Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Series: My life is like a Jewel Album PART II

This is PART 2 of the series: My life is like a Jewel Album. If you missed part 1 of this series and you want to read it the link is here.

In part 1 of the series I talked about the song Deep Water and how it helped me achieve self love.

I explained how I realized that I had embodied my interpretation of the messages from all my favorite songs off the album Spirit by Jewel.

Some of these songs became my mantras in times of loneliness and despair. I sang them with all my heart and they changed me.

In part 2 of this series I will tell you about the life lesson I took from the song Hands. Aren't you excited?!

First things first if you haven't heard it and wanna listen to what I am talking about here it is.


If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we're all OK
And not to worry because worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these
I will not be made useless
I won't be idle with despair
I will gather myself around my faith
For light's the darkness most feared

My hands are small, I know,
But they're not yours they are my own
But they're not yours they are my own
And I am never broken

Poverty stole your golden shoes
But it didn't steal your laughter
And heartache came to visit me
But I knew it wasn't ever after

We will fight, not out of spite
For someone must stand up for what's right
Cause where there's a man who has no voice
There ours shall go singing

My hands are small, I know,
But they're not yours they are my own
But they're not yours they are my own
And I am never broken

In the end only kindness matters
In the end only kindness matters

I will get down on my knees and I will pray
I will get down on my knees and I will pray
I will get down on my knees and I will pray

My hands are small, I know,
But they're not yours they are my own
But they're not yours they are my own
And I am never broken

My hands are small, i know,
But they're not yours they are my own
But they're not yours they are my own
And I am never broken
We are never broken

We are God's eyes God's hands God's mind
We are God's eyes God's hands God's heart
We are God's eyes God's hands God's eyes God's hands
We are God's hands God's hands We are God's hands 

For a long time I felt like I was broken. 

I didn't even know it but I was paralyzed by my anxiety and fear. 

I worried and spent a lot time feeling sorry for myself. 

I was taking a walk with a friend one day and he turned to me a very intent look on his face and said: "You think you're damaged goods don't you?". I was shocked and hurt by that comment. I denied it completely and skipped over it's significance for a long time.

But the truth was that I was surprised that he saw this side of myself that I thought I hid so well. What I knew subconsciously in my deepest darkest moments was suddenly exposed and forced into my present moment consciousness.

I resisted the truth of what he said even within myself for a long time but I couldn't let it go.I would feel so angry even though he had added in the next breath: "I just want you to know that you're not."  

I actually resented him so much for bringing this truth to the forefront that it took a long time for me to hear the other half of what he said. At the time I just felt confused and angry but it was so unsettling that those words were not able to be ignored. I resonated with what he said and absorbed it even though I didn't know what to do with it at the time. Being broken was my identity and I thought it served me even if it caused me pain.

When we have limiting beliefs you can be sure there is some sort of payoff otherwise we wouldn't do it. Hearing this is not easy when you are stuck but it is the key to figuring out why you're stuck and getting unstuck. In my case by being broken I didn't have to try so hard. It was okay if I failed. I could make excuses. I could blame others for my problems. I didn't have to do the work. I didn't have to face my fear of failure. 

Another problem was that I tried to make sense of it all in a logical way. I thought even if it is the truth and I'm not broken I feel broken and my feelings are real so how do I change that? I was trying to fix the problem intellectually and manipulate the outcome. What I didn't know was that my perception or feelings were working hard at keeping me feeling broken because I believed it.

The pesky thing about beliefs is that you feel them in your heart so trying to change them with your mind isn't possible. This is where it gets fun! You have to feel it. That means that instead of staying home in fetal position nursing your wounds with 600 elastics around your heart that you need to practice radical self care. That can mean many things for different people. In my case at that time it meant cleaning, organizing, decorating and this was done with music. 

Copyright Duane Bryers

One of my favorite songs was Hands so it had the honor of the repeat button. Imagine what effect this song sang out loud could have on you when you feel broken? Just the opening verse itself set the stage for me to relax and enjoy the moment: "If I could tell the world just one thing it's that we're all okay" That alone made me happy but the more I listened the more of it I absorbed. 

I am convinced that this song is enlightened. I think that Jewel saw herself as love in that moment and was able to express that we are all love and in turn I was able to feel love for myself. At some point the energy inside me shifted and I believed in love. When I was ready to believe that, I shifted towards the truth of my wholeness and stopped feeling broken. I heard those words  and I was able to make the transition to actually feeling whole and not just being whole without knowing it and feeling broken. Now I could happily accept that my friend was absolutely right.  

We are all whole.  

I was best able grasp this when I stopped thinking about it and just felt connection to something greater than myself. Some people call this God or Goddess, Jung calls this collective unconscious, Mastin from the Daily Love calls this the "uni-verse", Gabrielle Bernstein calls it your "ing", I call it spirit and many people will call it many different things but the newborn baby in us knows this as the truth:  we are all connected

As I said before, at that time cleaning, organizing and decorating were what brought me joy while I sang along to my music in the background. But now it is when I run, play guitar, write in my journal, try a new recipe with a vegetable from my garden, do pottery, spend time with my family. What brings you joy will always change and never be the same for anybody but the trick is to do more of what brings you joy. When you do you are bringing love and healing to yourself and in turn to the world. 

Lesson Learned: Practice Radical Self Care 

So thank you Jewel for that lesson it is a part of me now. Whenever I feel broken I remember to stop and perform radical self care by doing something that brings me joy and trust that "we're all okay, not to worry because worry is wasteful and useless in times like these...In the end only kindness matters"  This is my mantra, This is my prayer to turn my angst into love and in turn to offer up my healing to the world in the hopes that it might heal them too.

This is my act of spiritual activism this week what's yours? Tell me in the comments how you practice radical self-care?