Before The New Year…

creative-brillianceI woke up this morning, and my SO felt I was tense; I told her it was the same old thing, the negative thoughts that are holding me back. She said she wished I could find some joy, be joyful: I agree.

I went to the Rabbi first thing in the morning. I haven’t seen her most of December, and she will not be available until February. In talking about how I feel, she brought up the  fact that my obsessing over what I don’t have right now is a large part of my anxiety, my tension, my not finding or being joyful. I intellectually see that I can be in a self defeating loop, but have trouble breaking myself out of it.

With all of our discussion, she gave me kudos for remaining with this blog, for remaining so honest, and for, in the depth of my darkness, my ability to still find compassion and care for others (she said evidenced both here on this blog, and what I’ve told her privately). The Rabbi said so many people who come to her for help can’t seem to go beyond saying they want help and actually doing something about it, nor are they able to reach out to others in pain, so deeply entrenched in their own. My SO agreed with her, again both of them bringing up all that I am trying to do to get myself focused,  to appreciate the good things about myself, take care of myself, and continue to search for ways out from under the black cloud that I sometimes let remain over me.

We worked on a visualization: the Rabbi read Psalm 23 to me three times. With my eyes closed, I was asked to first think about what, if any, words or phrases lept out at me. Then, with the second reading, what visuals came to mind. The third time, to go deeper and see where it took me.

It’s the third time I want to talk about. I envisioned, during the second time, from “…You are with me; Your rod and your staff-they comfort me…” an arm, strong, firmly grasping that staff. During the third time, that arm was there throughout, on my right side…and I saw my right hand resting/holding onto that arm. It was there during that whole visualization. It was strong, steady, and…I’m not sure what I felt, but it felt right.

The image has remained with me, and as I’m writing it out it’s a pretty strong image for me. While I escaped into seeing “The Hobbit” after my meeting with the Rabbi, I saw the staff throughout the movie, wielded by the wizard Gandalf (I am NOT saying he is a stand in for God…just the connection, tenuous as some may see it).

What I was asked to do was to find a mantra, to say to myself when I start obsessing over the negatives, belittling myself, or a rise in anxiety. The Rabbi asked me to memorize Psalm 23, and that is what I shall try to do, and use it as a way to help get me out of this self-destructive mental loop. I will do my best.

For the coming new year, I wish everyone the best they can possibly hope for, a way out of any darkness that assaults them, and as much happiness that they can find. I wish these things for myself, as well. I always seem to forget wishing these things for myself.

I hope you do your best, for yourselves, in this coming new year, and always.

Stuart

Psalm 23

God is my shepherd, I shall not want.
God makes me lie down in green pastures.
Leads me beside still waters, and restores my soul.
You lead me in right paths for the sake of Your name.
 
Even when I walk in the valley of the shadow of death
I shall fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff-they comfort me.
You have set a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
 
You have anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of God forever.
Amen.
 
~ from Gates of Healing, a Message of Comfort and Hope

 

 

 

 

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About StuHN

I am a creative individual with many areas of passion: Professional Storyteller; NYS Certified Drama Specialist/Educator; Professional Development Coordinator & Facilitator; Workshop Leader; sometime Puppeteer; Playwright; Director; Performer; Teaching Artist; and sometimes more.

Posted on December 31, 2012, in Caring, Counsling, Fear, Friends, Grief, Healing, Inspiration, Love, Meditations, Mindfulness, Prayers, Spiritual, Support, Therapy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Stuart, I know well what you are going through – having been there recently. I couldn’t blog about it or share it like you, but what you’re doing, apart from helping yourself, is also helping others in similar circumstances. The important thing is to realize we are not alone even though depression is a very lonely place to be. It’s very tough to be out of work and endure constant letdowns plus the economic and emotional burden.

    Two years ago, I lost my work in research, my home and my independence, when I had to move in with my sister and six other family members. At 67-68 I didn’t know how I’d ever make a new start. Depression and health problems almost killed me. At my wits end, I asked my Higher Power for help. Truly asked. And I got it! My energy returned, and within a short time, I was working as a freelance editor/ghostwriter, Since then I work and write almost non-stop. Even when my publisher withdrew his offer to publish my book, I didn’t lose faith, and found another publisher. My life has come together in unexpected ways.

    Just keep on writing and believing in yourself. I know it’s hard when you’re down but there’s only one way up and you have to find it.

    BTW, Psalm 23 is a great comfort. I have said it every night for the last 20+years.

  2. Stuart, the image of Gandalf is my wisdom teacher! Did you see my blog of the other day? I talk about my vision/visit with him.

    Has anyone told you yet that it’s OK to feel what you’re feeling, and that many feel just as you do now when they’ve suffered a loss?

    I know this because when I’ve shared with groups the emotional loss of my mother-in-law which happened 20+ years ago, the same emotions, thoughts, and feelings you are now experiencing, so had they.

    You are doing all the right things, because they are right for you, right now. Keep talking, keep searching, keep praying, keep writing, and most of all, keep sharing. Someone else needs to hear your words.

    Blessings and peace to you, my friend….

    • Thank you Peggy…and the same to you. No, I missed that post, but things work as they work. Yes, I know it’s “ok” to feel as I do…I just wish I could find a cathartic release.

  3. The last two lines (at least that is what they are in the Hebrew) should also be remembered- things may be low/bad/down now, but there is hope, there is better, and it shall be for a long time…

    • Roy, Gates of Healing comes from the Central Congress of American Rabbis…I just copied what they published, and what my Rabbi read to me. I will remember these lines…so, thank you.

  4. What a blessing, to see yourself holding fast to the strong arm of God. I think memorizing the 23rd psalm is a wonderful idea. I pray that this will be a comfort for you in your moments of anxiety,just as your Rabbi said.

  5. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Stuart. I am not very religious but I admire the fact that you find such strength in your faith. There is a sentence from Churchill that I like ‘If you are going through hell, keep going’. It does get better.

    • I am trying to find faith, find that strength in it as well as in myself again. Thanks Muriel…and I’ve heard that Churchill quote a lot these last three months.

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