We, I mean I, have a new Precedent!

20 Jan

This blog title is a play on words of the event that took place on January 20, 2009.

What a day yesterday was…I’m still awake after Inauguration day, even though I vowed to be asleep by 11PM. I’ve seen many occurrences of millions of people, in one place at a time, on TV before, but usually the events being covered are in Germany, or China, or Taiwan and usually involve some dictator or military happening. To see AMERICANS, out in the freezing cold temperatures, waiting for hours and hours, Americans…it’s a wonder to behold. Apathy is not a word to use to describe America since the “race to the White House” began, to be sure.

Anyway, the precedent I’m talking about was born as a result of … what?

I don’t know, but the reason I’m typing right now is that I’ve just finished watching the VHS version of “An Affair to Remember”, a movie I’ve never seen before. When I couldn’t go to sleep, even after taking a sleeping aid, and after listening to a hypnotherapy cd, I decided to watch a movie, maybe that would put me to sleep. It didn’t.

And, as I tossed and turned after the movie, my thoughts began to take me to a place I’ve never been. Against my better wishes (to be asleep), I decided to make an attempt to capture the concept and share it with anyone who happens to read it.

Years ago, I was introduced to Byron Katie, who is the author of “The Work” and other books, cd’s and programs. “The Work” was the first thing I had found that worked for me. She offers a program, a FREE online program, which involves using 4 questions and a turnaround to take away the pain of any source. Over the years, I’ve forgotten the magic of The Work and only now, when I thought of how to frame what I wanted to write, did I think of Katie, that’s the name she’s known by even though it’s her last name.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been sad. It’s a sadness that is bone deep, it envelopes me like a cloak and it is an undercurrent to my everyday life. I thought it had to do with losing the Christmas $100, but even though I’ve found the money, the sadness remains. Last night (5 hours ago), I read one of the streaming text lines at the bottom of the TV screen which told about a previous inauguration where it was so cold that the parakeets they had used for decoration FROZE TO DEATH during the event. I wanted to cry, but I chose to focus on something else. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, focusing on something else.

This past Saturday, the main highway here in Lady Lake, was backed up due to some stray dogs which the police were trying to capture. I pulled over to the median and sat down in the grass and called one of the dogs to me. This beautiful creature, just your basic black dog, I have no idea what breed, but this sweet animal came to me and I put my arm around him (or her, I didn’t check) and we sat there and I talked softly to comfort him (or her). The dog seemed happy to be with me, and it licked my leg, my hand and my cheek. When the officer approached us, the dog tensed and I held on a bit tighter, not having a leash, all I had was the arm still around the dog. I kept talking softly and the officer approached and put his leash around the dog’s neck. He said quietly, “I know, I love them too” when he saw my stricken face. This dog trusted me and I was responsible for whatever was to come next. I am still thinking about that dog. And then I remember to focus on something else.

One of the biggest hurts in my life right now is, well, right now EVERYTHING hurts.

Those events, Katie calls them “stories”, that I believe are causing pain do not need to be revealed. It’s the precedent that I want to focus on right now (so I can go to bed and to sleep!!!). It occurred to me as I lay there in the dark earlier tonight that it is has always been a lot easier for me to feel and experience sadness, so much so, that it’s almost like it’s a habit.

All of the affirmations and hypnotherapy cd’s, all of the people involved in the secret, all of the self-help type guests on Oprah, they all say to FEEL and EXPERIENCE _fill_in_the_blank_, let’s say gratitude, for example, in order to attract more things for which to be grateful. So I thought, WHAT IF there were a way to LEARN how to feel and experience, again, let’s say gratitude, in the same way that I feel and experience sadness and grief!?!

The truth is that, for now, I usually have to “fake it till I make it” when it comes to feeling happy, feeling grateful, etc. I have the same issues with visualization, as hard as I try to “go to that special place”, or to “smell the flowers” when I’m nowhere near a flower, I just can’t seem to do those things. Awareness, it seems, truly is the key.

The precedent I came up with, is to do whatever it takes to feel as deeply grateful for something, like finding that $100 bill, as I do for those stories which cause the deep sadness.

The precedent is to remember, and focus on, anything positive that has happened recently and feel as deeply grateful for that occurrence as I can.

The precedent is to practice FEELING grateful (or positive, or wealthy, or happy…).

I watched America shed the apathy it seems we’ve had for so long on January 20, 2009. We have a new American President, one who has given us hope; at least, to those of us who want to hope.

I have a new precedent, too. And, I have hope.

And, now I can go to sleep.

Tomorrow, or some day soon, I’ll get out the Byron Katie tapes and worksheets. While I’m practicing deep feelings of gratitude, I’ll do the work on the pain resulting from my thoughts/stories.

BESIDES, how can I be sad when I’m living a stone’s throw (ok, it would take a huge sling shot) from The Villages!?!?

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