By: Brittany Piper, CAMPUSPEAK Speaker
October 2, 2017. Las Vegas.
Life is bleak sometimes. More often, lately. For many of us, these near monthly tragedies open old wounds of violence, terror, and loss. The harsh truth is we’re all recovering and healing from something.
Whether directly affected by a tragedy, or reeling from its powerful tremors, we must remind ourselves that it’s the reactions to these earth-shattering events in our lives that define us, not the events themselves. As we move forward in recovery, self-care has to be priority number one.
- Feel – On days like this I am emotional, as my gleaming optimism often takes a seat to catch its breath. My heart is sorrowful for the state of this country. Today I feel the hurt. I feel it because I have to. I feel it because my life’s history has shown me that every long road to healthy healing must first begin with felt understanding.The trick—don’t get stuck there. I know it’s hard to take the cold plunge of vulnerability. I also know it’s almost easier to let ourselves sink so deep into our grief and turmoil that we become trapped beneath the ice. We cannot spiral into a permanent dark hole when the world is heavy and the heavy just gets thicker. We cannot become so consumed by our brokenness, so committed to it, that to heal it would erase who we’ve become.
So how do we accomplish this? We embrace the vulnerability by wrapping ourselves up in a blanket of our feelings, but we never let it become our emotional straightjacket. Because eventually, we release it. By screaming into a pillow, screaming into the sky, screaming into our journals, screaming out to anyone who’s willing to listen. We acknowledge the emotions and then we let them go because if we don’t they’ll make us hard. And on the path to healing, we must remain courageously soft.
- Set Boundaries – Self-care is a combination of the nurturing routines, conversations, and relationships we have with US. It’s the capacity to love, accept, connect and care for ourselves, from the inside out, in spite of the traumas and stresses in our lives. It’s about leaning into our life, moment to moment, with trust and appreciation.Self-care does not include conversations, relationships, and routines with the Internet, with the news, with social media. Self-care means unplugging from the noise around us. Self-care means muting the world so we can hear ourselves more clearly, as the empty silence is full of introspective answers. So switch to airplane mode. Become more selective of who and what you’re giving yourself to.
- Align – Healing is a lifelong journey, filled with heart-warming reprieve and tender scars. Those of us on the healing-side realize that our lives will never be the same. Like a crumpled piece of paper, the creases will always be present. It took me many, many years to understand that the path to healing is not about getting over X, Y and Z but rather aligning with their existence. We align by accepting and acknowledging the presence of their scars for a lifetime to come. For these scars are evidence of our strength to prevail.
- Nurture – Nurture you. Take tender care of your mind, body, and spirit. Give yourself love today so tomorrow you can give it to others. How?
- Get outside
- Take a bath
- Read a book
- Go on a walk, hike, bike ride, etc.
- Eat healthy
- Do yoga
- Make love
- Make out
- Mindfulness/stay in the present
- Practice breathing exercises
- Cook yourself a nice meal
- Buy yourself a nice meal
- Take a nap
- Write an affirmation list
- Write a gratitude list
- Watch a sunrise
- Watch a sunset
- Watch a comedy
- Make a vision board
When the dark days of our lives take over, the job is ours to shine as our own beacon of light. It’s our responsibility to bring ourselves safely home after the storms have passed—to a place where we honor our past experiences by living from an aligned and nurturing space. The healing ladder of the universe is long and aims toward self-care. Only in this place can we find the love to propel us forward.
Learn more about Brittany Piper and her impactful keynotes at campuspeak.com/brittany.