My Journey

The Blessing in Pain

My cousin was murdered. It's a weird sentence to say or write. She didn't just die. It wasn't illness or an accident that took her from us. It was the decision of another person to end her life. She was murdered a week ago. I have had a whole week to try to process this information and I still am having trouble getting my brain to accept it. No matter the amount of spiritual and self-help work you do, you can't always accept everything that happens.

I could make this post about my anger. It could be about how angry I am that our country has not done enough to stop this kind of thing from happening. I am angry about the state of gun laws, of violence against women, about the lack of support and protection for women in dangerous circumstances, the lack of mental health opportunities, and how voices are silenced. I am angry at the man who took her life and then his own. I have even been angry at God and all the powers of the Universe. Being spiritual doesn't stop you from being angry at times.

I could make this post about grief. How, no matter who you are, you will have versions of the stages of grief when you experience loss. That grief is not just feeling sad but feeling everything. You cycle through anger, sadness, numbness, peace, joy, and then back again. In fact, it's like being bounced around from emotion to emotion with no sort of order to follow. Grief is an experience that you move through and just keep moving through and it keeps changing. No amount of guidance or meditation will stop this.

Instead, I want to talk about pain. We try to stop the pain in ourselves and in others all the time. If we see someone crying or expressing discomfort, we ask how we can make it stop. We try to stop our own pain. We use drugs (prescription or not), alcohol, food, entertainment, sex, and whatever will shift our mood for a moment to escape it. We want to numb out and tune out. This is a natural response. Pain often means danger or death or a sign that something is wrong. Of course the natural response is to avoid it. Pain is also a doorway for us to walk through. Every painful experience has led me to new growth with my soul, deeper meaning in my life, a new understanding of myself and the world around me, and the birth of something new.

Pain brings truth, clarity, and brings us right into the present moment. That can sometimes be the cause of the pain. If we are in denial and avoiding, then we don't even realize what the pain is about. We might blame others or pretend to be happy when inside we feel like we our drowning. When we allow ourselves to sit with the pain, we can start to release and find peace. It is often our resistance and fighting or shoving the pain down that causes the pain to be so harsh. Emotional pain and physical pain can be better if you can relax into it. Let the tears flow. Let yourself wail if you need to. Open yourself to release the pain and birth forward something new.

The pain is a blessing, too. It means we are alive! It means we are experiencing life at its fullest. It means we are being honest with ourselves and living in alignment with our true feelings. The pain is only temporary when we feel it. This allows it to morph and change. It is holding onto pain and trying not to feel it that keeps it around forever. That said, there are some pains that will never fully leave, but we can embrace them as part of ourselves and make peace still. So, please feel your pain, embrace it, make peace with it, and watch it transform you.

Finding Myself

There are dark times on every path. These last few years seem to be heavy with the dark moments. I feel like I have lost a bit of myself and my soul over the last few years. My mother had two brain surgeries, one planned and one emergency. Don't get me wrong, we experienced miracles in the last few years. She almost died multiple times. We weren't sure she would be able to even talk again after her fall and brain bleed. A lot of healing was done by many healers, myself, and doctors and nurses. But in all of that, there were a lot of nights sleeping for only a few hours in a chair or on a lumpy cot. Nights of no sleep due to worry or due to keeping mom calm while dealing with hallucinations. Nights of being on call in case she needed help or something happened. Nights away from my husband and children. The medical procedures all had new things for me to learn for care at home. It seemed like there was always a new stress or condition or procedure to prepare for. I recently heard this described as trying to drink from a fire house. I think that describes it well.

Finally mom got sable. She still needs constant care due to poor eyesight and inability to walk, but she is stable. So, in February, I had a hysterectomy to deal with Adenomyosis. I couldn't take the physical pain of that anymore. Going through that recovery process, I realized that I did not have much support. I also realized that I had lost me along the way. Between my own pain and the stress of my mother's health, I had become less me. I liked to have fun and be social, but instead I was isolating and stressed all the time. My kids had lost that mom. My daughter even made comments about how I was grumpy or sad or serious all the time.

I can sit here and blame situations or people, but it was my doing. I stopped fighting for me. I kept giving away bits of myself and not asking for anything in return. I knew I had to shift. I'm still in this shift. I'm slowly reclaiming myself back, but I am allowing myself space to grow into more. This last week, I went to a Conference for my direct sales business. It was powerful and fun. The most important part was I felt like my old self. I was being silly, loud, dancing, singing, and having a good time.

Yes, we all have the dark times that make us want to give up or sell our souls. It's easy to let go of hope and cave in to the darkness. Instead, I invite you to rest. This can be sleep or just letting your soul rest. Don't let anyone define this for you. Whatever brings you joy and eases your soul, embrace it! Then start reprogramming your brain. Question everything if you have to. What are your motives? Why do you react the way you do? What do you really want? Help yourself believe once again in yourself. Find your sparkle!