All Things Bright and Beautiful

So I mentioned in my previous blog how I struggled with a mini bout of anxiety recently. It was about one month ago and around the time when so much was changing in my life: my career, my dad passing, one of my daughters struggling with a traumatic set of circumstances, coming out of lockdown, plus my uncertainty around my book as it neared completion. 

Now I’ve been totally open, making myself somewhat ‘vulnerable’ in my book exposing how I suffered with a ‘stress induced psychotic episode’ which led to my traumatic accident in 2019. I also opened the doors and became even more vulnerable by addressing the fact that I had experienced previous brief episodes too. The writing was extremely cathartic and necessary since, if I’m honest, I don’t believe I had ever addressed this myself or with my daughters. It was healing for all of us. 

Now I truly believe that what I have just been through in the past month or so could have resulted in another episode, but something was different (thank God). I felt intense anxiety the likes of which I can barely describe. A fear so intense that I could literally throw up my insides; a fear that I was about to experience the damn psychosis again. But this got me looking at my ‘fear’ and where it comes from which made all the difference. 

My dad used to be a bit of a practical joker playing games and tricks on me (and others in the family) when I was a child. What was meant as fun would stir fear in me on a high level, sometimes resulting in me screaming before he would turn the light on and realise he may have gone too far!  I’ve realised now that my fears manifested themselves from childhood as experiences that would stay with me until I faced them and learnt to understand them.

Somehow I got to grips with things as I became aware that my mind was trying to play out every horror and scary scenario that it could think of, which was reminiscent of my previous psychosis, including scary childhood memories. This time however, there was a crossroads… or rather a fork in the road. This has NEVER happened before. 

I could see how my fear patterns were getting stuck in a loop and learnt that I was so much more than just my mind before I slipped too far. Making sense of the fear this time meant I could stop resisting what was happening and go with it. I started to breathe and meditate as well as practicing some mindfulness skills and letting go. It was a case of ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ as I accepted the fearful thoughts. I somehow managed to take the helm and steer my mind back on course to a peaceful place. It was as though I was able to shine a light to find my way out of the darkness before it swallowed me up and tipped me over the edge. 

Susan Jeffers

Life was on hold as I had decided to take a break from any work and I truly started to experience some deep connections around me. As I let my fears out ‘to the universe’ (for want of a better word), my mind started to empty itself of all the scary thoughts and they were replaced with a sense of synchronicity with nature, peacefulness and tranquility. These sensations have remained and long may they do so! This has been a new and wonderful experience for me. 

I have never been one who notices nature but I suddenly have a deep fascination with the birds and bees (no not like that!). I am so blessed that our beautiful garden has an abundance of birds and two huge laburnum trees that are buzzing with bees! It is the most tranquil and beautiful spot where we are surrounded with open fields and countryside; it is like a little piece of paradise. 

I find myself not only listening to the call of the collared dove but wanting to google and find out more about it and what differentiates it from the wood pigeon. We have a couple of pigeons who sit on top of our pagoda daily, and I love the fact that they are a monogamous breed and this pair (whom Martin and I call Ethel and Bert) are probably together for life. 

Now call me an ignoramus, but I didn’t know that a blackbird could be brown! Yes, the female is brown and she and her male counterpart keep landing on the wall and our garden shed giving me the eye! I have googled of course… and it seems these birds are quite knowledgeable. When this bird comes into your life, it encourages you to reach higher; think along the lines of higher ideal and higher purpose. If it comes to you as your spirit animal… it’s time to give your words power apparently; whether or not it is my spiritual animal, I read this as it’s time to get my arse back in gear and finish my book and get it published. 

I could sit in our garden for hours just watching the activity of all the birds and sometimes I get a magical glimpse of them from inside the house too, since we have little clear birdfeeders stuck on the windows which attract the blue tits. I sense my husband is rather amused by my new interest in wildlife, but many say that birds are messengers between spirit world and physical world and I find this quite beautiful. 

So, this girl who would once scream if a bee came near her, is suddenly looking at them with different eyes. As pollinators they play an integral part in every aspect of the ecosystem and are beautiful and gentle and I find myself fascinated to learn more about them. Did you know that honeybees can unhook their wings so that instead of giving flight they vibrate and generate heat to the hive? 

I found myself nurturing a huge bumble bee (most definitely the queen) onto a card and out of the kitchen window last week. In the past I would have shut the door on the room and waited for Martin to get home and remove! 

Honestly, I feel like a young child in kindergarten with my new awareness of such beautiful things in our world. I think I would be singing ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ if it weren’t for the fact that I have a terrible voice and Martin would roll his eyes. Still, perhaps if I continue listening to the beautiful birdsong in our garden I may pick up a few tips. 😜

1 Comment

  1. Sam Bielby on June 7, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Absolutely lovely – and thought provoking. I remember such childhood teasing in my family as well. I think this was quite common 💕

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