Don’t take advice from just anyone

It fascinates me how many people offer advice on things they know nothing about.  This is just a general observation – it’s not a poke or jab at my family and friends, Lord knows they know me too well when it comes to stuff like this.  This is about people in general. It’s a reflection on that line that everyone hears when they have something monumental happen in their life  —  ‘I know what you are going through.’  It’s a statement that is usually followed by advice of some sort.

I am not averse to advice, it is part of everyday conversation, and in normal circumstances it is taken with a pinch of salt. After something monumental, it’s not normal circumstances, and frankly, in my case, I wanted it all to just go away. All the decisions and problems and the mess I called life. I didn’t want advice – I wanted a miracle.

Truly I don’t think anyone ever really knows what someone else is going through.  So the advice, although well meaning, can be quite frustrating for a variety of reasons – you’re not ready to “move on,” you don’t have the capacity to “get back out there.”  You finding yourself feeling like a failure because you figure the advice was good, and that’s what other people do, so why-can’t-I? sort of thing.

I work in a place where, as of late, a fair number of my co-workers are experiencing  the death of a spouse.  More than once I have been approached by people I know asking if I could meet someone that I don’t know but who works somewhere in the building (and it’s a big building), who like me, is dealing with loss.  I will never say no, of course I will meet them if that’s what they want, but I also am unlikely to offer any advice to those I meet.  How can I?  I have no idea of their circumstances, what sorrows they carry secretly, what was said, or what was left unsaid.

What I will do is just listen, and maybe cry with them, hopefully find something to talk about.  I will give them the type of support I valued throughout my grieving process.  Family and friends carried me for the first while, and I can’t qualify that by saying ‘little while’ because it wasn’t.  They didn’t advise me, they assisted me, and they still do.  And, when I was ready, it was the confidence of that support that helped me make my own decisions based on my own circumstances.

This is my learning:  we have to find our own way, but it’s okay to take a hand to help you on your way.  And if you are really floundering, see a professional.

It’s About Relaxing

One of the things I learned from my visit with the Mediums was how incredibly good it felt to finally let go.  Even for a brief period of time.  It was amazing.   I went home that day and took a nap which lasted for 3 to 4 hours, got up, made dinner and headed back to bed landing another solid 8 hours.  I was able to sleep, a good, deep sleep. What that told me is that I can go to sleep without using anything to help me get there, or stay there.  There are ways, one just has to find them.

I know I carry an amount of stress, most people do.  I know that exercise is a good thing to relieve stress. It was actually the first “prescription” my doctor gave me after Kevin died.  She gave it to me knowing that I wouldn’t do it.  The last thing I wanted to do after my husband died was go outside.  I wanted to hunker down in my house, to lie mindlessly in my bed and will the time away.  I suspect that I may have done that, but frankly, I don’t remember much from those first few months.  My visits to the doctor were quite regular then; apparently it is a slippery slope into depression or mental illness after a shock like a death and so she monitored me closely.  I had to see her every few weeks, she’d administer some tests, we’d talk about coping – and invariably she’d suggest that I get outside and walk, run, just generally move.  Thanks Doc, but that is just not me, it’s my nature to hide – and so, I struggled on.

What I learned at the healing session, was how good it was to clear my mind.  To relax enough to let someone else in.  It sounds so simple, but worry, stress, fear, sorrow, all of those feelings are heavy, pervasive, and unformed in the mind, making them massive, overwhelming – best to avoid.  This nebulous mass is not easy to shift out of one’s consciousness.  It takes an act of will to move them, because first you have to recognize them.  To recognize them is to face loss, the memory of death, the very things you are running from.  That’s why you numb your mind in order to sleep – to stop the sadness from preventing rest.  So it was a pleasant surprise when, during the meditation, I was able to listen to the words, move with them in thought without the darkness taking over, and consequently, gained some relief.

What this experience has done is sent me on a quest for the definitive meditation.  I am thankful for YouTube.  I’ve started to explore the meditative offerings out there and was pleased to see that a good number of them have been uploaded in their entirety and are available to try.  My first goal is to try and actually get through one completely – I keep falling asleep!  Maybe it is just who I chose for my first sampling of meditations – Deepak Chopra.  (Why study with the student when the master is available?)  Anyway, I find sleep comes reasonably easy listening to him, and I have to say, what a nice problem to have.

Where to go from here?

It’s a beautiful day outside but things like that are irrelevant at this point.  I’ve been told that the most important thing to do now, is to try and make things as normal as possible. Do what you would normally do, not shut down.  But really in the last three days I have been told a whole bunch of things, my head is swimming.  Obviously each situation is unique, each individual is unique.  So today we are going to do what we had planned for a few months now.  When I made that decision, everything seemed to lighten.  Let’s hope it was the right one.