Hello my friends!
It’s been quite a while since I felt to put out a new post. So much has happened since I was last here. All in all I’m doing well. I’ve had a couple of surgeries that have made my daily experience a little gentler, including a gall bladder removal that has made a huge difference with my stomach! As usual the cold winter brought time for warming by the fire, resting and taking it very easy.
I have found having a tool box full of different tools to help myself during rough times is a wonderful thing. I do whatever I have to in order to love myself through the “bad” pain days and enjoy every moment I can whether it is a good day for my pain level or a rough one. The journey has become all about loving myself … no matter what!! I’ll share a little of how that came to be in this post.
The Ketamine infusion gave me about a solid year of relief from most of the pain. After a year the infusion began to wear off and soon severe pain returned. Over the next 6 months the pain slowly crept back to where it had been before the infusion. I knew I would not repeat the infusion due to a side effect around bipolar issues. While the pain relief from the Ketamine was AWESOME, I had no desire to go back on psych meds or deal with post Ketamine hallucinations. This side effect is not common from what I understand and may only occur in people who have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. We didn’t know this the first time around. I hallucinated for over a month following the infusion and it took a good year or so to bring my moods back into balance. I am not in favor of using a treatment that helps the pain but throws another part of me completely out of balance. As a result I’ve decided not to seek further Ketamine treatment.
Several months after the pain resurfaced the nausea came back as well. This was followed by a period of weight loss and severe pain in my gut, as well as some of my organs, not to mention the arms, hands, legs and feet. It got pretty intense for a while. I had two significant surgeries that have corrected problems unrelated to CRPS, which have helped tremendously in bringing a gentler experience for me.
When the pain hit full force again I found myself a bit lost as the worst of the winter 2012 approached. Even though it had only been a couple of years since I felt this level of pain, I had sort of forgotten how bad it could get. Normally I am a very calm person … I am not easily angered. But one day as I awoke again in so much pain, reeling from nausea, gagging and vomiting most of the morning, I found myself furious. I was so angry with my soul, God or whatever force out there that was allowing so much pain in my body. I don’t ever consider quitting but I was so mad that I was being asked to tolerate such a level of pain. I felt my pain was beyond reason and something outside of me was forcing me to endure it. I cursed God. I cursed every inspirational person I had been listening to. Ultimately I cursed my own soul for choosing this experience for me. I screamed “F#@#@ You for keeping me on your little yo yo: Up and down for your entertainment!! It’s not fair!!! Screw YOU!!!” Truly this was one of the worst moments I had faced in a very long time. It was dark and I felt very alone.
I spent about 24 hours just plain pissed off! I could not think of one thing that made feel better about my situation and the pain just seemed to grow. After awhile the anger began to ease and a deep sadness set in. What was I to do? I curled up on the couch and put a Sci-Fi show on my TV to try and distract myself. I laid there holding myself. I tried to find some part of my body that wasn’t in pain to focus on. No luck there as even my hair felt like it hurt.
Lately my journey had led me to believe loving myself was the answer for all that ailed me. I had been trying to love myself and in this moment I wondered how could I possibly ever really do that. If my soul chose this illness for me, how would I ever find a way to love that part of me?? How would I ever trust a part of me that would choose to bring me so much pain. As I laid there holding myself I had no answers for me. I had no positive words of encouragement and no hope of the pain passing any time soon. The pain had been getting worse and worse for months now. I was literally at the end of my rope, yet I knew as bad as this was the moment would pass. As I laid there and cried I made a promise to myself that would change the very foundation of everything in my life. I promised myself if nothing ever changed, if the pain never went away, if every day following was just like this one, I would do my best to love myself anyway. I would be the one who would be there for me when all else failed. If everything and everyone fails or abandons me, I will be there for me. I promised myself I would love me … no matter what!! Feeling some comfort in that I just held myself and cried until I finally fell asleep.
In the days and weeks that followed I searched my heart to understand what I meant when I made this promise. In my early 20’s I met a woman who told me I would never be truly free until I learned to love myself. Over the years I have tried to do that. But honestly I didn’t feel like I was very good at it. I didn’t feel I even knew how to love myself at this point in my life but I decided I was gonna give it my all. It seemed there was nothing else left to do. While I didn’t have a lot of examples of how to love myself, I did have plenty of examples of how not to love me. I started with what I knew. I would ask myself in each situation, “What’s the most loving thing I can do right now.” The more I “tried” to love myself, the more I came to understand about myself and about what love is to me.
One of the things I really noticed early on was how much negative self talk was taking place in my head. Of course the “old” natural reaction to noticing this was to start judging myself for the negativity, or to get caught up trying to turn every thought into a positive one. In order to love myself I found the best way to deal with these moments was to tell myself, “I could be gentler.” Arguing with myself, or trying to convince wounded parts of me that everything was okay would leave me feeling empty and exhausted. For me the best way to deal with my inner critic was to notice her and then get on with the business of loving myself anyway. I did not need to train my brain or convince these parts of me that they were wrong about their judgement. I began to notice when I would love myself anyway they got quieter. Eventually my self talk just began to change, it got gentler. It’s one of the great benefits of self love. It turns out so much of what I wanted to change about myself just naturally happened as I began truly loving myself. There is no force or effort required when I’m truly loving myself. If things feel forced it’s time for a deep breath. I can allow with grace and ease if I will do this.
A few months into my self love journey, I wrote a song called “Love Is The Answer.” This was a turning point in my life and in my music. I felt like it was the first time I didn’t write a song by myself. I felt deeply that my soul had participated in the creation. I began to realize my spirit communicates with me often through a song. In this song I talk about how love is the answer for each and every part of me. Today I love and accept myself exactly where I am. No part of me is ever turned away. In my heart there is a place where any and all parts of me are welcome and safe. I realize I don’t need to be perfect or better in order to allow this love. It turns out I have a soul that loves me unconditionally. I can feel this and allow it in my life today. If I will love myself through whatever comes, my spirit meets me here where I am. It is so amazing to have a moment where I connect with that part of myself and know I am heard, loved and even held when I need it. There is part of me that is not stuck in time, a part of me that is not wounded or damaged by this human experience. It’s the part of me that is a spark of God. This part of me, my spirit, my own soul loves me deeply and unconditionally. This part of me does not judge me for my experience, instead it honors me. This part of me holds the love and wisdom of every experience I’ve ever had and will share that with me, whenever I am willing to allow. It turns out there is no separation between me and my spirit. That is just an illusion I experienced when I was pinched off from my spirit by the pain of my past. Today even in a moment of deep pain I can feel I am not alone and I never will be again!
Today when something intense comes my way, whether it is emotional or physical, I know I can love myself through it. I have learned not to take action when my emotions are high. I have learned how loving myself through a tough moment brings integration. Old wounded pieces of me finding their way home as a result of my kindness and gentleness towards myself. It turns out I had parts of me that would sabotage my creations in the past. From their wounded state the creations were not always pretty. These pieces or aspects of me wounded in the past and not caught up to my current level of love or wisdom. I can notice when this is happening today and love myself through it. I love myself through whatever pain or emotions that surface. Once the moment passes and the integration takes place I am able to access the wisdom of that part of me. The rest of the wound just seems to fall away. I am no longer haunted by the pain of my past. I am no longer afraid of the pain I might face tomorrow. I am no longer alone!
A most valuable point of wisdom fell in when I came to understand how temporary my emotions are. I came to understand that a moment of pain is just that, a moment. Admittedly I’ve had those moments that seemed they would never end. But they always do. Sooner or later the pain passes, or eases and relief or joy creeps in. It’s inevitable my emotions change, as does the moment. Today I can love myself through the moment of pain and fully embrace the moments of relief or joy.
I have dreamed a day could come that I would hold a vibration in my body that would not support the level of pain I’ve experienced to date. While I still fully believe that potential exists, it is not my goal. Perhaps, like everything else it will happen naturally as a result of loving myself. It just doesn’t matter anymore. I will say this, my experience is getting gentler all the time! Today I make my choices based on what will be the most loving, gentle choice for me. I don’t choose based on some other person’s opinion of what’s right for me. I don’t choose based on my inner critic’s opinion. I don’t choose based on the past, or fear of the future. I always take it to my heart and choose based on that opinion.
I’ve also learned to notice the difference between my heart and my head. When I ask a question and the answer I get is long winded or in any way negative, judgmental or critical I know it is not my heart or spirit answering. My heart speaks gently and lovingly. My heart is wise and can say so much with just one or a few words. Always my spirit is clear and speaks with clarity from my heart. I know when I ask for help from this place all energies in the universe that are here for me become available. I know when I ask for help I will receive it, if I will allow it.
I came up with so many ways to “love myself through it” when things are tough. From my “house of love” exercise, to breathing exercises and all the way through to the loving distractions when nothing else is working. I am hoping to share some of this through my music and some Youtube presentations that I’ll be working on making available some time later this summer. My You Tube channel is Kimguitar42. I will post the link to my first video in this series here on wordpress when it’s ready.
Until then I wish all so much love and peace on your journey! I wish you all Self love and acceptance! I encourage each of you to do one thing to show yourself a little love today. Then just notice how that makes you feel. Maybe you’ll even try it again tomorrow??
Love and peace to you all … Kimberly