It’s that time. Deathiversary season. This year? We gonna party, and celebrate what IS.
March 22. The day she died. I don’t TRY to remember that date. I don’t have it marked on any calendars or set in reminders or on any to-do lists. That date is just somehow biologically ingrained into me – it was SUCH a traumatic day for me, despite being “prepared” for it. My physical brain starts prompting me with memories around this time every year like clockwork.
But, this year? This year is…different.
For seven years I have been angry at some level…even knowing how upset that would make her couldn’t change that. SEVEN. YEARS. For three of those years, I was just dead as a doornail. I walked around in my meat suit and I did the stuff I was supposed to do, but I wasn’t there.
I tried. I truly did. I tried to grieve and heal and move on. I tried everybody else’s way, and I tried learning my own way. It was so exhausting, and I could never get it right. Then, I realized there WAS no right way. I started letting go, little by little, of “the rules.”
After three years of that, I kind of gave up and decided it never COULD change because it didn’t FEEL like it was changing. Little did I know, it WAS and had been for a hot minute. But then, out of nowhere and completely unexpectedly, I was blessed with the light of a new journey. That is when the healing began to truly manifest within me.
I KNOW she had a hand in that from “the other side.” Why? Because I’d been given this new opportunity in my life and I was unsure of myself. I didn’t know if what I felt was real, and on top of that what I felt petrified me. I asked her for a sign, and it was that specific, absolute sign that I was given that opened my eyes. It was simple, really.
The VERY next day, after asking for a sign (which I did partly because I wanted the sign but also because I wanted to actively see if it was true that they guide us), it happened. A new friend I’d made that I felt a similar “true friend” connection with and was absolutely terrified to open up to (BECAUSE of the pain of loss) said the exact words to me that she’d said a million times and there’s no way the new friend could have known. It was NOT a coincidence.
“Be true to you.”
And so, I was…and my life truly, instantly, began to change. The caveat is, you have to CHOOSE this – to be true to you – and funnily enough, an almost-argument about whether one can choose certain things with this new friend I’ve mentioned is the ONLY reason I was able to understand this. It’s as though at that moment, the whole thing came full circle.
Healing BEGAN when that happened – when I started choosing to actively accept the realness and truth of what came into my life after the pain of such great loss, and let go of my fear. It taught me to stop comparing my previous life to my current one all the time, or trying to be the same person I was then, and ALLOW myself to grow. But, all of that was a LONG process.
It took me three more years of actively looking within myself and inviting my spirituality to be an active part of my life again for me to finally BEGIN to be less angry and to look like me to myself again (and to those who knew me before all of that). It has only been in the past year that I have started to FEEL the healing, and to actually be myself.
Maybe it was harder and slower because of the things I was dealing with during that time (my mother, Alzheimer’s and full time caregiving being the main one – but also my own health, major surgeries, full on menopause, a teenaged son, a changing career, I could go on but do I really need to?). Today, though, I had a sudden realization that I am, for the first time in seven years, not anxious or afraid of March 22 – I’m not afraid of what I might feel, I’m not afraid of slipping down into the dark hole because it doesn’t exist anymore.
I’m not afraid of acknowledging what the day commemorates because I’m not concerning myself with what I WISH was, or what I would LIKE things to look like. Of course at times I wish she was here to share in what my life is now. How normal would it be not to have that fleeting thought or feeling every once in a while? No – now, I let that flow through me and remain laser focused only on what actually is and the amazing, sometimes funny, sometimes hard, but always special memories of the 7300+ days I was given that included her – all those days of her alive and well and teaching me, blessing me, and growing WITH me.
I have been given the opportunity to share such a special friendship with someone else. How many people get to have that even once in life, much less again? That non-judgmental, ego taming, inspiring, encouraging, healing, teaching, but also free-spirited, connection with another human being that not only blesses you on your journey but allows you to bless them on theirs as you share parts of the journey together? That is what made our friendship so incredibly raw and real, and a blessing for each other. And the year and a half of the cancer? That year and a half was the equivalent of the 18 years before on steroids.
The reality is that the cancer only added to and grew our friendship, even if in the end it was also the catalyst that took her away. I can’t be mad at that. Not anymore. People will not like me saying this, but in a way? That was a gift. SHE said that many times during the last months – and I would get so pissed, so I get it if you’re dealing with that type of situation and reading, “the pain is a gift,” angers you… But now, I understand what she meant.
People harp on how hard growth is but it’s really not – not when we release and allow. Is it painful? Yes. Is it sometimes draining and annoying and difficult? Yes. But the only thing that makes it “hard” is our own self-limiting beliefs. It’s not the growth itself that is hard, it’s the process of realizing the growth and allowing ourselves to be what we’re meant to BECOME because of it versus who we were prior to it. We have to allow ourselves to learn (and on that note, not FORCE ourselves to learn).
So, what have I learned? What is the message I’m trying to deliver? This:
It is your divine birthright to be abundant in ALL the four bodies of your human existence – spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. If you’re not feeling that, the reason is that you’ve become a little imbalanced somewhere along the way in one or all of those bodies, and you haven’t found the right balance again yet.
You can. You can and you WILL.
How do you find it? Listen to your soul. Listen to your inner child.
No, it’s not often fun, but it is always healing if you trust, allow, and complete the process. The truth is, it can be downright terrifying and often extremely frustrating. It can be confusing and exhausting, and it can feel like drowning sometimes. The wounds and the fears can run deep and the storms that come up can be cruelly driving and cold.
But, the universe has a secret and a promise for you.
The secret? While taking off the blindfold and looking the past version of yourself in the face can be incredibly painful, it is THE ONLY WAY to heal and fully become the version of you that you’re meant to be now. You truly do have to feel it to heal it, as the cliché goes. You HAVE to swim without floaties, as my daddy used to tell my lazy three year old self, because “that’s the only way to build your strength and your coordination.”
The promise? Healing CAN be done and the universe is willing to help you if you will only receive the help you’ve asked for (it’s probably already right in front of you, like it was for me!). And, if anyone can do it? YOU CAN.
Allow the inner child version of yourself to take the wheel every now and then. That is how you feed your spirit. Feeding your spirit is the way to HEAL your spirit – but you have to feed it the right things. What are the right things? They are the things that bring you true, deep-down, soul joy. What is soul joy? It’s what happens when when your inner child feels loved, safe and fulfilled. You are the only one with the power and the ability to offer that to yourself. It is within you. Do you see?
Maybe it’s literally what brought you joy as a child. Maybe it’s a hobby you love, or a thing you like to do that has always made you feel connected and full of purpose. Maybe it’s being in nature, maybe it’s working with or connecting with animals, maybe it’s giving to or somehow helping other people, maybe it’s writing or enjoying books, maybe it’s art or some creative endeavor, maybe it’s cooking, maybe it’s doing little projects around the house, maybe it’s gardening, maybe it’s having a lazy day filled with naps and snacks once a week. It could be anything. Those are all things on my list – I don’t know what it is for you, but I know that if you give to “it,” it will start a self-sustaining cycle that will completely remove the need you have to seek validation outside of yourself and reignite your joy.
Give to what makes you happy, and that’s when you’ll receive happiness. You’ll receive it because you have co-conspired with the universe, outside of and within you, to create it…and once you feel it (again), you’ll suddenly realize it was there all along. It never left you, it just became silenced and hidden by unimportant things that you attached some level of importance to.
Now, this part is especially crucial.
When that process of feeling the joy of being fully alive again begins at a soul-level, you may start to question yourself the way I did. Even when you are confident you’re on the right path you may find yourself second guessing or doubting. It’s going to be hard not to be hard on yourself, but the moment this version of you comes back to life is the moment when you MUST treat yourself with patience and grace, and understand that surrendering the past and allowing the present is NOT giving up control and it is NOT losing. In reality, that is the moment that you have the most power and control of your life, and the moment you gain the most important thing you could hope for – peace and clarity.
It is then that you might need to regularly remind yourself that you have faith in yourself and in the universe, and that you deserve to receive what the universe is offering you even when you feel unworthy. Unworthiness is a self-limiting belief, and a lie – don’t fall back into the same monotonous, over-thinking pattern and void the lesson of allowing that you may only just be becoming conscious of.
Don’t let the voices of your past drown out what you know to be your truth now with the same lies they’ve always told you – because that’s all self-limiting beliefs are to begin with. They’re beliefs you still hold onto that don’t even belong to you and never did, and were NEVER necessarily true. You’ve grown and you’ve built your strength and your stamina? Remember? Yes, you have. You are capable. You are amazing. It is safe to open up. It is safe trust. It is safe to love. It is safe to take risks because you can handle yourself. You’ve got this.
Don’t be your own worst critic, be your own loudest cheerleader. Don’t beat yourself up for “only now” getting it (huge mistake I made) or for what you think you missed out on during all the “wasted time” of holding on – it WAS NOT wasted. It all happened right on time, for YOUR journey. Praise yourself for taking the chances and leaps of faith you needed to take and for learning the lesson(s), and reward yourself by embracing and allowing the experience of your fuller, more peaceful and joy-filled life, even if it’s not exactly what you expected it to look like.
That, my friends, is when success is truly achieved…and no amount of money or luck can buy it or bring it. The only way to get there is to breathe deeply and consciously into your soul and begin the daily ritual of existing in a state of surrender and allowing. Then, to release, cleanse, and BE the NOW. And finally, when you’ve done this, you will feel yourself again…
…and you, too, can welcome yourself home.
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