Today I decided to tackle a project that I have been postponing for far longer than I want to admit. Things were going very well, a stack of trash, a stack of shred and then the unexpected. Things that I had just pushed aside and stacked away, choosing avoidance of things…old birthday cards, photos of friends and family that have passed away, letters and notes from friends and ex-lovers. I paused for a moment, then I began reading the cards, notes and letters…talk about an emotional overload! So, I did what comes naturally…do something else, anything, so I laid the items down and walked away from them. I decided that I needed to allow myself the time and space to view this situation for what it is and not what it was. I have wonderful memories of all these people, places and things and in my memories is where they will serve me best. I know and I have experienced the devastation of wanting to go back in time, to ask the questions of why and why not and I can tell you that these thoughts ultimately will lead to dark and murky thoughts and will only serve to cause more pain. I was recently ask, if I could go back in time and change something, what would it be? My most truthful answer was “nothing.” I am seeking to fully accept that I am the person I am today in spite and because of all my yesterdays. I’ve gained a lot of patience and humility over the past few years and the most important lesson I’ve learned is that things rarely go according to the plan. Time is a variable that tics away and is never measured exactly the same way from person to person and/or from situation to situation. Life’s lesson, I have found to be more like an outline for rules instead of play by-play rules. Grief is a good example, everyone will experience grief at some point in life; the stages of grief are the same for everyone but not everyone experiences them in the same order or in the same time frame but make no mistake each stage will be experienced. Additionally, grief comes in all shapes and sizes; plus depending upon everything else happening in and around you at the moment grief pays a visit, no two people respond to it in the same manner. It was important to me to share this grief information because my “emotional cleaning” has everything to do with grief and I have decided I no longer want to be emotionally chained to the grief of what was and no longer is. My mom passed away over 5 years ago, I think about her everyday, not on purpose and yet I’m thankful for the moments of joy my memories provide. I miss her and I have gained more than I lost when she died. I am stronger because I more fully understand her strength and resolve for life; I display more patience than I ever could have hoped for because she was steadfast and committed to her family and friends; I am more confident and courageous because all these things remain true about who my mother was and continues to be. My mom lives on within my heart and soul. I also experienced a relationship break-up over 9 years ago, I mention this for two reasons, the first being it had been a long relationship and secondly because I’ve recently started seeing life in the “present” the here and now, which has helped to pave the way for me to do some “Emotional Cleaning.” As I was going through the old cards and letters, I found myself being drawn back in time, reading the words as if for the first time. Then, my mind quickly adjusts to the present and I felt betrayed by the words I was reading, I took a deep breath and put the cards and letters aside. Then it hit me!!! I’ve been missing the point and searching for answers that do not exist. The words weren’t betraying me or what was, the words were absolutely true, when they were written. I’ve been wanting to find blame, find the cause and why things happened the way they did. I am now choosing to see things as they are, people change and things change, there’s a reason for all things the Bible tells us, although the reason may not be clear for a while. Over time people change, sometimes going in the same direction and others times in the opposite direction; change is inevitable. In this situation, grief has taught me that life is a forward movement for everyone but often our destinations vary. I am no longer going to allow time to taint my memories, I’m not happy with a lot of my life choices and I’m not going to be defined by my mistakes. I am choosing to learn from my them and to make better choices. Grief is not about being sad, it teaches us about ourselves and our capabilities. I have many people to thank for being helping me be able to see life so differently than I did a decade or so ago. I can’t mention them all by name because I have no doubt, I would inevitably forget someone. I do want to personally recognize thank two mental health experts for their time and support; a member of the clergy and a trusted friend who taught me humility and trust through their actions, not through words and lastly a coworker whose constant support and moral fiber challenge me to be a better person today than I was yesterday. None of this would be possible without the love of Jesus Christ! God has never wavered in His love for me and I promise you, He loves you just as much! I pray that you already know Him in a personal way, as your Lord and Savior. If you don’t, please accept this invitation to accept Him today, right now. All you need to do is believe in God and ask Him to be your Lord. Amen.
Life is tough sometimes but it is so worth it when we rely on God to lead us.
Ecclesiastes 3:1. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens;”
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;”
The Five Stages of Grief
“These are the framework that makes up our learning to live with loss. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order…remember your grief is as unique as you are.” ~David Kessler (GRIEF.COM) BECAUSE LOVE NEVER DIES
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” ~John 1:1
“My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” ~Psalm 121
~Blessings and Peace~