Hey there friends..sometimes I wonder why I’ve kept this blog going for this long when I haven’t been consistent. I realized it’s almost like a form of therapy – I write and hit publish without any expectations of anyone reading it but deep down I do hope that it connects with the right person at the right time and today that person could be you. This post is going to put me in a pretty vulnerable position but I know that’s what I need right now to grow as a person.
This year I lost my dad in January, my cousin in June, my grandpa in August and as of last Monday, my sweet boy Jack- my dog (fur baby). Sure, death is a natural part of life but I think the nature of their deaths which were under pretty traumatic circumstances is what helped send me over the ledge. I’m sure that I’ve cried more tears this year than any other year in my life.
In addition to other life events, this year has literally made me want to run for the hills. I’ve daydreamed about just selling everything and running off somewhere with no commitments or obligations. All of the loss has brought me to my knees. It has made me totally give up and surrender to God, spirit, the universe whatever you want to call this energy that is bigger than all of us. Not sure what it is that I’m done with but by god, I’m waiving the white flag of surrender. Please tell me that you’ve had times like this and you’ve come through it.
What’s really strange about all of this is that it wasn’t until I had to put our dog Jack down last Monday that it felt like a chapter in my life was closing. Jack by the way was 17, blind, deaf and my sweet boy. It had been exhausting caring for him the past 3 years but we did it without thinking because he was part of our family. He finally got to the point where he couldn’t walk and could barely stand so we knew it was time. My husband and daughter said they never want another dog because the pain is too much to bear. However, I can’t imagine my life without an animal to love. The love they have to give and that you give them, far outweighs the pain of their death.
While I make sure to celebrate the lives of my loved ones, it doesn’t take away the sadness. Sadness and tears that hit at random times completely out of my control. The only thing that really seems to help is the passing of time and gratitude. I’ve found it REALLY important that I try and focus on gratitude on a daily basis. For years I’ve kept a gratitude journal and while I’ll still write in one, I’ve also been using the Five Minute Journal App. I actually downloaded it for free from the Starbucks app of all places. They offer/recommend a free app each week. Believe me folks, focusing on the good helps. When I’ve slacked off for a couple days, I start to notice. Even if my gratitude list is simple, it still shifts my perspective from that of difficulty to one of thankful.
If my mind starts racing with all the “what if’s”, I try to shift immediately to saying “thank you” over and over until I can get out of the fear mindset.
A couple of other resources for refocusing is Youtube, you can find motivational or inspirational videos to watch. I also love watching something really funny. Laughter really is the best medicine, right?! I also love Pinterest for searching through images that make me feel good or quotes that are inspiring. These things help me get out of my head and shift my feelings.
What do you do or have you done to get you through difficult times?