Lesson Eight: Nurture Your Self

This lesson is divided into three parts that revolve around nurturing what we want to grow and allowing ourselves to feel all our emotions without judgement. Self-care is vital to healing from depression. The actions for each lesson might seem intense and they can be. Finding our true self is not easy when we feel too depressed to do much of anything, but it helps us create a strong foundation to continue healing, and not revert to our old ways of living.


 

Part One: What Makes Your Heart Sing?

My heart song is my entire life! It’s when I pursue life with intent that resonates with me. It’s when my emotions, thoughts and actions are created in harmony. My heart song is when I feel okay even as stress has clouded my vision and I’m not quite sure what to do, but know that whatever I choose it must make my heart sing.

It is a process. Be patient and caring for yourself. Try different methods and once you find the one that makes your heart sing, keep using it. Be persistent. You will see that connecting within will give you the coherence that will allow you to thrive in the outer complexity.”-Blanca Vergara. Learn more from Blanca at, http://Blancavergara.com

Once we discover our heart song life becomes simpler, balanced and beautiful.

During my depression I relied on positive, upbeat music to lift my mood. There were many to choose from, but many of the lyrics didn’t resonate with me. I decided to write a song for myself; to guide, remind and empower me to continue on this journey without giving up.

Can you write a heart song? It doesn’t have to rhyme, or be perfect. It just needs to come from you, from your core. Is writing a song for yourself too “dorky”? Or are you not creative enough? I know all the excuses. I’ve told myself enough excuses in three decades to recognize when I’m making one, but what does holding back really give us? My advice is to work past your fear and sing it loud, even if it’s with your bedroom door shut tight. Though I’ve found the shower has better acoustics.

Action:

Write your heart song.

If you’re not sure how to find your heart song, answer the questions below and really LISTEN to your answers. Once you know what your heart song is, stick with it. Practice “singing” your heart song. Turn this practice into habits. Eventually your life will revolve around these habits and create a ripple effect of your truest self.

  1. What makes my heart sing?
  2. Where do I feel balance in my daily life?
  3. What thoughts lead me to healthy decisions?
  4. How are my actions creating a life that feels good?

*Here is a song I made for myself:

“Listen”

Listen to the world it is calling out, listen to the whispers and to the shouts.

 -just listen, just listen-

Listen to the waves as they ebb and flow, listen to the words coming out your soul.

-just listen, just listen-

Listen to the birds singing in the trees, listen to the mountains standing tall and free.

-just listen, just listen-

Listen to your soul it is talking to you, listen to your heart telling you to be true.

-just listen, just listen-


 

Part Two: Cry the pain out and let peace in!

Go ahead and CRY. It’s okay to let out that pent-up pain. Happiness is one of our goals, but we are imperfect beings and we feel sadness. Our real goal is to find BALANCE. Why do we stop ourselves from expressing negative emotions? I’ve learned that ignoring and stopping ourselves and others from expressing negative emotions only gives those negatives more strength.

There is a healthy strength in allowing yourself to cry when you need. I’ve learned that allowing myself to cry when the pain is overwhelming causes a physical relief. Crying releases the toxic negative buildup residing in our bodies. Crying gives us relief. I used to cry so easily. The tiniest “injustice” would have me slumped on the floor. I nagged and berated myself about it. I was so cruel, calling myself a “stupid, useless idiot” every time I cried. The more frustrated I became with my pain and tears the more I cried. I trapped myself in a nasty cycle. I felt like I would be stuck in it forever.

But then I started reading wisdom from others who had felt similar pains, who had learned to stop holding in hate and stopped seeking revenge for the pain others caused. I learned to listened openly to their words and found a comfort in learning two very important lessons. The first lesson was that I was not alone in my pain. There were many more like me. Some of them survived and some gave up under the weight. I decided I wanted to survive.

The second lesson was that I could heal if I learned to focus on what really matters be it feeling wonderful like joy or feeling heavy with unwanted grief. I learned that a small cut requires medicine and a bandage. Those big painful knock-outs require much more. They need a cleansing. Crying can be so cleansing. It allows you to rinse away the lingering pain and heal.

Action:

  1. The next time I feel like crying I will allow myself to do so.
  2. I will allow myself to be in the moment and when the pain is released, allow myself to stop crying, take a deep breath and move forward with compassion.

 

Part Three: Nurture What You Want to Grow!

What do you want to nurture?” This may be one of the best questions to ask as we start another revolution around the sun.

As I continue forward with creating a healthy life of balance, how I answer is very important. The years have been full of grief, healing, transition, taking chances and many new friendships. Since I no longer have my mother’s presence I’ve learned to be my own “guide”, encouraging myself to be courageous, take chances, speak up and say “YES!” I’ve failed at these often and it’s difficult to not allow those failures to push me backward. But I cannot go back to the fearful person I once was.

Have you ever experienced a profound lesson and were then unable to see the world as before? It’s both liberating and scary. Suddenly we have no choice but to change. We can’t unlearn. We may attempt to ignore it, but once we have new knowledge it becomes a part of us. We have changed.

In the new year, I want to nurture new lessons so they become habits. This means paying close attention to my thoughts, words and actions. I will have to remind myself constantly or I will forget and become frustrated. However, it will be worthwhile once those lessons become ingrained in my mind. It’s important to remember there will always be new lessons and to be open to those.

Does this sound like a lot? Commit to tiny changes, work on as little or as much as you want. What matters is YOU choosing what is most important to your true self.

Action:

  1. Reflecting on the past year, what has served me?
  2. What has stunted me?
  3. What do I want to nurture?
  4. How can I do that?
  5. What resources are already available?
  6. What new resources do I need to nurture myself?

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