Humbled once again…

Yes, once again I have been forced to face my own smallness and lack of real control in this life but it has not been a bad thing I have found.  It has made me slow down and view each day, each moment, each choice and really consider what matters to me and what I’ve been fretting about these past many months.

It has been very frustrating and depressing also but as things go in life (a lesson I have learned very well by now) you do have to just go with it and get from it what you can.  I say that now, in this moment, when I am feeling a little better, in a mood of reflection and can’t say that I have felt that right along.

Just to clarify, nothing major has happened. It’s just that I have been sick for the last 3 1/2 weeks with whatever viruses have been going around and it has been a big-time drag.  It is still not done with me and it has really put a serious crimp in my ability to accomplish anything.  It’s that kind of sick where you don’t even want to read a book or get dressed or anything.  You end up feeling like you are not even part of this planet anymore.

One of the things that seemed to happen a lot in the past as I have struggled  to wend my way through grief and create a new life for myself is that as soon as I would start something up and feel good about it, start getting some confidence like I was finally on my way to the “right thing”, something negative would happen like an illness or family problem or money crisis.  I would then feel shaken and take it as some sign that I had made the wrong decision or at least my newfound confidence would wane.

Although I have been reminded, again, that life is about ebb and flow and dealing with each day as it comes, I realize that I don’t feel that “why is this happening  to me” or “what am I doing wrong” feeling. I know now that response is just one of the natural outcomes that can occur with severe grief and trauma; that shaking of your faith in yourself and your trust in your own ability to make the right decisions.

I suspect that loss of self-confidence has a lot to do with the huge shock of fear of realizing how not in control we are of what happens in our lives- at least the important things anyway.  Nothing makes that more real than losing someone you love or some kind of painful major life change.

Coming to peace with that and figuring out how to live in that new reality is a trip for which few of us are prepared.  They don’t teach that subject in school and although prayer and religious faith can be comforting for some, it doesn’t usually give you the play-by-play to get through each difficult day. That is something that comes to each of us in our own way, through our own strength and by allowing those around us to help and support us in whatever ways we feel comfortable with.

It is not easy.  It is very much not easy. How long does it take? Well, I think anyone who’s been there will tell you that it takes a lifetime… but it does get easier.  Looking back now, that is the one thing that I would tell someone who is “new” on this path.

In the midst of all the haze and swirling thoughts and feelings that come and go, you have to start counting all of the small gains that you make and don’t set your sight on an “end game”, you know the “getting over it”.  That is never the goal because it doesn’t happen.  You can live again, smile again, laugh again, love again- it’s all just different than before. How can it not be?

It’s definitely taken me a long time to get to where I am and finally accept that I’m just not going to be the person I used to be, and it’s not just because I’m getting older!  So I will keep stepping forward each day, try not to be too hard on myself, and keep building that new life, with its new twists and turns.  I hope that you can find your strength, reach out for help if you can and will keep moving too.

Advertisements

Pathways

I find myself struggling today, trying to sort out what direction to take with my life right now.  And I mean right now, this moment- I have started down a path that I believe is the one I should be on, finally, after many years of searching.

I used to have a career. A very solid career.  One I studied for and worked very hard at and I’d like to think I was good at, gaining a decent level of skill and achievement.  Then it just all became too much- the job, the family, the house, the grief, the pressures of life’s ups and downs.  My boss had also recently died and I guess that was just the last straw.

Unfortunately, when my house of cards fell, my passion for my work went with it so I found myself not only trying to put my life together again physically and emotionally but needing to find a new line of work.  And a new passion.

Finding passion in the midst of grief and exhaustion is not easy.  I have tried many things looking for this new life, things that I always wanted to do or had an interest in but just couldn’t seem to make  work.  They just weren’t in my heart.  I can’t tell you how frustrating it has been to want so much to move forward but have no idea where to go.  People would say “Just get a job doing something, at least you’ll be out of the house”  or “You’ve invested so much time in ….. why not just do it anyway”.  But that just wouldn’t work for me.  I know that sounds whiny or immature but it’s deeper than that.

Coming out of grief means becoming someone different and having had my passion for my work stripped from me as a result of the complexities of my particular grief was like a double whammy.  I never expected that could happen.  I can’t count how many times I have said “if only” in my life.  I still look back and wonder “why” when I am having a day like today, when I feel like I have wasted so much time searching instead of doing.  I sometimes feel embarrassed when around other people and I have to say that I am still working out the kinks of my new path.

But in truth, it really doesn’t matter.  That is one very big lesson grief teaches.  You see, all that matters is now and what I do with it. I have to remind myself of this constantly but I know that I can only move forward if I live in today.  If I continue to dwell on all of those yesterdays where pain and sorrow overwhelmed me then I will continue to go nowhere.  If I continue to berate myself for what I haven’t done, I will continue to be of service to no one.

Now I know that sometimes today will mean sitting on the couch reading a book or watching a movie and knitting because that is all I can muster for that day and that is ok. I have to accept that as a part of the new me too.  The difference is that I don’t fight against it.  It doesn’t feel bad anymore. It just is.  And I have developed a new set of skills to deal with what comes along with each new day.

I realize I may not get down my newly chosen path as quickly as I’d like but at least now, I feel good about the one I’m on; ready and able to take on new challenges… with passion.

%d bloggers like this: