Loss: A Journey Of Survival

Dealing with loss is never an easy process.  It can take the joy right out of your soul in seconds, and change everything you have every know.   It can even change you.  Are you ever the same after losing someone?

There are all kinds of loss.  Loss of a parents, grandparents, siblings, children, friends.  Loss of ideas, concepts, and hopes.  Loss of dignity, pride and self.  It doesn’t matter whom, or what the loss is, it all ends in the same way – pain, confusion, hurt, anger.  It can put us in a very dark place.  A place that is there which leaves us questioning our meaning of existence, our beliefs, and ourselves.

I’ve had a lot of losses in my life.  My first “loss” was when my parents divorced.  I was six years old and I remember the time period – it stands still in my mind.  It’s a whirlwind of events, but for some reason the moments I remember are played so slowly.  My parents were just not meant to be, and I clearly understand that now, as a grown woman, but as a little girl my world was shattered.  I remember asking my Dad to stay in my room so that I could sleep.  I asked him to sit beside me for nights because I feared losing him.  I feared waking up and not finding him there anymore – not knowing where he went.  Life as I knew it was different from the rest of my friends and I was scared.  I did not understand the concept of Mommy and Daddy not being together anymore.  What did that mean for me?

Years later I lost my Grandfather. This was the first time I had physically lost someone.  I lived in a different city, and remember the phone call from my Dad.  Hearing words of loss is never easy.  Trying to figure out how to deal with it is something that you are unaware of when you are 13 years old.  I cried, as I hurt.  I lost my Grandpa – which little girl doesn’t cry?  I was a child still.

Love is stronger than death even though it can’t stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can’t separate people from love. It can’t take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death.” ~ Unknown

1998 was one of my most challenging years.  I was working with elderly people.  Loss was inevitable in this job.  It was also the year that my Step-Dad and Grandma were both diagnosed with cancer.  I remember that summer being filled with confusion, and many tears.  Cancer is a hellish disease.  I thought I was “trained”.  My medical experiences had prepared me.  I had a full understanding of how this disease would take its toll, and take the very life from my loved ones.  Watching them die in front of you is much different from receiving news on the phone – I took a leave of absence from my job and devoted my time, knowledge, experience and love to both of these people, my family members.  I took over palliative care – spent nights in the Cancer Agency, and palliative care homes. My efforts of love and devotion could not win the battles that were in their lives, and eight weeks apart was just too much for me.  I looked at death in a different way now – I was scared of it, and it had its control on my life.  I was scared to drive, I was scared of my loved ones driving,  I was scared of accidents, I was scared of disease.  I went so far as to not order food from a restaurant for delivery for fear of something happening to the delivery man and me being responsible for taking away someone from this earth who was loved my friends and family in their lives.  I was scared of everything in this world that would potentially take away someone I knew, someone I cared for, or worse – someone I loved.

One could say I did not handle this well … and nearly 20 years later I still feel scared of death.  I’ve lost more friends, and family.  And each time it takes away my faith in reality in this whole life process.

If you don’t realize the source, you stumble in confusion and sorrow. When you realize where you come from, you naturally become tolerant, disinterested, amused, kindhearted as a grandmother, dignified as a king. You can deal with whatever life brings you, and when death comes, you are ready. Lao Tzu

And then loss, at its finest … miscarriage.  This is not only a physical loss, but this is an emotional loss.  Horrific, and indescribable.  I have had two successful pregnancies between 2011 – 2013 and have two beautiful boys.  Why would I think that this would happen to me?  But apparently,”This is common”, they would tell me.  “We are surprised this has not happened to you yet!”, another would say.  Wait? What?  Am I really hearing this?  The idea of not seeing my babies heartbeat on my ultrasound, or feeling them kick and move in my belly was sad enough, but the reality of “what could have been” broke my heart to pieces.  What would my baby have looked like?  What would she, or he have grown up to love?  Would they have had the most beautiful smile, just like my two boys?  What caused this?  Was it me?  Was is God’s plan?  Was I being punished?  What did I do wrong to deserve this? Am a I horrible person?  What did I do in my past live to deserve this?  Did someone hate me so much that they wished this upon me?

My baby would have been born last week, and so i’ve sat here going through the motions and trying to understand loss a little better.  Making an effort for Loss and I to become pal’s so I can empathize a little easier.  What is it that causes us the tears, that horrible ache in your heart, the feeling that causes those uncontrollable tears.  Because my mind wants to identify it, and grab it and throw it away and never think of it again, or do I?  If I am able to figure out what I can do to block those emotions does that make me a horrible person?  Heartless?

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief… and unspeakable love.  ~ Washington Irving

I realize now that it is nothing that anyone can prepare for, prevent, or even accept gracefully.  Loss is horrible, and it breaks you down.  Only time can heal, and that is because of the distance it creates between you, and when it happened.  Time … will eventually heal all losses.

And after the tears stop I sit back and think just how lucky I am to be alive and to have experienced all of these memories, especially the ones that hurt so much, the losses that broke me into pieces, and tore my soul apart.  I pick up the mess I have turned into, and I remind myself that I hurt because I loved so much, because I cared so much, because I let things matter to me from the deepest parts of my being … because at the end of the day what it comes down to is that some people are never this lucky.  I am blessed.

 

 

 

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Self Love | Making Yourself The Only Priority

Self-Love-Equals-Success

It’s been a while, and took some convincing, but now I am able to say that I am number one.  Number one does not mean that I neglect my duties and responsibilities as a wife and a mother, it simply means that the decisions I make in my day-to-day life are decisions that will make me a better individual.  Decisions that put my best interests first in order to make me the best version of me.

In today’s society we have way too much negativity, and the saddest part of all of this is that I never noticed this until I took the trusted teaching of Buddha and tried to apply them to my daily life – get rid of all toxic and negatives in your life.

Toxic’s are not necessarily bad people.  The toxic’s and negative’s can be things, anything really, that gives you a not so great feeling.  Anything that drains a little bit of that happiness, and places that heavy feeling on your shoulders.  The things that dull your sparkle, and shine.

For the longest time I felt that being passive and non responsive to these feelings was the right, and mature thing to do.  In the end I felt that things ended up weighing on my shoulders much longer than they ever had the right to be there for.  Feelings left unresolved only caused a bigger burden on my body, in my heart, and in my mind.  They left me functioning at 80%, and the other 20% was focussed on negatives.  I may not have outwardly reacted to them, but functioning at 80% was not only unfair to myself, it was unfair to those in my life because I was not really being me.  The happy, authentic, and real 100% me.
self-love | noun
regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).

I found this article that had a list of things that you could do for yourself to help pull the 100% you into focus from the minute you wake up, so I thought I would share. The original post is in http://www.lifehack.org

 We practice self-love so we can push through our limiting beliefs and live a life that truly shines.  So do yourself a favor, take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and start practicing the following:

  1. Start each day by telling yourself something really positive. How well you handled a situation, how lovely you look today. Anything that will make you smile.
  2. Fill your body with food and drink that nourishes it and makes it thrive.
  3. Move that gorgeous body of yours every single day and learn to love the skin you’re in. You can’t hate your way into loving yourself.
  4. Don’t believe everything you think. There is an inner critic inside of us trying to keep us small and safe. The downside is this also stops us from living a full life.
  5. Surround yourself with people who love and encourage you. Let them remind you just how amazing you are.
  6. Stop the comparisons. There is no one on this planet like you, so you cannot fairly compare yourself to someone else. The only person you should compare yourself to is you.
  7. End all toxic relationships. Seriously. Anyone who makes you feel anything less than amazing doesn’t deserve to be a part of your life.
  8. Celebrate your wins no matter how big or small. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of what you have achieved.
  9. Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. It’s incredible the feeling we get when we realize we have achieved something we didn’t know or think we could do before.
  10. Embrace and love the things that make you different. This is what makes you special.
  11. Realize that beauty cannot be defined. It is what you see it as. Don’t let any of those Photoshopped magazines make you feel like your body isn’t perfect. Even those models don’t look like that in real life.
  12. Take time out to calm your mind every day. Breathe in and out, clear your mind of your thoughts and just be.
  13. Follow your passion. You know that thing that gets you so excited but scares you at the same time. The thing you really want to do but have convinced yourself it won’t work. You should go do that!
  14. Be patient but persistent. Self-love is ever evolving. It’s something that needs to be practiced daily but can take a lifetime to master. So be kind and support yourself through the hard times.
  15. Be mindful of what you think, feel and want. Live your life in ways that truly reflect this.
  16. Treat others with love and respect. It makes us feel better about ourselves when we treat others the way we hope to be treated. That doesn’t mean everybody will always repay the favor, but that’s their problem not yours.
  17. Find something to be grateful for every day. It’s inevitable that you are going to have your down days. This is fine and very human of you. It’s especially important on these days to find at least one thing you are grateful for as it helps to shift your mind and energy around what’s going on.
  18. Reach out to family, friends, healers, whomever you need to help you through the tough times. You are not expected to go through them alone.
  19. Learn to say no. Saying no sometimes doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a smart person.
  20. Forgive yourself. You know that thing you did one time (or maybe a few times) that made you feel bad, embarrassed, ashamed? It’s time to let that go. You can’t change the things you have done in the past but you can control your future. Look at it as a learning experience and believe in your ability to change.
  21. Write it down. Head swimming with so many thoughts it’s giving you a headache? Write them all down on a piece of paper, no matter how crazy, mean, sad, or terrifying they are. Keep it in a journal, tear it up, burn it, whatever you need to do to let it go.
  22. Turn off and inwards. Grab a cup of your favorite tea, coffee, wine, whatever your choice of drink, and sit down for a few minutes on your own. No TV or distractions, just you. Think about the wonderful things that are happening in your life right now, what your big dreams are and how you can make them happen.
  23. Give up the need for approval from others. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” — Dita Von Teese
  24. Be realistic. There is no person on this earth that is happy every single moment of every single day. You know why? Because we are all human. We make mistakes, we feel emotions (good and bad) and this is OK. Allow yourself to be human.
  25. Get creative and express yourself in whatever way you like. Painting, writing, sculpting, building, music, whatever takes your fancy, and make sure you leave your inner critic at the door. There are no right ways to be creative.
  26. Let go of past trauma and wounds. This can be a really tough one and it may be one of those times you need to turn to others for support. The truth is though, when we let go of things that have happened to us it’s almost like a weight is lifted off our shoulders. We don’t have to carry that around with us anymore. We deserve better.
  27. Find your happy place. Where’s the one place you feel totally at ease, calm, happy, positive, high on life? Go to that place when you are going through hard times, or imagine yourself being there. Think about how it feels, what it smells like, what it looks like.
  28. The next time you are feeling happy and on top of the world make a list of your best qualities and accomplishments. It may sound a little corny, but it can be a wonderful reminder when you are having a day that’s less than amazing.
  29. Get in touch with your inner dialogue. If it’s anything less than loving, encouraging and supportive, it’s time to make a change. You deserve to be spoken to in the same way you would speak to your best friend, sister, brother, daughter, or son.
  30. Have fun! Get out there and do the things that light your fire. Enjoy them, enjoy being you and enjoy your incredible life.

Feel better?  Feeling motivated?  This list is a fabulous reminder of the little things we can do to help guide ourselves along that good path in our day-to-day journey.

Practice Self Love.  Choose just one of two of these items each day.  Live with self-love as your focus, and slowly you will begin to see how you will be encouraging to other’s.  How other’s will begin to be motivated by you.  How much better you will relate to other’s on this same journey.

Loving yourself isn’t a one time event.  It is an endless, and ongoing journey that hopefully, if you surround yourself with the right people, will be enjoyable and memorable, the way we should all live our lives.

 

selflove-1024x483

 

 

Catharsis: Steps To Finding Emotional Healing In Trying Times

I sit here, and I start to write about friendships, and quality, and frustrations, and toxic people, and closure and walking way and I find myself frustrated and saddened because that is not what I really want to be writing about.  I want to talk positive things, and get this miserable mess of a feeling off of my chest because it feels like it weighs about 50 lb., and it’s a very heavy load to be carrying around, and there’s another part of me that want’s to say … “nah, not you again.  Could you please stay away today?”

I want to be positive, and write positive, but lately I feel like I have just been smacked back and forth, and back and forth by the karma gods.  I really am not sure what I have done to deserve this, but then I also remembered reading this quote a while ago which did help to change my perspective.  I try to think of it frequently.
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And so how absolutely fabulous it is, just by changing your perspective, for that one moment, to think that instead of being drowned under water, held underneath life, and struggling in a world that we just cannot manage to keep afloat in, we are being cleansed – refreshed from all of the toxic, negative, chaos that we are just so over whelmed with in our lives.  This is how I choose to think of it today;
ca·thar·tic
adjective
providing psychological relief through the open expression of strong emotions; causing catharsis.  crying is a cathartic release
I love this word.  Who doesn’t love a word so strong that just by saying it could make you feel as though you have been picked up by the strongest of person, given the greatest of hugs, and made to be felt like you are on top of the world again – exactly where you were longing to be – safe, and taken care of.
Unfortunately, sometimes it is not as simple as just saying a word, though – but here are a few steps that I hope to remind myself to following when I do become overwhelmed next time – as I know I will.  I am human, and I do notice that I do follow a pattern when it comes to emotional hurdles.
Steps To Finding Emotional Healing:
Take Time Alone:
Take some time alone and figure out the emotions that are making you feel negative. Was it a person, situation, feeling.
Let It Go:  
Write, Cry, Scream, Let the emotions out.  Find a way that works for YOU – everyone is different and we all have a different way of dealing with things.  The trick is not to let things internalizing.  Internalizing things is what makes us hurt, and most likely why we are reading this right now.
Let Time Pass:
Sometimes it may take a day, or two, even weeks or months for things to digest.  Some of the things that may be causing you pain can be really heavy situations that you may not even know how to deal with.  Sometimes they are simply easier to deal with than others.  Sometimes we are at different points in our emotional journey which makes dealing with external negatives  at different times in our paths easier on different days than others.
Repeat:
Don’t be too quick to make these things go away.   You have your own rate at how your body digests emotional hurdles, and your time when you are ready to move on to the next chapter in your lives.  Do not put a timeline on things.  Expectations will only frustrate you and bring more stress to an already stressful situation.  Appreciate yourself enough to give yourself the time you need to heal.
Talk to someone you trust, someone with positive energy about things that have hurt you.  Perhaps their perspective, and guidance can bring great insight to the situation.  Sometimes just speaking out loud about the situation will help to ease the pain.

10 Reasons Why Losing Your Sh*t Will Make Your Life Come Together

Being optimistic in life is a beautiful thing, but just like your weekend Fireball shots, it works best in moderation.

Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, we play the roles of happy, positive, outgoing people, who don’t get fazed by life’s occasional sh*ttiness.

We pretend every challenge is a non-existent ploy to throw us off of our games, and we continue keeping our heads well above the water. Well, sometimes, the best thing to do is let ourselves sink.

10. Your breaking point is your solo journey. No outside feedback allowed.

What happens to you when you break down is your own journey, and if part of that journey is hung up on what other people think and advise, you need to walk away immediately and shut the door.

Our entire lives are based on outside feedback and contributions that were never truly welcome in the first place. Why let someone else’s opinions dictate your life, especially now?

When you feel like you’ve reached a breaking point, something beautiful happens: You begin to listen to yourself, your own truth and your own suffering — that’s where healing begins.


9. Giving yourself time first is never a selfish act.

Losing your sh*t forces you to detach from things and people who no longer serve you. Disconnecting becomes that much easier because you’re finally thinking about yourself, and you don’t feel one bit selfish.

Hold on to that feeling. Taking care of yourself, for the first time in a long time, is the best thing you can give yourself. Don’t apologize for it.


8. Don’t cover up your sadness with an even sadder version of happiness.

Throw optimism out. If you feel like sh*t, admit it. Don’t walk around on eggshells. What are you protecting yourself from?

Yes, sometimes everything sucks. To try and justify that with a lame excuse or cover it up and remain positive is to push that restless feeling even further down. Sit with it. Let it sink in, and understand it’s all happening for a reason.


7. Don’t apologize.

You’re not broken; you’re simply out of order. Don’t apologize for that.

We’re not machines that keep going no matter what. We have feelings, emotions, problems and thoughts that sometimes spiral out of control. We need time to reevaluate, rethink and regroup. We need time to heal.

There will always be people in your life who expect you to keep moving forward, even when the thought of doing so depresses the hell out of you.

Don’t apologize to them for not living up to their expectations. Take the time you need to figure out if those expectations have any room in your life (they most likely won’t).


6. Remain where you are. There is no due date.

You can go through the motions, but if you’ve reached the point where all you want to do is snuggle up with your dog and cry, then do that! Don’t feel like you have to rush back to this super-important life and live. You are living!

Losing your sh*t is living, and while it might not be fun, it’s damn important. We think if we’re not working, studying, driving or vacationing, we’re not living. Doing nothing is a part of life.

Hitting rock bottom is that cruel part of life that teaches you that all of the working and driving and “living” is nothing compared to what you need to do with your life in this present moment. Just be.


5. Let it out.

Cuss, yell, cry, journal, talk to yourself. When you break down, your heart is full of emotion. Your mind, on the other hand, is full of words. Those words are like anchors that weigh you down to the bottomless pits of crap.

There is no reason in the world why you should hold on to them. When you verbally speak your problems, your body releases tension like you’ve never felt before. It can be incredibly difficult to speak your truth.

There are thoughts in your head you’ve hidden from yourself for years. Confronting them won’t be easy, but speaking them out loud will release you from the prison you think you’re in. It turns out, you’ve had the key to that prison all along.


4. Stop thinking in future time.

There is no better way to make yourself feel even sh*ttier than to try and figure out your future steps. Don’t crowd your mind. What will happen in the future will happen, no matter how hard you try to control it.

When you push yourself to the next step, next goal and next future event, you take yourself out of the present moment. After all, at the end of the day, all you have left is the present.


3. Feel what it feels like to be vulnerable.

From personal experience, feeling vulnerable can be extremely scary. That’s the point. When you’ve hit your low, the layers of pretending start to fall away.

You’re no longer the strong, independent, logical person you once were. You’re now an emotionally-overwhelmed puddle of tears who has no strength or desire to please anyone else but yourself.

Being vulnerable means being open, honest and exposed. It means not holding on to any preconceived notion of what you think you should be and, most importantly, not giving a flying f*ck about what anyone else thinks of you.


2. Believe that even this happens for a beautiful reason.

Nothing is accidental. When you think you’ve lost everything you’ve known, you somehow gain something you never knew you needed.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in concerns and worries, but to have faith in the bigger picture means you’re willing to surrender your sorrows because you’ve done the best you can.


1. Find beauty in the breakdown.

It’s there. It always is. It’s not about replacing sadness with happiness. It’s about acknowledging and welcoming the sadness because you’re human and it’s f*cking okay to not be okay sometimes.

Losing control and falling apart can be a true blessing when you realize we’re not meant to control or stay intact forever. Sometimes, falling apart helps you put the pieces back together in a different order and find peace you didn’t see before.

Original Source;  http://elitedaily.com/life/10-reasons-losing-sht-will-make-life-come-together/923981/