Welcome back to The Art of Onward! This is a blog meant to help us all take healing steps in to our tomorrows. I'm using my own story to inspire yours, my journey and lessons, to help yours to not feel so lonely.
Today I want to write about FOCUS ~ where we put it, where we want to put it, and how easy it is to get caught up in losing it.
This past week has presented me with this recurring theme of focus. In the books I'm reading, in the mentorship program I am in, in numerous conversations. As I pray each week about what to write about, asking the Divine to guide us all through these posts, I have been strongly led to yes, focus, on the focus we have the ability to channel on a minute by minute basis.
So we'll take a little detour this week from my scheduled post topics, and will talk about this important element of our healing process.
As a baby learns to crawl, attempts their first steps, they put their eyes on where it is they want to arrive.
Remember learning to ride a bike? One of the first things we were likely told is to keep our eye on where we are headed. Each time we turned our head to see if mom or dad were still behind us, the front wheel veered dangerously, threatening to tip us right in to the sidewalk below us.
As a teen learns to drive, they are taught to keep their eyes on the road, and look ahead to where they're headed. What they eye is the ultimate target of where they'll be guiding the vehicle.
As adults, we take these muscle memory situations for granted, but truly, we still have so many opportunities to learn that yes, where we put our focus, can make or break our journey. But this is huge! And we often find ourselves tumbling toward the edge of misery, because we have lost the ability to control the direction of our focus. And yes, each of us has the ability to control where we put our eyes, our consciousness, our focus.
The day I lost my husband, I did not know, but I would also lose my family.
~ My brother refuses to talk to me, avoids eye contact and physically removes himself from the room every time I enter.
~ My own sister has, in the past three years, done little more than attack me, ultimately causing more pain, even delaying my healing. She has minimized my needs, my process, and ultimately, has made it more difficult for me to feel and know that I am significant, worthy, and deserving of love and support.
~ My parents began as supportive, even driving 45 minutes to my house the night my husband moved out. They wanted to keep me company during the difficult first night of ultimate loneliness. Now however, they try to blame my trauma inducing events on me, as they downplay my losses and pain, attempting to control my spiritual and emotional journeys through manipulation and withholding of love, empathy and affection.
~ A good friend of mine actually threatened me, telling me if I didn't make the decision she thought I should make, we could no longer be friends.
~ My In Laws of 22 years have not sent me a single message. Not one, in three years.
Talk about being frozen out of the one support system we should all be able to hang on to during difficult times! The pain caused here is heart and soul crushing. And my Ex Husband is on quite good terms with them all, meeting for coffee, and has convinced them somehow, he's the victim in this equation.
My friend, I could easily sit down and focus on these painful losses. And if I do, for too long, what do I gain? Frustration, confusion, anger, hurt, pain. Yes, I've succumbed and know the ultimate result. It's debilitating and, as I like to say: Nobody Wins. I have tried to reason with each of these family members, I have begged for compassion, even a little kindness, and have gone out of my way to cater to their needs, with nothing but broken emptiness being the result.
But life is beautiful. Because we each have the ability to make that life changing choice.
We can choose to focus on the loss, the pain. And we certainly need to for the time it takes us to process our emotions in a healthy way. And once this is complete, it is time to make a choice. Not for anyone other than OURSELVES. OUR HEALING must take PRIORITY.
Even on a smaller scale:
~Know someone who complains incessantly? There's always something wrong in this non ideal world?
~Know someone who keeps a mental log of everyone's wrong doings? No apology or restitution attempts are ever accepted, because they made a mistake? This results in disposable friendships and relationships. And, frankly, an unnecessarily lonely life.
~Have we become addicted to drama? We blow the meaning of an incident in to large importance, putting such emphasis on the tiniest of moments?
Where we put our focus, our energy flows. This is a scientific fact. So what can we do with this information?
We must keep our eyes on our tomorrows, on our healing journeys, on our own integrity. These are so much more worthy of our focus than that red light that cost us an extra 3 minutes on the way to work, or the coffee we bought that wasn't quite hot enough. Even the larger pain points, like people who have wronged us, or have deserted us. Focussing here for any length of time only strengthens that negativity, ultimately delaying our healing progress.
Let's put our focus on the GOOD, the LIGHT in this world. And then, let's BECOME that Good and Light!
What if we took our focus off ourselves, and put it on how we can make this world a more welcoming space for others? Instead of focussing on the pain my family has caused me, I choose to put my focus on giving compassion, love and support to those in need, yes, this includes myself as well. I choose not to get stuck in a downward spiral of self pity, but instead take that energy to focus on finding other sources through which to gain healing support and insight.
We can spend our time staring in to an abyss that gives us nothing in return but pain, anger and frustration, OR we can spend our time looking forward, focussing on tomorrow, working toward our own inner wholeness. The longest relationship we will have in this life is with ourselves.
Let's choose to put focus on:
~ soul feeding relationships
~ finding and becoming our best selves
~ being ourselves healing instruments for others
~ loving ourselves and therefore becoming better at loving others
~ interrupting any negative self talk and replacing it with life giving, nurturing, healing talk
~ becoming a brighter light in our world on a daily basis
~ becoming stronger and better every day
~ allow life to be an adventure instead of trudging along in misery
I would much rather focus on becoming like the huge oak tree, with deep, healthy roots, providing shade during any heatwave, hosting birds on my strong branches that will brighten the world with their song, leaves providing life giving oxygen, than on those moments when I have been marginalized, minimized, and made to feel insignificant.
Where Our Focus Goes, Our Energy Flows.
The choice is ours.
So much Love to each of you! See you next week :)