Loving Kindness

Practice Loving Kindness Toward You


 

The Buddha said, “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Read that again.

Loving oneself seems so elusive today! Why? Why do people not love themselves, or worse, think they don’t deserve love from anyone else. With no mention of “affection,” because I think it’s redundant to love, which is the key – The Key – to this and every other life. Love can be learned with the right intentions and the right circumstances, but love is also part of our “firmware” when we are born. It’s not put into use for a few years, but it’s there and one is, hopefully, shown love from the time they are born. Sadly, that is not happening enough in our world. 

Loving Yourself

You deserve your love and admiration. You are enough and you are beautiful. We all are! Not one shit shall be given about what others think and say with regards to who you are as a person – who you are inside. All the clothes, houses, cars, schools, glasses, shoes, pools, flat screens, and so forth mean NOTHING. Nice to have, yes, but no amount of money, fame, or notoriety will fill you like loving yourself fills you. It is paramount that you begin the process of learning how to love yourself. You then teach your s/o, children, neighbors, and it takes off. The collective unconscious picks it all up and spreads loving kindness to all. 

Loving Kindness Meditation

I found Loving Kindness Meditation, known as Meta in Pali, five years ago through the podcast channel for Insight Meditation Center (IMC) in Redwood City, California. They were the only “Meditation for Beginners” podcast I found and still find it the best variety of speakers and topics meditation podcast today. Visit their Web site and follow the links to the six-week meditation course for beginners and start there. IMC teaches Loving Kindness Meditation and they do it well. They have a retreat center where they host 1 day to 30-day meditation retreats (and probably  longer.)

Loving kindness is good for you and your Self. Loving kindness toward every being on the planet, every plant, animal, fish, all deserve thoughts of loving kindness. Enemies, friends, mothers, fathers, hated siblings, and YOU deserve your focus of loving kindness. Meditation is an opportunity to focus your loving kindness on one person or one group of people, and always on yourself. Practice Loving Kindness meditation 20 minutes a day and learn to love yourself.

Who’s Your Therapist?

If you don’t have a therapist then find one (not a shrink – a Doctor Psychiatrist). Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) are therapists. Most list a specialization (drug abuse, teenagers, addictions, and so forth,) but you end up working best with the one you work best with; specialization or not, it works. The therapist is a non-biased licensed person whose job it is to listent to you and help you find a path leading to your answers. They aren’t to be used on an “as needed” basis either. Find a good therapist that you are comfortable with and continue with them for the next 10 years. These therapists help you on your journey through life; the first half of life (get married, kids, career, raise kids) and the second half of life (no kids, no idea who you’re married to, shit starts to make no sense, and so forth, or a “midlife crisis,” which I’m going through myself.) A guide through both halfs of life is very helpful.

Face it, life is a bitch and a good guide (therapist) is very handy to have. Doctor-client privileges exist, so your discussions are completely private (there are some terms and conditions that apply around crime, self harm, suicide, and so on,) and a good therapist will walk with you down the path, lead you to your answers, but will not point them out. It’s like the saying “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” If your therapist tells you what to do and gives you all the answers, then you aren’t going to learn a damn thing. But when they lead you to the answer and YOU find it, that is what Oprah calls an “ah-ha moment,” and it’s quite amazing when you learn something, that clarifies something about you that you’ve never understood. Find out why you do what you do. It’s amazing.

I am in no way promoting IMC for any reason except my personal bias.

Borderline Personality Disorder – My Personal Hell

For two years I suffered deep emotional, physical, and mental pain. I didn’t know where it was coming from and I didn’t know how to control it. It controlled me. Borderline Personality Disorder controlled me.

 

Warning: My story may cause triggers in other’s that are suffering from personality disorders.

My life, without warning, fell apart. It made no sense to me. It was like walking through a maze in the dark. Sometimes a horrible clown would jump out and I would faintly hear him whisper, “This is your home now.”

Other times I would be chased by zombies and demons that would chase me into grasping arms. They would be slick and cold. They would claw at me with their sharp nails, and then with a blink of an eye they would be gone.

Every once and a while I would see a brilliant light, I would quickly make a turn towards it, only to find that it was nothing but a tease. But it would still leave me with a glimmer of hope.

Other times I would end up in a fog and was quickly dragged down by freezing rain and thick mud. At least I think it was mud.

This was my darkest time. I was in Hell. I was going mad! I relate this time in my life to the wonderful Walt Disney movie Alice in Wonderland, but I am unable to trust myself, my thoughts, and my frightening delusions.

The cat in Alice in Wonderland has always intrigued me. You think he is your friend; he gives you such a welcoming smile. You start to trust him and then you realize that he is taking you to a darkness you never thought existed.

It took me two years before I realized I was the only one who had the answers. I knew the way out. I had the key. I just had to the find the door.

I stood disconnected, watching myself from the outside. I was confused, angry, and depressed with a deep aching hole right in the middle of my chest. There was a point that I truly believed that my heart had been torn out. It didn’t matter how much I cried or pleaded for mercy. Nothing eased the pain.

I studied myself from every angle. I was constantly trying to make the puzzle pieces in my head come together. I would hit hundreds of dead ends and have to back track, always trying to find a way out of the pain and away from the monsters. I would cause harm to myself which would then hurt others. Self-injury would briefly alleviate the pain but would soon be replaced with more pain and misery.

I then again hit another dead end. I was done. I couldn’t do it anymore. I finally layed back against the cold dirty wall and sank down, I was bruised and tired. I was ready to give in and let the fog take me. And then I saw it. The door, it had to be the one I’d been looking for! It was a long ways off, but it was there. I was sure of it. I checked my pocket and felt the key inside.

I started running, but the door moved further away. Maybe it was a hallucination? I became tired and slowed to a walk; my feet became sore and heavy. How long had I been walking? What if I didn’t make it? I then fell to my knees and started crawling. Tears were pouring down my face. My body ached everywhere; it felt like I was being held back by an unseen force.

I was determined to get out, no matter what it took! I wasn’t giving up! I start to remember that I have children and a husband and they love me. I miss them. I have got to get home! I start calling their names and I can picture their beautiful faces.

I finally reached the door; I was covered in bloody bruises and filth. I pulled myself up and grabbed the knob. It was slick with slime. I can’t get it to move. Then I remember I have the key! I pull it out of my pocket and reach up to the knob. I find the keyhole below it. I carefully insert the key and turn, I hear the lock disengage. I grab the door knob and pull as hard as I can. It gives way and opens to a brilliant light. I had made it, I was home. There were colors and smiles. I made it through the most horrible darkness of my life. My heart beats again and the hole is gone. I have been given a second chance. The bruises and sores start healing and I’m warm and clean. My family is here! The love I thought I had lost is here!

My life isn’t perfect and I still have a long way to go. The scars are a reminder of the pain and horror I have overcome and the strength of spirit I have gained. I will no longer doubt who I am or take the love of my family for granted. This is my life and now I have control!

 

Mental Illness

 Mental Illness

I will be writing several articles over the next few months on mental illness.

There are many people who know next to nothing about mental illness and I would like to help people become more aware and understanding of those who struggle with it every day.

I have dealt with a lot of ignorance and insult in my life over my own mental illness. People don’t have the time or patience for it; it seems like the mental illness is lot of “nonsense” to them. Mental illness can cause just as much pain, if not more, as physical pain feels to a person living with uncontrollable, chronic pain.

pillspic

It’s a tricky subject. Mental illness can impact anyone, you, me, those you love. Sometimes the person with a mental illness doesn’t realize it, and once they do, and are diagnosed, it can be devastating. For example, I was diagnosed with “bi-polar with borderline personality disorder” by three doctors before I finally gave in and realized they were right.

I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and was very angry that I had to take pills for the rest of my life. Not only do the mentally ill deal with the day-to-day challenge of the mental illness itself, but the medications as well.

I have gone to psychotherapy for sixteen years, and I still struggle with emotions that come out at inappropriate times. I have tried to tell a few people about my illnesses and was quickly judged and avoided because of it, which has impacted me to the point that I keep people at a distance. I write about it with the hopes of helping myself and others.

I would encourage and appreciate any feedback. Good or bad. There is always more to learn.