Reiki Thai Wellness is officially one year old! So many things have happened in the past year that I wanted to write about reflection, both on the self and situations. Too often we, myself included, go through life–each passing day, week, month, year–without really reflecting on the choices that got us to where we are. I hadn’t been reflecting until recently, and as my anniversary for the business approached I started to look at how things have turned out, what has manifested, and what has transpired over the course of this past year.
This past year has had many ups and downs. Professionally I’ve had mostly ups–a new career, a new business, great clients, a steadily growing client base–but on a personal level this is where it gets raw, I’ve had a few downs. I don’t want to get into all of it but there were a lot of changes and heartaches. I felt like I was caught in a whirlwind and wasn’t acting like my normal self. I was doing things that I normally wouldn’t do. No, no, no, nothing illegal, illicit, or anything like that, but just things that I normally wouldn’t have done as a 31 year old woman, wife, mother, etc. It almost seemed like I was regressing. On the surface I looked fine, maybe even happy, but on the inside my heart and soul was screaming. I didn’t hear the screams until late June when the whirlwind spit me out on my bum, and I looked around and wondered, “How in the world did I end up here!” That’s the big question, and that’s where the reflection comes in. In his book, Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg talks about “connecting with the feelings and unmet needs stimulated by past actions we now regret” (Rosenberg 133). I’ve been the master at beating myself up for my actions and what has led me to this place personally. We all do this: “I messed up, therefor I should suffer and I deserve what has happened.” But is this really true? Sure, we need to take responsibility for our actions but many times when we act in ways that hurt ourselves and those we love it’s because we have unmet needs. If our needs are unmet we can tend to act aloof, impulsive, resentful, and angry to name a few. When you realize what you have done and the mistakes you made, regret and self-blame can set in, which can be truly painful. We beat ourselves up, we tell ourselves we are terrible, we deserve misery, and so on. But, as Rosenberg explains, regret doesn’t have to go along with blaming and hurting ourselves, rather you can shift your attention to what you do need and go toward “creative possibilities on how to get that need met.” This shift of focus goes along with self-forgiveness. Rosenberg says, “When we listen empathically to ourselves, we will be able to hear the underlying need. Self-forgiveness occurs the moment this empathic connection is made. Then we are able to recognize how our choice was an attempt to serve life, even as the mourning process teaches us how it fell short of fulfilling our needs” (Rosenberg 133). In other words, we can only truly forgive ourselves when we listen to ourselves and understand what needs were not being met, how we tried to get those met, and how those needs can be better met in a compassionate and loving way rather than a destructive one. When we can look at our situation or ourselves with compassion (again still taking responsibility but without judgment on ourselves), then we can shift and make a necessary and caring change to better serve our needs as well as the needs of others.
Jacey Tramutt explains the best way to work on self-forgiveness is through a support system. Find a friend to confide in and have them listen, or find a counselor who can help you through your difficult time. Another point she makes is to allow yourself to grieve. Grieve on the decision you didn’t make because oftentimes regret sets in because you couldn’t choose both decisions you were faced with, so allow yourself to grieve and go with it…feel it. And finally, give yourself time. Time heals; it’s cliche but so true. What seems so hard and scary right now will not last forever. With time comes change and growth. It’s impossible to grow in a stagnant world, many times we need those soul-quakes to shake us and help us learn and be stronger.
Not every year is a shaky one. Certainly my business has been amazing, and I’m so grateful for it. Without it I would have been a mess because of the personal things I went through, and am still going through on many levels. But, I know this time next year (maybe, hopefully sooner) I will look back on this time and think, “Wow I made it and I’m a way stronger and better person than I was then. Thank goodness I went through that! And, Reiki Thai Wellness still rocks!” Reflect on your year–the good, the bad, the indifferent–and see where you can grow, for what you can be grateful, and what needs work. Love and light and thank you so very much for your support. I can’t wait to see you for a massage!