I love sharing my experiences and helping others through story telling. Everything I share on this site is based on true stories that I have experienced and have impacted me (TRUE story..lol). I have had readers thank me for being willing to share and admire my strength and openness. But even the strongest people have soft spots. There are life events that touch us in profound ways and many times we don't know it until they happen. We can allow our responses and actions we take afterwards to effect us negatively or we can strive to find the silver lining.
Lately, I've been feeling a bit clouded in my thoughts, or as I like to say "off my game". As an empath and intuitive, being connected and mindful of my surroundings is what keeps me charged and ready for just about everything. When I'm not as connected, it clouds my creativity and pushes my limits of expressing my extroverted nature. This has affected my writing to the point of me experiencing writer's block. For a blogger, that is troublesome, to say the least. I felt that going home to visit my family for Christmas would be the cure. The Holiday season is perfect for sharing time and memories with friends and loved ones. Hey, a person could even practice civility and random acts of kindness with strangers to further spread the holiday cheer. I had an uneventful road trip to my Mom's house, the weather was beautiful and I had time to relax. I even caught up with a classmate that I hadn't seen in the better part of 20 years! I couldn't ask for a better holiday weekend.
Christmas day evening, I got some bad news. My ex-father-in-law passed away suddenly. I was shocked! My heart started to race and the first thing that came to mind was "NO WAY! That guy was fit and a veritable picture of health for as long as I've known him." I have nothing but fond memories of him as he was always good to me. He supported me and my ex whenever he could and even through his stoic facade, he would find a way to make us laugh or show his tender side.
Although he was my ex-in-law and we hadn't seen each other in some time, I had stayed in contact with his family over the years, especially my ex's sister. The feeler and supporter that I am, I immediately jumped up and made my way over to her house. I wanted to offer her my support and to let her know that I love her. I went over there with my Superwoman "S" on my chest to lend support, but it wasn't until I saw her that the situation became real. My mind started to race. Thoughts and emotions welled up inside me. I knew then, that his death had a much more profound effect on me than I had initially thought it would. Death is difficult for anyone; for an empath, even more so. I feel my pain, plus the pain of others. I thought about all of their family members as they were once mine. His sisters still call me "sis" and I'm still Aunt LaDonna to their children. Her father was younger than both of my parents. We will all die someday, but his closeness in age to my parents, made me wonder about how I will deal with their deaths. The floodgates of memories opened and as I spoke to my mom, we not only reflected on the loss of my in-law, we talked about my uncle, who my family lost this year and my maternal grandmother who passed away several years ago. The topic of life insurance policies and other end of life arrangements came up and the picture of loss became even more clouded and heavy.
Sometimes, other than having to eat a piece of humble pie every now and then, losing someone and all that it entails, can really change perspective. Facing mortality can be frightening, but what is more frightening for me is not facing the truth; MY TRUTH. While blood is still pumping through my veins, every breath that fills and leaves my lungs will be MY TRUTH. It will be the breath that articulates my words, feeds my thoughts and movements. I MUST live in the moment. When I die, I want my loved ones to be free of thoughts and questions about my life and motives. I want to leave them with a feeling of peace and that although the feelings of my loss may at first be devastating, that in time they will smile and say:
"She did it her way. She danced to the beat of her own drum. She loved all and never met a stranger.
She had her moments, but the ones we choose to remember are her best ones and we are all better for it."
I'm off my game because I try to force myself to find instant resolve. I try to tell myself that I'm stronger than I really am at the times that I'm really not. I should honor my strength, not qualify or quantify it at certain times to justify my actions or lack thereof. It's ok to practice vulnerability and not embody weakness. I'm strong, PERIOD! I have never been a perfectionist but I have been guilty of letting others believe that I have relinquished control in situations when I should have, but I really didn't. In some way, I have attempted to puppet those situations with "EVERYBODY WINS!" intentions. Everybody DOESN'T win that way. Yeah, things may or may not turn out to be favorable, but the true part of relinquishing control is to actually do it, not simply saying that I did.
Not doing it is unfair and is a form of closeted dishonesty. Now that I have realized that I have not been honest with myself about these actions, I will work on not acting on them in the future. What's more finite that having to accept that death is definite? Trust me, if death were personafied, it would care less about all of this. I do care, however.
Find that silver lining.
A new year is right at our doorstep. Let's grab it and run with it! I'm not going to make any resolutions because change can happen anytime. I will affirm that:
1. I WON'T make any more excuses.
2. I WON'T bite my tongue. (I usually don't, but this affirmation is more like a reminder)
3. I WON'T set lofty expectations of myself and others and expect any outcome other than the one that is presented to me. It can only be what it is, nothing more or nothing less
4. I WON'T be my worst enemy and deny my feelings or an opportunity to enhance my life.
5. I WILL take risks, and although they will still be calculated, the calculation won't be based on fear.
6. Not to sound reckless...But I'm just gonna do "it"! Whatever that "it" is. I'm going to do "IT"!
Time is not promised to us and it is up to us to do everything in our power to make the best of the time we do have. Find your silver lining. My affirmations might not fit your lifestyle or direction your life is headed in. The important thing is to stay "on your game" in spite of how small or big the situations is that you are confronted with.
My mom shared a quote with me since I was young.
Three things that you can never get back:
spoken words, missed opportunity and time.
If there is someone that has been on your mind, contact them. If there is something that been on your mind, embrace and breath life into it. You never know if taking that step gives you a glimpse into your silver lining.