How many times have you heard a version of the expression, “All that’s in the dark will come to the light”? Although it is a biblical statement, and may seem overused never a truer word has been said.
For me this expression is so fitting, as the last year of my life I have experienced love, loss and resurgence. What I experienced was the love of my mother who was ill with an unknown “expiration date”. She was the love that I had as a constant, although she was suffering from a combination of mixed Alzheimer’s and Dementia – the worst version of this crippling disease. It was often difficult to recognise that the love was there on both sides. The recent loss was of her life, her physical presence and her touch.
Now, I am dealing with the coming to grips with the loss and reconnection to the “me” I once knew; finding the path I was meant to follow. In parallel, I met and fell in love with a wonderful man, but when my Mum passed, a part of our love died, a part of what we had carefully created and sculptured around her with cotton wool was now absorbed with shock and loss. Every semblance of what had been a routine made of love, support and focus on her, was gone. It had left a void that we didn’t know how to fill.
Today, three almost four months later, I am in resurgence. I am finally beginning to see the light after so much darkness. I am by no means out of the shadows of pain or sadness but I can smile again and it feels good. We are working through our relationship, slowly, figuring out how to be a couple again where before we were a family.
As the tears flow as I write this, I know that I have a new found freedom, to continue my journey where I left off. I have the ability to navigate new pastures and the plans that were on hold can now blossom and come to fruition. As painful as it is I have to recalibrate and bloom.
That’s my story in brief but I know many of us have a different version of the same. My story is no more sad or tragic than yours. Perhaps you have lost your parent too. Physically, they are here but in truth all that exists is the appearance of a shell of the person you once knew. The parent who raised and nurtured you to be the person you are today is gone. Yet, you are still loving them because what else can you do or should you do?
Or maybe you are struggling with letting go of the love of a partner/sibling that has gone wrong. Trying to rehash the relationship or praying that the love will come back but you know in your gut that it’s over. He or she has moved on and you are beginning to acknowledge it hurts – so deep to the core – and you know you have to move on too.
Or have you lost a child in birth or in life and you feel crippled with fear or wracked with the “would of, could of, should of” guilt.
How do you move on and fill the gap that was once filled with joy and laughter?
It has its struggles and you have your arguments, however you are now confronted with dealing with the loss of that person in your life and to say it’s difficult is an understatement. But there’s good news! We can pick ourselves up and move on. We can hold our heads up high and look ahead to see the sun shining on us again.
What is important is that you remember that self-love and self-care are ultra important and you have to start there. What were the things that made you happy before? Start with something small, a lipstick, a manicure, and a quick chat with your friend on the other side of the world. Returning to church, learning to meditate or taking that class you always said you were going to take. Work your way up to the physical things that made you happy, a massage, a Zumba class or that annual girls trip you used to do.
A friend of mine once told me, “This life is not a dress rehearsal – this is the show.”
So I urge you to show up, be present and resurge to the life you were meant to live. Lean on your sisters when it counts the most. They may not even know how much you are suffering. Acknowledge the pain but give yourself the love you need, the love you deserve.
Dig deep and launch your self into your revised life. Do it with vigour and joy. And remember, this is YOUR life so paint your canvas with a smile the way you want it to look. Don’t let the pain paint you. Everyday, I learn to love myself a little bit more…believe me you can too!
Michelle from the Joy Spot
F: Joy Spot Coaching