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Tupelo

Dealing with Stress and Anxiety

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Thank you for providing this forum.  Like many, I seek to be calmer and better able to respond ti the vicissitudes  of life. One thing that is not taken into consideration is the fact that every excercize presupposes physical safety.  The other day, I was assaulted while trying to leave my building. When I returned home, I clicked on my meditation for the day.  "Be grateful for the difficulties in your life" I was told.  I am not grateful.  

 

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Hi Tupelo,

Welcome to the community and thank you for sharing your experience with us. I am very sorry to hear that you had that experience the other day. Have you sought out help or support from your in-person community?

I have often reflected upon this idea of safety as presented in meditation. I agree with you that most meditations presuppose physical safety. I think this is the case because in most cases, if we are seated in meditation, we are physically safe; however, that may not always be the case! This is a challenge certainly with online practices.

 Perhaps another way that this notion of safety could be introduced in meditation is by inviting the listener to inquire into whether they are actually safe - physically safe - in that particular moment... and if not, to consider if there something else that is calling for their attention (i.e. to address the threat that is present). What do you think about that? I am very curious to hear your thoughts and am wishing you well!

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Also, I just thought of the work that David Treleaven does. His work focuses around trauma-sensitive mindfulness practices. He speaks and leads with great consideration for what others may have gone through. Have you heard of him?

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On 3/14/2021 at 10:34 AM, Tupelo said:

Thank you for providing this forum.  Like many, I seek to be calmer and better able to respond ti the vicissitudes  of life. One thing that is not taken into consideration is the fact that every excercize presupposes physical safety.  The other day, I was assaulted while trying to leave my building. When I returned home, I clicked on my meditation for the day.  "Be grateful for the difficulties in your life" I was told.  I am not grateful.  

 

For years after my brother murdered his neighbors I did not feel safe.  He threatened me as well, even once he went to jail for his crimes.  He forever changed my view of the world.  I then knew that the only safety we have is within ourselves.  It took me a while to be grateful.  That only became possible once I decided I could learn from everything that happened to me.  To do otherwise meant I would be forever broken.  I made a choice not to be that way.

Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second I learned to heal myself and find new beliefs and adaptations.  These were/are hard lessons. But it is possible.   36 years after the murders, my brother died in prison.  It was grief and relief.  Grief for the brother I lost and relief that he could no longer physically harm anyone.  I discovered a lot about myself and others, my life goals and dreams.  I lost so much, but I also gained.  It took time.  Some things I did not want to know, but things are such as they are, no matter what we think about them.  Being in the moment can help. I'm still working on it.

 

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@Morning Dew - Such courage, resilience, and wisdom shines through in your words. I can only begin to fathom what you went through. I am sorry to hear of your challenges, but I am glad to read about how you have navigated your way towards deeper inner peace. Thank you for sharing your story with us. 

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9 hours ago, Gillian Sanger said:

@Morning Dew - Such courage, resilience, and wisdom shines through in your words. I can only begin to fathom what you went through. I am sorry to hear of your challenges, but I am glad to read about how you have navigated your way towards deeper inner peace. Thank you for sharing your story with us. 

Gillian - Thank you for your kind words.  When a person finds herself in the middle of a turbulent river, she can either swim or sink.  I had to help my loving parents through it.  I had to teach myself not to be terrified every minute.  He shot the neighbors with his deer hunting rifle, four people in two houses.  We knew two of them.  They were good people.   I had thought my large extended religious family would be supportive.  None of them called me.  Not one.  My husband at the time forbid me to tell his wealthy parents. He was cold about it, ashamed of me.  I switched my career goals and became a writer.  I eventually wrote two books about it.   The first one my agent and the publisher stripped of the most important points.   Years later, after I had healed I rewrote it and published it myself as a eBook.

One of the things I learned from this is that strangers were more supportive than friends or family.  That was a shock at a time when I could not tolerate a shock...or so I thought.  But I made it, and I am stronger for it.  Sometimes we only learn how things  truly are by navigating hell.  It's learn as you go.  I learned that I could make it through hell and emerge on the other side, battered but okay.

Tragedy, all tragedy can breed compassion, if we feed and water it.

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Thank you for sharing this @Morning Dew. One thing that struck me was the observation that you received more support from strangers than friends or family. In a way, it is paradoxical, but I can see this happening. Strangers, who have no preconceived ideas about someone, may be better able to tune into the suffering present without their own stories/assumptions/expectations. 

It's wonderful to hear that you wrote about this experience. Did you find that helpful with the healing process?

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