Suicide Aftershocks: VOl IV Positivity as Self-hatred –Socially acceptable grief and Apparently I’m either not sad enough or too happy –Who Knew?

Time continues to pass for us all and as I approach the 15 month “post suicide” marker, I’m amazed by the expectations people have about how they think I should behave.

Situationally, if I’m not sad enough I’ve gotten called out in some shaming way for being too happy, and then reminded—like I might forget—that my husband did kill himself.  Or, I’m sad for a moment in time and am quickly reminded that it’s been long enough—buck up and think positively.  As though thinking positively when I feel lost or alone or afraid is a panacea for all that ails me.

Initially when this began happening, I thought, “Well, I can’t please everyone so screw it!”  (or something a bit less kind!)  The first few happenings did throw me.  I second guessed myself, briefly thinking maybe they’re right.   It was easy to do because I’m still juggling the “why” question about my husband’s choice and what part I played, if any, in how the situation unfolded.  Guilt and shame can be an easy go-to when things are FUBAR.

A few weeks ago I asked my friend T—she and her husband showed up immediately the morning of the suicide-“how did I present—how did I act that day”?  So much of those first 24 hours felt like I was a watcher and removed one

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degree from the reality occurring around me.

 

She said that I had a weird smile on all day and that I was trying to take care of everyone else.  The policeman assigned to babysit me, her, the 5 dogs and the other 2 people who came to support me.

That was me trying to hold the state of positivity.  Keep the mask on.  Hold the illusion that all is well or will be.  You’re not good enough to expect support unless you’re bright and shiny, so stay shiny.

Of course, I wasn’t holding that as a conscious thought at the time.  Hindsight and deep exploration in the breakdown of the world I’ve known allows me to see that illusion clearly now!

When “positive thinking” is used in this manner—shaming self and hiding, ignoring, suppressing, distancing or judging our thoughts and emotions, we are making orphans of various aspects of ourselves.  Abandoning any part of self is an act of self-hatred.  Ugly or mean thoughts are nothing to be ashamed of, and when not acted upon are generally benign.  We are human.   We bring our past to the table until we learn to bear witness to and include all of our experiences and thoughts with curiosity rather than judgment.

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Abstract business background.

These last 6 years I’ve been primarily a caretaker for others in various situations and varying degrees of F-ed up! My world went quiet after my husband’s suicide which left a lot of time for me to consider my patterns of behavior and ways of being.  I was faced with many opportunities to be “positive”.

The whole construct of positive thinking is exclusive and perpetuates the unhealthy dichotomy of ; good/bad; right/wrong; now/then, while at the same time creating the expectation of an unobtainable state.  The state of ALWAYS being positive!  No matter what we do, we will still be human with a wide range of emotions and a society that thrives on labeling and judgment.

Love of self would allow all thoughts and aspects of self to well-up, including them and witnessing them as part of the whole that we are.  After all—it’s just a thought.  I don’t take action on all my thoughts and none of them should be judged as unworthy.  Some thoughts are simply no longer useful.  What if thoughts are simply surfacing in our awareness to be healed or learned from—transformed and/or released?   What if some thoughts are the fast-track to self healing is inclusion?

What if we simply allowed all of our experiences to be just experiences—Zen like, neither good nor bad—neither positive or negative?  Simply markers in time that we can either learn from and transform, or repeat and judge.  Inclusion is always an option.  And as thought precedes action—awareness of our thoughts creates dynamic changes in our actions which changes our experiences.Mayan Mystery Pyramid

As for me—I’m happy to be happy and I’m happy for the moments when I’m not. The sad/hard moments are opportunities to make distinctions and to clarify and heal aspects of my life so there can be more forward movement in whatever direction I choose.

So rather than “positive thinking”, perhaps a shift to appreciation and gratitude as a choice in awareness and a way of life might be more inclusive and allowing for all aspects of self to integrate. This shift creates inclusion where all thoughts are welcome, the perceived positive and negative!

Of course, we’re always well served when in control and mindful of what comes out of our mouths!

Here’s to growing awareness and inclusion of every part of “ME” and thoughtful awareness of how we choose to express!

With warmest aloha,

 

Kim

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RISE!

 

This month’s challenge:

A practice in Positive thinking to notice what you like rather than what you don’t.  We’re not seeking to change anything about you –simply creating a new habit of looking for what’s “right” wonderful and inspiring!

3x daily stop and notice your surroundings and acknowledge what’s beautiful, appealing, abundant, joy filled or things you like.

Dos Equis to Retire “The Most Interesting Man in the World” Perhaps I could be the “Most Interesting Woman…”

“The weight of his words would break a lesser mans Jaw.”  Dos Equis 

Jonathan Goldsmith, the gorgeous actor  who portrays the “Most Interesting Man in the World” for Dos Equis beer;  http://dosequis.com/  quite possibly could be!  After reading several articles about him, I discovered that he is a renaissance man, self-made multi-millionaire, rescuer of a damsel in distress from sharks and saver of a stranded, injured hiker on Mt. Whitney.

The commercials are smart, fast-paced and funny!  Even more so now that I know the history of said “Interesting Man”.

After forcing my husband to listen to me read quotes from the “smooth Harold website (,http://www.smoothharold.com/top-30-facts-about-the-most-interesting-man-in-the-world/ )   and laugh hysterically—mostly alone—I pondered if I might be considered for the potential role of “Most Interesting Woman in the World”.         

Take Fact #1:  “He lives vicariously through himself.”   That’s a pretty nice definition of consciousness!  And interesting!        Compilation of interesting!

imagesCASNN3H3       After all, I own my own business.  I have been written about (albeit only cursorily).  I’ve been on television—perhaps by accident.  I’ve saved countless small creatures from imminent death or disfigurement and on many occasions I’ve rescued myself from bad relationships, situations and/or decisions.  I’ve helped clients and friends with good counsel (so I’ve been told!)  And I personally feel as though the weight of MY words might break a lesser woman’s jaw!

 This clearly qualifies me for the position!   (If you fall off the pedestal you put yourself on, does it hurt as much?)

       Here’s hoping you have a fun, silly and fabulous day enjoying life and laughing at your most interesting self!

In growing awareness,

Kim

 

Optimistic Glasses and Rainbows!

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Kalaheo Rainbow

Koloa Mill Rainbow

Living on Kauai we are surrounded by beauty as a feast for all the senses.  Beautiful things to see, flowers and mountain ranges, the ocean, whales, the contrast of red dirt against vibrant green–  beautiful things to smell in the air via the various fruiting and blooming plants, flowers and trees—amazing sounds to hear provided by the song birds, chickens and musicians on island, and the silky feeling of warm air, ocean water or hot sand on your skin!  Living here is truly a feast for the senses.

While I never grow tired or complacent of the beauty of this island, it’s the rainbows that keep me in awe of miracles on a daily basis.  We live on the edge of a rain-belt, so rainbows are practically a daily occurrence, and I’ve counted as many as 8 in a given day.  They can be seen in every weather condition, shape and level of brilliance here—when it’s bright and sunny or gray and dark, they can be arching high into the sky or lying flat, hugging the hills, or emerging from a cloud making a straight line into the ocean, and manifest as singles, doubles or triples!  So, when we’re out and about, it’s natural for my husband and me to point them out to each other as we notice them.

 I prefer to wear polarizing sunglasses as they block glare and colors seem to pop more, with more detail than with regular lenses.  The world seems enhanced with polarizing lenses.   My husband wears regular lenses. 

The other day we were off to the Hanapepe green waste dump when I spotted the beginnings of a huge double rainbow which apparently he couldn’t see.  Being the smarty-pants that he is, and all in good fun, he called me a nut-job and said he couldn’t see anything.  When I pointed out that my polarizing sunglasses must be what was allowing me to see it, his response was, “Yeah, your Optimistic Glasses—because there’s still nothing there!” 

This got me thinking about why some of us do view the world with optimistic glasses, some with pessimistic and others with neutral, kind-a-boring glasses.  Why do some of us literally see things that others don’t?  I see shooting stars most nights, rainbows daily, things I can’t explain in my garden (Fairies!!!)  and have wildlife experiences that are truly unexplainable (so I rarely try!).  Why do some of us live in the world of “Rational Thinking” and explanations and then there are those of us who don’t need explanations, but would rather live in the world of the unexplainable, the unseen and endless possibilities?

Well, nut-job or not, I like my optimistic glasses and the unexplainable–and it’s been my personal experience that while we nut-jobs might be challenging or even frustrating to be around, those who are rational/explanation seeking thinkers, tend to prefer the company of people like me than their own kind! 

So—today—this year– which glasses will you choose to wear?  Here’s to seeing the world, life and each other with fresh eyes!

Joyfully and with warmest aloha,

Kim