Pockets of Pain & Hope

I believe that there are some of us who walk this earth who carry just a little more pain with is than others. It’s like coins buried deep down in the pocket of your jeans that are destined to stay there for eternity. That’s the depth of our sadness, the coins a small, constant reminder of the pain, hate, and cruelty in the world. Its not necessarily a burden we carry, just a few coins of sadness that we’ll always carry with us in this life.

That doesn’t mean we are pessimists. For in the other pocket we always carry a few nickels of hope. While we know we can’t change the world or take away the pain, the hope activates us to at least make it a little better. In the darkness, we still find the courage to shine our lights.

As a spiritual being in human form, I can’t yet always prevent my light from growing dim, or keep out that voice of despair saying “this is too much pain”.

But then I’m reminded I’m not alone. Pacer sticks her snout under my arm and gives me her wide smile. I think of my family and friends. 

You are the ones who give me the light to keep going and share it with the world. It’s all of you I am most grateful for in 2021.

Connecting with Winter to Support Your Emotional Well-Being. (My post from @WanderlustCounseling)

I think a lot of people get Winter Solstice (which we celebrated on Dec. 21st) confused with Fall Equinox.  

Winter is actually about the re-birth of the light, the re-birth of the sun.  Fall is about the coming darkness, as we shed layers and leave old pieces of us behind, and enter into the unknown.  It’s really that period right before winter that is the darkest.  It’s not uncommon for people to feel lost.  I call winter the “Wanderlust 1” phase, while summer is “Wanderlust 2″…a time when we are fully ourselves, full of energy, and dancing in our brightness.  In winter, the work is deeper.  And even if we’re still wandering in darkness, if we can grasp onto the light, slowly getting brighter each day (even when we can’t see it behind the clouds), we have a North Star to guide us out of the night.  
What is the light?  That sun rising within us?  

I would give it a few names…hope, love, meaning/purpose.  But how I think we can utilize the light is by setting an intention.  What do we want to explore during winter?  What changes/growth might we want to start preparing for in the spring?  

In therapy, this is the time to do the deep work.  The trauma work, the shadow work*, when we start working at the root of deep wounds and begin the healing process.  Let’s learn from the trees here too…when a tree is sick, other trees send over nutrients to help it heal (actually, there are plants, fungi, and mycelia involved too).  In short, asking for help is not only okay, it’s often part of the healing process.  Also remember that healing deep wounds often happens slowly, much of it under the surface, covered by a blanket of snow, and invisible to the naked eye.  

*Shadow work, in short, is about bringing into light the parts of us that have been rejected or deemed unacceptable in the past.  Truly, those are important parts of us.  

May your light, and the light of others, guide you through the dark.  Know that the light is always there, even if you can’t see it at the moment.  

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