The Wiccan celebration and ritual for Imbolc is fast approaching February 2nd. Imbolc brings the end of winter and of course a time of great change toward spring. Spring, even here in the desert southwest means new, rebirth, regeneration. I find that I often feel uncomfortable with the new because it causes me to reach out and expand my vision. This may be painful and I don’t like the pain that comes with change.
My life at times is cozy and gives me a curious kind of comfort and reassurance. When lonely or anxious or hopeless, I have at times turned toward unhealthy behaviors. I am used to it and don’t need to do much to keep on going in the same old way.
Suddenly, I have seen the error of my ways. Discovery, disgrace, legal issues, isolation, despair, the loss of a partner, the contempt of friends – all possible consequences of that cozy, complacent turn to my old behavior. Yes, I may have awakened one day to find that my old behavior ruined my life! This awareness has caused me to begin reaching out for the hard process of change.
Making difficult change is painful, but that pain is preferable to the agony caused by the inevitable outcome of unhealthy behaviors.
- Change is Painful (christophersmark.wordpress.com)
- Embracing the Change (mike.kaply.com)
- Enabling And The One You Love (psychologytoday.com)
Please Send Me an Angel
I need an angel.
One to watch over me.
All hope seems to have run out.
I need an angel.
My life is a mess,
And it feels as though
no one’s left.
I just need an angel;
Soft wings of protection
to hold me when I’m scared.
Strong arms to comfort me
As now it seems no one really cares.
I need an angel.
To chase away
To make things better,
To protect me;
Show me how to make life right.
Please send me an angel.
By Mark Schmitz
“The terrible beast that no one may understand, came to my side, and put down his head in love.” – Louise Rogan
There are times when it seems easier to give in to despair than to fight my way out of it. I’m learning that the trick is to catch myself before I become so depressed that I’m incapable of acting. For starters, I can ask, “What am I feeling? Am I angry, sad, resentful or feeling sorry for myself?” There usually is real pain beneath my despair – pain that must be expressed so that I can let go of it.
I can also take good care of myself. I can eat right, get some exercise, get out of the house more and seek kind and understanding people. Talking through what’s bothering me and asking for what I need are good antidotes to despair. Most of all, I can reach out for the consolation and strength of the Universe.
I may feel unworthy or hopeless and too tired to even care. I may believe that nothing matters. But things do matter. I matter. Life matters. I don’t have to keep struggling with despair and depression alone. I am grateful for this spark of hope within me that can never die. Things will get better.
“The absurd man is he who never changes.” — Auguste Barthelemy
Lately, I find myself feeling sick and tired being me, because it seems I am always the same, never-changing. My emotional life often seems like a treadmill, never varying in its fantasies or rituals. I haven’t acted to alter things, I’ve only acted out. And in acting out I am driven by a compulsion to repeat actions that gave me little pleasure and no joy.
I am beginning to realize that the same feelings come up all the time and throughout the course of each day. I find myself thinking or saying, “Everything’s just the same.” Or, “I’m just not getting anywhere.” My day-to-day life seems about the same; nothing dramatic has happened, nothing special is going to happen. Inertia. Despair.
If I look around at others; in my community, in groups and check things out, I may be able to see more clearly the changes that have taken place. Yes, I begin to become aware that “Alan” is different, and less negative, and “Justin” is energetic and outgoing. Change may take place slowly, but it does happen. For sure.
Expression is the Outer Life
I’ve realized that there’s a difference between my ability to feel, my ability to express my feelings, and my ability to let go. I know there are many painful emotions I learned to suppress when I was young, particularly anger or sadness. Other emotions might be difficult to feel because they are connected to past pain.
Yet there’s no letting go, no moving on, until I stop trying to avoid feelings such as sorrow, anger, rage or despair. I have found the way to begin working through difficult feelings is to reach out to people with a phone call, email, or blog comment. Other ways I have found to help are writing (blogging or journaling); having a good cry, or plan a healing ritual which can be as simple as taking a couple of days alone, just to think. For some of us, turning to our Higher Power, as we know it provides the spiritual help and nourishment we need.
The release that will come as a result of expressing our feelings will help to ease the pain. It’s not realistic to release all the pain from our past all at once, but we can begin by letting go of a little piece today.
Finally. Something is Changing. I’m Beginning to Feel Better!
In the last couple of days, I really feel as though I’m wriggling free of this constant, lingering depression that I’ve been trying to cope with. Everyone around me, close to me, has seen my mood swings, my apathetic attitude, and the inability to summon up any motivation or initiative. I’m feeling better, and that’s telling me that this round may soon be over.
It’s important to me though to know what I’m doing that’s helping. I know that my interactions with Christopher have been much healthier – on both our parts. He’s not overreacting to what I tell him, and he’s also trying very hard to speak more quietly and not in his usual bullying way. He’s also been more cognizant of his expressions of love to me. His words are not at all hollow sounding or out of routine, but rather filled with tenderness accompanied by his touch. Christopher has also been lightening up some more stressful moments through humor, and that has helped me as well. I really have to hand it to him for his efforts. I’m very proud of him.
And as for my tools that I’ve been using, I have to say that I am communicating my feelings more. Not just to Christopher, but also to Vickie, Ralph, Joel and even Deshawn. I feel I have some true allies in my little group, and I feel loved. I believe also that having had Deshawn living with us for ten days contributed to my stress, anxiety and to the depressive state I was in. I don’t feel I am capable the way I used to be with Nathan, to raise a special needs kid. It took so much out of me while he was here. I don’t feel I did a very good job either. I forgot to make sure he took his meds one morning and he had a really bad day at school. Everyday at school was pretty bad while he was here. Deshawn also started some new behaviors which we weren’t prepared for. The first was a series of a very bad temper tantrum. He also began just “taking off”. He’d get angry with either Christopher or me, and then just leave. He wouldn’t always leave through the front door either. Sometimes, he’d sneak out the patio doors and jump the privacy wall.
So in looking at the contributing factors that helped begin some lifting of the depression, Christopher has made some very important strides in relating with me and communicating with me much more appropriately. I was able to complete the respite for Vickie, and felt a lot of relief with Deshawn back in his own apartment. I now know not to commit to something like that, especially for such a long period of time. I’m not the same person I used to be. I have some health and emotional challenges that require me to cope a little bit differently. Finally, just having some healthy people loving me and supporting me, gives me a platform to talk about all my feelings. By talking about them my feelings don’t seem as scary and I feel as though I’m not alone.