This is my entry in the Support Stories blog round-robin. Please head over to the link for an explanation of the round-robin and the list (and links) of contributors.
One of the deepest ways that I connect with my inner support is through honoring my intuition and/or instincts (those little nudges that don't necessarily make logical sense, but just feel right).
I have a lot of me-and-my-nudges stories, some about honoring the nudges and some - sadly - about ignoring them. I thought about sharing one of the stories where I listened to a nudge and thereby moved into more connection with my inner self.
There was the really cool time when following a nudge led my daughters and I into unschooling (a great - and lifelong - experience).
Or the time when, during a grad school interview, I (nervously - knees shaking) responded to a nudge by answering a question in a way that I felt was honest, but was going to kill my chance for getting into the program (the chair of the program later told me that my answer was actually the reason I was accepted).
But I couldn't tell you those stories - they wouldn't flow. It turns out that the story that wanted to be told is not one of the easy ones - not one of the "ok, all's right with the world" ones.
The one that wanted to be told is a hard story - an unfinished one - one that's still got its tentacles wrapped in and around my heart.
It's a story about the hardest thing I've ever been through. And because it involves other people I'm not even free to tell you very much about the actual events.
What I can tell you about is my experience of the events. And I can sum that up in one word: devastation.
Ack! I can think of lots of words: heartbreak, court, unnecessary pain, Judas experience (wait, those last two are phrases) - ok, it's hard for me to ever stick to one word, but you get the picture.
But my story, the part where I tell you about connecting with my inner support - finding the strength within, isn't about any of those words. The part that's relevant to the Support Stories blog round robin is about what happened during the hard part.
Well, let me get to the story:
It was a horribly painful time (yes, I know that I told you that already)...
There were a number of trips to court - and some tense, and even scary, meetings. I was a mess - for months. I didn't sleep well, couldn't eat - I lost 40 lbs. in a couple months (don't worry, I found them again).
I could not concentrate. Books, which have been a stand-by support tool my whole life, were no help to me. I could not read a full length accept-life-as-it-is/embrace-the-tough-times self help book - NO fricking way!
But I found a path to my inner strength through a book anyway. A page in a book. Ok, if we're going to be technically correct, it was actually a couple paragraphs on a page in a book.
The book was The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. I can't read that book on a good day - I've heard that it's got great stuff in it - friends of mine love it - but Eckhart writes different than I read. I don't know why I even pulled that particular book off my bookshelf at a time when I couldn't concentrate - but I did.
I found a page - those couple paragraphs - where there was a description of BE-ing in the moment. BE-ing right NOW. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Quiet the mind. Breath.
Was it a description? It was more like being talked down. Like I was standing on the windowsill ready to jump - and kind ole Eckhart was talking slow and gentle - helping me relax into NOW - just NOW.
Breathe. NOW. That's it. Breathe. NOW. Is everything ok NOW? Right now? Not a minute ago, not a minute from now. NOW. That was all I had anyway - now (but isn't that so easy to forget?). The breath is a deep connection to our inner support.
I couldn't even remember the little breathe. now. thing. I had to pick up the book and read those words to myself 3 or 4 times a day - like taking a prescription.
It helped. It was something small that gave me support - tapped into my inner strength. And I got better at BE-ing in general.
I found that I didn't need a book's worth of words - part of a page seemed to save my life. Small things could connect me to (and feed) my inner support:
a piece of music, a bit of sunshine, a giggle (funny, I thought I was an old hand at BE-ing before the devastating events happened).
Even though the acute part of my story is in the past, the story isn't over. I'm still involved with people who were part of the story, there are still reverberations - fallout - pain.
And there is still, always, the small stuff - the simple stuff: breath, listen, look - nature, beauty, music, laughter...things that connect me to inner support - to my strength within. The NOW.