They called it my ‘bad’ year…

In the span of 12 months, I legally separated from my husband, my parents became ill and I had to give up a job I loved so I could care for them. Not long after that, my parents passed away, from natural causes, in two different cities that were approximately 6-7 hours apart. My Dad went first, and a day later (on Mother’s Day) my mother passed. A few weeks after the funeral, my father-in-law passed away. Somewhere in there , I fractured my spine but as it was not diagnosed until 6 months later, I don’t really count it as part of my ‘bad’ year. At the end of the 12 months, I signed my divorce papers
In with all of this, I struggled through opioid and alcohol addiction.
Yet, despite all of it, something inside me kept pushing me to keep fighting for a better quality of life. It took time, years actually and the combined efforts of countless caring individuals who became and remain to this day, my unwavering support system.
While I know that healing comes from within, I also know it cannot be done alone. So…. Though the journey was challenging, it had made me a stronger, more compassionate person. A person who realizes my story can help others out their who are lost in the dark and trying to find their way to light. For me, it was not a ‘bad’ year, it was the year that I finally began my healing journey.
Self first is not selfish, just so you know. I have put my health and my well being first before anything, I have made my health and well being my first priority and have discovered that doing so benefits the people I share my life with. I get up in the morning and have a general routine of meditating, weight lifting, yoga, singing, and dancing, before I even come out of my private space. I don’t face anyone in the house until I have centered myself and made myself feel good, then it really doesn’t matter what happens through the day, I can face it without it giving me undue stress. I also try to eat healthy, I fast occasionally, I use protein shakes when I am weight training. Whenever possible I use natural substances to control any body pain I experience, herbal muscle relaxers for example.
If I am being completely honest, I am still bogged down by a mental load. I am not sure it’s possible for me to do the work I do, without occasionally being overwhelmed by the expectations of others. Yet… I have found peace within myself by learning to listen to my instincts and make sure that I act upon those things that my heart insists I listen to. (And believe me when I say, it does insist, and if I ignore it, it gets rather loud and obnoxious)
I use a multitude of tricks to keep peace within, including yoga, exercise, dancing, singing, time in nature, and long rides down winding roads on my motorcycle. Most of all, I rely on music to keep me balanced. I have a rather large collection of playlists to choose from depending on my needs in each moment.
Above all though, I have very carefully created and maintained a small group of ‘family’ (blood bonds NOT required) who keep me grounded and offer encouragement and reassurance when I need it. Humans are pack animals, solitude is not in our nature. We need each other and that insight and realization is what motivates my work and keeps my heart open so I can listen to the answers that life consistently offers.
Oh… and self care. Self first is NOT selfish, it is essential. We can’t care for anyone unless we, ourselves, are happy, healthy and whole.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Sometimes it is in those moments of complete confusion and inner turmoil, right about that moment you are ready to give up, that the solution you seek, presents itself.
Get comfortable with doing nothing because sometimes the most important thing that you need to do is absolutely nothing at all.
All those things combined is what allows me to continue to move forward despite the unique challenges I have faced along the way. Get to know yourself… take the time to figure out what you need to be happy and then chase that happiness down. Believe that you are worth it.
I believe, all the answers we seek come from inside, sometimes we just need to stop long enough to hear what it is our own wise hearts are telling us.
Believe in yourself, be kind and gentle with yourself, and you will find, that as time goes by, the world will begin to be more kind and gentle to you.


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