Posts Tagged “grieving”

Let My Pain Be…

suffering in love

Hi there, Uma here and man am I ready to write this post! From my own personal experience and recently talking to several people in the past few weeks i have been incited. And of course, what better way to deal with it than blog about it? (blush)

So here’s the thing, I am going to make a statement right now and it may have you in agreement with me (keep reading) or not (no shame, abandon post now) but it has to be said because I am really tired of the world’s insensitivity to people that are hurting. I say world because I am not calling anyone out in my personal life (you know who you are) and for people I have been talking to, it runs the gamut from family to lovers to friends to coworkers. It is just not ok.

Listen….we all have something we are dealing with. If you are walking around with not a care in the world, no luggage, no pain and no suffering, really move on, this is not the post for you.

This post is for the people I KNOW are suffering and doing so silently because they are afraid to speak up or share because they are tired of the judgments and criticism. I am choosing to be the voice of these people today. So here…we….go….

  1. My pain is my pain and try as you might, you will never know my pain

I met a woman at my studio who came in to talk about some matter in her life with her relationships. However, the more we talked and the deeper down we went, we touched on the fact that she was molested as a child. I held space for her as she talked and talked and talked about it until she couldn’t talk anymore. I was intently listening and very involved emotionally as I felt for her but at the very end, she said something to me that made the hair raise up on the back of my neck. She said, “Thank you Uma for listening. I guess that’s all I really wanted, to be heard and not be judged.” I told her that was preposterous, who can judge her in this situation? To which she replied, “My ______ (family member) told me to get over it because there was no penetration, only touch.” Shock.

This is the world we live in. A world where we are so insensitive that we allow crap to come out our mouths and hurl it at other people. Now you see why I am incited? Oh but wait, there’s more stories like this to come.

Here’s the thing folks. You cannot RATIONALIZE someone else’s pain. How do you even begin to justify that?! When you try to rationalize something, you are consciously analyzing the thing you are rationalizing. You are completely out of the field of emotions, where the pain is stemming from.

The next time you are blessed to be in the presence of someone hurting (I say blessed because clearly they trust you enough to share their pain with you) do one of two things and ONLY these two things:

  • Have compassion. Listen intently with your heart, maintain eye contact and relax the face. Allow yourself to listen to what they are saying and when you do say something, do it to bring forth encouraging words and not to respond. Most people who are hurting are not looking to you for advice but some form of comfort if even only temporarily from their discomfort. You would be amazed how little is required from you to do so much for someone who is hurting. All you really have to do is sit quietly, listen and lend an ear. Most times when you do this, people will tell you they feel amazing after. They feel lighter and really they are because energetically they have chipped away at the block of pain and they can feel it.
  • If you are unable to provide space for someone because you are busy, tired, selfish or egotistical then do the following: Have compassion. Say something gently to let them know that you understand this is a source of hurt to them and you are unable to hold space for them at this time or forever, whichever your cold heart desires. It could look like this: “I am so sorry to hear this is affecting you. I can hear the pain in your voice, this must be something very deep for you and I am so sorry to see you in this amount of pain. I need to be honest with you, because I love you and respect you, I don’t think I am the right person for you to talk to about this. For my own personal reasons (I am dead on the inside) I cannot provide a safe and warm place for you to open up and share and help in your grief. I hope you understand and can find someone to share this with because it seems like you have to talk about it and not keep it in.”

2. I am not hearing YOUR advice about MY pain if your advice includes YOU more than I

Sigh. So, we are creatures of habit and usually our habits are shown in our speech. You can tell a lot about a person from their speech and how many selfies they take. A couple of months ago I met a woman at one of my workshops at my studio. She came with a friend and it was a workshop on “Letting Go”. We talked about relationships and how all relationships had a natural end. Most times, people tend to stay longer than they are supposed to and they then experience suffering as a result as the relationship no longer holds value for either participants. This woman was in awe. Clearly the workshop was hitting home and I noticed it in her eyes but I didn’t want to draw attention to her so I kept talking and made sure to keep my eyes roaming freely around the room. Finally she spoke up to say what I suspected, this talk was exactly what she needed because she was in an on again and off again relationship with someone and she is now seeing it clearly for the first time. Well, no sooner had she said that when her friend started jumping up and making a real show of herself. “Omg I have told you many times, over and over the SAME thing Uma is saying!” As the conversation continued between me and the woman in front of the class (I had her consent to use her personal situation as an example), her friend would chime in every time I said something that resonated with the woman. “Yep, I said the same thing.” “Yep I said that too.” And on and on this went until she finally got the woman to admit out loud to everyone that she was right and she had said the same things to her over the years.

Folks, I know you need validation. Heck, we all need it but you getting validation at another’s expense is not pretty. It is actually downright ugly. If you are the friend who gives people advice and they never take it…..you need to take a step back and realize it is one of two things:

  • Either you are not giving sound advice and people realize that and just don’t pay attention

 

  • OR you give GREAT advice but they cannot use it because it usually comes attached to some form of validation for you. My pain is your victory and that is not ok. I know I am rubbing a lot of egos the wrong way right now but hear me out, this can be very helpful to you and people in your life. How to tell if you are doing this? Easy!

– If you give advice to people and they don’t follow it and what you said will happen, happens….you usually follow that up with a big ole serving of “I TOLD YOU SO”

– You give advice to people and they decide to follow you on it and then suffer the consequences of you holding it over them for the rest of their life. It sounds something similar to this “You should be THANKFUL for me because of ALL I DO FOR YOU”

Ok there is no judgment here, Lord knows I have used these techniques too so if you are guilty of these behaviors, just admit it and make amends within yourself to be better about being a better person to your loved ones. What is the appropriate way to give advice? I have no clear cut answer for you, what I can share with you is what works for me with my clients that allow them to take my advice:

  • When I hear a person’s dilemma, I verbally mirror back to them what I am hearing. Sometimes people don’t understand just how crazy they sound until it is mirrored back to them. “So what I am hearing is that you are frustrated waiting by the phone for him because the relationship is on his schedule when he is not with his wife?” Ahhhh, revelations. BUT if you do this, please do it with an honest questioning voice and not one dripping with sarcasm. Hold that for the comedy club.
  • I like to put the power in the person’s hands. Why would someone feel motivated to make a change when it is advice from me? It is much better for me to make a change when I made the decision by myself. So in my sessions, my role is less of an authoritarian figure and more of a sounding board to get them where they need to be. I can make suggestions, but I do so lightly and put it back in their court. Something I would say sounds like, “Ok so these are the two decisions you are faced with. I am not telling you which to choose and in fact I am not even telling you to choose. What I am saying is to process. Process where you are at right now and when the time is right, you will make the decision that is right for you.”
  • Have empathy. I like to let clients know I understand where they are at and empathize with them. That sounds like this, “I know you have to make a decision between the two…and you know what? Take as much time as you need because if I were in your shoes, that would be a difficult situation for me too. I can see and understand now why this is painful for you and how much you have suffered as a result. I know though that when you make a decision, it will put you in a much better place than where you are right now.”

 

I can go on and on about respecting other people’s pain and suffering but we will stop here now. I feel like I have gotten it off my chest lol, I do feel lighter. My hope is simple. Read this and practice it. If you know of someone in your life right now who is hurting, make a commitment to be there for them as much as you can. I say that last part because there are a few people out there who do like staying miserable, but that is a topic for another time.

If you like this blog post and would like to hear more about pain, suffering and unrequited love or maybe ask me personally your own questions into your own situation, come to my event on Sunday February 7th at the Intuitive Wellness Center in Burke. It is called “Love Redefined: Understanding Today’s Relationships”. For more information and to RSVP, please visit:  http://www.meetup.com/thelotusandthelight/events/227974559/

Until next time, have a Namaste and stay beautiful inside and out

Love and light,

Uma xo

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: January 11th, 2016 No Comments

Holding Space for those in need

children-hugging

I came up with this article because as of recent, I have been feeling like I am holding space for just about everyone and everything going on. From my boyfriend, to my close friends, to the riots in Baltimore to the present day elections in my home country of Guyana….I am doing what I can do in situations where most people feel helpless…I am holding space.

What does that mean exactly? To hold space means to be available mentally, emotionally and spiritually for someone or some event while the person or event is happening. You are lending your energy to it and providing positive energy and vibes for everything to go smoothly. It doesn’t mean you bear the burden of another (thats another technique and another blog), it simply means to allow the person or thing to happen as it is going to naturally happen and you do what you can to provide a safe environment while the events occur.

I think of imploding. Imploding because my new favorite word in 2014 when I had a particularly tough year and everyday I felt like I was internally combusting. To implode means to collapse violently inward and usually as this happens on the inside, nothing can be perceived from the outside. Last year as my world crumbled around me, I maintained a smile on my face the whole time. Imploding.

Imploding happens in my circle. My group of people are actively seeking enlightenment and a better way to live and to be. This means they are actively going after their old belief patterns, changing born-with behaviors and addressing the triggers that occur in their daily lives. They are not blaming others for their hurt feelings, they are accepting responsibility and understanding that no one can hurt us, it is our perception that hurts ourselves. As fun and exciting as this sounds, it is not easy work. To accept responsibility for your pain is painful work. You have to go into it, process it, analyze it and ultimately come out stronger than before because you overcome it. As this happens, the world can seem like a dark and unfriendly place and this is where you can come in for your loved one. You can hold space.

So how exactly do you hold space? There are many different ways to do this but ultimately the general idea is to be present and be available for that person emotionally and spiritually. It does not mean a physical presence at all. Recently my boyfriend lost a very good friend of his and he imploded. It was a sudden death and the shock was too much for him to bear along with his grief. He withdrew into a cave and for one week I didn’t hear from him but I still held space for him. Energetically I reached out to let him know I was here for him when he was ready and physically I gave him space to deal with the pain he was experiencing. That too is holding space.

Here are some more ideas of what you can do when you have someone near to you suffering or experiencing a traumatic event. You can even do this for events , like I did for the recent Baltimore riots:

1) Keep your ego out of it. 

Ahh yes ego, the world revolves around us and its all about us…on a regular day, however whenever you are faced with a situation where someone is hurting, the attention naturally has to turn to them. You don’t offer your opinion at this time. Even though you have had great success with coping skill #1, #2 and #3, it is not what they want or need at this time UNLESS they ask you for it. What a grieving person needs is your time and your ear and for the conversation and energy to be about them. Not you. Also whatever they are going through is unique to their path and your opinions do not count. This is not a time to be assertive or efficient, life lessons rarely come with an efficient plan, it is meant to happen to mess up your plans so you can go in and process what is happening. At this time save the advice, “I told you so” and reprimands for some other time…or better yet never. Hurting people don’t need more hurt, they need acceptance and this is what you can give at this time.

2) Give only enough information they can handle

I recently experienced this with my boyfriend. The one mistake I made during his time of grieving was trying too hard to act normal and keep life going because I felt it would help. What happened unfortunately was he became overwhelmed with the to-dos of our days and social commitments we made before the death of his friend. When someone is hurting, life slows down. They do not have the energy or stamina to keep going with regular day to day activities, so be mindful of this. After that one week of no communication, when he slowly came back to me, I was mindful to only share with him information he needed to know at that time. I went ahead and started canceling our plans with our friends for get togethers and dinners because I wanted to buy him some more time to release and to heal from his recent upset. This is what you can do as well. When you are in this situation, become proactive and shelter your loved one from the world. Only relay information to them that they need to know. They don’t care if you make dinner or order in, little tasks like that you can handle on your own. The more time they have to themselves to handle the situation they are in, the faster the process and the sooner they can make it out.

3) Allow people to make their own decisions and trust their own intuition

This is a hard one for stubborn and domineering space holders and yes I am talking about myself. I feel I know everything! So when my loved ones hurt, it is a challenge for me to shut up and listen to them devise ways of how they are processing and what they plan to do. It never, ever meets my standards! The lesson here that I learned (the hard way) is that the situation came about exactly for that reason. For people to learn and grow and trust their own intuition, they have to be placed in some pretty hairy situations that requires their cunning and tact to bring them out of it. When you step back and just lend your energy to the situation, you do several things for the person experiencing this issue:

– You don’t take their power away by letting them make their own decisions

– You make them feel safe enough to fail because you are not judging or condemning

– You allow them to have different experiences and feelings than you and that makes them feel unique and empowered

Tragedy and upset doesn’t have to tear someone down. It is a perfect opportunity to build someone up stronger and better than they were before. Use these tips wisely and you and your loved ones can make it out of difficult situations peacefully and with more consciousness than you had before going into it.

As you choose to hold space for someone or some event, it is important to remember to see the unifying factors that bring people together not the dividing factors that rip us apart. It becomes a choice of are you acting from ego or spirit? Are you trying to help or further complicate the situation?

For me, I want to help. I want to be the one that people know they can come to without fear of judgment or condemnation, that I would provide a safe space for them to implode (or explode) and  no matter what happens or what I bear witness to, I will still accept and love them as they are, not as how I want them to be.

Start today creating safe spaces. You will be amazed at how much you can help by just being and not doing.

Love and light,

Uma

Posted on: May 11th, 2015 No Comments