Fleeting Moments

Grief. It’s a tricky thing. I didn’t realize how much grief I had stored in my body until recently when I went and saw the movie “Five Feet Apart”, followed by crying at Rob Bell’s ‘An Introduction of Joy’, an amazing purging of emotions during a craniosacral therapy session, and followed today by nearly bursting into tears as I watched a little three-year-old boy in front of me in line at the grocery store. Isn’t that the way with grief? It comes up at the most seemingly unlikely of times. It hadn’t even been on my radar and then BOOM, there it was, over and over and over again.

I’ve asked for this. I’ve asked Source and my higher self to help clear out anything no longer serving me. I ask for it every time I shower. I ask the water to heal me and cleanse me of any energy or way of being that is no longer serving my highest good. Enter in emotions that have been stored deep within me being brought to the surface and into my conscious awareness to be healed once and for all. The things that have been coming up have caught me a bit off guard. It’s been from patients in the hospital who died on comfort care during my time of taking care of them. It’s come up for the loss of my father-in-law as his birthday just passed. It’s come up today for the grief I feel as a mother of a child who is growing and changing right in front of my eyes.

I have felt like my grief is sitting in my chest in a conglomerate of sorts, all jumbled up together in a ball of burnt, shredded and dismantled rubber from a tire that has blown out on a highway. It’s all there, melted together. Actual deaths and suicides of friends and family. Figurative deaths of my marriage, of my old self who processed everything as best she could at the time, the loss I feel from each year that my son grows and morphs into his next round of humanness. Relationships come and gone. Jobs come and gone. Places come and gone. Some things hit harder than others, even in my new understanding and beliefs of how this all works and the fact that I don’t believe any soul ever ‘dies’.

My experience and grief is relative. I do not mean to downplay or gloss over other kinds of grief by expressing my own experiences. I left the grocery store today in tears about my son’s growth, recorded a video about it, and then learned that a friend suffered a miscarriage. It only further reiterated the fragile nature of life and the importance of our appreciation and presence in all of the moments.

My grief was pushed down and avoided when I went to work or school and was trying to function in the world as I felt like crying, but put a smile on instead. When my sadness overcame me in the form of depression and wishing for death, I still had to find a way to live in the world. That dichotomy consumed me at times. The mask I wore nearly suffocated me. Can you relate?

I almost did that today. In fact, I suppose I did do that at the register as I watched the two young boys in front of me and awaited my turn to check out and pay. I dared not completely lose it and breakdown right then and there as I waited to pay. I saved that for a few moments later for when I expressed my gratitude to the Mom that I had remained in line behind her and her children after she had told me I could go ahead of her. I cried. I cried as I spoke of my son and his crocs and the fact that he was now nearly my size, and the fact that the time had moved so fast. I cried on my way to my car, got to my car and cried some more. I know from experience that this wasn’t only about my son. This was just a path of least resistance to have me open up and release years of grief stored within me. Tears have the power to cleanse us. Tears have the power to heal us, yet often, we hold them back.

I found myself basking in the ever present fleeting nature of this life, all the moments, and all the people who have crossed my path. I recorded this video in that moment. THIS is why I live the way I do. I have taken care of a patient in their 20’s on comfort care with AIDS, surrounded by their twin and rest of their family during their final moments of life. I witnessed and stored the pain felt by their family within my body. I nearly lost my own life with a baby at home depending on me for nourishment and love. While I am aware of my infinite, spiritual nature, I also know that in this body, in this time and space, I only have one shot to make the most of it. My pain has fueled my passion. My heartache has fueled my love. I would not be who I am without every single experience of my life, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

I don’t know how else to say it. Please allow other people’s stories to impact yours. Please snap out of the sleep you’re in and start living life to the fullest. Please enjoy the small moments, because they are in fact, the most important moments of our lives.

It’s a choice to follow your passion or go along with the status quo. It’s a choice to remain asleep in victim consciousness or to wake up to your full power as a co-creator in this life. It is a choice whether or not to remain present during all of your moments or to check out.

In my life so far, I have lived both ways. I have seen how feeling like a victim affected my life and I am a witness daily to the way that realizing my power to shape my reality has positively transformed my life. I know what I will continue to choose.

I will choose growth, expansion, and healing. I will choose placing my priority on my energetic vibration and my alignment with my higher self. I will choose to listen to a nudge from my intuition over the loud voices of the people and institutions surrounding me. I was asleep and desperately trying to numb my feelings and the energy of those around me for most of my life, and I will not go back to that way of being.

I will do my best to continue to do the real ‘adulting’ in this life which I believe is to say that I will do my best to feel my feelings in the moment. I have learned that when I feel feelings as they arise, they are much easier to handle and process. I have learned that feeling my feelings now means that I won’t store them in my body to process later or to have them surface as dis-ease or pain at a later date. I know that our feelings can overwhelm us. I understand why we’d oftentimes prefer to shut them off entirely. But what I have found is that those old feelings will hold us back in life until we feel and heal them once and for all. After all, energy is never destroyed, it is merely transformed. Unfelt feelings and trauma not dealt with only lead to pain, dis-ease, and suffering later in life.

I have learned that when I show up fully in my life, that my challenges stop creating stigma and start being a path for deeper connection and understanding with other humans. When I choose to open up in full authenticity and vulnerability, I find others who have had similar experiences to mine. I also find that giving myself the permission and space to open up gives others that same space and freedom. Everything starts with us and creates ripple effects outward. I think what we all really need is just the reminder that we are never alone in our struggles. That there are common threads that connect us all. Remember that we never know what someone is going through, so it’s critical that we treat people kindly, always. Remember to treat yourself kindly as well. This life isn’t a rehearsal. Are you present in your moments? Are you doing what you came here to do?

Thank you for being here on this journey with me. When I started this blog in 2017, I could have never known the freedom that it would give me to show up fully in my life. Writing here has helped me remove the compartments that I used to sort the various areas of my life into.

If you liked this post, please like and share it. In that way, we can create further ripple effects. Feel free to follow me on IG and/or FB for more content. I will be posting the video I recorded there as it won’t upload here. Sending you much love!

Let’s Erase the Stigma of Mental Health

Seriously. No one should feel bad or ashamed, because they go to a therapist. We need to erase the stigma surrounding mental health in this country.

When I was battling severe depression, it was doubly exhausting to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders as I felt the need to hide my issues from others. Anyone with depression knows, it zaps your energy enough to then put so much into keeping it all a secret. But at the time, it felt necessary for me. I felt ashamed and less than because I was struggling with a sadness so severe that I could barely function. It made me have an anxiety attack once just to go and talk casually with a potential new employer about work I really wanted to do for them, because the thought of having to be ‘on’ and ‘sell myself’ was THAT overwhelming. It was also no fun to be on the verge of tears literally all the time, yet still have to go to work and hold them back. I avoided talking to people. I avoided phone calls. I avoided as much life as I possibly could. I always worried that my secret would be found out, which at the time terrified me. I felt like I was broken.

Just taking the steps to find my first therapist was daunting. But that step ended up being crucial to turning things around. I went to someone who had me try loads of natural supplements and even a SAD light as I was living in a rainy, gray Oregon winter at the time. When none of those worked, we moved onto medications. First Prozac which helped me immensely at the time. Then there became a need for less side effects, so I saw a psychiatrist to have my meds adjusted. Moved onto Wellbutrin. Then eventually landed on Lexapro. The names of medications don’t really matter, because they’re what I needed at the time. I write this for anyone else who has struggled with depression and has taken multiple medications before finding the ‘right’ one. There was a time when I thought I’d be taking Lexapro indefinitely, because of how my doctors believed my Lyme Disease was affecting me.

You are not alone. Many of us deal with mental illness and most don’t talk about it. I’ve been able to move past my years of depression, with appreciation that I’ve experienced such lows in my life. Those things we’re most ashamed of tend to connect us the most deeply with our fellow humans. This human life can be really difficult. We aren’t taught positive ways to cope, so we end up getting completely overwhelmed when challenges inevitably arise. If you’re like me, then you may relate to the fact that I used to internalize everything happening around me as something that was my fault. As a child growing up in a tense household, I took all of the negative energy on as my own and it was the start of my depression. I felt confused, alone, and unlovable.

It is my hope that in sharing, I can help remove the stigma for just one person currently being challenged by mental illness. You are not alone. Do not be ashamed of needing to see a therapist. It’s brave of you to take that step and you should be proud of yourself for recognizing when you need help and asking for it. I know none of it is easy for you.

Know that many therapists will offer a sliding scale if you lack insurance that covers it. Don’t let money stop you. There are ways. If you’re a student, check in with your school. One of the best counselors I ever went to was at the community college I attended for nursing school. She was in training, but she was the best for offering practical and positive ways to cope with my stressors at the time, which was my health crisis.

Know too that you might not find the ‘right’ therapist for you on the first try. I have been to several and they are not all the same. I’ve had some that were a good fit and some that were a terrible fit. I was once so overwhelmed with life that I asked my therapist directly for positive coping mechanisms to get me through the stress I was feeling. She didn’t offer me any that day, and I never went back to her again. You know yourself better than anyone. If you’re not having a good experience with your therapist, trust yourself and find a new one. Of course be mindful that you’re not just sabotaging it, because you never wanted to go in the first place. But your therapist should help you feel better overall, and you should feel safe and heard.

Pay attention to your intuition or repeating messages. Is a particular office calling to you? Do people around you keep mentioning the name of the SAME therapist to you? Do you keep seeing an advertisement for a particular therapist over and over? Follow those leads, because your higher self is guiding you. Trust it.

Thank you for reading! If you like this post, please like and share it. Follow me on IG and Facebook for more positive content and perspective on life. Much love!