Sometimes we get so caught up in our negative thoughts and memories that it is hard to focus on enjoying the present moment. Setting those damaging thoughts aside is a form of self-nurturing.
Our Higher-Consciousness often communicates meaningful information to us in our dreams. This information can provide us with guidance to navigate the maze of life.
I had such a dream regarding how to deal with thoughts about my siblings that kept creeping into my mind and robbing me of the gift of the present moment. One night, I dreamt that I entered my house and found three dogs and a cat that I did not own. I stood by the front door and called to them so I could put them on the porch.
I was concerned about their wellbeing and did not want to put them all the way outside because they might get lost. After the pets were safely on the porch with bowls of water, I did a thorough walkthrough of my house. It looked as though someone had robbed me, and I wanted to make sure the burglar was not still there before calling animal control to collect the animals. I searched the house and did not find a burglar. However, my house looked ransacked, with things scattered on the floor.
After I awoke, I meditated on the meaning of this dream. My Higher-Self revealed to me that the three dogs represented my three brothers and the cat, my sister. The rooms in the house represented the areas in my mind where memories reside. As it turns out, the animals were the ones who made a mess of the place and pulled things down from the shelves, whatever they could reach. The things on the higher shelves represented my Higher-Conscious mind, and those things were undisturbed.
The message I gleaned from this was that the disturbing thoughts and memories of my siblings were ransacking the rooms in my mind. I needed to nurture myself by putting those thoughts out on the porch and not focus on them so much. It’s not that I need to put them completely out of my mind, because I do care about them. That’s why I didn’t put the animals in my dream all the way outside.
Now whenever I find myself thinking about one of those hurtful family memories, I say to myself, “Get out on the porch!” This puts a smile on my face and sometimes even makes me laugh, which is a whole lot better than feeling bad. (Now, that’s self-nurturing!)
Instead of feeling resentment towards the people who offended me, I mentally banish them to the porch, so those negative thoughts don’t rob me of enjoying life right now. Besides, I can’t change the past. What good does it do to rehash old, painful memories?
There are countless ways to self-nurture and be fully present in life. One of the simplest is to take a slow, deep breath while thinking about how fresh oxygen nourishes the cells in my body. Then, as I exhale, I think about being kind to others. I breathe in for me and breathe out for you.
The subject of self-nurturing reminds me of a snowy owl that I witnessed descending from a light pole and diving into the snow to capture some prey. After the snowy owl flew off, I mentally asked the majestic creature, “If you could speak, what would you say?” The thought immediately popped into my head that the owl was modeling behavior for me: It was feeding, nurturing itself.
I needed to do the same; I needed to practice more awareness of how I nurture my body, mind, and spirit. I can start by mentally taking care of myself by dismissing counterproductive thoughts and memories.
How about you? Do you have any memories that trouble you? If you do, perhaps you can put those negative thoughts in their place by ordering them to the proverbial porch. Nurture yourself with a nice, cleansing breath, and upon exhalation, think about forgiving the person who hurt you in the past. This may take some time. Forgiveness doesn’t always happen overnight; it could take months or even years. You are not expected to let go of all negative thoughts. However, you can learn to lessen the length of time you spend thinking about those painful memories. That leaves you more time to appreciate life.
What else can you do to nurture yourself? Along with eating healthy nutrients, you may want to consider feeding your mind healthy messages. Banishing hurtful memories is a good start, but what about banishing the negative messages all around you that cause you suffering, messages such as advertisements that are intentionally designed to make you feel incomplete and insufficient because you lack the product they are selling?
Or what about banishing the negative energy produced by destructive emotions such as hatred, resentment, bitterness, and jealousy? What about setting some limits, so you do not spend as much time in the company of people who radiate toxic energy and destructive emotions?
Something to meditate on today. Whenever poisonous thoughts about people from your past creep into your mind, breathe in for yourself and breathe out for them. Follow the example of the snowy owl and take care of yourself. Your breath nurtures you and helps keep you mindful of the present moment, so you are not robbed of enjoying the life experience that is going on right now.