A few days ago I was shocked to hear that someone I have known for almost two decades died suddenly. There was no illness, no warning. She just celebrated her 50th birthday with such excitement and was looking forward to what life had to bring.
As I and the many others who love her were stunned by the news, there were no words to express the pain and confusion we were left to endure. Our entire community was shaken to the core, uncertain of what to do. Suddenly, all that once was secure is now questionable. Hows and whys consume our thoughts.
What I am learning about coping with losses of such significance, is to first allow yourself to feel whatever you feel without judging your feelings.
Secondly, be gentle to yourself in times of loss. Don't expect to be successful in going forward with business as usual.
Third. It is not unusual to spend energy and time trying to answer questions. We often feel as making sense of things will lessen the impact of the loss. It does not.
Finally, talk about it. There is power in sharing thoughts and feelings. Finding support with loved ones or even professionally, can offer what you need to move forward in a positive way.
Thank you Angie for your beautiful smile and big heart.
We are better because of you.
"The memory of the righteous is a blessing.” Proverbs 10:7
The autumn season is my favorite of the year. I love the shift of temperature to perfection after the relentless summer heat. The colors of the season inspire me and I find myself making time to take in all of its beauty. I also love that this time of year welcomes the anticipation of the holidays.
The colors of the leaves, although breathtaking, are ending their life cycle to make room for what is to come. Making room for a time of dormancy preparing for the blooms of new beginnings, reminds us that all things change. I must admit, I am a bit ambivalent regarding change. There are things that I am excited to experience and some things I'd like to stay the same. No matter what, I don't always get to choose what change is and that's not easy.
As our lives mirror seasons, coping with unwanted changes can prove a bit difficult. Keeping an open mind and the hope in knowing new experiences are at hand, can help to maintain a positive outlook on inevitable change. When we hold on to things longer than we should, we hinder the progress of getting to where we need to be.
Are you in an autumn experience? Look beyond the challenge of change and embrace its beauty.
You never know what's on the other side. Trust it to be better.
When I think of summer, I think back to a wonderful childhood at my grandparents house in South Georgia. After a school year filled with tests and projects I was ready all the adventures that awaited me. Endless TV, including the Price is Right and my grandmama's stories (her term for soap operas). I remember going to work with my Granddaddy and being his secretary and helping my Grandmama cook meals. I would play outside for hours and swim at the community pool.
I never wanted summer to end. Although I had fun at school and home with my parents, summer was a great escape from all the daily tasks. Summer life was adventurous and out of the norm. While talking to a friend recently about how our summer was going; she said "As adults, summer is just June & July. Nothing changes." Daily responsibilities without finding the balance of joyful experiences can lead to increased stress and feeling overwhelmed. We often give of ourselves without any consideration of self. WHY is that?
An act of self-care is an act of self-love.
What do you think about the questions below?
1. Do you often tell yourself that your needs can wait because someone else's need is greater?
2. What do you tell yourself about doing something for yourself?
3. Do you have the expectation that you will be able to complete every goal, even if it's unrealistic?
4. Do you expect others to know what you need and have negative feelings when they don't meet your needs?
5. How much time in one day is devoted to others?
6. How much time in one day is devoted to yourself?
7. Do you feel that your life is balanced?
8. What will it take for you to find balance?
Based on how you answered these questions, it may be necessary for you to love of yourself and shift balance in your life. Don't wait for others to give you this gift. Show yourself some love today.
Take care of yourself and everyone, including you, will be better for it.
I am always amazed how different things look from the window of an airplane. One of the reasons I love to fly is because you have the opportunity to see familiar things in such new ways. Working to keep a helpful perspective is not always easy, but obtaining this vital skill makes life more pleasant.
To keep a positive perspective:
Power to manage anything, comes from your perspective. Will you access your power?
Looking back over the last month, I am awed by how many changes have taken place in my life; some expected, many not. Often I find myself putting out one fire only to be running to or accidentally into another. It is in this that I found myself accomplishing things I may never have, if not for being catapulted (for lack of better words) into this sea of newness. My Daddy used to say, "Well Baby Girl, you better swim; cause if you don't...you gon drown."
I am swimming a lot lately without being able to float much. Even though it feels as if the waves keep coming, I have learned some things about moving forward without being forewarned or prepared, I am being stretched in unprecedented ways.
Here we go. Think about these things as you work to overcome your challenges.
1. Trust Yourself - Every moment that was great and not so great, lead to transitioning moments. Every lesson learned prepares us for things we had no idea we would need.
2. Maintain Realistic Expectations - You may have to shift commitments and responsibilities while you are in this season of your life. Use your energy wisely.
3. Don't be Afraid to Ask for Help - We are not designed to do it all ourselves. Prioritize what your needs are and where you can get the support to be successful.
4. Find Balance - Although you may consumed with the transition or challenge. Ensure you still find time to breathe, relax, enjoy life and the things that bring you happiness.
5. Keep Fear in Check - What would you do if you weren't afraid? Fear can be paralyzing, but it also is misleading. Fear lies and paints an untrue picture. Keeping a realistic and optimistic perspective checks fear and keeps it in its place, nowhere near you.
How will face your next sink or swim experience?
With over 20 years of experience in the mental health field, I strive to live life at the highest of my potential and work to support others in doing the same. These are some thoughts and reflections along the way.