I’m less of a “know-it-all” now. I’ve discovered there’s much more room in the heart of an “I-don’t-know-it-all”.
I love you enough to become so serene and at peace that I don’t “need” you.
Needing you is different than loving you. Needing is confining, while loving is freeing.
We each have everything we need to live fully – no one else can give it to us. So if I “need” you, it means that I am not taking care of myself, and it really has nothing to do with you.
My strength and serenity come from within and not “out there somewhere.”
-from I LOVE YOU ENOUGH . . . TO LET YOU GO by Tim McGregor
(I found this in my folder of quotes that I put up in my office every week. I like to give credit to my sources, but I have no idea where this came from, who wrote it or when. However, in honor of National Coming Out Day, it feels appropriate, so I’m sending it out to all my friends, regardless of who they are, how they look, or what their sexual orientation is.)
NO ONE IS LIKE YOU
Think what a remarkable, unduplicatable, and miraculous thing it is to be you. Of all the peope who have come and gone on the earth, since the beginning of time, not one of them is like YOU!
No one who has ever lived or is to come has had your combination of abilities, talents, appearance, friends, acquaintances, burdens, sorrows, opportunities. No one’s hair grows exactly the same way yours does. No one’s fingerprints are like yours. No one has the same combination of secret inside jokes and family expressions that you know. The few peope who laugh at all the same things you do don’t sneeze the way you do.
No one is loved by the same combination of peope that love you. . . NO ONE!
No one before, no one to come. You are absolutely unique. Enjoy that uniqueness. You do not have to pretend in order to seem more like someone else. You weren’t meant to be like someone else. You do not have to lie to conceal the parts of you that are not like what you see in anyone else. You were meant to be different. Nowhere ever in all of history will the same things be going on in anyone’s mind, soul and spirit as are going on in yours now.
If you did not exist there would be a hole in creation, a gap in history, something missing from the plan for human kind. Treasure your uniqueness. It is a gift given only to you. Enjoy it! Share that uniqueness.
No one can reach out to others in the same way that you can.
No one can speak your words. No one can convey your meanigs. No one can comfort with your kind of comfort. No one can bring your kind of understanding to another person.
No one can be cheerful and lighthearted and joyous in your way.
No one can smile your smile.
No one else can bring the whole unique impact of you to another human being.
Mindfulness is sometimes used interchangably with the word, meditation. Other ways to describe it include: awareness, consciousness, & noticing with curiosity. To me it’s simply being who you are where you are.
I ran across a paper recently that helps explain mindfulness. Although I’m not reproducing the entire paper here, I want to give credit to the author, whom I’ve never met – and don’t know where she lives or anything else about her. Her name is Shelly Young. It’s about “Basic States Mindfulness”. I will quote from her to explain mindfulness.
My goal here is to help those who are intimidated by the thought of sitting in silence to meditate. There are literally as many ways to meditate or be mindful as there are people who practice it. This is one concept.
(NOTE: Some of you know me well enough to know I don’t like labels, but I will say that the way this exercise is explained makes this one exception to that rule.)
Mindfulness is awareness of thoughts, feelings, sensations, behavior and what is all around us in the present moment. There are different ways to practice mindfulness. One way is through awareness of breathing. The one below is through being aware of everything you are experiencing in the present moment.
We use labels to name the experience. There are four labels for the body and four for the mind. Four of them are restful state labels and four are active state labels. The goal is not to create more restful or active states – just be aware of, notice whatever you are experiencing and say the label that corresponds to what you are aware.
Practicing the Basic States Mindfulness Meditation is like integrating the action and reasoning parts of your brain. With practice, you may find that you are significantly less bothered by things, including your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and urges.
To do the mindfulness meditation, you can sit with eyes closed (or open and staring at a focal point if you prefer) and say the labels that go along with each experience, as it arises. Or you can just be aware and notice as you go about your daily tasks. Be curious how you can do this without judgment and just notice what you experience from one moment to the next – sometimes almost each second. As you practice this you will find you are able to accept your experiences much more easily. Acceptance does not mean you like an experience. Rather you can be more objective in order to consider your choices.
Basic States Mindfulness Meditation:
Touch: Any physical sensation of which you are aware anywhere in your body. The physical sensation can seem internal – like an aching muscle, or external – like being aware of your hand in your lap or the texture of the chair you are in. This also includes tiredness and when you are aware of your breathing.
Relaxed: Any amount of relaxation at all that you have anywhere in your body, usually in your limbs.
Feeling: Any emotional experience of which you are aware, including both negative emotions – like anger, frustration, irritation, anxiety, fear, hurt – as well as positive emotions – like happiness, joy, humor, excitement, courage.
Calm: Awareness of the absence of emotions, maybe in the center of your body. This may seem abstract because it’s an absence, but if you have ever had a headache and then it goes away, you are very aware of its absence.
Image: Any picture of a place, thing, person that comes to mind.
Blank: Darkness or lightness that takes up most of the visual field.
Talk: Any words, phrases, sentences, or numbers that come to mind.
Quiet: Another absence label. This is when you are aware of the silence. No talk, no images, just the quiet.
When you are aware of more than one experience, which is common, just pick one. It doesn’t matter which one your pick. Don’t drive yourself to do this “correctly” because there is no right or wrong experience. Another nice benefit of this practice is that you “divide and conquer” the overwhelm of emotional distress. By naming your experiences with the labels, you momentarily separate the experience from everything else. By dividing your experience into bits, you will find that you can more easily conquer your emotional upsets. During the day, even with eyes open simply using the labels “sight” and “sound” to correspond to any experience that one sees or hears at any time or any place, or any moment also works.
Again, remember there’s no “right” way to do this. Just notice without judgment. Try it for a day or two. Don’t beat yourself up if you forget & let your mind wander. That’s why we call it a “practice”. It’s not something that comes naturally to most of us.