It’s been a while since my last blog, I was feeling the need to write again. I feel like my mind has become healthier. I am putting to use what I have learned in therapy and what I have read. Old habits of negative thinking and dwelling on things I cannot control are no longer controlling me. I have taken my power back and it feels good.
My eldest daughter and I have reconciled. We talk and see each other often. I believe both of us missed each other’s company and by communicating our feelings to each other on what went wrong we can move forward. I learned that in working on myself, I can form healthier relationships. I love my children and my grandchildren, I am not whole without them in my life. They are my joy and my happiness, I cannot imagine a life without them.
As things are calming down, within myself as well as in my life outside my mind and my emotions, I wanted to share some thoughts on my journey.
I have said that my grief had become a part of me, yet I had no idea that I would not only identify myself in that sadness but also feed on it. That it would linger so long and so deep that I became that emotion, that sadness, that negativity. I believed everything my mind’s voice was telling me. That sadness and emotional pain was in fact, me. My emotions fed on my negative mind. I existed in self-doubt, regret and depression. I would stay focused on that inner voice replaying old hurts over and over, small things became overwhelming. I couldn’t recognize that I was doing it to myself.
I read Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power Of Now.” This book totally changed my way of thinking. I learned that my problems began as I let myself, as the thinker, create a life filled with negativity. I was in fact, forsaking the joy of existing in the present moment the longer I stayed focused on the pain of the past. The “now” was moving forward without me. I longed for inner peace yet had no idea how to obtain it. With this book I became aware of the darkness of my mind, the dysfunction of my thinking and I began working to repair it. This was the beginning of change, of what Tolle describes as the awakening.
I began to practice living “in the moment” and any negative thoughts that entered my mind were viewed by me as a thought. I am not what I think, I am not my negative mind, I am the observer. I can manage thoughts that are accurate and that require action that is within my capability. All other thoughts that attempt to pull me back into negativity or that are beyond my control are replaced by a positive thought or action. It is working. In fact, I was quite amazed at how this new way of managing my thoughts quickly became a habit. Mindfulness is my new way of life.
I understand now that what I experienced the last three years was not all about Konnor. His death as tragic as it was will forever be a hurt that I can’t shake. Yet, I realize that the longer I allowed myself to dwell in grief and sadness, the harder it became to pull myself out of it.
I think grievers subconsciously believe if they release their sadness that they will lose their loved one, again. That living in the moment and embracing joy meant their loved one will be erased. Sadness keeps our lost loved ones close. We feel connected to them in our continued grief. This thinking is not accurate. I will always grieve and miss my grandson Konnor. Nothing can change that, the passage of time has softened the raw agony of his loss but my heart will always ache for him. I accept that I will still have days when I cry for him. I must confess that I also cry for myself. I cry for the woman who struggles with the passage of time without him. I cry for the woman who had no idea how to cope with such a tragic loss alone and I cry for the me that is gone.
I do not view these periods of grief as a setback but rather a natural process. A process that does not provoke regret or shame. They are simply an expression of the loss, the continued sadness that he is gone. These moments are made of the intense emotion I carry for my grandson I so dearly love and will endlessly miss.
I am feeling joy, laughing and living in the present. I am finding as much as it began as a conscious effort, it is now a natural flow. There may be instances when I remind myself to not dwell on any negativity that comes my way, they are fewer that require my effort. The reward of happiness keeps me moving forward.
I recently put myself on a dating site. My first “date” brought forth feelings of insecurity, self-doubt and old worthiness wounds. I became nervous, worried about my appearance, I felt inadequate. I had to remind myself of all that I am. I know where I came from, what has shaped me. What makes me whole is all my experiences, the good, the bad and the tragic. I am worthy, I am strong and I am content with the person that I have become. In accepting my mistakes and my experiences, I made peace with who I am. If someone choses to dismiss me, it will not to break me.
By providing myself with the knowledge of what was happening within me I became empowered to change. With change, I began to experience a sense of enlightenment thus opening a whole new way of living. I will continue to learn things about myself and I continue to grow.
My journey continues.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” -Viktor E.Frankl.