 1997.
1998 was the time for sad to come and be with me, comfort me; become my friend.
As of today sad isn’t gone entirely. I believe that’s called life. Sad comes to visit on holidays, birthdays and sometimes unexpectedly. I am learning to welcome sad and tell myself that I am safe and that I am loved. I’m learning that feelings are like the weather; feelings come and go. The weather forecast tells me what to wear. My feelings are my emotional guidance system and tell me what to do. I am going to be honest! I really don’t like sad but at least I can welcome sad into my life; give myself permission to sit and be with sad and know that I can handle it.
What resonated with you as you read from my journal entries from January 1998? Pools of sadness were a recurring theme in 1998. What are your stories? How did your parents handle your big feelings when you were growing up? Are you able to sit with angry, scared and sad and welcome them into your life? What would it take to become friends with angry, scared and sad? How would becoming friends with them change the trajectory of your life? What is your sweet spot?