Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | January 16, 2011

a meditation on the TLC 31 day pledge

Deep gratefulness to Kim for this plan. It is full of important ideas, and, for me at least, it’s crucial to ACT, not just think about how to treat myself better. I found writing down my thoughts to be a good exercise, and maybe having a real plan will help make it happen, too. Mine is in 2nd person (familiar!) which also was a useful exercise: more like instructions, less like a musing. Give it a try, see what you think. In part she says, “We are pledging to love ourselves and treat ourselves with the same self-care love that our departed loved one would have given us – or perhaps even better.” See link below for her blog on “expressive arts for grieving people”.

In a nutshell: For the next 31 days DAILY we will do 5 things:

1. Commit to being mindful of love for yourself.

2. Manifest one act of loving kindness daily for yourself (whatever you wish it to be).

3. Deflect negative thoughts about any belief that your life lacks love.

4. Speak kind words to yourself and say three things that you are grateful for about yourself.

5. Take time to work on a personal plan for Valentines Day that will provide you with pampering and loving self-care.

My notes:
1) Commit to being mindful of love for yourself.
Action: Nurture your body the way you would nurture someone else. Nurture your body, and spirit, the way you are paying other people to do. Buy that lavender lotion. Massage the lotion into your skin. All of it. Your face, the dark circles under your eyes, your temples. Your dry feet, each toe, the hardworking heels and arches. The muscles in your arms and legs. The skinny hips and belly that have become so bony, so lonely over this past year and a half. Slowly. Breathe in the herbal scent. Touch yourself the way you remember being touched. With love. Take time to just be. You never do this. You are always thinking. Lie down. Stop thinking. Just be. Let thoughts come, let them go. Just for a few minutes.
Also: Feed yourself. Three times a day. A breakfast, a lunch, a supper. No matter how small: a bowl of oatmeal with fruit. A sandwich. Some soup. This is not too much to ask of yourself.
2) Manifest one act of loving kindness for yourself.
Hmm.. Also, do something fun. When you were asked if you do anything fun, you knew it was not good that you couldn’t even think of what that might be. Eventually you came up with Go Skating. You have always loved skating. It is the closest to flying you will ever come except in your dreams. You stopped skating when J. was sick. You couldn’t risk hurting yourself; the whole family needed you to be able to  function.
A month ago you tossed a pebble onto the forming ice. It made a musical note as it bounced. The ice was not thick enough then. Now it is. Get your skates sharpened, and go out on the ice. Far down the long canal, the glassy ice of the tidal marsh. Do not be afraid. Fly.
3. Deflect negative thoughts about any belief that your life lacks love.
Yikes. Actually that had not occurred to you. Perhaps that is a good thing. Being alone is not the same as being lonely. Missing J.’s presence is not the same as wishing for someone else to be here to fill the void. You are still wearing that wedding ring for a reason: as odd as it sounds, this is a different incarnation of marriage. You two  are not finished yet, somehow. This is not ghoulish. When you were told by the polarity therapist/ conscious channel that you would have new glorious love in your life, you thought, Whatever. You did not feel adamant either way: not an adamant NO, Never! or an adamant YES! There must be someone out there for me and where the hell is he?
You are okay this way. You have an awesome kid, a caring family -in the various and amusing ways they manifest that caring-
[as your brother said so lovingly: “Fuck you for making me cry on a Thursday.” That’s how you know he loves you. And still can make you laugh.]
and you have  friends. Maybe more friends than you’ve ever had, more than there is time for. And you have the community of the widowed, who are the only ones who truly get the dark path that you must travel. You’ve felt that there may be a new love at some place and time, and you are fine with it not being here and not now. Whatever.
4. Speak kind words to yourself and say three things that you are grateful for about yourself.
The affirmation you heard the other day that stuck in your head was
You have enough.
You do enough.
You are enough.
Keep on keeping on saying that. Out loud seems key. About yourself, you are grateful for:
Your humor.
Your ability to be alone.
Your knowledge of what you need: how you need to nurture yourself and when you need to reach out to others.
5. Take time to work on a personal plan for Valentines Day that will provide you with pampering and loving self-care.
This one is a little complicated because of your “circumstances”. You’ll be working (hard- a very busy day and night) on Valentine’s Day, a Monday. You’ll  be “painting plates” at the restaurant. Making pretty and delicious desserts for other lovers. That is okay. You are good at that; you get pleasure from making things pretty for other to enjoy. This year it will be more “yours”. There is also a secret thing you are doing. A big deal. An adventure. That probably would not have come about if J. was here. So there’s that.
But if there needs to be something else, you will buy yourself some flowers. Something extravagant. Not that J. would have done that; he probably wouldn’t. That is okay.
You take care.
xo

 

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Responses

  1. not sure the young use this expression anymore…but…”right on”….thank you for this post…it was what I needed when I needed it…

    Like


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