Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Prayer of Sorts

Grief has a way of humbling me in ways that still surprise me. 

Any sort of ego is out the door. And on some days, it’s all I can do to maintain my confidence and self-worth. 

When you’ve been through as much as I’ve been through in the last 9 months—and truthfully, the last three years—sometimes just getting up and getting dressed and getting to work is all I can manage. And then I am faced with a whole day of tasks, responsibilities, conversations, and accountabilities that have nothing to do with my grief.

But the grief is always there. It’s bubbling under the surface, and what matters is how I manage that on a day to day basis. Some days, I manage it very well. Other days—not so much.

Some days, it’s this Grand Canyon-sized chasm that often leaves me feeling utterly foolish, childish, and out of control. Tears rush down my cheeks, and I can’t stop them.

But the facts do not change. My mom is still dead. My sister is still dead. The man I thought was the love of my life betrayed me in a way I have never before been betrayed—and that relationship is understandably dead.

But I—I am still here.

On some days, that confuses me. I see so many possibilities, and I have a hard time translating those possibilities into focused action. It’s a weakness I’ve always had, but it’s exacerbated by grief.

Today, I ask for the Divine to step in and guide my life. Guide my mind, my soul, my heart, and my body to Your light. I cannot do this alone. I need Your help. I need Your guidance and love.


Thank you.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Cannot Be Broken

All of the things I've experienced have built the ground upon which I stand at this time.

I am deeply rooted, like an old pecan tree—my roots spanning wide and plunging far beneath the surface towards the core of the earth.

My branches have been broken by trauma, my leaves beaten by the wind and rain of difficulty and strife, my bark stripped by the unrelenting skies of life—leaving me standing here before you, naked—exposed.

How mightily my roots have grown—stronger. My bark has returned, and new branches are growing. At the tips of those branches, tiny leaves are sprouting in the shape of hope.

With my roots so firmly planted in the ground, I have become more flexible—almost fluid.

I cannot be broken.

My arms sway in the wind. My hair whips wildly around my head. I feel the deep-bone chill of cold and the blistering heat of the sun. My skin takes in only what it needs—the rest falls away.

The stronger my roots,
The stronger my soul.

The chaos around me continues.
Inside is silence. Inside is calm.

I cannot be broken.

It is here—in this earth, in this moment—where my home lies.

Here—within me.
Here—in my heart.

I have existed many times, and I will exist many more times.
And yet, I have never before been more present than I am in this moment.

I turn and look at the landscape behind me, and I grieve for all I have lost.

And, I stand in shock—in awe, marveling at the beauty that is my life, the fullness with which I love, and the faith carrying me through darkness I never knew the human spirit could endure.

I am here.
I am now.

I am.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grief is Temporary

"Time and time again, when I take people through the process of healing and feeling the feelings that are terrifying to them – afterwards, they feel lighter, they feel clearer and they have a sense of peace about themselves.
We all have pain. And there’s no amount of chanting, yoga or green juice that can take away that pain – it must be felt. Not dwelled on for a lifetime, but felt for the appropriate amount of time. It is scary, but on the other side is bliss." ~ Mastin Kipp

I acknowledge that I have done a lot of grief processing here on my blog. And I have witnessed it making some people pretty uncomfortable, to the point of feeling the laser pointer of sharp judgments being flung my direction.

Who does that say more about, though? The fact that I am rather messy in my grief, which I find normal, because grief is messy—but I’m also honestly not saying anything that I regret (and, still not regretting it, even after going back over and rereading multiple posts)… or does it say more about she who judges?

I’m not sure, and it doesn’t matter.

What does matter is recognizing the impermanence of feelings. I recognize the roller coaster of emotions taking me up as I think I’ve got something figured out—and the scary downhill plunge once I realize I have nothing figured out, after all… and then, the intense processing I do when I’m in the throes of valleys, twists, and turns, as I’m tossed about in this learning adventure called life.

It’s all okay.

Grief is disarming. If I weren’t already an “emotionally healthy” person, it might just do me in, cause me to alienate all of my friends, and fold up on a little ball of depression.


But, lucky me—I am fairly emotionally healthy.

So instead, I’ve spilled my grief out all over the place. I’ve felt remarkably immature and lost in some moments, and undeniably strong and grounded in other moments. Most who have witnessed my grief (my therapist, my family, my friends) have said that I am handling things remarkably well.

I don’t feel that way.

But, I also know that I tend to be hard on myself. I tend to not give myself enough credit—for anything. To be honest, I feel like I’m just sorta getting by.

Some days, I feel strong and good and happy. Some days, I can experience joy, I laugh hard, and I smile a lot. Other days, I feel sad and miserable. I miss my mom and my sister, and I wish I could talk to both of them about dating and men and the way I feel.

My “typical” day since my mom’s passing encompasses all of the above and more.

I think it’s safe to say that every day, I experience a much larger gamut and depth of emotions than someone who isn’t in a state of grief.

My typical day can start out with me bawling in the shower, shedding a few tears at my desk at work, laughing hysterically at a joke, having a heart-to-heart conversation with a friend—and while all of this is going on, I’m processing emotions, thoughts, and needs under the surface, too.

So, I am finding that grieving is sort of like being an emotional human—in double-time.

No wonder I’m so exhausted at the end of the day.

So, I just want to say thank you to everyone. Thank you for your love and light, for your words of encouragement, for your energy and thoughts. I know that God, the universe, and all the spirits of my life (this life and past lives) are opening me up, guiding me on a path to something so beautiful and so big, that I can't even fathom it right now. I can't even wrap my head around it.

That is where hope resides... and right now, my hope is gently guiding me forward, baby step by baby step.

And in the dark moments, when hope feels thin and fragile and unreachable, my faith is the bridge that reaches out and invites hope back into my cells.

Right now, I don’t have to have a firm grasp of much of anything, but that’s all right. I can feel that I am loved.

I feel this openness in my heart, that feels like a channel through which light and love flow in and flow out.

And sometimes, when the grief tsunami hits, I feel like the grief might just swallow me whole. It feels like I’m grasping at tiny, thin, delicate strands that might keep me from falling into the bottomless pit, the pit that catapults me out into space—where I cannot breathe, where I cannot live, where I am totally alone.

When that happens, it’s important for me and everyone connected to me to remember that it’s temporary. It will pass.

And I will stand up again, I will breathe, I will move from that paralyzing moment into the next, slightly less whacked moment.

And I am doing the best I can, and on some days, that looks pretty damn good.

And on other days… well—you already know what that looks like.

Grief sucks. And sometimes I feel all enlightened and shit—but sometimes, I feel like the world’s biggest fool.

Grief. Like everything else in this amazing, painfully beautiful existence—

It is temporary.

"Faith means living with uncertainty - feeling your way through life, letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark." ~ Dan Millman

"There is no death. Only a change of worlds." ~ Chief Seattle