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I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
Mother Teresa

I am blessed that I have experienced this great paradox yet I am still afraid to succumb. There is so much negative energy that keeps me in my shell. I know with every cell of my body that love and non-violence is the ultimate but my cells, my thoughts, my emotions are constantly being hijacked by intergenerational trauma and fear. I am perpetually daunted.

Deep breaths.

Take one moment at a time.

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Go placidly amid the noise and haste,and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself, especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it transcends time and space.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be careful. Take care.
Strive to be happy.

By Max Erhman

This writing has shone great light for me doing many dark times. It continues to comfort me everytime I read. I hung the original copy I got on the outside of my child’s door. It would remind me of the energy I wanted to emit as I entered and left his room. I owe much thanks to a dear friend who bought me the poster that introduced me to this wisdom. It would have been another item I wanted but would have never bought for myself. We need friends for so many reasons and at different seasons.

http://themindfulparent.org/The_Mindful_Parent/recent_morning_cup_091816.html

 “From our school days, we are all aware of the three “R’s.” Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. They are the foundation of a learned mind.  Today we’ll discuss three R’s that are the foundation of a healthy mind, a mindful mind:  Rupture, Repair and Rejoicing.  Just as a school education is preparation for life, so too these three R’s, which we can practice at home with our children, serve us in all of life. 

At home, we spend much of our time in relationship.  We interact with our partner with our children, and at the deepest of levels with ourselves.  While we rejoice (or don’t notice) when the interactions are smooth and collaborative, we feel distressed, doubtful, and become angry and frustrated when the interactions break down.  When things don’t go as planned, we often experience a rupture in our relationship.  Telltale signs are feelings of disconnect such as criticism, passive-aggressive behavior, a silence borne out of defensiveness and fear, an unspoken sadness.

Mindfulness reminds us that each of these ruptures is an opportunity for repair.  That is, rather than replay the same old script that reinforces these painful dramas, we can step out of reactivity and embrace ourselves and those we love with compassion and presence. Doing so, we begin to Repair the rupture.  Neuroscience is teaching us that when this happens we lay down a new set of neural pathways and begin to uproot the old.

Mindfulness does not ask for perfection.  It offer us the opportunity to see through a clearer lens, to gain a larger perspective, and to move toward, as opposed to away from the uncomfortable and painful – that which we resist.  And when we do this, when we break through the old mold and liberate ourselves from our conditioned mind, we Rejoice in freedom, aliveness, and love that flows.

Today, when you find yourself caught in some drama with your child (be in mild or intense), bring awareness to the Rupture.  “Ah, I am caught!”  Open to your intention to Repair the rupture.  Bring attention to your body and breathing.  Smile and awaken feelings of love and compassion.  We are all doing our best.  See if you can respond differently.  There is no right or wrong.  Just disrupt the automatic.  You can’t imagine the benefits, now and for the rest of your life.

To help you on this mindful mission, here is a verse to remind and inspire.

Here we go again

Caught in the same drama

Breathing in I sense my heart beating

Breathing out I sense your heart beating  

How would our hearts sort this out?”

Thank you MindfulParenting.Org!!! I could not say it any better and have experienced these 3 R’s in myself and countless others.

http://wouldhavesaid.com/post/609532518/happy-birthday

This short letter summarizes so much. One does not realize how one simple gesture or statement can set the stage for a life long tragedy.  Our souls are so vulnerable.  The sad thing is, this teacher was doing the best they could with resources given them. So what was this teacher given?

“…In the face of human suffering, silence always helps those who cause the suffering, never the victims.” -Carol Rittner

I feel vulnerable and crazy-made again by another’s wrath. Well, yesterday I was playing with my kids outside when I asked my son to check the mail. Yelling caught my attention and I heard a man yell to his partner, “You can’t talk to me like that!!.” My fear-based reaction told me to grab my kids, head inside, and turn a def ear. But my loving response kicked in: I hugged my kids as I stood watching the man. I wanted to make sure there was no physical violence. I began saying and singing kind words. Thankfully, the fight ended but today was another day.

I was cleaning dishes at 8AM and could hear a child screaming. It was a horrendous cry. I naturally went through my list of possibilities for  crying, “playing around, fell, temper tantrum.” Minutes went by and the cry was still intense and disturbing. I kept turning off the water and even opened the window so that I could hear some assurance. I was so concerned I was going to ask my partner to come listen. He was joyfully playing with our kids so I did not want to disturb them and figured I was over sensitive to the cries. The cry eventually stopped. Later on, we had a movie and music playing yet my partner and I heard screaming. I told him it was the same cry I heard this morning. He went out to listen to figure out what was going on. I came in and out a few times. We both heard paddling of some sort and a toddler screaming  “mama” and “stop it.” My heart sank. I have lived in close neighborhoods like this for 13 years and have only once before heard screaming like this, and when I have heard it else where, the child was being hurt.

I had to do something. I walked down the street to be greeted by a man asking if I lost something which quickly turned into a confrontation about me “being nosy all for a 2 and half yr old having a tantrum and they were not giving in.” I remained calm and kind, validated his feelings, and repeated that children’s wellbeing is my business, there is crucial brain development at this age, and that loving the child through the stress is a helpful option. He of course was defensive, accusatory, and rejecting my concerns. I got to see the terrified girl clenching her mother as the father shamed her in my presence just so he could prove to me she was fine.

Now here I sit feeling afraid and vulnerable. That girl “is fine” according to the majority of people and getting just what she “needs.” I know she is not fine and not getting her most vital needs met, nor are the majority of people. I will read more head lines tomorrow about how could someone do this horrid act and how it came out of no where. The reality is glaring and the truth hurts yet we are not allowed to cry. To feel compassion you must heal and to heal you must cry, or at least express the pain at some level to process but the risk of being vulnerable is even more terrifying. So where does that leave us? I guess, on the front page again.

Check out these sites if you’d like to learn more ways to heal abuse. It boils down to that we all need unconditional love and more resources to ease stress.

http://www.nopunish.net/interven.htm

http://www.naturalchild.org/articles/child_advocacy.html

http://www.wavetrust.org/

http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/index.htm`

 “When you share your grief, it is halved; but when you share your joy, it is doubled.” ~Native American proverb

Everyday may seem like too much, but if you have children, a partner, a parent, a sibling, or a co-worker then I know you are presented with this opportunity many, many times a day.  It seems sharing the joy is the fun and easy part although I still see many parents including my self smash joy like a fly. When it comes to grief, we tend to “fight, flight, or freeze.” All normal reactions, yet what response from others would help you? Have you ever noticed that we are better at listening and empathizing with friends and even strangers? What makes this possible? 

For some raw examples of people’s pain, please check out http://wouldhavesaid.com/. In the end, we all suffer and feel the pain, regardless of its form or degree. I read letters from this website at least twice a week, and every time I read them I feel validated, blessed and motivated to give more.

I know that cringe. I know that fear.

I too have enjoyed when no one is near.

You lose the desire to try when all you feel is failure.

No decisions are easy when you think they are all wrong.

So you learn to avoid and you forget to deal.

When you become so good at concealing

You cannot even conceive of healing.

There’s times when I’ve just wanted to explode

And share with the world my many woes.

But when you think too hard, that wire disconnects:

Why am I here?

Why should anyone care?

These breakdowns are cries for help, but no one is listening…

Not even me.

 

 

I wrote this on March 5th, 1997. This poem describes the path I was on since I could remember. Fortunately over the past 13 years, I have been  listening and healing.

Anything will get better if you pay attention to it.

 Don’t dart the tough ones – go straight up the middle.

 Pay attention to details. It will give you the appearance of understanding the issue and you’ll probably learn something.

 There are no enemies.

 Don’t pick fruit until it’s ripe.

 People would rather be listened to than talked to.

 Take the job with deathly seriousness, but not yourself.

~Tom Coburn (President of Naropa University)

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