We don’t have to love ourself?

When we went in-patient for the first time almost five years ago, we wanted goals. Context (short version): We were drowning in shame from childhood trauma memories. Being productive while away from home for five weeks seemed important. Maybe from authors we read and therapists we had, we got the idea that we must love … Continue reading We don’t have to love ourself?

Anchors to humanity

We have unmet need for Safety. We are always looking for risks, dangers. Is there a way to look for evidence we are safe? The one person we’re not feeling safe about is us: we are worried our behavior will turn violent or will embarrass us or humiliate us. In that case, another unmet need … Continue reading Anchors to humanity

Responsibility as a goal

If we do not attempt to meet our needs, who will? If we wait to be rescued, we are putting our agency on hold, staking our life’s fulfillment on others. If they are well-adjusted, they know they cannot be responsible for our existence or even our contentment. Thus, we will wait in anger. We can … Continue reading Responsibility as a goal

Be gentle and survive

Trigger warning: we are feeling oppressed and want to say painful things that may trigger those with ptsd We sense that the childhood sexual abuse ruined life for us. Spoiled us like freshly killed meat left to rot. We learned too much, felt sensations too overwhelming for our precious Little selves. It was overload right … Continue reading Be gentle and survive

Brave enough to cook a turkey?

Lots of energy in our house. Feels crowded. At night, we feel oppressed by it, threatened because we think people are scheming against us. They are absolutely not. This is delusion and trauma. It is morning. We are preparing the turkey before we cook it. We can see our lack of compassion to self and … Continue reading Brave enough to cook a turkey?

We want to slow it down

These are forecasted to be the final warm days of the year here. Autumn has often been a melancholy time for us. Suicidal ideation often spikes as the leaves fall. We think the trigger was the annual return to school as a child, which augured suffering because we could not sleep at night. Summer allowed … Continue reading We want to slow it down

Is the pandemic over or continuing?

COVID-19 pandemic is not over in our house. We are still social distancing. Some people act like it is over, and we do not want to judge a view as right or wrong. We walked with Spouse this weekend and saw elementary school kids playing organized American football—close contact among players, coaches, and parents with … Continue reading Is the pandemic over or continuing?

Start (resume) where you are

We have lost much ground in: Being in our bodyMeditating Feeling any contentment Physical strength Therapeutic relationshipsHealing our traumas Cooperating internally Having friendships Expressing our gender We have gained ground in: Being compassionate to Younger ChildGetting off benzosAdjusting to new normals Things may not go back to the old normal. There is no knowing. Even … Continue reading Start (resume) where you are

We must get to compassion

If we cultivate compassion within us, we can learn that our contentment is accessible anywhere and even under difficult circumstances For this to be true, we must practice states of mind that allow compassion Honestly, this feels almost impossible for us. Almost. Little wants compassion. So we seek it. Our cup has been empty for … Continue reading We must get to compassion

Practices to calm frazzled nerves

Hypervigilance, as most experiences, has shades, gradations. Many people feel a heightened sense of fear in times of high stress. If you have experienced Trauma, that increase can push you out of your window of tolerance. We are finding our baseline is now out of the window of tolerance. Practices to get back into our … Continue reading Practices to calm frazzled nerves

Empathy for those who piss us off

Everyone and everything and all experiences are teachers if and when we are receptive to the lessons. We spent much of our working career in a college, which means we spent most of our life at school. This was by choice because we like learning and teaching. Here is what Nonviolent Communication (NVC) teaches about … Continue reading Empathy for those who piss us off

Our original stories

Until we were a young adult, we could not solve the mystery of realistic paintings hanging in art museums. People would stand in front of a painting that depicted throngs of people frozen in time, and the observers would study the painting and talk about details in specific, knowing ways, as though they were watching … Continue reading Our original stories

Reframing thoughts without judgment

Negative thoughts are setting us up for a negative outlook. If we think, "We didn't do a good enough job," then we feel like a failure. We don't want to replace the negative with a positive, though, which might sound counterintuitive. Positive would probably help our outlook more than negative. And what would help the … Continue reading Reframing thoughts without judgment

If you’re stressed about outcomes

You’re not doing it wrong. It takes practice. When you find yourself in the same thoughts, circling the same carcass like a Turkey Vulture, look at the carcass—study it. What can you call that pile of roadkill? If you're worry is, "Will I succeed or fail?", that sounds like "attachment to outcomes.” Outcomes are what … Continue reading If you’re stressed about outcomes

What is the “Middle Way”?

Seeking pleasure ignores whatever is happening now. If we do experience pleasure, we try to cling to it. It ends anyway, and then we mourn it. Avoiding pain ignores whatever is happening now, especially when it's pain. Avoiding what is actually happening causes suffering because we want pleasure and have its opposite. We crave pleasure. … Continue reading What is the “Middle Way”?

Practice, patience, and repetition

3-day weekends are hard for us. Lots of time around other people. We and our children are much less effective at night: decision-making poorer, emotional brain overwhelms rational brain. Consequently, at night, little problems seem bigger. For us, that often leads to nightmares, and then we wake up disoriented. We finally have some alone time, … Continue reading Practice, patience, and repetition

The practice is to be human

We injured ourselves again via inattention. Walked home from mental health therapy without being grounded in our body. A child operating a heavy machine. Twist. Foot ligaments damaged again. This is our most common injury: twisting foot ligaments. Two years ago we injured the left foot at least 5 times. We strengthened both feet's ligaments … Continue reading The practice is to be human

Reflections on Consciousness

We're studying consciousness and trying to notice our states of being as they arise (someday we might notice when they pass, too). Paying some attention to how our emotions and sensations affect our particular moment-to-moment consciousness has yielded some strange mind thoughts, too. For instance, why does the name of every Canadian city with a … Continue reading Reflections on Consciousness