I Deserve Respect and Lovingkindness

I made 3 or 4 different pieces with these words and images from my soul retrieval experience, but none of them seemed to work. So I cut out the parts that did and pinned them to my wall. Maybe all the ideas together are just too  big, maybe they need more space.

I was excited and a little scared on my way to see Carol, the Shaman who would do a soul retrieval with me.   I was ready for it, I had a specific problem I wanted to work on and although I didn’t expect it to just vanish, I was hoping for it to get better.  I was actually a bit desperate.   Since Thanksgiving, I had been racked with guilt and angry voices arguing in my head about my decision to spend the holiday with  friends instead of my birth family. I was also beginning to feel it in my body, achy and tired like the first stages of the Flu.   No one in my family questioned my decision, or even talked to me about it.  It was obviously my problem, not theirs.  So I was eager to deal with it, to purge the voices and guilt for good if possible.

As I said, I was nervous and excited, I left our house early to make sure I’d get to Carol’s on time.  I got there 10 minutes early,  Carol and her two old dogs,  welcomed me at the door and my first bit of nervousness dropped away.  She offered me a cup of tea, in a mug or, as she called it, a hand warmer, (a cup designed to wrap your hands around.) Wanting the comfort,  I took the hand warmer.  I took off my shoes, (more comfort) and pulled my feet under me on her couch.  She pulled up a chair, put her feet up on the couch and for over an hour we talked like old friends.  Or she seemed like an old friend to me, there was that much comfort, understanding and trust.

We talked mostly about family (with a few tension breaking moments when her dogs and cat wanted to be let in or out) growing up and coping.  She suggested that the imaginary worlds I created for myself as a child and lived in into adulthood  were more than just daydreams or  a means of escape.  That I was already journeying, protecting myself and growing.

But it was when Carol told me that I deserved respect and lovingkindness, that I immediately felt it.  And the more we talked about it, the more solid the feeling became. It started just below my sternum in the “v” of my ribs and traveled down to my bellybutton.  It grew hard, like a rock or piece of steel and I knew it was true.  I deserve respect and lovingkindness.  And if a doubt started to protest, it came up against that feeling and dropped away. Please, I begged to myself, let me hold onto this feeling.

Going to my family’s dinners and holidays  always left me feeling bad about myself with a  deep sense of shame.   I became irritable and tense. I would lose my confidence and have a hard time making decisions.  These feeling would plague me for days before these family events and for days after.  And although I started to stay away from them, I still felt as if I should be able to go to them.  As if I was being a bad daughter, sister and aunt.  I knew how they made me feel, but didn’t respect my own feeling, I was afraid of being seen as selfish, thinking about what was expected of me,instead of what I wanted and was best for me.

But Carol put the idea of me deserving respect and lovingkindness in my head and in my body and so far it has stuck.  I kept coming back to the feeling of the words  during the healing ceremony and I imagine that had something to do with them becoming a belief instead of it just being words.  I don’t remember a specific moment when something happened to make this truth a part of me.  It wasn’t like the alligator that I saw slide into my skin, or the words   “That’s the part of me that dances” that involuntarily came out of my mouth.  But something happened and now, over a week later,  I more than just believe it, now I know it’s true.   We all deserve respect and the gentle lovingkindness that opens our hearts and heals and connects us.

The voices in my head have stopped arguing and I’m not feeling any guilt about enjoying my Christmas with Jon on our new farm.   I’m actually looking forward to the holidays, something I haven’t done in years.

I finished this pillow yesterday. For me it expresses the feeling and meaning of deserving respect and lovingkindness. It’s sold.

 

13 thoughts on “I Deserve Respect and Lovingkindness

  1. “Will we be broken down and defeated, or broken open and
    transformed?” This was such an inspirational quote from Elizabeth Lesser, that I had to read her very transformational book, of that title ” Broken Open:How difficult times help us grow.”
    I believe this to be your experience with the shaman……helping to peel the layers, to make room for the light of who we really are, so that we may shine. Which is the journey you are doing, Maria……
    I recommend the book, and may you have the happiest of holidays this time, and many others to come.

  2. Dear Maria,

    Yes, you are most deserved of respect and lovingkindnesss. I am so glad of this revelation for you.

  3. Maria, You give nothing but respect and lovingkindness out…so receiving it is exactly what you deserve. Warmest of Holiday wishes, filled with lovingkindness and respect.

  4. Maria,

    Thank you so much for telling this story of the shamanic healing on the blog. It fills me with happiness to read about your self-respect and loving kindness as well as courage to have Christmas dinner at home.

    The pillow is so amazing! Lucky person who ownes it!

    Janet

  5. Maria,
    Your quote “I deserve respect and lovingkindness” is very beautiful, especially for all the women who need to deeply internalize this truth.

    It also came to my mind after reading your words that, ” I treat myself with respect and lovingkindness” is additionally helpful to use as an intention day to day…..

    Happiness and Health and Joy to you.

    Lynn
    Yogini

  6. Maria,
    Thank you for sharing your journey! It touches many chords inside of me on so many levels. The pillow you made is beautiful. I keep your potholders hanging up with your positive affirming messages. As I sit here typing, I am looking at my cat on my lap who definitely gets the loving kindness and respect she deserves (she kind of looks like Minnie, same coloring, but more black on her)!
    Mary Jo

  7. Beautiful outward expression (pillow) of the inner work you’ve done. I SO appreciate your sharing with us this part of your journey. Many of us can relate.

  8. This was so powerful, Maria, especially the way you described the sensation as a physical one – there is a physical certitude in owning a place of lovingkindness in one’s own body. Thanks you for sharing this – and your beautiful pillow, which, if you are ever in the mood to recreate, I would love to purchase…

  9. “Revolutions are birthed by those who choose to love themselves without apology” author unknown

    It took me years to allow myself to say no to the guilt brought about by not being with my birth family and learn to love myself enough to let go of that. There are birth families and then there are the families we get to choose – friends, partners, who love us and want only the best for us – and spending time with those people is really the “family” holidays are all about.

    You have a beautiful spirit Maria. Thank you for sharing such a personal journey and giving courage to us all to do the same for ourselves.

    eileen

  10. Maria, I loved this pillow so much, I “pinned” it on my Pinterest page, (crediting you, with your name and website). I hope that is okay with you. I think it is truly inspirational, as are you, with the gentleness, creativity and wisdom you share with us so freely. You make a big difference in my life. Thank you.

  11. Maria, I loved this post and your pillow. We are always so hard on ourselves, happy for you that you are moving towards the light. I hope you and Jon have a beautiful, full of love holiday with all your animal family around you. Peace and god bless-Karen

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