Write what you know . . . isn't that what they tell folks? Well, I know I went to the dentist. I know half of my mouth shouldn't be used for a bit. I know drinking coffee is not usually such an adventure. I know I thought about forgiveness and emotional wellness as I sat numbed while tools whirled in my mouth. Here are my numbed thoughts:
1) Little bits of food and bacteria can get caught between my teeth and my gums. This irritates my gums. If I don't take care of it, my gums get sensitive and bleed. Just like my emotions. Take a moment and think about what little thing might be irritating you in your life. Is it an irritation that you can let go of or is it an irritation that is lodged in your craw? Is some interaction, some comment, some thought, festering emotionally?
2) I'm not perfect at daily oral hygiene and maintenance. I brush twice a day. I use dental picks . . . for two weeks or so after a dental visit. What is my emotional hygiene/maintenance program? I have been able to regularly start my day with prayer and meditation. Not for long periods of time, but enough to get me ready to start my day. For me that includes reminding myself that there are parts of my life I cannot control and I need to turn those parts over to my God/Higher Power. At night I try to pray, and lately I've been reviewing how I talked to myself that day. I've fallen into not being nice to myself. At night I can review how compassionate and loving I was to myself when I made mistakes or got irritated. Take a moment and reflect on what you use to keep yourself emotionally well. Do you have a destructive habit that you need to become aware of and slowly work to change? Do you need to offer yourself more loving kindness and compassion? What would make a difference to you to help you be emotionally healthy today?
3) I can't be my healthiest without help. I like my dentist. I appreciate the work she and her staff do. My teeth will not remain healthy if I stop going to the dentist. I also need people in my emotional life. Sometimes a counselor or therapist. Sometimes a minister/priest/Rabbi etc. I need to open up and let someone take a look at what is happening on my inside. I don't always see where I need help. Take a moment and think about who is in your life. Consider if it is time to open up and let someone else in? It doesn't need to be a professional--maybe it's a friend who understands how to be empathetic. None of us are independent. We all need . . . somebody/a human touch/somebody to love/a hero.
I know I want to keep my teeth for a long time. I know I want to be emotionally healthy for a long time. I know I need to take care of my teeth and my emotions. I know I need to regularly take action to keep myself healthy. I know I need to be vulnerable and let safe people in to help me.
I hope you will find ways to maintain your emotional (and oral) health.
I was honored and grateful to be joined by 10+ people on November 11th as we talked about how we can sometimes feel like we are drowning in negativity or unforgiveness. We talked about how we react to being hurt and how we protect ourselves. I am so grateful for the mercy and understanding the group showed as my end of the internet connection was challenging and distracting.
Wednesday, November 18th we will be talking about how we can prepare to forgive. You might not be ready to decide to forgive someone who has hurt you. You might not think you will EVER be ready to forgive. The good news is that there are things we can do to help soften our hearts and entertain the possibility of forgiveness. I hope you can join us on the 18th. Even if you can only join once. Even if you weren't able to join last week. You do need to register to receive the link. There is no charge.
Go to stoughtonhealth.com and click on "Classes and Events," scroll to a class in November and click on it. You will receive a website link and call-in phone number. If you have questions. please call Jen at 608-877-3485. (I am grateful to Stoughton Hospital for this opportunity and their technical support in making this happen.)