David Kessler, author, and grieving expert published many books on grief and loss. He talks about the new step called Finding Meaning and asks:
“Is it possible to find light in the dark? Is it possible to be the light in the dark? Is it possible to find meaning in trauma, death, loss? When you can accept what happened, that’s when you can find meaning And that’s when you find light in the dark Meaning is not in the death, trauma, or loss, it’s in us and what we do with it Gratitude is about the person, not the trauma, death, loss.”
Ever since my dad passed, it’s strange, I feel like a little girl all over again, but with pain, sadness, and so much vulnerability. Some people understand but others not so much. Grief takes time and everyone is different
My inner child is listening carefully to how I speak to myself. I need kindness and compassion, I am still very fragile
I’ll always remember sitting around your bed that day, breathing the same air as you, what a privilege
There was this transfer of pain in that silent collapse, from you to me
You looked so calm and peaceful on the outside
The heavens changed that day and so did my world
You got your open door to your next spiritual journey
Now I watch for omens like cardinals, feathers, songs, and numbers, hoping it’s you reassuring me you’re ok
I want to take all your advice and use it in my personal and professional life
“Be confident, don’t convince anyone of your worth if they are too blind to see it, give and expect respect, care for others, tell the truth, and when you love, include yourself in that equation”
You said, “If you find yourself thinking you’re asking for too much from someone, maybe you should ask yourself if you’re asking the wrong person.”
Like Joni Mitchell’s song Both Sides Now, I’ve looked at life/love from both sides now
You said I used to ask a million questions, this is true and I still have many more
I lit a candle for you today dad, and remembered all the great memories through the tears
In my mind, I captured a collection of moments, sealed them in clear glass jars, and carefully lined them on a special shelf I can see from my bed
I imagine tying a navy blue silk ribbon around each one, that reminds me of the days you wore ties when I was a little girl
Whenever I want to visit those memories and moments, the clear glass makes it possible
I’m on my own journey of finding meaning…
My wish for you is to take a shot at the moon, take a trip to the sun
Paint the sky with your fingertips at sunrise and sunset
Why not add some sparkle in the night sky on your journey
I want to feel your presence in nature, thunderstorms, the wind
Even snowstorms like the one we had the day you departed…
You said that was a good omen
Thank you for giving me what you could as a dad, for re-introducing me to the love of writing, for attending my track and field meets for over 13 years, a swimming pool, learning how to water ski, playing piano, always listening, and for just being you
Maybe one of these days I’ll learn to acquire a taste for a good scotch or gin like you did
Then again, let’s see…
If that day ever happens, I’ll sip it at sunset on the water with you, listening to Both Sides Now
This one’s for you dad…cheers…
Love you ❤
*On Friday, February 4th, 2022, my dad passed away from prostate cancer. He qualified for the MAID procedure which he had and passed peacefully. As a nurse, this was something medical to watch and as a daughter, it was so painful to watch. One of my favorite quotes is this; “We have two lives and the second one begins when we realize we only have one.” ~ Confucius
“He who blames others has a long way to go on his journey. He who blames himself is halfway there. He who blames no one has arrived. ~ Chinese Proverb
In my book, “Winning While Losing: The Upside of Heartbreak” I talk about a coin having not only two sides, but three. Heads, tails, and the edge. The two sides represent two different points of view from two people opposing each other; heads and tails. However, the edge represents the truth, facts, or reality behind a situation that is often avoided, overlooked, or hidden. On the edge of truth or reality, are the reasons that run deeper than both points of view. Therefore, the possibility of gaining a new perspective is there to consider, but only when you have an open mind and heart, is when you can own your behaviors and the role you played in the relationship. I’m talking about accountability and responsibility. We are no longer insecure toddlers saying, “not me!” Or at least we shouldn’t be. After all, it’s the truth on that skinny little edge that will set you free, if you dare to go there.
Lessons Learned in 2021:
Do you know what’s interesting? You can’t invite something or someone new in your heart until you create the space for it. To do that means doing the work to heal from your past over a good amount of time, then letting it go for good
Stuffing the past inside never works; it causes toxic emotional constipation and that’s not fair to the next person involved because it always comes out later as an emotional explosion. Who wants that?
Be wise enough to know how important self-love and self-respect are and they will guide you on what to do to heal
If someone tries to play mind games, create doubts, have sneaky conversations, or show inconsistencies, RUN! Kenny Rogers was right all along
Continue setting boundaries. They protect your mind, heart, body, and soul. If someone gets angry with your boundaries, then all the more reason to have them
If you ever notice a man using you for your money, get out ASAP. That’s just pathetic, unattractive, and downright scary! Never be a sugar mama
Always remember, when words don’t match actions and they twist it to blame you, that’s called manipulation
When people are not accountable, that’s called gaslighting
When someone labels others crazy or mental, that’s called projection which means they are describing themselves, not the other person
It’s not wise to play with fire, it only takes one tiny match to burn the whole thing down. Unless you don’t care
The ones who give the impression of nothing, tells you everything
You have to learn when your part is over in someone’s story
This chapter is called MAKE ROOM
Relationships are not always meant to be forever, they are here for a reason, a season, and to teach us many lessons. Learn the lessons
Know what you need and want and go for it
Trust the Universe, it knows more than you realize…
Take your power back and live an empowering life
Some of the best advice I ever heard was this, “If she’s told you what she has been through, don’t put her through that again. If you do put her through it, you are selfish and not listening.”
Take note that some people are open books, and some people are illiterate
The wound is not your fault, but the healing is your responsibility
Don’t curse my scars when all they ever tried to do was heal me
Evaluate your scars and heal from the inside out
Mistakes are forgivable, patterns are not
Conversations in relationships need to have a resolution or compromise. Anger and aggression are toxic and ruin everything
Thriving in conflict is extremely unhealthy and toxic to anyone’s well-being
People let go when they are tired and they will no longer risk letting go of themselves
I am not required to set myself on fire to keep other people warm
I will not lose me to keep you
Effort and honesty are EVERYTHING…
There is nothing worse than self-betrayal. Listen to your intuition, it’s always right
Don’t trust everything you see, even salt looks like sugar; be very discerning. Ask questions
Every damn brick they try to throw at you, use it to stand on and use your voice
Never let them silence you or control you in any way shape or form
Be fearless and face the storm, lean in
Speak the truth, be courageous, set boundaries, give lots of self-care and self-love
I know my worth and I am honoring my spirit every single day
Own emotions, process them, and let them go. The path to true happiness
Get up and out of your comfy zone
Forgive yourself for not knowing what you know now
Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself
Loyalty and honesty are never too much to ask for in a relationship, it’s normal
Burning a bridge isn’t always a bad thing, you can never go back to what hurt you
Sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don’t care but because they don’t. Show some self-respect.
Anger taught me how to be calm
Aggression taught me how to speak up
Cruelty taught me self-kindness
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a serious red flag
When the past is still in the present, that’s another serious red flag
Unkind words about the past = a connection is still present and they won’t let go of the past, another serious red flag
Many red flags do not mean you are at a carnival, pay attention, they are dealbreakers
Look for green flags instead
Incessant whining, complaining, blaming is like living with a dysfunctional four-year-old that is stuck on repeat. No thanks.
Victim mentality is a lack of self-awareness which is annoying
When you are self-aware, you make the necessary changes in your life to move forward
Life is short
Setting healthy boundaries is self-protection and necessary in any relationship
Judging others reveals unhealed parts of yourself
It’s not my job to convince anyone to love me
You choose the behavior, you choose the consequences. That’s it.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time
You can’t be disrespectful and expect respect in return
Ignoring my intuition is self-betrayal; never again.
My inner peace is non-negotiable
The price you pay to avoid something will always be higher than the price you pay to face it head-on
Living in the past = living in denial. No chance for the present or future to come in. If you don’t let the past die, it won’t let you live today which translates to cheated opportunities and missed relationships
Flat out lying or lying by omission is the same destructive pinch that breaks trust
Hearing what someone says and seeing how they behave are two different things. Focus on the latter
Be accountable for your own shit, turn inward
Avoidance is for cowards
Entitlement and laziness are MAJOR turn-offs
It takes a strong person to ask for help. Be strong
The pain never leaves us, we have to leave the pain. Not everyone is capable of making this effort, even though it is necessary for any healthy relationship
The girl who takes care of everyone needs to be taken care of too. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you ever again
Besides, in a world where you can be anything, be kind
If it doesn’t feed your soul, then it’s time to go
Out with the old, in with the new, let it all go…
Onward and upward…
Amazing people are appearing and re-appearing in my life and my heart is so full of love and happiness ❤
Life is grand…
And just like the edge of the coin, the lessons and truth have set me free…
Thank you 2021!!!
The best is yet to come, let’s pop some champagne! ❤ Cheers ❤
** Hi everyone, how’s your October been? I am happy to say things are going GREAT for me and I am getting ready to write another book! Stay tuned and I appreciate the kindness and encouragement you’ve shown me all along. Have a listen to Adele’s new song Easy On Me and have a fantastic week! 🙂
Holding on while letting go feels like a tug of war internally. One foot in and one foot out
If you are afraid to let go, you will never be able to fully restart
Get comfortable in the uncomfortable, it’s not about getting rid of the darkness but about letting the light in
Every scar tells a story and Lord knows; we have our share between the two of us
A wise man once said, in order to honor your past, create a special momento in the present with red and yellow flower petals wrapped in a beautiful paper package
Over the next two nights, put the package under each other’s pillow, say a prayer and sleep on it
On the third day, go to the river while holding a rose quartz and as a blessing to yourself, say your intentions for the present and future with each other. Then say a final goodbye to the past, wishing everyone well.
Time to let them go…
While holding the rose quartz in your right hand, and the beautifully wrapped organic package in your left, let the package go; drop it in the flowing water and say goodbye as it floats far away. Say another prayer and hold the rose quartz tightly as it heats your hand instantly. Express your love to each other
We feel lighter, relaxed, happy, and so full of love for one another
Life is beautiful, like a blank white canvas so full of promise, colors, and opportunities
Our hearts and souls speak, saying thank you for releasing unwanted weight that no longer serves us
To realize giving love to each other is the same as giving love to yourself with an open heart
This is what true love really is when you know the blessing of letting go ❤ ❤
The world has changed drastically and fast. We hit the brakes and went from 100mph to 0mph in a very short amount of time. COVID-19 has officially hit the worldwide pause button, but despite this crisis, positive things are happening in the world every day and I want to write about what’s real, what matters, what’s on my mind and in my heart.
First of all, let’s recognize this elephant in the room as a grieving process so we can feel the feelings and move forward. We all just suffered a loss of control and normalcy worldwide. As we know, when a tragedy or loss happens, denial is first. People think it isn’t real and carry on as usual. Bargaining is next and that’s when people make little deals on the side to try and keep things as normal as possible. Anger moves in and takes over like a storm while sadness and fear hide in the corner waiting to be seen. As the news is announced to us all day every day, acceptance may or may not be reached. This is real and isn’t going away unless we all do our part; the sooner the better. Once we do accept this is happening, we can start creating a new normal, and a new normal is where creativity and ingenuity lives.
For many of us, living rooms have been turned into gyms, dining rooms into workspaces, and kitchens into restaurants. Social distancing, travel restrictions, working from home, kids are home without school/daycare, grocery shopping and cleaning protocols, washing hands, and bingeing Netflix more than usual are just a few ways we’ve all had to adjust to our new lives. Not only that, cabin fever has taken on a whole other meaning for so many of us! Now is the time to get creative and learn a new skill or hobby. Let’s face it, using the excuse that you don’t have time won’t work for anyone right now. Virtual meetings, coffee dates, dinner dates, cooking classes, walks, yoga, meditation, games, happy hour, wine tours, dances, book clubs, and tea parties are just a few virtual events I’ve taken part in and I have to say, it’s been fun, given the circumstances we’re in. Now more than ever, what we need to get through this, is connection but in a virtual setting for now. Not only that, but we also need kindness, courage, love, patience, compassion, and understanding.
I am concerned about people living in domestic violence and unhappy marriages who are forced to self isolate together, children, single parents, single people, the sick and vulnerable, the invincibles, the unemployed, and those who long to be together but can’t right now. It’s difficult being apart from the ones you love and on the other hand, it’s difficult being with the ones you don’t love. Reach out to the people in your life as a support and to get support to help combat loneliness. Excluding people is never a good idea and even more so now.
Uncertainty means being vulnerable and being vulnerable is scary to so many of us. It can bring out the best and worst in all of us. Now that uncertainty is being forced upon us, we have no choice but to lean into it and spread hope instead of fear. It’s in times like these when we need to have faith and trust ourselves things will work out again soon. Believing that whatever happens, we will find a way out of it. It’s not like our lives were 100% certain before, right? We still survived and thrived.
In my experience when it comes to uncertainty, one way to turn that around is by practicing gratitude in a mindful space. Take your soul for a ride and think about all the wonderful things you already have. This is what creates happiness from within and is long-lasting. Perhaps one of the silver linings is the fact we all had to slow down and when that happens, we have time to reflect on our needs and wants. What and who is important to us and why. As it turns out, we don’t need much; but we do need each other. It’s time to relax and take one day at a time, find some light in the dark. Try not to make the uncertain certain. For me, connecting by video with coworkers, friends, family, and loved ones has been a lifesaver to make the best of a difficult situation. Thank goodness we live in a high tech world now.
I truly believe when things calm down, things will be different but in a good and positive way. We all have time to think about the future and our goals right now. Let’s see what happens next and hold onto hope.
All my gratitude to every single frontline worker out there in all the essential services, and a special shout out to my friends in hospitals. My heart truly goes out to all of you and I can’t imagine how you must feel right now. I see you and I hear you. Additionally, thank you to everyone who is doing their part. We’re all braving this uncertainty together and it will get better soon, we’ve got this.
Please enjoy the beautiful song Imagine by John Lennon and be safe and healthy everyone 🙂
As of today, it’s been 5 years since my marriage ended, and I couldn’t be happier. As strange as that may sound, let me explain why.
Separation and divorce are never wished upon anyone but if you are in the middle of one now, you need to find the silver lining and blessings it has for you and your new life because trust me, they’re there. That’s not to say you have to skip the grieving process, in fact, you must go through it to get over it, that I know for sure. Everyone grieves differently and takes their own amount of time to do so and my one piece of advice is to be patient during the process. Once you do accept that it happened, you are able to move onto the silver lining stage.
In the beginning for some, an amicable conversation can take place where both sides agree to separate and live their own lives. On the other hand for some, it’s often a total shock you didn’t see coming. This is exactly what happened to me; I was blindsided. However, the day he left was the day I arrived. This was the part where I found out who I was and what I was made of. Divorce has put my life under the microscope for the past 5 years and I had no choice but to examine it closely.
Relationships are like a microscope looking into our emotional wellbeing. These relationships shine a light on the old and open wounds still begging for closure. Once I was on my own, it was time for me to take a long, hard look at myself and where I came from. What did I have to do to become the person I was meant to be? On the flip side, what did I have to let go of in unbecoming the person I thought I was? I went from being shut down and pleasing to a woman who became vocal with boundaries. This led me to let go of toxicity and hang on to love so that healing could take place.
I’m a firm believer that anything you lose comes around in another form, whether that’s through friendship, a love relationship, partnership, or even self-love. Basically, you get to genuinely meet yourself for the very first time, once and for all. This is the greatest silver lining and blessing in disguise because that’s where you discover what you truly want and need in life. What makes you happy, how, who, and why. It also shines a light on what are your dealbreakers now. All that time under the microscope finally paid off, and I think I gained some years back in my life. How fantastic is that? Time to celebrate, cheers!
“Leave some room in your heart for the unimaginable” ~ Mary Oliver
Isn’t it ironic how we feel is sometimes the opposite of what we are truly living in?
Have you ever felt sad while wearing a smile?
Did you ever feel alone in a room full of people?
Have you ever felt angry when everyone is happy?
Have you ever seen the rain? In other words, have you ever been sad? Of course, we are all human, so you are not alone.
But have you ever seen the rain, coming down on a sunny day? In other words, have you ever had something tough or unfortunate happen during the good times? I know I have.
Is it possible to be sad and happy at the same time?
Yes, it is…
Grief is a perfect example of being happy one minute then bursting into tears the next. Our stories are different, but our emotions are the same. We are more similar than we are different but eventually, we get through it all.
Have you ever felt the calm before the storm?
I have, and I’m pretty sure you have too…
You know that gut feeling where something bad is going to happen, you just don’t know what or when.
One thing for sure is that life is full of ups and downs and during the tough times, yes we are going to see the rain coming down. However, it is possible to be happy during these hardships. We have to remember that tough times don’t last forever and things will work out the way they should. The sun always comes out in the end and if you’re lucky, you’ll even see a rainbow. Isn’t a rainbow a sign of good luck? You see, things are getting better already!
That’s why it’s important to have your friends and family close by, to help, guide, and support you because they love you and want what’s truly best for you.
I think this song Have You Ever Seen The Rain, by CCR is an example of how life can be so ironic sometimes. Whenever I’m feeling down, this classic song always picks me up and makes me smile. I hope you are smiling now too 🙂 Happy December everyone, hope it’s been good to you so far!
Empty your heart, dear one
Release all the blockages and pain
Tell me everything
Untangle the pain and suffering
It’s interesting how messy things can get
How we keep packing one thing on top of another without realizing it
Unpack what you don’t need anymore
Years of accumulated emotions, unspoken words, lost opportunities, secrets, and guilt
They all hold us hostage and they are weighing you down my friend
You let it hurt, now let it go
Bleed it all out…
If you want to be free, learn the lessons
What is life trying to teach you right now
You may not know the answer yet, but in time you will
Dust off your heart and clean it up for new possibilities
Cracks from heartbreak are just that; cracks
You still have a pulse and blood pressure; you’re alive
Anything is possible…
Four chambers pump life into you every single day
Stop the decay and start the growth
Throw away the whip and wrap compassion around yourself instead
Slow down, listen to your heart and trust what it’s telling you
You can do this, you really can
Talk it out
Cry, scream, run, walk, dance, sing, write, draw, laugh
Do whatever it takes to empty your heart
Make space and fill it with love, compassion, peace, happiness, healing, gratitude, and forgiveness
Most of all, make room for those magical moments
For what is real, because that’s what life is all about
Open your eyes and relax
A “yes” or a “no” can change one’s life forever
It’s not your previous life or relationship you miss, it’s the routine
Get out of your head
And empty your heart…
**This blog is dedicated to my dear friend Danielle Lewis in North Carolina who like all of us, is learning how to empty her heart each and every day and she is doing a lovely job! Not only has she started her own healing journey, but she also created her own podcast called Mom’s Still Standing. Please be sure to subscribe to it on iTunes or Spotify. She even has me on there as a guest speaker! I think we can all relate to emptying our hearts at one time or another and just like how we spring clean at home, we need to do the same thing with ourselves. Have a great week everyone ❤