I’m sure we’ve all witnessed it. Out of nowhere there’s an unmistakable thump of flesh and blood colliding with a solid surface. In my case it was a poor misguided bird whose trajectory in life had been rudely interrupted by my living room window. I always feel so bad for the little guys and hate to see them lying out cold in my shrub bed. Poor thing. There is nothing in its little life that could prepare it for the false front of a pane of glass. They don’t teach “How Not to be Blind-sided by Deceptive Human Structures” when they enrolled in flying lessons.
In an attempt to help these wounded birds, I’ve googled it a few times to see if there are any new developments on how to help. I’m hoping for some essential oil that will provide an instant miracle cure. No such luck. Nothing has changed. The best thing you can do is to leave the bird alone if it is in a safe place. Most often, they return to consciousness, reassess the direction of their flight plan and take off, hopefully a bit wiser. If it is not in a safe place – like if the local feline is prowling about or a playful dog doesn’t share the same nurturing tendencies – move it to a protected spot. It’s that simple. The miracle of nature is simple – in quiet and safety creatures heal.
In Quiet and Safety, Creatures Heal.
Can you relate? Often in life you are flying along and wham! Out of the blue you’ve run into something that knocks you flat. You didn’t see it coming. You had no chance to adequately prepare yourself. Even if your mother warned you about such a nebulous thing as a rogue windowpane, you frankly just couldn’t grasp the severity of it. Until it happened.
You get smacked down and there you lay. I’d love to come alongside you and pat your ruffled feathers and say, “Hey! Get up girl! You got this.” But this is not the time.
You’re dazed. Numb. You don’t know what you feel. Sometimes you don’t feel. Friends may say, “That’s gotta hurt” but honestly, it doesn’t. Not yet. You can’t feel a blinking thing and you don’t even want to.
Then, oddly enough the pendulum swings and suddenly you feel too much. A simple slip – a spilled coffee or a forgotten task – and your entire world falls apart. You cry, get angry, or mentally beat yourself up.
When you are feeling dazed by life the same advice they give for wounded birds applies to you. Find a safe place. Be still.
This is the essence of self-care: Doing the things that support your recovery from a world that is constantly and incessantly beating you up.
It truly is the answer to so much.
Treat Wounded Hearts Like Wounded Birds
That little bird will quite likely shake off the damage and fly away. Its body was meant to respond that way. So is yours.
We live in an amazing body. If supported properly it has amazing healing qualities. If you cut your hand, in only a matter of hours, the sinews of new flesh reach out to cover over the wound. If you break your leg, the body goes into overdrive, creating new bone material to mend the gap. Think about that – literally, it takes the food you cram into your mouth and uses it as building blocks to re-construct that which was torn apart.
Our minds and emotions are also capable of this incredible healing…if supported properly.
Just like that little bird needs time to rest in order to recuperate – so do you.
In the same way that little being needs to be carried to a safe place to recover from the damage – so do you.
Predators love the vulnerable.
When you are numb and stunned from some collision with life, you’ll find the predators of self-criticism, discouragement, and depression, waiting to make short work of what basic mental functions you have left.
I will spend the next couple weeks exploring different aspects of self-care. Too often we think if we schedule a mani-pedi or take a bath, we’ve somehow accomplished self-care. Or we plop in front of the tv and binge load on Netflix…nope that’s not self-care either.
Self-care is learning how to soothe our anxious and overloaded brains.
Self-care means we make choices for our physical bodies that support our mental and emotional healing.
Self-care is finding out what brings us joy and peace and purposefully slotting those into our days.
Self-care is keeping promises to ourselves that in turn give us confidence and snap us out of negative patterns.
Are you numb? Feeling a bit stunned by life?
Look after yourself.
The Simplest Solution is Often the Hardest
Self-care truly is the answer to much of our mental angst.
Did you have a difficult childhood? Attentive self-care by learning to mother yourself in healthy ways is the path to a happy, healthy adult life.
Have you been knocked flat by something in your world? Focussed self-care to protect you at this vulnerable time is crucial for your recovery. You’ll fly again…but first you must rest.
Are you struggling with overwhelm? Self-care provides the pockets of joy and peace that make life worth getting out of bed for.
Are you ready? Let’s walk this together.
Would you like a tool to help you focus on your self-care? Warning: It means giving me your email address. And if you do that, about once or week – sometimes more, sometimes less, you’ll receive an email from me with tips and info.
Get your free Self-Care Recording Sheet here