Cultivating Love: Being Kind to Ourselves

Discussion in 'Family of Origin' started by New Leaf, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    In posts here it is written, and I have written it myself-
    "Take care, be very kind to yourself, you have value, you matter."

    The holidays this year had me going through this process of feeling stuck, I went through this numb feeling, as the debacle of my situation bore down on me without my two d cs.

    How to carry on and have joy?

    I have detached physically, but somehow there is this void now and then.
    The holiday seemed to magnify the void and a kind of feeling of emotional paralysis set in.

    Putting on some Christmas music and setting up the tree and decorations helped to lift my mood a bit, but there was still this underlying lingering of- nothingness?

    Now that the New Year approaches, there is a yearning to start fresh, to build, to lift up and move away from the intensity of this nothingness feeling. It is entirely too yucky to stay here.

    So, I thought, I am not being kind to myself.

    2016, a new year. New beginnings..........

    It is so important to love others, but I do believe it is equally important to have feelings of self worth, develop self care, build self confidence and self esteem.

    Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you......
    If we are not kind to ourselves, have a measure of self respect, are others able to be kind, to respect us?

    How are we to be kind and giving to others, if we do not take care of ourselves?

    On a similar thread, Cedar shared this quote:
    “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”
    Thích Nhất Hạnh

    I love the thought that doing something simply, with slow intention, being present, is being kind to ourselves. Thank you Cedar

    I found this article (I might have pasted before, or others may have)
    I thought it had some good ideas.

    Copa introduced us to Iris Apfel

    I just LOVE her, she is completely herself...Thank you Copa

    At the end of the clip they asked her for three words to define her approach to life

    "ONLY ONE TRIP.....might as well live it up." Iris has also done a huge amount of charity work.

    Serenity shared this with me
    Thank you Serenity, I think this is so true, when we give back, we are helping ourselves heal, we are being kind to ourselves, by giving to others.

    All of you folks here on CD, have been so kind and loving, giving of yourselves to comfort others on similar journeys.....ending many posts with "Be very kind to yourself......."

    What are your thoughts on being kind to yourselves? What does that mean for you?

  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Meditation: Be Kind to Yourself

    A three-step contemplation to give yourself the compassion you need (and deserve).
    1. Put both hands on your heart, pause, and feel their warmth. You can also put your hand anyplace on your body that feels soothing and comforting, like your belly or face.
    2. Breathe deeply in and out.
    3. Speak these words to yourself, out loud or silently, in a warm and caring tone:
    This is a moment of suffering.
    Suffering is a part of life.May I be kind to myself in this moment.May I give myself the compassion I need.

    The first phrase, This is a moment of suffering, is designed to bring mindfulness to the fact that you’re in pain. Other possible wordings are I’m having a really tough time right now, This hurts, or anything that describes the suffering you are experiencing.

    The second phrase, Suffering is a part of life, reminds you that imperfection is part of the shared human experience. Other possible wordings are Everyone feels this way sometimes, This is part of being human, etc.

    The third phrase, May I be kind to myself in this moment, helps bring a sense of caring concern to your present-moment experience. Other possible wordings are May I love and support myself right now, May I accept myself as I am, etc.

    The final phrase, May I give myself the compassion I need, firmly sets your intention to be self-compassionate. You might use other words such as May I remember that I am worthy of compassion, May I give myself the same compassion I would give to a good friend, etc.

    Find the wordings for these four phrases that are the most comfortable for you and memorize them. Then, the next time you judge yourself or have a difficult experience, you can use these phrases as a way of reminding yourself to be self-compassionate. This practice is a handy tool to soothe and calm troubled states of mind.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is beautiful. Thank you, Leafie. Sometimes we are the hardest on us when we should be the kindest, no?
  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Yes we are, and really we are our own caretakers. Maybe we didn't learn to love and be kind to ourselves as children, but now is a good time to start.
    Thank you Serenity,
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank YOU, Leafie :) I don't always do good t hings for myself. I hurt myself when I check up on Sis...that is something I am determined to stop because each time I do it, it is a win for her and she is hoovering and drawing me in again and it is hurting me. That's my biggest challenge in being nice to me. I also can really beat myself up when I'm down...worse than anyone

    We do need to be our own best friends, not our own worst enemies, right? Sometimes it's hard, but I'm trying ;)
  6. SeaGenieTx

    SeaGenieTx Active Member

    Being kind to yourself should be priority. Like today I am nursing my wounds after Difficult Child used and abused me for the last time. Spending the day kinda in a daze after last night's ordeal with my ungrateful mean son. I learned a huge lesson trying once again to be kind towards my son to just be kicked I'm the gut so - I'm taking the day to gather my thoughts a bit and be kind to myself, recover mentally and prepare for the work week.
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  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    You know SWOT being sensitive and empaths, makes this all a bit trickier. I think people don't realize the burden of over-feeling. It is a blessing, and a curse, as we have to sift through the intense feelings, push past stuff we shouldn't even own, and work from there............. It is even harder, with a difficult past, all of the negative tapes, makes us more inclined to think self care = selfish.
    There is nothing further from the truth. We do have to learn to be more positive and kind to ourselves, don't be overly critical of our mistakes, and forgive ourselves, the way we do others. I am caught in self bashing too many times, "that was so stupid......I am so clumsy".......whereas, if someone near me tripped, even a stranger, I would be saying to them "Are you okay?" Helping them up, etc., etc.
    I think it is a good resolution to be kinder to ourselves. If we have compassion for ourselves, I think we will be able to be even more compassionate towards others.
    I hope we are both able to overcome our biggest challenge, being nice to ourselves!
    Thank you, Serenity. :angel:
  8. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Sea, thank you for your reply. Yes, I agree, it should be a priority. Especially for those of us dealing with d c's. We are often targets of verbal abuse, manipulation, etc., etc., and this can be so draining. I am glad you have this day, before your work week begins, to unwind and gather your thoughts. It is hard when stuff happens and we have to trudge through work, trying to keep our minds off of stuff.
    I guess that is a part of being kind to ourselves, processing and unloading the absolute junk we go through.
    I hope your day is peaceful Sea, you deserve a nice break from all the hoo-hah.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Leafie, I don't think I'm an Empath. I looked it up and it didn't really fit me. I do care about others maybe too much (like stuffing money into beggar's cups even knowing they will probably not use it properly), but I can also get ticked if somebody trips me and think, "Huh????" I *am* uber sensitive to everything, which gives me almost an extra sense, like a six sense about situations.

    It is a battle to do what is in our own best interests, but if we don'[t, who will??
  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh, SWOT, I think I was going off of an older post from FOO, (I have been reviewing the work you folks have done ) where you had thought you were....but you know what...the uber sensitivity and sixth sense fits. I think there are varying degrees, like anything are right about the battle....if we don't look out for ourselves....who else will? I think it applies a lot with our d c's. If we allow them to take advantage of us....they will.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Leafie (just finished watching one football game and it ended up wrong...ugh!) anyway...Empaths are very much feelers of the outside and others. I do care much about others, especially those who are at a disadvantage. This affects the causes I care about and the candidates I vote for (never conservative). But I'm much more inward and think and think and ruminate and figure things out and am very much in my own head. That does not mean I take good care of myself. I don't. I treat others better than I treat me, although i do overreact to others who treat me badly (that's not an empath). But really the only peeps who have repeatedly treated me badly are those in my FOO. But the part about being outward oriented just isn't me.

    A lot of what an Empath is fits me, but that part doesn't. I am mostly an introvert/ambivert (both could fit...I like to be around people, but not too much and not in crowds) and I am a deep thinker. Therefore I could be in my own thoughts and miss somebody tripping altogether. If I saw, I'd jump up and offer assistance right away, but sometimes I'm just too into my own mind. But the part about instinctively feeling things...that does fit.
    I have a friend from way back who also has a lot of innate insight, which we call "the sixth sense." We have spoken often about this sixth sense and have bantered about whether it's an asset to us or a curse. It would be so much easier to just take everything at face value and not see behind the innocent words...are you like that too?
    I wish I had not read my mother's animosity toward me so early in my childhood. I wish I could have taken everything with less intensity. Oh, well.

    Thanks for getting me to think yet again :)
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Serenity, it is not normal for one sister to invade the other's privacy. If she were to send a beautiful card, if she were willing to back off and start fresh and make amends for the embarrassing behaviors in her would still need to think long and hard about letting your sister back into your heart. Instead of taking responsibility for her actions, your sister is stalking you again. It isn't that all contact, forever, would be wrong. It's that your sister is not behaving in ways that are sincere ad on some level you know it. The sister lucky enough to have you in her life Serenity needs to be a sister wonderful enough that you feel lucky to have her in your life, too.

    That may happen, someday?

    But there is no indication at all that Sister is sincere right now.

    It is normal for you to wonder about her Serenity. You have a generous heart. I will be happy once you are strong enough again to begin your volunteer work, again.

    There are people in the world who really do need you, Serenity. You can make such a difference in their lives. If your sister is back in your life, she will twist everything around like she did before.

    Your sister is not behaving toward you as someone who deserves to have you in her life would behave.

    No cheating...remember when you told us how important it was that we not cheat? Our hearts are too soft. We are vulnerable to the sisters because we do love them.

    Their behaviors toward us indicate they do not love us.

    Do you remember when we discovered, "Pray for their peace and therein, find our own."?

    That helps me, when I feel so puzzled about how this could be happening.

    Remember in the movie Forrest Gump? And Bubba says: "Why'd this happen, Forrest?" And Forrest says: "You got shot, Bubba." It's like that with us and our families of origin I think. I can't figure out how these terrible things happened, either.

    Sometimes, I think about that scene from Forrest Gump.

    Your sister called the police on you Serenity to humiliate you in your old town and to destroy your reputation in your new town.

    Whatever it is she is doing...she called the police on you, Serenity. People just don't do things like that. Nor do they push their siblings into pounding on their doors without answering, or putting them on "No Contact" until they want to hoover on over and stir a little something up.

    But your sister has done all those things.

  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Ok, this is a good discussion because I think part of being kind to ourselves is recognizing who we are. Inside and out.
    Yes, from what I have read this is true. But, it can be blocked. In fact there are websites that help folks achieve this. It is hard walking this earth, absorbing energies that do not belong to us. Okay, this is going to get a little weird, because I am just learning about empaths. I has always thought that I was
    "highly sensitive" but the more I read, the more I wonder. Like I said earlier, I think there are different degrees of this. Like babies, Serenity, they are born with a hyper sensitivity to their surroundings. I think it is a survival instinct, and some of us lose, or retain parts of this, depending on our make up, environment, and so forth.
    I am a ruminator as well. It can be overmuch. I think it is because I was alone so much growing up. This overreaction to others who treat you badly, what is it If I may ask I am somewhat the opposite, as I am too forgiving, and have to be careful, not to be a rug, or even apologize when I am not in the wrong......

    Same here. I can spend a lot of time alone, actually need to be alone, but am okay in groups (I have to deal with large groups, coaching kids.)

    I can be that too, just looking like I am off in a daze, but thinking, thinking, it is like "what just happened". Yes, lost in thought. The instinct part, it can be eery at times.

    It does feel that it can be both, I agree.

    Yes, unfortunately. I don't always listen to it, and regret it later. I do not want to judge others. I think it came as a "training", from sis. I could never really trust her words, her motive. Still can't, there is always something more than meets the eye there......... Unfortunately, too, sometimes I misread, "behind the words" and start to internalize, analyze, I go beyond the nth degree......... My problem is, I usually blame myself........This for me is cyclical, moon phases affect me, so I have to be careful, when I am in a "phase". It is usually better for me not to be around people. This is also when I am at my most creative.

    You know Serenity, you are a kind and loving person. You are working towards using your experience to help others, you already are. You have had a hard life, but I wonder about this sometimes, too, if the hard life is a form of training, like your post about embracing the mat........
    So, empath, or highly sensitive..... here is what I found on empaths....see how many traits you check off.
    Here are 30 of the most common traits:

    1. Knowing: Empaths just know stuff, without being told. It’s a knowing that goes way beyond intuition or gut feelings, even though that is how many would describe the knowing. The more attuned they are the stronger this gift becomes. *

    2. Being in public places can be overwhelming: Places like shopping malls, supermarkets or stadiums where there are lots of people around can fill the empath with turbulently vexed emotions that are coming from others. *

    3. Feeling others emotions and taking them on as your own: This is a huge one for empaths. To some they will feel emotions off those near by and with others they will feel emotions from those a vast distance away, or both. The more adept empath will know if someone is having bad thoughts about them, even from great distance. *

    4. Watching violence, cruelty or tragedy on the TV is unbearable: The more attuned an empath becomes the worse it is and may make it so they eventually have to stop watching TV and reading newspapers altogether.*

    5. You know when someone is not being honest: If a friend or a loved one is telling you lies you know it (although many empaths try not to focus on this because knowing a loved one is lying can be painful). Or if someone is saying one thing but feeling/thinking another, you know.*

    6. Picking up physical symptoms off another: An empath will almost always develop the ailments off another (colds, eye infections, body aches and pains) especially those they’re closest to, somewhat like sympathy pains.*

    7. Digestive disorders and lower back problems: The solar plexus chakra is based in the centre of the abdomen and it’s known as the seat of emotions. This is where empaths feel the incoming emotion of another, which can weaken the area and eventually lead to anything from stomach ulcers to IBS (too many other conditions to list here). Lower back problems can develop from being ungrounded (amongst other things) and one, who has no knowledge of them being an empath, will almost always be ungrounded.*

    8. Always looking out for the underdog: Anyone whose suffering, in emotional pain or being bullied draws an empath’s attention and compassion.*

    9. Others will want to offload their problems on you, even strangers: An empath can become a dumping ground for everyone else’s issues and problems, which, if they’re not careful can end up as their own.*

    10. Constant fatigue: Empaths often get drained of energy, either from energy vampires or just taking on too much from others, which even sleep will not cure. Many get diagnosed with ME.*

    11. Addictive personality: Alcohol, drugs, sex, are to name but a few addictions that empaths turn to, to block out the emotions of others. It is a form of self protection in order to hide from someone or something. * chocolate!

    12. Drawn to healing, holistic therapies and all things metaphysical: Although many empaths would love to heal others they can end up turning away from being healers (even though they have a natural ability for it), after they’ve studied and qualified, because they take on too much from the one they are trying to heal. Especially if they are unaware of their empathy. Anything of a supernatural nature is of interest to empaths and they don’t surprise or get shocked easily. Even at the revelation of what many others would consider unthinkable, for example, empaths would have known the world was round when others believed it was flat.*

    13. Creative: From singing, dancing, acting, drawing or writing an empath will have a strong creative streak and a vivid imagination.*

    14. Love of nature and animals: Being outdoors in nature is a must for empaths and pets are an essential part of their life.*

    15. Need for solitude: An empath will go stir-crazy if they don’t get quiet time. This is even obvious in empathic children.*

    16. Gets bored or distracted easily if not stimulated: Work, school and home life has to be kept interesting for an empath or they switch off from it and end up daydreaming or doodling.*

    17. Finds it impossible to do things they don’t enjoy: As above. Feels like they are living a lie by doing so. To force an empath to do something they dislike through guilt or labelling them as idle will only serve in making them unhappy. It’s for this reason many empaths get labelled as being lazy.*

    18. Strives for the truth: This becomes more prevalent when an empath discovers his/her gifts and birthright. Anything untruthful feels plain wrong.*

    19. Always looking for the answers and knowledge: To have unanswered questions can be frustrating for an empath and they will endeavour to find an explanation. If they have a knowing about something they will look for confirmation. The downside to this is an information overload.*

    20. Likes adventure, freedom and travel: Empaths are free spirits.*

    21. Abhors clutter: It makes an empath feel weighed down and blocks the flow of energy.* i hate clutter, but my house is messy, it is driving me nuts.......

    22. Loves to daydream: An empath can stare into space for hours, in a world of their own and blissfully happy.*

    23. Finds routine, rules or control, imprisoning: Anything that takes away their freedom is debilitating to an empath even poisoning.*

    24. Prone to carry weight without necessarily overeating: The excess weight is a form of protection to stop the negative incoming energies having as much impact.***

    25. Excellent listener: An empath won’t talk about themselves much unless it’s to someone they really trust. They love to learn and know about others and genuinely care. * except talk about myself here, but I also am learning from others......

    26. Intolerance to narcissism: Although kind and often very tolerant of others, empaths do not like to be around overly egotistical people, who put themselves first and refuse to consider another’s feelings or points of view other than their own.
    * that made it real fun growing up around sis.......I think this is why we argue,now, I won't let her boss me around anymore.....

    27. The ability to feel the days of the week: An empath will get the ‘Friday Feeling’ if they work Fridays or not. They pick up on how the collective are feeling. The first couple of days of a long, bank holiday weekend (Easter for example) can feel, to them, like the world is smiling, calm and relaxed. Sunday evenings, Mondays and Tuesdays, of a working week, have a very heavy feeling. *

    28. Will not choose to buy antiques, vintage or second-hand: Anything that’s been pre-owned carries the energy of the previous owner. An empath will even prefer to have a brand new car or house (if they are in the financial situation to do so) with no residual energy. I love vintage, does not apply......;)

    29. Sense the energy of food: Many empaths don’t like to eat meat or poultry because they can feel the vibrations of the animal (especially if the animal suffered), even if they like the taste.

    30. Can appear moody, shy, aloof, disconnected: Depending on how an empath is feeling will depend on what face they show to the world. They can be prone to mood swings and if they’ve taken on too much negative will appear quiet and unsociable, even miserable. An empath detests having to pretend to be happy when they’re sad, this only adds to their load (makes working in the service industry, when it’s service with a smile, very challenging) and can make them feel like scuttling under a stone. *

    If you can say yes to most or all of the above then you are most definitely an empath.

    How many traits do you see in yourself? It is easier to say what does not apply for me, okay wait, I will put astericks in red on the ones that do apply ..... you do not have to answer, some folks may think it a bit strange, I am okay with it, but that is just me....... strange leafy!
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, I do this too. I told my mother (not because I really believed it, but because I wanted to make her feel good) that she was 100% right and I was 100% wrong. I have no idea why I told her that. This was after she was being very mean to me and shunning me. I knew it was not 100% me, but I still verbally took the blame. by the way, it didn't make her any more forgiving. Also, I took my sister back about ten times after she had shunned me for various, usually trite reasons.I'm not saying "I'm sorry" if I don't think so anymore.

    I was a hyper hyper hyper sensitive baby according to my mother. She said I didn't even like being held so she didn't hold me. Nice, huh? Not to even keep trying if it's your own baby?
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think we both believe in people giving off vibes.
    I do judge. I don't like that about me, but I do. But I judge myself the most and the worst.
    I think with me, I was just sort of born to ruminate and analyze and think. I am a writer, like you, but I can't write poetry. I have been e-published in romantic erotica (really!). Some of my e-books sold really well. I wrote it because it sold. I would have preferred writing plain romantic, but that doesn't get published or sell well in e-publishing. To create characters that do not exist, you have to be able to do some reading of others.
    I never paid attention to the moon. I have a mood disorder, which is controlled by medication, but, of course, it is not completely cured. I still have little highs and lows. I wonder if I get depressed a bit or a little high during full moon phases. I will have to pay more attention.
    Thanks for this exchange. I find it really fun!!! :) And thought provoking...moon phases....
  16. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I did stuff like that too, take the blame to keep the "peace". Geez, Serenity, I am so sorry your Mom was so mean. I know you do not write these things for sympathy, more matter of fact, but it makes me mad. Not nice.......


    Yup, me too, well, I am sure going to try not to....old habits die hard.

    SWOT, maybe you sensed her back then........ I am getting mad again, so not right. UGH........ leafy
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I love being a free spirit, but not really interested in travel that much, except to visit my kiddos.

    Thank you for the post about empaths and what they do and how they act.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    There is no reason to feel sympathy. I was better without her and my kids were way better without her. I know just a tad about how she treated her other grands and, like she did with her children, it seems she played favorites and had tantrums when she visited...I am glad my kids did not have that. My oldest kids had an awesome grandmother. My first husband's mother was an angel.
  19. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    OOOOOOhhhh romantic erotica, {blush!} "Why Serenity," , leafy exclaimed teasingly, "You have a naughty side!!!!"

    Yes moon phases, it controls the tides, so why not ebb and flow of feelings? I have enjoyed this as well, friend. {{{HUGS}}} leafy
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I do. LOL. But I had never written it before...I had to do research to write it. No kidding that!

    I'm actually kind of a prude, but, hey, regular romance doesn't sell on e-pubs.