When we lost my Mom back in 2004, I had a lot of things to work through. I struggled for quite a while, and regained 30 pounds. I learned that when--not if--I stumbled on this journey, I had to forgive myself, learn from it, and do NOT start over. I simply CONTINUED the journey. I chalked it up to a learning experience. I had to be honest with myself, examining where I had strayed from my path, and choose to continue on in the right direction again. "It is what it is, now deal with it."
During that time I learned that the only cure for grieving is...grieving. I had to allow myself to feel the feelings, to go THROUGH it, and come out the other side a healthier, richer Woman. I believe that applies to any kind of loss, not just the death of a loved one.
There is also the "death" of health, a job, a home, a marriage... all kinds of life events qualify as a "loss". I am an artist and over the years I have had to make peace with little "deaths" as certain medical conditions affected me, and I had to change how I created and the tools I used. This happened not once, but 4 separate times. Yet I am still here, and I still create!
Anyway, after making peace with my Mom's death, I arrived at a turning point. I revamped my goals, and made discoveries about myself based on the answers to these questions:
- what do I enjoy?
- what makes me smile?
- what makes me feel good?
- what makes me feel satisfied, fulfilled?
- what is "worth it", of eternal value, not a wasted life?
- what makes me feel "this is ME", this is who I am supposed to be in this life?
When things in life slam us in the face, and bring us to our knees, if we allow it there can rise up from the experience a newness...a sort of rebirth. This can be ours if we take the time to look at our life... to heal... to ask questions... to slow down and THINK, and reflect, and LISTEN to the answers.
Turn off the tv, turn off the cd player, turn off the ipod, turn off the.... gasp... computer! Get some place quiet and alone. If you are like me and believe in prayer, then do that...but LISTEN, too.
I didn't used to do too much of this. Even during my "quiet times", I had "input"...I had music playing, or was reading something, or listening to something recorded, etc. Why? Because I didn't like the drifting thoughts in my head, and where they ended up. So instead of facing them and dealing with them, I drowned them out with noise, avoiding them.
I didn't really deeply THINK very often...I didn't ask the hard questions, so naturally I didn't get many answers! When I started this blog, I committed to doing it daily, and to being honest. Besides improving my typing and my spelling skills (ha ha) it has forced me to be more consistent asking myself these kinds of questions, and LISTENING for the answers.
I have already written about some of the questions that have greatly helped me (here) and (here) and (here). It is hard work! And it is not always comfortable...and sometimes I cry...well, a LOT of times I cry. There are just no shortcuts. Whether you cry or not doesn't matter. DOING the work does. Afterwards, there is a release and peace that lets me know I have made progress. It is Progress, not Perfection that I am after these days.
It is not easy for me...it takes time. I honestly don't know how people do it with a house full of kidlets or a full time job. But for me, this is the cost of my progress...this is how I need to do it. And I am no longer afraid to:
Ask the questions, and listen for the answers.
From Dr Phil's book: "If you continue to eat the way you've always eaten, you will continue to stay the way you've always been."
My verse for today: "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth."
My quote for today: "The unexamined life is not worth living."--Socrates
Enjoy the Journey,