5 Years Under The Microscope

1

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

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

~ Dare to live courageously…

**I recently wrote an article that was published in the online magazine Thought Catalog and it is titled “An Open Letter To Pain:  I Think I’m Ready To Let You Go”  Have a wonderful weekend everyone 🙂

**As always, copies of “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” are available in all formats at online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to YOU xx

Happy First Birthday WWL!

WWL_Cover

Happy 1st Birthday to Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak!!!

😀 😀 😀

Well, here we are, exactly one year later after my book release and I am SO amazed at the positive response!!  Each day teaches me the power of words, the power of positivity, the power of friends and family, the power of love and courage, the power of resilience and determination, the power of empowerment, the power of moving forward; even if you are crawling you are still moving.  The power of taking action, the power of reframing your situation so that it serves you, the power of self-awareness, self-care, self-respect, self-love, self-compassion, and ultimately, the power of forgiveness which is the toughest lesson of all, but I am living proof it can begin with the right attitude.

Judging others, blaming or being a victim is the easy way out and keeps you stuck. Taking responsibility for your own life is why we are all here and sets you free.  It’s been a process of lessons learned and to this day I am learning even more while making mistakes but this means I am evolving as a person and I am extremely grateful for the amazing friends I have.  My kids have seen me through thick and thin and I could have never done this without you guys, I love you from the bottom of my heart ❤  All my gratitude to you both!!

Today is giveaway day and I’ll be contacting 2 lucky winners with love and gratitude ❤ Thank you to everyone for all your huge support, and never forget…

~ Dare to live courageously…

Love Always ❤

Jen
XO

** Copies are available for purchase at all online bookstores worldwide and at the FriesenPress Bookstore.  Thank you 🙂

Tripping Over Your Soul

as-important-as-it-is-to-keep-picking-yourself-up-and-brushing-yourself-off-its-also-important-to-quote-1

The power of words can either lift you up or crash you down.

When they lift you up, it might spark a reflection on how to do things differently, cope better or it could inspire you to do some good in this world, love more, to help someone out or even yourself.  Music lyrics are a great example of how healing words can be.

When words crash you down, they can traumatize, change your life, make you fall to your knees with a haunting cry, and be embedded in your heart, mind, and soul forever.  They can reshape you in a twisted kind of way.

This requires some serious healing.

Not only does this apply to the words we hear from others but to the words, we hear from ourselves.  We really are our own worst critics and it’s time to stop these chatty gremlins from taking over our souls, tripping us up and stealing our joy.

What is your soul?  Based on what I know, which is only my opinion, the soul is the place that never dies inside of us, it’s what carries us through this life, lights us up when we are in the dark, promotes personal growth and development and drives us to make changes based on our past mistakes.  We learn from them because our soul is our life and it is always talking to us through connections with others.  Every connection is meant to help us grow; yes the good ones along with the tough ones.

I recently saw my good friend Judith and we had more inspiring conversations over Thai food.  We talked about when you try to heal from something, it’s like tripping over your soul.  I thought that was a great line because it’s almost like learning how to walk again after an accident.  You’re a bit worried, shaky, not going in a straight line, hanging onto things along the way that maybe you shouldn’t.  You fall, get up, try again and keep going forward.  The trick is not to get in your own way.  It takes practice and courage to do this while all along you think you’re not ready and you are fearful of what lies ahead.  Basically, it shakes your confidence in everything but your soul is the motivator that pushes you to try again because it only wants what’s best for you.  The healing journey is a process and in that process, you will trip, stub your toe, and fall, from time to time, but trust in it.  All of this is normal, and what matters is getting up and showing up.  Always remember, even if you are crawling, you are still moving.

Just remember to move forward and it will all work out when you can accept what happened.

Finding your new path means getting out of your own way, tripping over your soul from time to time and that’s ok.

Much Love ❤

Jen

**I hope you are all doing well, my apologies for not blogging as regularly as I have changed jobs recently but things are great.  If you would like to find copies of my book “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak”, it is available at online bookstores worldwide 🙂 I hope you are having a wonderful 2018 so far ❤

The Art of Grieving

11015070_1039593696055739_1127134410171294550_n

Whether we loved a family member, a relationship or a job, the loss is something to be acknowledged and the grieving process is absolutely necessary to be able to reach the other side.  The most famous author on grieving is Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  Not only has she written books for the general public but they are textbooks for the medical profession and for those working in palliative care.

When it comes to grieving a loss, there are generally five stages that appear and re-appear without much warning.   They don’t always go in order and they can reappear out of order so it’s important to keep this in mind and know that it’s normal if they don’t follow a certain path.  Grieving is very personal and everyone handles it differently which is why it’s important to have a good support system to help you recover.  The reason we grieve is because we cared and loved which is reason enough to deal with the situation so we can move on in our lives in a healthy manner.

The first stage is Denial.  The person who is grieving the loss of a loved one, a relationship or a job could be in denial by feeling like they just can’t believe it.  They feel shock and numbness.  In the person who is dying, they could feel disbelief and may go about their life pretending that an illness does not exist.  In the person who has lost a relationship or a job, they may act like nothing is/was wrong.

The second stage is Anger.  This emotion can be directed at your loved one who is dying because they didn’t take better care of themselves or it could be directed at yourself that you didn’t take better care of them.  In the person who lost their job or a relationship, anger may be directed at how they were treated or mistreated.  Many thoughts and feelings of anger come up here and you question yourself incessantly.  However, anger is a necessary stage of the healing process because it gives us the drive and energy to move on.  Be willing to feel it, the more you do, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal.  Because anger can be so consuming, having a good support system of friends and family around you is critical and if that is not enough, professional support is always available including support groups.

The third stage is Bargaining.  Before the loss it may seem like you will do anything to spare your loved one like “Please God, I will never be angry with my daughter again if you’ll just let her live.”  After a loss, bargaining might look like “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others, then I can wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream.”  Sometimes guilt is bargaining’s roommate.  We remain in the past trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt.  We ask ourselves the “what if” and “if only” questions in this stage but in reality, our loved one is truly gone.

The fourth stage is Depression.  This is where our attention moves from the past into the present.  Empty feelings are deeper than we could ever imagine.  It is not a mental illness it is an appropriate response to a great loss.  This is where people often withdraw from life and wonder “Why go on at all?”  Sadness blankets us and we cry more than we ever thought possible.  But perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once and awhile so that we can see Life with a clearer view again.  Tears don’t always have to win.  The positive side of this difficult stage is that depression can slow us down and allow us to take real stock of the loss.  It makes us rebuild ourselves from the ground up.  It clears the deck for growth by taking us to a deeper place in our soul that we would not normally explore.  It promotes you to the fifth stage.

Acceptance.  The ability to accept the permanent reality that your loved one, a relationship or job is physically gone.  It doesn’t mean this is okay or right, but you can just accept it.  You learn to live with it and readjust yourself and your roles.  Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad.  You may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives.  You re-invest in your friendships and relationships with others and with yourself.

I have grieved a loss many times in my life, I know the process is never easy or smooth.  It hurts and it feels long.  However, what I can tell you is that time is your best friend and you need to allow yourself off the hook for everything while you go through this transition and give yourself the time to do so.  It does get better with time, that I know for sure.  Sometimes we beat ourselves up on top of our loss which only makes us feel worse in the end.  By treating yourself with care and understanding rather than judgment, knowing you’re not alone and being mindful of your emotions, self-compassion is the light that casts out darkness in our minds.  Talk to yourself as if you are talking to a friend who is suffering.

The other side of pain is comfort, the other side of fear is love, the other side of unpleasant is beauty.  Keep moving forward and focus on the positive side because what we put our attention on, we get more of it.  In this case, focus on comfort, love, and beauty.   Just remember that if you falter, it’s okay, you are only human and know you can rise and try again when you are ready.  You can do it.

Loss, is very personal and so is the journey to recovery, it starts from within.  If we can embrace the grieving process instead of running away from it and be kind to ourselves when we feel at our worst, that is the beauty in the art of grieving.

jk-rowling-rock-bottom-foundation

“New beginnings are also described as painful endings.”  ~ Lao Tzu

“People are like stained glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”  ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

~ By Jennifer Juneau, Registered Nurse, Life Coach