Just to let you know – This book is in the category of Christian inspirational. I skip over that and focus on God as I understand God.
Peace is not the absence of stress; it is confidence in your importance to God.
I have been reading Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray. I thought it might motivate me to start meditating. But it changed my life.
The following is part of a recent blog post written by Bonnie Gray. “Apparently, PTSD doesn’t just happen to those who are physically abused. The impacts of emotional and verbal abuse are equal in damage and trauma. You don’t need to have fought a war in Afghanistan or Iraq to suffer from it and it’s not limited to victims of physical or sexual abuse either. We are all soldiers in the battlefield of life. And yet, I felt ashamed for suffering. I was scared because I didn’t understand why it was happening. Or how it could happen to someone “strong” like me? I’ve survived plenty in life. I was the one who was the encourager.”
In Finding Spiritual Whitespace, Bonnie Gray talks about dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and insomnia and anxiety. She talks about recovering painful memories from her childhood. I have done that work. It is hard work. So when I started considering I might have to do work harder than that, I got scared. I also got excited. I expect that this work will be hard and it may have a big impact on my life.
She encouraged/challenged me to look at the pain deep within my heart that I try to hide from myself. She reminded me that the person I am today can handle that pain and God will be by my side supporting me.
My deep pain is “No one valued me”. As soon as I say that a tape starts playing that says it is not my fault; it is their issue. It is my mom’s issue or my dad’s or my brothers’ or my boss’ or my coworker’s. But that has never made me feel better. It is pain I slam into everyday as I look for a new job. It feels like I cross my fingers and send off my resume.
I only have control over me. So what can I do to embrace me? This has led me to a plan to become my own beloved.
There are several categories in my plan.
I am considering an online class and certifications. I signed up with the Dislocated Worker Program. My job counselor suggested some computer classes taught locally. The Dislocated Worker program may pay for these classes.
I was unhappy with the person that was advising me on my 401K. I had let it go because I was not sure what to do. I am now working with someone now who I feel is truly considering my interests. He reminded me that I did not have a designated beneficiary which led to the next category.
Create a legacy.
I did not have a beneficiary because of my family history and I don’t trust people very much. But if I had passed away with any remaining assets, the money would have gone to the very people that caused all the pain. I have changed my beneficiary to a charitable organization that has programs to stop domestic violence today and help to prevent it tomorrow.
(Did you see President Obama’s message on the Grammy awards for It’s On Us. He said that in the U.S. nearly 1 in 5 women experienced rape or attempted rape, and that more than 1 in 4 has suffered some form of domestic violence.) I want to stand up and cheer when people care about these issues.
I have started to regularly volunteer with a food shelf near my home. It is also has evening hours so I can continue when I find a job.
I renewed my search for a “home” church. I hope I have found it.
Read for joy and inspiration or growth. I have been reading novels for comfort food. I have also been reading inspirational books. I am currently reading Fight Back With Joy.
I also want to take myself on inspiration dates -places that might encourage creativity.
Walk outdoors and take photos (which also helps the creativity & spirituality).
Or when the weather is frightful, walk indoors are a nearby sports arena. Seeing the other people there, mostly seniors, trying to stay healthy is an inspiration.
Inside the sports arena.
I tend to just listen to music while driving. I am striving to add more music and “dance parties” to my day.
I am striving to do more “dining”. I have a number of struggles with food and I want to try to do more “dining” where I make a meal a special occasion and be more mindful.
If I try to sum this all up, I would say I am trying to be reverent.
Reverence = Mindfulness + Gratitude
This spot in my home reminds me to create peace my life.
My home feels more peaceful – not always, but it has its moments.