A Pick-Me-Up

A Pick-Me-Up for The Present Time

By Jane Tawel

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  My poem below and this post are not meant any way to make light of people with ongoing depression.  It also is not at all meant to imply that people with depression or who are sad, should not seek help professionally, personally, from the experts, and from friends and family who love you.  This poem is merely an attempt on my part to address my own dealings with loss and sadness at the current time as I am having to deal with certain issues.

 

 

Perhaps because you are more isolated and alone, you too, need just a small reminder to look on the bright side of your life as soon as you are possibly able.  Perhaps you are feeling more vulnerable in yourself, or your relationships, or your beliefs. When the world seems dark, keep looking for the light. And if you can’t find the light yourself, follow the person with the flashlight or the candle.  Believe in your heroic ability to do what you need to do in such a time as this. And if you can’t believe in your own abilities, lean hard on and use without guilt, the gifts and guidance of those people who have suffered much and still managed to have big hearts and a lot of love for other people.

Image result for image tolkien frodo time

 

 

I often have felt, at least in my own culture, we lack the ability to truly grieve and truly angst.  We do need to go completely through the process of completely grieving or mourning the loss of something or someone, and that takes time, which we are seldom given enough of to do it all properly. If you are feeling down today for big or small reasons, or even for reasons that you can’t even put your finger on to explain what and why they are – let yourself feel sad. Let yourself feel down.  This too is part of the journey that leads to something and somewhere and sometimes Someone or someone. We can’t always succumb to fear of sadness in the same we can not always succumb to fear of viruses. Neither one is something we want, but neither will any of us remain unchanged by the reality of both in the human experience. Change can be good, even when painful. But as one of my favorite quotes, says, fear can be a super-power if you use it the right way. And so can sadness and even a manageable amount of depression.

Image result for dr who quote on fear

 

I am not recommending that you fast-forward to denial and I am not recommending that you skip ahead to self-medicate yourself with a false sense of happiness. It is not wrong to grieve or feel scared, or even to feel depressed, if you go through these things with the idea that it is for a greater purpose than wallowing in them. And if you make quite certain that you know somewhere inside your deepest self, that you are never meant to stay there in any of those things – not fear, not sorrow, and not depression.  You are meant to go on to that feeling that makes you know you are bigger than anything small enough to live inside you – virus or fear or depression. You are meant to believe that hope and all of those actions and that particular life that only you and you alone – that all of that can come out of suffering to be something better.

Believe that there are big good things waiting for you, and that those things are strong enough and plentiful enough to defeat the small bad things — big things like smiles and laughter, and kindness and trust, warm food and warm touches, and lovely smells and lovely sights, and sweet dreams and sweet words, and of course, there will be the biggest most powerful weapon against all the bad stuff, the greatest of all — Love.

We may have to wait, and we may not like waiting, but perhaps we should remember that it is better to be out here pacing in the waiting room, than in the metaphoric surgery or morgue. Waiting means there is time to learn and learning means there is hope, even perhaps, in life after the surgery or morgue. So if you are feeling helpless, imagine instead that there is something, someone  that needs your love. And love is worth waiting for.

Image result for image of quote by rainer maria rilke on waiting

You are the piece of coal today, that tomorrow can be a diamond.  You are cocooning today, so that tomorrow you can be the butterfly. You are feeling the gritty sand behind your tired, sick, sorrowful eyes right now, so that tomorrow your eyes can be clear, and you will become as transparently real and as beautiful as glass. Today’s grinding sand are tomorrow’s windows to a cleaner, brighter soul.

 

 

The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.      Jean Paul

 

Grieve and moan, angst and hide out for a bit, but take care of yourself. Let yourself hope even if you can’t feel it yet. Let yourself love something, even if it is something small or inanimate, even if it can’t love you back.  I have been loving the actors on old Netflix TV series who make me laugh, even though they will never love me back.  I have been loving the sound of the birds outside my window, the smell of cinnamon raisin toast and coffee, and the dredged-up memories of wonderful times I have shared with people I love.

Let yourself own your feelings for now, but realize you have only checked out those feelings for the time being. Like a book from the library that you don’t enjoy, return it as fast as possible and find another reading on life that can make you smile and feel hopeful again. Seek and find the very best parts of YOU, and of others, and seek some modicum of joy wherever and whenever you can, in those people and things around you.

 

Image result for image on  quotes on joy

 

*******At the end of this post, as in some of my past posts, I will share several links that you can text or call if your depression has reached such lows that you do not want to live any more. Please skip ahead to those links if you are feeling that way right now.

 

Please know that you are an important part of the lives that surround you and even if you don’t feel it right now, there is help and there is a way out of this and a way forward.  Don’t give up.

 

 

 

A Poetic Pick-Me-Up

By Jane Tawel

March 17, 2020

*

I can’t stay sad for long,

It isn’t in my nature.

Unless I have done wrong,

To creature or Creator,

I’ll find the brightest side,

And let that be my guide,

To muddle on,

A smile to don,

And not stay down for long.

*

If I’m not in the right,

I’ll muster all my might,

To ask to be forgiven,

And then get back to livin’.

So, if I have hurt you,

Then please, just tell me true,

And also what to do,

To change your point of view.

*

But if I’m blue because,

The universe seems flawed,

And I am sad inside,

I’ll let Love be my guide.

I’ll cry or rant or rave,

 But soon, I will be brave,

Enough to see the glass

More full– and greener grass.

Because when all is over,

I’d rather be in clover,

Than sitting on my bum,

And feeling mad or glum.

*

For a little while I gave up,

And then my mind, I made up,

To find the strength to burrow,

My way towards tomorrow.

There’s light and love just round the bend,

So, I will let my sore heart mend,

And find some joy in living

And then get back to giving,

Myself the right to heal awhile,

And find some peace, and find a smile.

*

 

 I hope that if you’re weary,

And like I, maybe teary,

That you won’t give up either.

Just give yourself a breather,

From worrying or angst-ing,

Or in sor-row ensconcing.

I’m here for you, and you for me.

And surely, we can both agree,

That if we really need each other,

Our grief and woes, they will not smother,

The best in you and best in me,

And that is what humanity,

Can do, and live, and hope, and be.

*

With just a little happiness,

And trying to look on the best,

I think we’ll overcome the rest

Of what has made us feel depressed.

And letting go our pains and woes,

And seeing how this next bit goes,

We might to joy and peace succumb,

And our depressions overcome.

*

So, I will hope, but I won’t rush it,

And even when life’s lost its luster,

I’ll trust and love and faith I’ll muster

For if I shine just one more smile,

Then I’ll feel happier in a while.

Yes, happiness can be a plan,

To counteract and to demand,

That I care for my heart and soul,

And make some joy my greater goal.

Yes, I can cry and I can grieve,

But I am meant for joie de vivre.

*

Tomorrow I may mourn again,

And feel more sorrow and more pain,

But now, I’ll store fear on a shelf,

And take good care of my wee self.

I’ll find a smile, and do my part,

To heal my mind, soul, bones, and heart.

*

For life is good and love is long,

and hope can never do us wrong.

For fear is small and passing’s strife,

So, grasp at love, and re-love life.

 

*

 

Don’t ever be afraid or ashamed to get help with serious feelings of sadness or depression. The links below are to services that are available 24/7. Your call or text will be anonymous, and free.

 

Be brave enough to think you matter enough to someone to find hope in your journey.  You are worthy of another day here with us. Believe it.

Quotes image of Joy is a decision, a really brave one, about how you are going to respond to life.

 

 

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BELIEVE YOU ARE SUICIDAL TO CALL OR TEXT THESE NUMBERS.  YOU JUST NEED TO KNOW YOU WOULD LIKE SOME HELP WITH LIVING TODAY.  

PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH ANYONE YOU THINK COULD USE A HELPING HAND TODAY ALONG WITH YOUR OWN.

 

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/   CALL 1-800-273-8255

 

You can also text the Crisis Text Line:

USA: Text HOME to 741741

UK: Text 85258

CANADA: Text 686868

 

Or

24/7 Crisis Hotline: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
1-800-273-TALK (8255) (Veterans, press 1)

Crisis Text Line
Text TALK to 741-741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7

Ten Small Radical Things To Do Each Day

Ten Small Radical Things To Do Each Day

by Jane Tawel

October, 2019

Here are Ten Small Radical Things that I think we should make daily habits, but that we can at least try to do today. These come from my own succeeding and failing at each of these. Try one, or a few of them today. Each day make time to live with hope and joy — these Ten Things could help.

  1. Laugh until your sides hurt. It’s best to do with someone, but if that’s not possible, do it with the person who “gets you” the most — yourself. Laugh with a comic book, a funny video, a comedian, or watch a squirrel or a puppy (often great sources of humor).

2. Hum a tune. This is a great way to relax your mind and your body. It activates the all-important Vagus nerve. It is incredibly fun to do on your own and can also be a great way to drive someone else crazy (should you need to).

3. Take care of something small that you don’t usually make time for. Sometimes, it is as simple for me as taking time to brush my hair for fifty strokes — so relaxing! I find taking care of my finger and toe nails to be a helpful reminder that I really do have time for small things if I stop letting my time be gobbled up by the big, bad things, like the “Busy-Ness Monster” or the “Blob of Ennui”. Try spending just a wee amount of time caring for some small part of your garden, either figuratively or literally. Or do something for just one part of your body that needs attention. Try a face mask or hair treatment or just elevating your feet against the nearest wall. The important thing is to do it yourself, not spend any real money on it, and do it in solitude, caring for your inner self as you care for something outside of yourself. Most of all, enjoy doing it, not as a task, but as self-care.

4. Chew more slowly or drink more deeply. Actually and intentionally tasting what you are imbibing or masticating will give you two important, transformative things; it will give you more pleasure and more gratitude.

5. Go outside. If it is too hot or too cold, stand on your porch or your stoop and let your body really feel what is going on. If, like Goldilocks, the weather is just right, take a walk. Of course, Goldilocks may vary. The best of all weather for me, here in the desert, is rain. I love to walk in the rain. But even if you just have a three-minute break today, go stand outside. But don’t do it for steps, or exercise, just go outside to BE. Be in a real environment called “The Outdoors”, with no fake lights, no fake air, no fake animation. Enjoy the Realness. Look. Listen. Feel. Breathe. Unwind.

6. Wave and smile. If it’s to a stranger, that is the best kind of gift since all you will hope to get in return is a wave and smile back. If they don’t smile or wave back, you will still feel better. If you make this gesture to someone you are working with or someone in your home that you see day after day, a little wave and smile will be a happy reminder to both of you that you are both human, and you are both trying your best. That connection will remind you that two people can find a little happy moment together, no matter how much stress you may be experiencing. A smile and wave cost nothing but bring joy to the giver and the receiver. Better than words sometimes, is the unspoken gesture which requires neither deflection nor acceptance. A wave and smile will interrupt any flow of negativity, at least in the giver, and hopefully, in the receiver.

7. Play with some thing. I keep a little canister of Play-doh near my computer. I also have a life-long habit of playing with a strand of my hair. Play with something that does not require any thought at all — no Sudoku or Crosswords (though I love both for other reasons). If your teacher will let you, (and I always tried to), play by tapping your pen on your desk. If your husband will let you, just play with his hair or his earlobe. Stones and leaves and rolly-pollies are good to play with, as is mindless doodling in the margins, or by amusing oneself with a piece of string or sticky tape. Playfulness leads us away from childish behavior into child-like behavior, and in that makes all the difference towards enjoying a life well-lived.

8. Be a hero and save something. Save water by using less. Save something from the trash that should have been recycled. Save someone from having to stand, by offering your seat. Save some time to volunteer to help needy bodies rather than always working on your own body at the gym. Save a bit of time to call someone for a chat. Save a bit of money by making your own coffee then giving that money to the homeless guy on the street. Be a small hero in some way every day and give yourself commendations for heroism and bravery and moral achievement. And with enough small acts of heroism, you will develop the super-powers of love, hope, and joy.

9. Relax. Turn everything off. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Meditate or Pray. Stretch out or curl up. Nap or take a bath. If you absolutely have not a single moment for any relaxation, go into the bathroom cubicle, sit or lean against the wall for a minute, and give your mind a one-minute vacation. Think about ocean waves and sun. Think about swooshing down a snowy slope. Think about floating on a raft down a lazy river. Think about splashing in puddles in the rain, holding hands with your best friend. Think about a place and go there. Immerse yourself in the imagination of that place. Find a moment of tranquility there. The mind is an amazing tool for accomplishments; let it do the same amazing magic and restore you.

10. Tell yourself something good about You. This is not like an affirmation or mantra, but rather, you talking to yourself like a positive, encouraging Coach. Find a name for the part of you that you are talking to. For instance, instead of chastising myself and trying to motivate myself through negative “pep talks” (which I do often) such as when I sneer at my two Nemeses of “Gut” and “Butt”; I could say, “Hey, soft, swishy Tum-de-tum-tum, thank you for being strong inside with all your good bacteria you grow there. I appreciate your inner health. And thank you, dear Womb-an, for carrying four babies that are the joy and love of my life. You did a great job and I am proud of you for surviving.” Maybe you would like to say something like, “You know, Silly Sally Mind of mine, you made your boss smile today with your silliness and that is a great accomplishment.” Or you could just tell yourself, “Hey, The Rock, you worked like a beast today. Bravo you!” Or try saying this to You today:

I thank you, Self, for being alive.

I thank you, Me, for sticking with Myself.

I thank you, My Dear, for giving it another try.

I love you, Me for being my best “I”.

Ten Small Things. But as Mother Teresa might add: “Not all of us can do great things. But all of us can do small things, with great love”. Love Yourself. Love the World.

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 “Squirrel” by Matt Peoples CC BY-NC 2.0