Holding my own heart

The other night I had a rough night of sleep. Since I quit drinking, when I have difficulty sleeping I will wake up the next day with what feels like a hangover. I have a pounding headache, I’m depressed and tearful, and, of course, exhausted. I find even making little decisions so difficult.

As I dealt with some matters at hand, I sat down to do my morning ritual which always includes mindfulness practice, journaling, writing letters and posting the meditation practice with my online sober community. As I completed my practice, I just felt empty. I just had nothing else to give. I couldn’t even think of things to write or say. I finally decided instead of forcing it, I really needed to just take a day for me. I made the decision that everything I was going to do, I was doing for ME.

One of my very favorite things to do is spend time with my dogs, so I wanted to take them for a walk in the desert, but when I was getting ready to take them, I went out to start my vehicle and it wouldn’t start. It has battery issues and we ended up having to take it to the dealer. But the whole key is how I handled the situation. Because I allowed self-compassion this day, a situation that would’ve normally sent me through the roof (blame, anger, irritation), I calmly worked with our insurance, our dealer and was able to get my car in and leave it for them to work on. We are blessed that we have 2 vehicles and that my husband is retired, I am able to take his car to work.

Ironically, I started a new series that morning in the Calm app. The series: Emotions Series, by Tamara Levitt. And the topic? Self-Soothing.

During the meditation she asked for you to repeat these mantras: May I be happy; may I be safe; may my heart feel peace. I practiced reciting these three statements over and over during the practice.

This lesson also discussed how when growing up, most of us were not shown how to deal with negative emotions. And that as adults, many of us taught ourselves to deal with these emotions by distractions and avoidance, or worse, destructive behaviors, like drinking.

But through meditation we learn self-acceptance and compassion. Rather than running to distraction or destruction, we learn to reach for tools of self-soothing. We’ll be better able to hold our own hearts. I had no idea that this is exactly what I did, and I owe it to my mindfulness practice these past few months. I inadvertently held my own heart and allowed myself to take care of me, and, wow, what a difference it made!!

In the words of Brian Andreas: “there are days I drop words of comfort on myself, like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by me.”

Onward and upward my friends. Have a wonderful self-soothing day❤️


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