My newest song arrangement is done and I’ve interspersed my post with a lot of my lyric lines. This song definitely moves me from the moment the first chords of the introduction start playing. My blog has really documented the stages involved with the birth of “Take Me Away,” which hatched from an old guitar instrumental named “Waterfalls.”
Click the blue link below to hear a karaoke. I am still working on recording my guitar, vocal and harmony for it:
“It is what it is”
I began my hypnotherapy session by saying tearfully, “I feel like a shell of a person!”
It was because the past two weeks had held many challenges for me.
It felt like every day was far too complicated and I burst into tears easily. Recently I had written about how acknowledgement was a very helpful word – but applying it was harder than I thought.
Only the day before, a simple task of returning a modem to an Internet provider turned into a 3-hour ordeal. My eyes were foggy and I had trouble seeing street addresses. It turned out that the first location on my list was no longer in business. But I had another location to try. When I arrived there and went inside, I was told I needed to go to a third location and another after that. After I found out at the sixth location that I needed a label (which I had left at home), I began sobbing in my car. I drove home and decided I was very angry with my 23-year-old son, whom I wished had taken care of this. I had waited a week for him to handle the return; he told me he was too busy with work and school to help. Now I regretted that I hadn’t waited longer even though I was being charged for it. I had ordered that extra modem for him (his game system didn’t work well with our current provider), but it turned out that it didn’t work in our apartment.
I realized that my situation above wasn’t anything to cry about. But clearly it was a buildup from other things going on.
Two weeks ago, my 20-year-old daughter had a minor accident in the restaurant where she worked. It was 11:00 p.m. and Urgent Care was closed. She was shaking and I insisted she come over so I could drive her to the ER. We arrived and found out the wait was five hours. The nurse that did the checking in kindly said off-the-record that it didn’t look like my daughter needed stitches, so we decided to go home. The cut was very close to her eye and she was lucky.
My daughter’s run of close calls continued with a minor car accident last week. It happened on a day when I had plans to go to a special movie screening. Being invited out by a friend was a rarity in my life and I was really looking forward to it. But only two hours before getting ready to leave, I received a panicked call from my daughter.
She had been working at a far away location as a movie extra. It was her first day and she had slept over at my house. She had to leave at 4:30 a.m. that morning and was very tired when the shoot was over. Because she was so exhausted, she drove home in the wrong direction and had to turn around. She lost control of her car on the dirt shoulder and plowed into a fence. Of course, I was relieved my daughter was okay – but her car was not drivable. It was difficult for the tow truck to extricate it from under a fence and tree.
I cancelled my show plans. The tow truck was bringing her and the damaged car to my house. I took it upon myself to help solve her problem by calling a friend who had a car she could temporarily borrow. In the meantime, I would pay my friend to help repair her car. My daughter had been struggling financially to live on her own, working at a restaurant and barely making ends meet. We were getting along much better since she’d moved out. But not on this day. After she snapped at me, I regretted mentioning that I had cancelled my plans to be there for her. She was furious at me for not appearing more sympathetic to her situation. I was completely frustrated trying to soothe her and myself at the same time.
Two days later, we drove to the scene of her accident. My daughter didn’t have any information about how to reach the owner of the fence she had hit, but she had shared her insurance information with someone on the property. Our drive was a 3-hour excursion where I hoped to find the owner and request that the repair not go through our insurance company because if reported, it would cause my insurance to go sky high. As we grew closer to the area, my daughter was agitated and upset. I got out of the car alone and knocked on the door of a large sprawling ranch home. No one answered the door, but as I walked back to my car I heard a voice. A woman got off her horse and came over to me with a smile. She was friendly and told me she’d let me know what the repair cost. I was so relieved and glad I had made that trip.
But as I drove home, my daughter said things that upset me. I felt my throat tightening and unleashed a torrent of angry words that I couldn’t stop. After that, the rest of our drive was in silence. A few hours later, we hugged before she went home and I wished I hadn’t had such an outburst. I was so glad when the day was over!
There was something else that had saddened me the past week. I had called an old friend whom I hadn’t spoken with for a long time. She confided to me that I had written something on my blog a year ago, which had deeply hurt her. I felt awful because my intention was never to hurt such a good friend; I thought that what I had written was kind. But she was right; I had mentioned something hurtful without realizing it. Even though I told her I was sorry, I felt terrible that I could not erase her pain. I hoped she would forgive me for being so thoughtless.
And lastly, the day before my session, I had received two written reports about my 17-year-old son that depressed me. The reports were filled with pages listing all his challenges. The truth was that my son was very happy and lately he was doing much better in school. He was truly the sunshine in my life. I decided to put the reports in a drawer and not read them.
So when I came to my hypnotherapy session, acknowledging my stress hardly comforted me. I was back to that place of feeling like a failure because I wasn’t grateful enough – things could definitely be worse!
My hypnotherapist, Connie, patiently listened as I recounted all the travails from my past week. Then she gently asked me what stories I was telling myself surrounding my recent challenges. I loved how she was able to have a more detached perspective of my situation.
She was right because with me, there was always a story behind everything. It was the stories that I told myself, which caused me the most pain.
It all started with when I came in announcing I was a “shell of a person.”
Did I really believe that? I said it because I was teary and felt empty inside. But the on the other hand, over the past week I celebrated how much pleasure my new song gave me. And I had very much enjoyed seeing my friend, Carol.
Yet my new song was definitely about my grief. There was no escaping that fact.
I talked a lot to Connie about the difficulty I had with my daughter. Being there for her was important. But I was confused – was I doing too much for her? I hadn’t felt appreciated, but had my own mother caused me to ever feel that way? The story that came into my mind was that I couldn’t measure up to my own mother.
I also had a car accident when I was 20 years old that left my chin scarred. At that time, my parents took care of everything for me and I didn’t think anything about it.
But now, I was spending a lot of energy focusing on how I bore the financial burden for my daughter alone. It felt unfair. But the last thing I wanted to do was approach my soon-to-be-ex-husband to pitch in (for many reasons I can’t mention). My daughter was already down about her life; taking on the extra job was her own initiative to earn extra money. I wanted to be supportive by fixing her car so she could get to work, but at the same time was I rescuing her from the consequences?
There was an underlying current going on and I wasn’t sure what it was. I was miserable and didn’t want to go to the place of using my eyesight discomfort as the reason either.
I settled into the comfortable recliner for hypnosis. Tears were oozing out from under my closed eyelids. I was ready to go to a peaceful place, for sure.
Usually going under hypnosis was simply like taking a nap for me. I closed my eyes and drifted. This day was slightly different. I felt a sensation as if I was really floating and tingling. It was such a relief and my tears finally stopped pouring down my cheeks.
In the distance I heard Connie’s voice. She said, “I’m going to say three words for you to listen carefully to.”
She said, ”It isn’t fair.”
I felt myself tighten up inside. This was a trap – another trigger for me.
With my eyes closed, my voice was sharp as I said, “Whoever said life was fair? There is no fairness in life! I never expected fairness. Okay – at times I can honestly admit being envious of people who haven’t experienced the losses I have. But then there are people who have gone through far more tragedies in life, too!”
I wondered why she had used those words – it wasn’t comforting for me at all!
Instead, those words felt critical. Had I not appeared grateful that my child was okay? Or that my two sons had achieved more than I ever imagined with challenges that made life hard for them?
I remembered my parents and how loving they were to me. I tried so hard to be a loving mother to my three children – taking care of their needs, while at the same time missing having someone who cared about my own.
It was hard to face and I was crying again.
Now Connie steered the hypnosis somewhere else and suggested I go to a peaceful place. I did. I was in a forest near a cool waterfall. My mother was holding me. I began to feel calm again.
I said, “It’s hard to face that my parents are gone forever. Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed and unsure of what I’m doing with my own children because I’m still a child inside!”
Connie said softly, “Every person needs love and understanding.”
I said, “There’s no one on earth who could love me like my mom and dad did. Where would I find love like that now?
The obvious answer was self-love. Compassion and understanding from me to me. This was something I was working toward and excited because something had shifted for me after my last trip. Despite all the recent stressors in my life, I had not gone back to using food for comfort. I had lost a few pounds and felt better. On top of that, I had committed myself once again to stop biting my nails and had succeeded.
Now my new goal was to silence the inner critic that only spun stories causing me misery. An example was when I fought with my daughter because I felt she wasn’t grateful enough for all I had done. Then I felt guilty because she was so angry that I wasn’t more grateful she wasn’t injured. On top of that, was I an enabler for rescuing her?
I had so much “black and white” thinking going on. It was always those extremes that led me to pain. There could definitely be alternative ways to see this.
Before I woke up from hypnosis, Connie gently asked me if there was some other statement that would help me deal with those things that burdened me. The first words that popped out of my mouth were, “It is what it is.”
She repeated back my words to me. “It is what it is.” Even with my eyes closed, I could tell by the tone in her voice that Connie was smiling.
I liked those words a lot. I said them over and over. For some reason, I wasn’t spinning any stories with those words. They really allowed me to find the acknowledgment I was looking for.
The anguish and chatter that cluttered my mind faded. So often I would go back to what I wished I had done differently. I was hard on myself and frustrated for feeling weak and crying easily.
Those words were all about moving on and not being stuck.
A few days later I realized that I wasn’t dwelling on feeling guilty for not being grateful anymore or complaining about unfairness in life. It turned out that the concept of “It’s so unfair” actually was an ongoing theme for me that I wasn’t even aware of.
I am always amazed at how adept I am at suppressing my own feelings. I just pushed those feelings down that were “wrong” and for decades I never allowed myself to feel.
So now I’ve decided to allow myself to feel that it certainly isn’t fair when crap happens in my life.
After that, it is simple for me to switch gears by announcing, “But it is what it is!”
© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.