SILENCE (3) WHEN SILENCE IS HELL – 10 WAYS OUT
……a conversation with good friends about the economy, job loss, loss of the middle class, personal things, aging, weight gain, all of us having had the experience of being stuck in Hell and not knowing how to get out. Here is a list of steps. There are other ways out, of course, but these work as a general guideline. They are efficient. Do the steps. Never mind the little details. Just do the steps and you will see improvement because as you do them, each will bring you to a new point of awareness. Over a longer period of time, you can do other things but right now, apply these steps for 10 ways to get out of your own current Hell. It doesn’t really matter which Hell you’re in. You’re in Hell and you want out. (I will presume you want out. Some people don’t. They seem to like it there.) You’ll see how much better you feel very shortly. Don’t analyze or think about them too much. Just do them. Love yourself enough to start now. Hell isn’t much fun. Get out of there.
Get rid of Groundhog Day and get out of your head. Whatever happened to you – has already happened. Done. Fini. Fatto. You are repeating the pain from the past out of choice. That’s right. You’ve made a choice. Make another. Stop hurting yourself. The past might have been horrific, but it is the past. If you need help, get it. But for right now, realize that whoever hurt you, whatever happened, it is repeated again and again by your thoughts. When you think those thoughts every day, all day, all you accomplish is repeating old pain. The original pain ceases to be the villain. Now, the villain is your thoughts. You can’t undo the past but there is no reason to keep living it, therefore…
Dump the suffering. Grieving is a complicated process and different for everyone. Loss, whether it is of a loved one, a fortune, a dream, etc. is unique to the individual. But it is still loss and deserves its time. Sadness and pain are part of being human. Suffering, however, is unnecessary. Between the Groundhog Day syndrome and deep suffering, we stay in our chosen Hell. Grief will take its own time and you might need help with it but don’t invite it in for the remainder of your life. I know this personally. I have had an intimate relationship with grief as most of us have at a certain point in life. Express the grief. Speak of it, paint it, share it, don’t deny it, but don’t live in it. Your life is a room of possibility, a world actually, with invisible walls. Grief is a visitor to that room. Have your conversation with it then open the windows, let it out. Inhale fresh air. Grief can be a false badge of honor when you wear it too long. You might not believe that as you read this, but it is. No one will be able to embrace your experience as you have. They will embrace their own. Don’t’ suffer. Suffering will never restore your dream.
Controlling feelings and outcomes. Stop. The only control you have is with yourself, your thoughts, your actions, what you intend. Any belief that you can control others in any way, is an illusion. It is also unfair and arrogant. Why would you need to control anyone or anything? They have their own life and are on their own path. However, you do have feelings, dreams, and desires. Don’t deny them. They are there for a reason. Don’t stuff them. Don’t eat them, don’t drink them. Don’t rage them. If you are doing this, stop. Just Stop. It serves no purpose for you or others. Express them (as in #2 above). Here’s the thing – you just feel the way you feel but when you’re stuck in your own Hell you need to see that the world is doing its own thing and will not come there with you. Even if it seems fake, for right now find a trusted source with whom you can voice your feelings. Do so without expectation. If you’re angry, say you are angry. If you are sad, say you are sad. Learn to connect with the feelings for what they are and be kind to yourself and the people around you. You need to go in the other room and cry? Do so. Come back without apology and start all over. But when you do these things, do not expect a specific reaction from others. (You see how #1 and #2 are related to #3).
Feelings deserve a voice but they do not need to be run on a track (#1), pounded into your subconscious inflicting more pain for you and others (#2) because that will keep you in Hell. Stop controlling the reaction of others and the outcome of events (#3) and you will begin to have some clarity. Once you have clarity, you can learn more that will help you on your journey. Your business is not to solve the world’s problems or fix problems for friends. Your business is to get yourself out of Hell and be productive again.
Pay attention to the joys and sorrows of others. If you see people around you who are happy, it is because they have moved forward if they’ve had pain and suffering. If they haven’t had pain and suffering, they will at some point. This seems to be a fact of human life. That’s what you want to do, move forward. If you know them well, see if you can enlist their help, their wisdom. What do they know that could help you move on? How did they survive their pain? Remember that when you ask these questions of others, they will want to tell you freely what they think. Be courteous. Listen. Be grateful. It doesn’t mean you have to do what they say. You are gathering information. Be open to suggestion (not control). Study the similarities. Do what you must in this regard and remember – if they have a life you think you want, then it means it exists already and there is a lot of it to go around. Don’t get stuck in analyzing everything about why you think you didn’t get a better deal, just pay attention to the positive things. See if they would work for you. You can figure out the rest later.
As for the sorrows of others, consider volunteering. Small scale or big scale it is beneficial for all and will take you out of your own misery at least for now. Remember that no matter what sort of pain you are in, you need to make time to help other people. Even if all you do is listen, do that. You are not the only one in pain. It feels like you are, but you aren’t. Be of service. Service presents others with examples and ideas that they can act on.
Dump your garbage. Put on gloves (I mean this literally) and start right now. Let me first say this – no one needs a cleaning obsessed human checking all the corners and under the beds. It is annoying on so many levels. However – and this is definitely something I know to be true – get rid of your crap. If you don’t use it, if it is ugly and you’re only keeping it because a friend gave it to you, get rid of it. Clutter will kill you. What you are doing by living in a cluttered life is telling the Universe/God/Creator that you have no need for anything new. (If you believe in energy work as I do, you will come to see that accumulating items that are not loved, that sit there without their own space, is a disrespect for the item and for yourself.) You are living a past life and often, someone else’s when you hoard. Yes, extreme clutter is hoarding. You are holding on to something that is not real. You loved your Aunt and she gave you wooden shoes and you still have them. Okay. Great. Then clean them, put them in a display case and show them off on a clean table in an uncluttered room. But if they are in the closet or in a box or hidden in some manner, then you don’t love them as much as you thought you did. (If you love your deceased Aunt, there are better ways to remember her.) Get rid of them. Paper, also. Everything. If you can only do one of the 10 Ways to get out of Hell, do this one. Clean your house, your car, etc. with attention and intention. Dust, wash, declutter. (Art spaces exempt) All of that crap you keep is adding to your Hell and in the act of willful cleaning you will find order, and in order you will find a bit of sanity.
By the way: This includes you. Up at the same time every day, shower, shave, sing, blow dry your hair if you still have any and get dressed. Maybe a little makeup. Do all that with awareness. Be present. Anoint yourself with care. The only one you need to shine for is you, but do it in style. Others will see your glow. That’s one way to be a light for others – start at home, now.
Have faith – Have success. No, I haven’t gone religious. Fact is, we all need to work a system every day. Whether it is a church of your choosing, an earth ritual you do beneath the full moon (if you go naked, call me and I’ll bring my iPhone), a 12 Step program – it is of no one else’s concern, only yours, but you must work a system every single day. I use to walk 3 miles every weekday. During that time, I would organize my thoughts. I always felt better when I came home. Does yoga do it for you? Do that. Does grooming the dog daily do it? Do that. How about reading a specific type of text (Bible, Course in Miracles, 50 Shades of Grey type of “literature”)? Do that. Do. It. Daily. You say you don’t have the time? Well, you can’t afford to not do this. Do something you believe in every single day for at least 30 minutes. Do it consistently. Make it your private connection to whatever you believe in. Don’t complain to it. Give it gratitude. Thank it. Love it. Perfect it. Just do that which you choose as a system/program every day. It will transform your life once you understand that all of this is simply different forms of meditation, a way to connect to a power larger than your conscious self. If you don’t believe in a larger power, then do it because it is a ladder rung at the wall of Hell and will elevate you out.
Get off your butt and close your mouth. Seriously. Everyone says this because it works. Most people in Hell don’t want to do this. But do it. Exercise. Walk. Dance. Swim. Bowl. Go to the gym. Ride a bike. Anything. Just get off your butt. Talk to yourself out loud if you have to while you do it, but do it. Blood flows when you move. The brain gets oxygen. The lungs expand more easily. Your joints get lubricated. You are a living being. Move. As for diet, there are so many plans. I can’t tell you. So just try exercising some restraint somewhere. Close your mouth. Push your plate out of the way and get rid of it. You can heal yourself of many things simply by movement and eating the right foods. Make it a game if you have to. Read about exercise, then do it. Read healthy recipes, then make them. And by the way, alcohol is not a good thing to overdue at any time but when you overdue it while you’re in Hell, it makes Hell worse. Just get off your butt and close your mouth. Trust me on this one.
Watch stupid movies. Hollywood cannot make enough stupid movies. Watch some old and some new. Watch Bollywood movies. I use to watch the Japanese martial arts movies, the ones where there were no subtitles. I had no idea of what they were saying but I had to concentrate on the action. Fun. Drama. They occupied my thoughts instead of pain. Nothing heals a broken heart faster than laughing until your belly hurts. This goes for humorous books also. Ever read the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich? (Great easy read.) I read One for The Money the week my husband died. I actually laughed out loud and read it in one night. We all have a different opinion of what’s funny. Find out what that is for you. Laugh. Find humor in Hell. There’s humor everywhere. Get lost in ridiculous things. Take that burden off your back for a bit – it doesn’t mean you aren’t in pain. Everyone knows you are. They want to help. Help yourself first. You can laugh while you’re there. Do this often enough and you might even forget about the burden. If you can’t get out of Hell today, at least get a laugh track in there.
Hugs, Hugs, and more hugs. Get them. Give them. Hug something other than your computer or TV. Many people live alone or in other isolated situations. This isn’t necessarily our conscious choice. Shit happens, as they say. Even if we choose solitude, it isn’t always healthy. We all need to be hugged on a regular basis. Hugging increases oxytocin – the love hormone – and benefits the heart. We are “touch deprived” and it is more pervasive than you might think. Even people living with others who don’t hug or connect physically suffer from the lack of hugs.
If you can’t hug a human, hug a pet. Don’t just take care of them. Pick them up, say hello, and hold on for a bit. It will benefit both of you. (This is where fish are probably not the best choice, although they do seem to reduce one’s blood pressure.) Like all things should be done when we are trying to make changes that promote our best life, do it with intention and awareness…..be in the moment.
A personal note: I’ve had my cat for nearly 13 years. We have been through some very serious and difficult times together. I hug her all the time. I’m not sure how she feels about it but it has saved my sanity on many occasions.
Stop wasting time. Don’t panic, but be aware that the clock is ticking. Lesson from me, personally: The clock ticks regardless of what you do with the sound of passing time. Might as well have some fun and say hello to all your dreams because you can achieve them if you are not living in Hell. You can do this. Make a schedule for your eyes only. Revise it as often as necessary. Work it. Buy yourself the time you need to do something new and reignite your passion. You don’t want to be over regimented with this but a simple list of things you want/need to accomplish helps keeps you centered, especially when you’re dealing with those thoughts and fears that you don’t feel you can get rid of. Even when you feel like screaming, you can look at the schedule and see what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s another organization tool that helps keep your mind clear and open.
Lagniappe– (a small gift given with a purchase to a customer, by way of compliment or for good measure; bonus. A gratuity or tip. An unexpected or indirect benefit). Here is your Lagniappe:
Self-Love. Rumi says “Your task is not to seek love but merely to find all the barriers within yourself”.
Everything you read in this post is about self-love. Start with You. Love yourself. Recognize that you are human and make mistakes, that your heart will be broken and you will break hearts. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. I have my own opinions on why we are here on the planet but this is about you and how you can get out of Hell. You might have other opinions on that. Love yourself enough to take the steps to that end. Once you are out of Hell you can look at the sky and see other things, read inspiring people, make bigger changes in your life – or not. It is your life to do with as you choose. So do what you want. But nothing will happen until you love and forgive yourself for all your flaws and failed attempts. Those attempts are not necessarily failures. Sometimes they are lessons and sometimes they are just mistakes. Get over your self-judgment and forgive yourself no matter what you think you’ve done wrong or how much you think you’ve ruined everything, because you haven’t. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Regardless of what anyone tells you, regardless of what your pain brain tells you, you are lovable and you are loved. Now, starting today, you need to love yourself so that you can love your life and everyone and everything in it. Get out of Hell.
A note about gratitude. Many times, when people give us suggestions about having gratitude, we can’t understand the concept if we are in Hell. It seems like more stress. How can we be grateful for all this pain? Consider this – when you read about self-love and begin to understand that you need to love yourself first, you will see that you become grateful for your own life. Be grateful for that. Be grateful for waking up. Be grateful for absolutely anything you find every day that is of merit to your world. Start there. You will see, as you climb out of Hell, that you begin being grateful for everything. At that point, practice gratitude regularly. I do walk around and say “thank you” out loud when something wonderful happens or I see signs of hope. I don’t label who it is I’m speaking to. I just say “thank you”.
Still need more inspiration? Read Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It…Kamal Ravikant – Wonderful book. Wonderful – you can read it in one day instead of having painful thoughts.
Let love heal you. Start at home with You. Now.