Over the past two years and right up to this autumnal Sydney morning that I’m blanketed in, I’m constantly amazed by the level of trust, honesty and openness that is confessed, shared and even tear-dropped into the beautiful messages and letters that continue to pour in from all around the world.
Some stories are from those who have chosen to narrate their experience like a handbook on how to live life more fully from this moment forward. Others speak of being frozen in the paralysis of their pain and feel unable to exist in a world that seems to harshly continue on without even a flicker or a pause to stop and acknowledge the indescribable destruction of the life they once knew. And finally, there are those, perhaps you, who hold on so tightly to the memory of what was, that you now, without knowing, innocently strangle the breath from the new beginnings that await you as you try with all your might to hold onto your loss, mistaking it as a connection to your past.
It is very difficult to describe how I feel about life, love and loss to people these days without sounding insensitive or like I’m perhaps undervaluing the weight of their experience. I do very much believe that trauma is real and that when your thoughts and emotions are so physically overwhelmed by the reality of your experience, it is more than understandable that you become completely overtaken by your mind trying to make sense of it all. As a result, you begin telling yourself, with absolute authority, that your experience not only defines who you are now and how you live your life, but also that you have little to no capacity to change your situation.
As a self-confessed, meaning-making machine, and having come to a place where I no longer believe that over-analysing EVERYTHING makes me any more clever, wise, or happy in my life, I now very much believe that everyone has the capacity to completely and utterly change their life with nothing more than a shift in their thinking. Which, by the way, is easier said than done when the ground is cracking beneath your feet and your heart feels ripped in two. But there is a point when it is time to acknowledge that the land around you has regrown and is bursting with life and yet yours is still on pause.
We have a beautiful children’s book at home that explains the cycle of life, and I often read it with the kids, especially Indigo, when she asks about Andy and why he died. It talks about the fact that whatever you are, a human being, a fish, a flower or an ant, that there is always a beginning and always an ending, everything is born and everything will die and that everything in between is the LIVING part!
When we are discussing this book, we talk about however long or short that LIVING section is, whether you are fit and strong, or weak and frail, it is how you CHOOSE to do the living part that makes life either an ocean of possibility or, as for so many, who exist from the confinement of their fears, a sad and often frightening place.
We also talk about the fact that birth and death are a natural part of the cycle of life and that whilst we can’t control how and when either of these take shape, if we just learn to accept that they are part of life’s adventure, we can then begin to appreciate their importance, instead of wasting out precious time fearing them.
By now, you are likely either scratching your head, utterly confused, starting to feel rather agitated, or impatient for some gem of an insight into just how that is actually possible.
The fact is that you can either fight your situation, blame your circumstances, be terrified into an emotional paralysis by your fear of the unknown, complain about everyone around you TO everyone around you. Or you can stop exactly where you are, right here and right now and begin exploring one step at a time how to think, feel and begin looking at your life in a different way.
Above is a beautiful little film about taking life on.
Nothing but love….