Visualization, Part I

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This will probably be one of the strangest blog posts I’ve ever written, both in this current blog and in my previous (more soul-searching) blog.  Whatever happened, and it was strange, had a fairly significant impact on me, and I wanted to share the experience.

Do you know the feeling of having your mind circle back to the same thought or idea over and over?  That can be either good or bad.  I’ve had it work both ways.  If a productive, creative idea is forming, the process of revisiting, replaying, and turning the newly shaping idea over a few (or many) times can be part of the process of growth or success.  On the other hand, an idea or thought process that is purely detrimental circling around and around in your head can keep you stuck in one place for too long.  Sometime we can truly be our own worst enemy. 

I have been stuck in this negative replaying process for a very, very long time.  I have revisited and replayed these negative thoughts out to the point where I can barely even remember that I’m doing it.  This negative “loop” running through my mind has become such a part of my life this past year that it has become me.  Realizing that, the fact that this negative loop-playing is controlling me, has been a major breakthrough in the healing and repair process.

Other than having a slightly sick child last weekend, the result of which was a major change in my plans, I had a very relaxing weekend.  By relaxing, I should say that I accomplished a great deal.  My June Cleaver side was shining through.  I organized drawers, shampooed carpet.  I bought new curtains for the girls room.  I baked brownies. 

I enjoyed my life.  I loved my family.  I had moments of pure happiness.  Until…the blasted loop would rewind and begin its cycle once again in my mind.  It feels like I have brain damage!  This isn’t the kind of brain damage caused by a blow to the head.  It feels more like I need a swift kick to my head. 

I had a crash on Sunday night.  I had been so busy for most of the weekend.  I hadn’t had much time to think, but Sunday night while I was alone, listening to music, and ironing in a quiet room, the loop began again.  I was thinking about the weekend.  It is so lovely to have all of the kids home for the summer. T and I had enjoyed a dinner with only our sons.  Both girls had other plans.  It was so amazingly enjoyable to be at the dinner table with all of my men.  I had smiled from ear to ear even as the tears were near to the surface.  Later as I ironed, I allowed myself to get  a bit melancholy and sentimental. 

Instead of allowing myself to grow sad, I did something different.  T was downstairs at the computer.  I went to him and climbed on his lap.  I wrapped my arms around him and laid my head against his neck.  As I sat there squeezing him, he calmly put his arms around me.  I sat there on his lap, just squeezing him and breathing fast as I fought back the tears.  Why was I crying?  I had been happy!  WTH??  (Is this menopause???)  Finally, I was able to take a deep, deep breath just as the tears began to flow.  T said, “Do you feel better now?”  That’s when I began to laugh even as I cried. 

We sat there for a moment as I wiped the tears that were now streaming down my face.  I was so happy to have the boys both home together.  I am so proud of Luke.  Andrew is so happy to have him home, too, and I think having his brother around will be good for him.   The time I had spent cleaning and working with the girls this weekend had been so wonderful, too.  I didn’t have sisters, so I feel like I am finally experiencing something that I’ve missed my entire life.  I felt so full of love and so blessed.  I was overwhelmed with emotion. 

T understood.  Without words, he understood what I was thinking and feeling.  He didn’t judge.  In fact, he didn’t react much at all.  He accepted.  He wrapped his arms around me and held me.  As I took that deep, cleansing breath, he knew I was “feeling better.”  Ah…longterm marriages are so complicated.  There is no flash or romance, but there is such comfort and strength and knowing.  Why isn’t that knowing what we adulate instead of sex and romance?  I think it’s because it is so subtle.  It’s almost hidden.  You have to look for it.  You have to be able to recognize it to be able to place value on it.  I’m learning. 

This is what I want.  I want this happiness to last.  I want to be able to value the subtle goodness in my life.  I want to remember this goodness during the times of stress and downright WORK of raising four kids and being in a marriage of 27 years.  The loop of bad thoughts needs to end in order for these pure and good things to take center stage in my life.

Here is where the visualization and auras come into the picture.  I was (am?) a firm believer in visualization.  I used it each time I gave birth to my children.  No stitches.  No medication.  No pain?  HA!  Yes, there was pain, but I was in charge of how the pain controlled the situation. 

When my son, Luke, broke his femur at age three, I taught him to use visualization. The doctors had put him on Demerol, but each time he fell asleep, he had muscle spasms that jolted his entire body.  He went from tense pain to sleep, then was jolted back to excruciating pain with each muscle spasm.  I spent an afternoon watching my little boy suffer while under medical care until I intervened.  I knew there was a better way.  I refused to let the doctors medicate him with anything stronger than Ibuprofen.  Instead of narcotics, I taught my three-year-old son to use visualization and breathing techniques.  It worked.  I laid next to him for hours helping him breath through the pain and find a relaxed place in his mind.  Yes, there was still pain, but there were no more of the jarring muscle spasms. 

How have I forgotten these lessons?  How have I forgotten that we have more control over our minds, our lives, and our thought processes than most even realize?