Breathe, Release, Remember…,
“What I know for sure is that we are a resilient people, in spite of the difficulties and challenges of life. We can look deep within ourselves to resolve our own issues so that our light will be our guide. And we should reach out and extend to others the lessons we have learned so that they too can be empowered. I’m reminded of a quote by Maya Angelou: “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”” – Ramona A. Gray
I sure that everyone has seen the classic photo of a lone wolf howling at the Full Moon. But the truth is that a lone wolf is a dead wolf. The wolf needs a pack to survive. When something goes wrong in your life, the first instinct is to hunker down by yourself – to isolate yourself. But like the wolf you were created to be part of a community, you must have connection to thrive.
Isolation simply creates more issues for you in the long run. There is nothing that stops your mind from catastrophizing, in an endless loops as it pokes and pricks at the pain, thereby increasing the suffering. I read an interesting quote today that was talking about suicide. It said that there is an Arabic saying that goes this way:
“You want to die? Then throw yourself into the sea and you’ll see yourself fighting to survive. You do not want to kill yourself, rather you want to kill something inside of you”.
I found this so interesting. It’s not that you truly want to die, even though your mind is trying to convince you that you do. You just want to end something that you can’t see ending any other way. It’s the isolation of those feelings that creates the harm. When you are in this place you need to be reminded and believe that you are a beautiful soul, that is going through temporary suffering. Let me repeat that “Suffering is Temporary”. That you are worthy of having a better life. If you want to change your life, you must open up yourself like the Lodgepole Pine cone and let the fires of what you are suffering release the seeds to create growth and change.
You need to open up to friends about what is happening. You need to seek counseling. You need to reach out and reach up and keep reaching until you have transitioned from being in pain and suffering into a positive outlook for your future. To see the open doors waiting for you to walk through them. To grow in the new rich ash filled soil, to flourish once again in the sun.
“Let go of what you expect to embrace what’s there” – Chloe Jones
The Lodgepole pine cone is a squat egg shaped pine cone that embeds its seeds inside with a sticky resin. The seeds are basically locked into a botanical safe. You would think that it would not be a wide ranging tree – yet it grows from Alaska all the way down to Baja, California in all different kinds of weather zones. The secret to their seeds being released is extreme heat, such as in a wildfire. The seeds don’t just survive a catastrophe, they thrive in its aftermath. This is the definition of resilience.
Resilience is being endlessly inventive, unrelenting, and forever evolving through the chaos of life’s changes. It is having the flexibility to adapt to what is happening in the current moment without regard to what happened in the past. You can’t prevent upheavals from happening in your life, but you can be more adaptable to changing conditions. By putting yourself in the present moment, taking deep breaths and releasing the emotional charge, you can reset yourself. You can discard the anxiety that is ripping through you, and put your troubles into perspective.
It is in a fire racing through an area that the opportunity to drop the seeds and grow a new tree emerges. Change opens as many doors and it closes. Change is going to happen. You can’t stop things from ending, but you can reach out to the new beginnings that the change brings. Be courageous and creative enough to embrace whatever happens.
“What I have learned over the past 15 months – and the only thing I know for sure – is that everything is temporary. Happiness, sadness, control, chaos, highs, lows: They all come and go. It’s both unsettling and reassuring to rest in the notion that nothing is permanent.” – Kristen Bell
Rest, Renew, and Regenerate
In the aftermath of a wildfire, the Lodgepole pine seeds can become like a thick lime-green carpet across the ground. The ash-infused soil is prime with rich nutrients to help the seeds grow. Unlike prior to the fire when the ground was shaded, now the sunlight shines on the seeds as they shoot forth their new life in the aftermath of the destruction of the wildfires. When a tragedy strikes like a wildfire, such as a death, divorce, loss of a job or illness – resilience is what will help you to see the future as a period of renewal and growth.
Life’s transitions could mean a relocating to a new area to live or working in a completely different field. It could mean a new opportunity for growth where you are. How many stories have you heard from friends or relatives who look back on a divorce or a job loss as the best thing that ever happened to them? It took a catastrophic loss to wake them up. To acknowledge to themselves that they were merely surviving their old life.
We all need at least one friend that understands what is not being said. That calls “bullshit” when you say you are fine. That won’t leave until you open up and say what’s really happening. That goes down deep into the conversation, until you release the damn you created to hide all of the pain behind. When you finally start really feeling it, and let out the pain – that’s when you can begin to heal.
I am blessed with both friends and sisters who are the image of this quote: “Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t get rid of. You know whatever you do, they’ll still be there.” When I was going through the pain of losing my dad they were there. When I am going through the pain of my husband illnesses and worrying that he’s about to go through deaths door, they are there. When I have a tough night of grief striking my heart with the realization that I’ll never see my grandson again, they are there.
They are there because I reach out and say I need it. As the sayings goes: “Friends are like bras, close to the heart and there for support.” The bra gives no support if you don’t put it on. So when life sends you into the emotional roller coaster of chaos and change, reach out and let the heat of their love release the seeds hidden deep inside of you for growth.