Finding Peace In Difficult Moments

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WailingWall

“Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I stood, not really knowing where I was.   I was just two inches from the wall, maybe closer.  At times, my nose touching it, reminding me of where I was, reminding me of my pain, of my body, and of the life I was living or rather the painful life that was living me.

In Jerusalem, people pray at the Kotel, the Wailing Wall.  This is an image I knew so well growing up in a Jewish Family – it was everyone’s dream to pray at that Wall.  The Kotel is the only remains of the 2nd Temple, a place where a big part of the Jewish heritage was lost; this wall is the closest thing left to the Holy of Holies and today continues to be a sacred place to come for prayer and healing.  It is also a place where many tears are shed.

My wall was not the Kotel, but it was my “Wailing Wall”.  As I stood by this wall, in my middle school cafeteria, with my face right up to the brick, I, too, felt like a part of my life was lost.  Some painful things happened that day and yet, the feelings that arose, were more than that very experience.  A feeling welled up in me that encompassed so many things – a feeling of betrayal, of isolation, of hopelessness and a sense that I could bear no more.

I had just turned 12 years old the month before.  And, I already felt like I could bear no more.  I had lost my mother to mental illness, my father to divorce, my extended family to isolation, now my friends to betrayal, and ultimately, my hope.  I stood face to face with a brick wall.  A part of me wished I could just melt into that wall and disappear.  That’s the feeling!  I felt like I wanted to disappear.  To leave this life, this place, these people who hurt me and hurt each other and just disappear and be no more.

I am in the process of writing my second story for a Heal My Voice book project, Voices Of Peace.  Throughout the month of August, Mondays are devoted to Peace Posts on our blogs and in our community.  A group member offered a challenge this week – “How do you tap into peace before, during or after an upsetting encounter with someone or some situation that upsets you?  I realize, it is ours, our triggers, our responsibility how we REACT or keep from losing peace.”

The piece I shared above was from some of the writing I was exploring for my story in the book.  It is a moment that was potent in my life and defined much of who I was through my teens, twenties and even into my thirties.  How does it relate to the question, you wonder?  At some point, as I stood by that wall, not wailing, but walling up my tears, I realized that the only way I could survive was to pull as much of myself as I could into a little ball and hide that ball as far inside of myself as I could.  I somehow knew this and felt this in that moment, and so I did.

I think now that this can be something that occurs naturally when we hold back our tears, our feelings and choose to remain silent when we need to cry or scream or ask for help and for whatever reason are unable to.  There are some moments when this happens just a little and there are some cataclysmic moments when the deed is done.

I took many years and lots of personal and spiritual work to pull myself out of that small ball and to begin to open my heart to life and to the world.  This began with opening my heart to myself and being willing to feel the pain of that 12-year-old and all the other parts of myself who had not been heard.  I was blessed to find some amazing guides and teachers along the way who supported me and offered tools that taught me how to love and accept all of who I am.  I say this in this way because, most of us are not taught how to love ourselves and although it would seem a natural skill to have, I truly believe in our day and age it is one that needs to be learned.  Intention is a first step, but actively loving ourselves is a necessary part of the healing process.

So, today, the way I tap into peace, before, during or after an upsetting encounter or situation is to check in with my inner ones, to remind them that they are not alone, that I (adult me) is here to handle the situation and that I love and accept them no matter what happens.  Often, there is one inner child who is most triggered by a particular situation and I work hard to support her in feeling safe and loved.  I may find I need to meditate, surround myself in light or call on my guides for protection, but that awareness comes from my inner ones and what they need to feel at peace.

Also, there are times where I may need to honor what is arising with my inner self and abandon what is happening in the world.  For many years, I did the opposite, abandoning my inner self, those child parts who were crying and screaming inside, choosing to just storm through life ignoring the pain I was feeling.  As most of us probably experience, that only works for so long as pain that is ignored only seems to magnify and it’s just a matter of where and when the bottom will drop out.  As my wonderful teacher and mentor, Shaman Ross Bishop, always shares, “I’d really like for you address this now, rather than when a crisis arises.”.  So, being proactive in our process of healing and transformation, in whatever way that is for us, is a key that supports our ability to move through our lives and the world from a place of peace.

Take some time today to explore “How do you tap into peace before, during or after an upsetting encounter with someone or some situation that upsets you?”  Are you listening to your inner voice when it’s calling to you?  Is there a situation in your life today that you need to cultivate peace around?  Do you have the tools you need or are there new tools for you to explore to begin to create greater peace and healing in your life?

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts, experiences and reflections.

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About Beth Terrence

Beth Terrence is a Shaman, Facilitator, Holistic Practitioner, Speaker and Writer. With over seventeen years of experience in field of transformation and holistic health, she is a leader in providing Integrative Transformational Healing Programs For Individuals, Groups & Organization. The focus of Beth's work is to facilitate deep transformational healing, assisting her clients in living a more heart-centered, balanced and joyful life through discovering the healer within. Beth offers online transformational resources through her blog, The Heart of Awakening: Searching for a New Paradigm. She is also an author and facilitator for Heal My Voice, an international organization that helps women to heal, grow and step into greater leadership through writing and sharing their stories. To learn more about sessions, programs, teleseminars and other news, visit http://www.bethterrence.com.

14 responses »

  1. Lovely Beth, and thank you for sharing your vulnerability. My own son went through an emotional encounter with grief and more when he was also 12 years old, such a vulnerable age. It gives me hope for him that he too will be able to find his way, and shine his light like you have done. He is beginning to see it, but the road has been difficult and much like you he went inward into a little ball of protection. I am going to share this writing with him. Blessings of love, light and peace.

  2. Beautiful heartfelt post! The road is long for all of us but it’s better travelling it than stagnating… it nevertheless requires a lot of courage to face it and want a better life for ourselves (this might sound harsh or unrealistic) but it’s worth every bit of suffering to see the light at the end…
    Your photo accompanies well the text it’s one of utter spirituality.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Beth…the biggest lesson for me related to this (and a new approach for me) is to simply allow myself to feel the emotion, instead of denying or masking it as was my usual practice. Somehow this allows me to let go of it more quickly and easily. It has taken me 49 years to figure this out.

    • Hi Jonathan. Thanks for your note and I so agree about allowing our feelings. Funny, another piece I wrote recently was about the mask of “I’m Okay”. It is clear to me that emotions flow like water and if we allow the space for them rather than suppress or avoid we have the capacity to be happy and peaceful beings. In many ways, it is a complete retraining from what we learned as children and even adults in our modern world. Happy you are expanding in new ways. Love & light, Beth.

  4. Wow, our twelve year old selves have quite a bit in common Beth! Thank you so much for sharing this story. I wonder how many of us coped by trying to become invisible. Thank God for the human angels who have helped, guided and shared their wisdom with us along the way. Learning to trust and honor my feelings has been and continues to be a priority. I hadn’t thought about how that impacts my inner peace….more food for thought. ❤

    • Hi Kat. It feels like we do have a lot in common. Looking forward to exploring more through Heal My Voice. Glad you found the post helpful. Thanks for sharing your words here. Love, Beth.

  5. Sent from my iPad Dear Beth this blog is absolutely beautiful. I felt your soul. Thank you for sharing ..Love and miss you. Donna

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