Healing is Messy: Step into the Arena

I am starting this post with, I am good and I’m in a good place. But, healing is messy and it is unattractive and it is an individual process, and as a result, can be quite shameful. Mental health still has a deeply ingrained stigma attached to it that is entirely unwarranted and socially unhealthy for us, people.

My perception of my childhood is that it was traumatic. I have resolved a lot of the deeper stuff, but every now and again, another layer becomes ready to be peeled off and I need to put the work in to do that. I’ve been doing this work on myself for thirty or so years.

I live a blessed life because I worked hard to create it. I’m a strong, wise, resilient and empowered woman because I do the work and own my truth.

I would love for it to be finished, but it isn’t.

Last weekend, I was at an intensive training weekend for tuning forks for my Diploma in Sound Healing. It unlocked another hurt that needed to be healed.

Healing is a process.

First, there was the unlocking of a deep hurt. I cried and cried and sobbed and ugly cried and then cried some more.

It took a few hours of just sitting in this teary grief before I felt an old anger pattern emerge. Anger that no one loves me, anger that no one reaches out, anger that I give so much to others and it never feels balanced or reciprocated or fair. Just plain pure unadulterated anger. Unreasonable, unfair, childlike and fully ego based and driven.

Then, well, then came the heaviness, the numbness, the desire to run away, the embarrassment, the shame, the fear that you’ve fucked your entire life up and scared everyone away because you are ungrateful for all that you do have and all the people you’ve shared time with throughout your life. And really, shouldn’t you be over this by now.

So, at this point, self care became important. For me, this means one breath at a time, and time for the soul to reconnect to source in nature. I did this yesterday. I left, breathing deeply again with a headache lol. But, balanced and calm.

This enabled me to work and to start sharing my energy again, in small doses with armour around my heart. Just the reality.

Back in this space, I can ask questions: what is the root cause of this grief, this recurring pattern, this destructive and intense emotional response?

The answers come. On the toilet this time.

Abandonment.

As a child, ideally, we feel supported and loved and safe and protected.

I didn’t feel this way.

The narrative I crafted for myself was that I wasn’t worthy of being held safely, I wasn’t valuable, I wasn’t good enough just as I was.

I give to receive. That’s the ugly truth of it. In recent times, I’ve shifted that motivation significantly and have surrendered a lot of that attachment to expectation, but obviously, not enough. I had never dig into the root cause, around it, sure, but not into its marrow.

The time has come for me to do just that.

From the abandonment fears, deeply connected to it, is a strong sense of betrayal and trust.

As I reflect to my miscarriage, I see these patterns and threads weaving together. As I reflect on the Investigation, again, these threads interweave. Now, my life is ready to do the deep soul work to correct and rebalance this imbalanced perception.

Before I could do that though, I needed to relive it one more time, out of a crisis situation, that I could understand it without the immediate intensity of emotion.

I share my journey because I think it’s important that we all share our stories to heal, not just for ourselves, but for past generations and for our world.

We don’t talk about the darkness and heaviness in ourselves and our world enough. We hide in it. And we do this because too many people don’t understand it. And we are scared of being labelled or stigmatized it judged.

A very well intentioned friend said that I was better than this. I’m human. I’m a work in progress. I have many layers and many faces. My strength in spirit comes from me standing in my truth. I still feel the shame of this though. I acknowledge it and tell it to fuck off because I think more positive comes from me doing this, than from hiding it. Time might prove me wrong. But I don’t believe so.

My truth isn’t always tidy; it’s very often a very messy conglomeration of different things. It takes courage to be real in a world where real seems to be a dirty word. I own my trauma and I own the impact. I’ve lost good people from my life as a result of my messy truth; I am an acquired taste and I can be intense. I can be mean and bitchy and ego driven. I can be selfless and wise and so loving.

I am all.

And I make no apology for that.

Death is a Profound Teacher

I have been to too many funerals. Definitely too many funerals for people who died before old age. Death is an amazing teacher. Like all classrooms though, we don’t all choose to learn the lessons.

Today, a group of broken people gathered to remember and celebrate the life of a beautiful human being. Belinda and I sat and stood together, as we always have, and we supported ‘our babies’ and each other in our collective grief.

Trae’s death has impacted me beyond – I am not sure why. Love is love. Bel suggested it’s because this group of kids is the last group that we had such a strong connection to. We both taught 8E and we shared stories and jokes and learning. So many of that class are no longer at school. One, no longer alive.

Meh. I am writing this out so often because I don’t know how to talk about it. I can’t find the spoken words. I’ve turned to my faith to try to make sense if it, and I can.

Death teaches us.

When my friend, Natalie, died, I vowed to live my best life because her life ended way too soon. I wanted to honour the gift that my life is, that each of our lives is. I still think of Nat every day. Every day without fail. And I love that. She drives me.

I also think of all of the people I love every day. I carry them with me, even when I can’t see them for loooong periods of time. I feel blessed to be able to love so many people. To have known so many people. To have shared life with so many people.

Death has taught me that even a long life, is really a short life. Our time in this body, in this incarnation, with these people as we see and know them, is short. Some, a lot shorter than others.

We all have choices to make; I choose life.

It’s often the seemingly insignificant and routine things that are the hardest to let go of. Trae’s brother, whom he lived with, spoke beautifully today, remembering the dumb shit that brothers do that in the day to day, means nothing really, but ultimately, means everything.

Everyone that spoke, touched on these things. The memories that make the loss of Trae significant. We are all that for someone. We touch people’s lives, often in ways we never fully appreciate.

One of our beautiful kids humbled us by being her authentic self today. I’m so proud of her. She’s had a tough life. She knows where she’s at, even though she’s not always sure, and she knows she has a long path ahead of her to heal her childhood trauma, but she’s walking it, every day.

The trust kids hold for adults they connect with never fails to humble me. Being a teacher to so many kids has truly been a great blessing in my life. I truly do hope they know and believe how very very much I love them and how significantly they have imprinted on my soul.

There is more that connects us, than divides us. Sometimes we struggle to see that. And when someone so well loved dies, it is easy to look for someone to blame, someone who can be responsible, someone we can take our extreme feelings of loss out on, to unleash the anger and the pain and sometimes, the misplaced guilt.

The thing though, is that Trae wouldn’t want division. He wouldn’t want his death to be responsible for more unnecessary pain. When people die, we need to honour their life and their impact by living our best lives and being our best selves. This is what death teaches us.

There are broken young adults en masse today. I hope they find peace. I love them. I always have and I always will. I hope they feel that and truly know that. I miss those connections; would be lying if I said otherwise. Like all parents, I want them to live long and happy lives, but ultimately, that choice to do so is their choice, and their choice alone.

If only cotton wool was sold in massive bulk.

Meh.

Until we meet again, Trae. You were a gorgeous kid. Thank you for being my student and being a great kid. I wish I’d told you more.

Standing in Truth

Something fundamental has gone wrong in our society. Kids are feeling alone and troubled and disconnected and we don’t see it. Hope seems to be non-existent.

I grew up in trauma and I know many people my age who did. We just kept going. I guess, it’s like we felt we didn’t have too much of a choice.

Fuck. I don’t know what I’m trying to say.

Yesterday, I received a message to let me know that one of my ex students from school had died. This has become a regular occurrence. Just too regular. Too many young lives gone, at their own hand or through accidents.

Too many of our youth feel there is no light. They wander aimlessly, living the life they feel they are expected to live. Scared to pursue their dreams, or to even dream, not believing in their own light. Not realizing they even have a light.

We are all so connected. The ripple effect of kids dying is savage. Meh. The words won’t flow. I’m still in shock.

Death serves to remind us all that life is short. We deserve happiness and peace, but they don’t come easily. We need to work towards it by making choices that take us there. One after the other.

Hardship is part of life. It serves to teach us humility, compassion and resilience.

Every time someone I love dies, I take stock of my life. Is what I’m doing serving others, serving me, making the world a better, more authentic, happier place? What do I need to change? We only get this one opportunity to live this life.

Ah, Trae. You were a gorgeous kid. Year 8 English, sitting with your boys, staying back to have chats, smiling at, but not participating in their silliness. I am just so sad that you won’t become the adult version of the child I knew.

This is the hardest thing to go through as a teacher. We give our hearts and souls to our kids. We invest in their happiness whilst we invest in their education. When they are sick, or lost, or suffering, all we want to do is grab them and hold them and save them from all of the shit that can be this life, their life.

But we can’t.

We all impact those around us. Even when we feel we are nothing, we impact. Even when we feel we are unseen, we impact.

Man. I feel for Trae’s family, his mum, his friends, all being forced to deal with and process and work through something that must be ripping their hearts apart.

Life is short. Significantly shorter for some. We need to ensure we honor the memory of those that pass early by living our best lives and creating a beautiful world.

😥

Permanently Exhausted

Whinge whinge whinge hehehe. Nah, not really.

Up until last weekend, I had been working seven days a week for over ten weeks. I know there are people who do this all of the time – hats off to them – I have struggled. By the last week, I was quick to temper and quick to spiral down. Just tiredness. And I knew that, so could keep tabs on it all quite easily.

I’ve had five days off. I don’t feel replenished. I have a couple more off after today’s work.

I have been reflecting this morning – has anyone else noticed that as daylight savings draws nearer, they wake up earlier – and I think that walking my path can be hard work at times.

I am okay about my grandmother passing. I am sad about the loss, but it’s purely sadness from her physical departure. I believe, quite strongly, that there is life after death. My experiences after Nat’s death have only strengthened my faith. I know that when we pass, our soul continues. Death no longer holds fear for me.

I also think the DeMartini work I’ve been doing with Mai Mai has shifted the way I perceive the things that happen. I’m more aware that there is always balance – sometimes it isn’t as obvious as at others, but that’s our mis/perception – and this makes the drama harder to access.

Death is a natural part of life. After all, it is our only certainty. I am endeavouring to live every day with intention and with purpose. I am being as I build. I am present and honestly acknowledge each moment. I love my work and I love where my work is leading me. I love the lessons because they enable me to establish my worth for myself.

But, today, and yesterday, I’m tired. I’m grateful for it – tiredness means I’ve been productive. But, it’s time to learn how to balance it all.

After self-worth, that’s my other ongoing lesson. I have faith I will get there – the self-worth is coming along very quickly. Truly escalated over the last ten weeks.

I wonder where I will be in another ten.

The Lessons In Death

A couple of years ago, you may remember, my grandfather died. He was not my grandfather by blood, but the grandfather that was provided because my parents’ parents were in Finland and Germany. I never met them. My parents worked hard to create a surrogate family of grandparents and aunts and uncles for us.

Yesterday, my grandfather’s wife, my grandmother, died.

I pause and stare out at the incredible landscape before me as tears surface. The chimes that had been sounding stop, as if time stands still, but the birds do not. I hear them chirping and chattering throughout the many valleys in front of me. Two small rabbits bounce through the grasses, avoiding the watchful eye of the territorial magpie. The breeze picks up and the chimes cascade and wash over me.

Sigh.

I am sad. For unexpected reasons.

She had been ready to go weeks ago. Medications kept her breathing and kept her heart beating. I will miss the knowledge of her existence in this realm, with me. In the hospital, we laughed and shared. I was blessed enough to be able to tell her exactly what she had meant to me in this life. I could tell her I loved her.

Another pause. Another sigh.

Looking out across the mountains and the valleys, I realise how blessed I am. The breadth of this landscape enables perspective. We are all born. We will all die. Our times here are fleeting; the trees and the mountains will easily outlast us all.

And, that is okay.

Life, as the old cliche goes, is short. We can resist change or we can embrace it. We can create chaos or we can create peace. It is our choice. We can focus on the negativity of life or we can bring life to balance. We can be inspired, or we can be cynical. All choices. We can stand still, we can become stuck or we can strive to move forward, carrying with us all that we gain along the way.

Healing truly is a process. It requires a hell of a lot of hard work. It requires rests along the way; time to reflect on how far you have come and time to just be to let it all integrate. My work has garnered strengths and peace. I mark Aunty Val’s passing in my soul, but I choose to celebrate her existence in my life rather than hold on to her passing.

I am grateful for a very developed belief system and faith that enables me to know she isn’t far away from me, and within reach whenever we may need each other.

Thank you, Aunty Val, and to Uncle Ian, for being my grandparents and shielding me from pain, as best you could, as I grew up. Thank you for the wonderful memories and laughter and sense of family, But, most of all, thank you for loving me and reminding me I was enough. Just as I was.

Blake

Video today. Words are hard to find at times like this. And, I forgot to mention, probably because it’s too hard, his mum and brother. Watching their grief makes you appreciate the loved ones you do have. None of us should have to lose people we care about. Much love to Lisa and Rory, universe.

Them December Shivers

Summer Solstice today. Ascension, enlightenment, return to the divine. Also, not coincidentally I am sure, the anniversary of my friend, Natalie’s, passing from this physical world into another, five years ago.

Time moves quickly when you count it in years. Yet, some memories stay. On this day, five years ago, I did not care about Summer Solstice and whether it was today or yesterday or tomorrow. I was exhausted. Emotionally fatigued. I had visited Nat at the hospital, sat with her, chatted to her, apologised to her, said goodbye to her.

I had been carrying a lot of guilt for not having been around as much. I dropped out of contact after another failed pregnancy attempt. Within myself, I hadn’t been sure how to reconnect after grief and had hidden myself in a new friendship to try to find a way through, that also ultimately failed. Then, I was grieving that.

It is what it is. Life sometimes gets in the way and you just don’t expect your friends will die.

When I arrived home that afternoon, I just sat on my lounge, staring at the wall, absentmindedly patting my dog. I was waiting for the text from her husband or kids to let me know she had moved on. Waiting. Reflecting on how her passing would impact so many people, but more importantly, her husband, brother, parents and kids.

Abruptly, my dog jumped from the lounge and moved in front of the chair Nat had always sat in, tail wagging and barking. I felt her.

Then, shortly after, the message came.

Nat’s passing has taught me a lot. I always believed that there was more, that our soul lives did not end with our bodies. I had always believed that souls could still communicate with those on this earthly plane if we were open to it.

Nat and I have had many wonderful conversations since her passing. Sceptics might argue that it is the way I have processed my grief and my guilt, and not really real. But, I believe otherwise.

At first, obviously, I thought I was going crazy. It took me a while to realise that it wasn’t just me making stuff up, projecting my thoughts into an alternate reality. Her voice was real, her smile, her laugh, her being.

One of my friends during this time, a medium, contacted me one night with a message from Nat. It was undeniable that Nat was communicating because my friend had no way of knowing about the information she shared with me. In fact, only two people outside Nat and myself knew about it. It centred around a conversation Nat and I had had a couple of years earlier concerning her treatment.

The message that was delivered to me was so specific that it validated her reality beyond this earthly plane. It also validated my conversations with her. I felt like I had my friend back.

It is because of Nat that I gave IVF another go. She had always hoped I would conceive so that she could sneakily feed my child meat (spare your judgements here – not interested lol). We used to laugh, well, she did. Initially I was angry with Nat. I needed to blame something outside of myself and I patched into any tiny betrayal I perceived to emote outside of myself.

However, that miscarriage has fertilised a whole new way of life for me, albeit a childless one. My life is rich and blessed. I vowed when Nat passed that I would live fully. For the most part, I have succeeded in keeping this promise. It is funny what motivates us sometimes.

I still speak to Nat. She is still in my thoughts and part of my life. I know that she is around, checking in on all of us. We still chat and we sometimes argue. But, the love is constant.

We all learn how to keep moving forward after a loss, after a while, and it is important to assimilate the loss and move forward. It’s also okay that getting to this takes time, and can be a process of one step forward three hundred steps back. Grief is a funny (not so funny) thing. It can completely paralyse us, and it can stimulate and nurture rich new growth.

It really takes work, trust, patience and faith. Well, it has for me.

I still struggle. I like to keep today clear so that I don’t feel overwhelmed to be something I’m not feeling. It doesn’t always work. I try to navigate it and be kind to myself, trusting that if I make plans thinking I’ll be okay, and I’m not, I can cancel them.

You just never know. And, that is okay. We live for ourselves, not others, and we are not responsible for their perceptions.

Ahhhhh. It’s also okay to be enlightened and say, F this Shit.

Oh, and Nat was an amazing Mum. Knowing every day was precious, she mummed her way. She had faith that it worked for her and her boys were absolutely loved. She was not perfect (as she laughs and asks if I’m sure), but she gave it all she could. That’s all anyone can do.

It’s okay to make mistakes; come from a place of love, and all will be okay.

My Next Charge

As a woman who has never birthed her own children, I have been truly blessed by the generosity of so many friends in their willingness to let me love their kids. Tonight I attended the birthday party of three of them.

These girls, and their sisters, have always just treated me like I was valuable to them. They are three of quite a few. So, whilst I have never been a birth mother, I have been blessed to be welcomed into their lives.

I have also been adopted and have adopted an incredible person who I have written about before. Honours me as her mother even though I never feel quite deserving enough; she loves me anyway.

Under the Tuscan Sun has a scene in it where the protagonist realised that everything she had desired for her life in the villa came to pass, but not always in the way that she had expected or hoped.

I think it is the same for me as a mother. I am a mother. Just not in a traditional way (shock horror) and that is more than okay. I am so proud of all of my surrogate kids, past and present, and am grateful that this has been and continues to be, my path.

Well, this post didn’t go quite where I wanted it to. My heading is so not what this is now about.

Tonight I also realised what my next emotionally charged issue to work through is. I had a close friend die a few years ago. I still think of her every day and talk to her often. I caught up with her husband tonight. I just wanted to cry.

I had disappeared from their lives leading up to her death. I do this. When my life overwhelms me, I tend to force myself into time out to process and assimilate whatever it is that is going on. At this particular time, I was in my IVF journey and just didn’t know how to communicate so didn’t.

You never expect that one of the people closest to you might not be there. It just doesn’t factor in to your thinking. I’m a great person and give a lot, but I’m not perfect. When I saw Nat again, she was in hospital, and we were waiting for her to pass.

I was blessed to have been included in this process and to have been given the opportunity to sit with her on my own to say goodbye. Definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. And the tears pool, blurring the words on the screen, and fall. And one of the most beautiful opportunities I have ever received.

I sat with her and told her how important she was to me, and I apologised for disappearing, and I just held her hand. I promised her that I would not waste my life. In honour of her I would live my best life.

Several hours later, at home, I felt her passing before I received the text to tell me that she had passed. I sobbed quickly and then pulled myself together to contact the people I needed to contact. I think I stayed in that mode for days and weeks after. The funeral is there in my mind but only as impressions. I remember nothing of my delivery of my words for her, except seeing her husband and kids in front of me.

We do tend to forget or look over the faults in people that have passed; their lives take on an inflated status.

I lost my friend. Paradoxically, I gained my life.

Hmmm …

Just watching the tail end of Sunday Night (which I never watch) and cried through Sally Obermeder’s story as her surrogate gave birth to Sally’s daughter. Following on from watching Drew Barrymore and Toni Colette in I Miss You Already. 

Two mothers with breast cancer. The birth of a baby. Lots of tears. 

And so this post is just about getting out the emotion. I know and I accept that I will never be a birth mother. I even understand why (serious lack of patience at this advanced maternal age) and I believe that in some small ways, I am much better off having never carried to term. 

But every now and then, I get a twinge of emotion. A sadness and still a longing for a life I will never experience (not in this lifetime anyway). And the reminder of the baby I lost; the potential never realised of a child who would be three later this year. 

I am okay with it. I know it is for the best. But I am human. And being human means I will occasionally feel it. Tonight is one of those times. 

Maybe today was just too peaceful 😉. 

No Idea What To Call This Post

In the interests of living life because it is short, and in honour of all of those who have passed and can’t make the most of each day in this realm, I am trying to reclaim Christmas spirit and my friendships by spending time. 

I have, for the last many decades, put work first so often that I stopped living fully. At the time I would have argued that I was living fully, and maybe for some of it, I was. Maybe it’s only been since the IVF journey that I stopped. I’m not sure. It’s all a bit muddy. However, I learned this four years ago and it is only now that I’m attempting to do it all differently. 

I process emotion well but in the past I have shut myself off from others to do so. As a result, when one of my closest friends died four years ago, it had been a fair while [read, way too long] since I had seen her. I carry that regret. I can’t go back and change it, and I know that. I have to breathe and accept that that was the way it was. 

And, I have to learn from it. 

So today, I spent time with some of my longest serving friends who are family to me. We have experienced trials and times when we have been distant, but there have been significantly more beautiful and happy times. I am grateful for that, and for them. 

I think, that when someone dies our hearts never really get over it, but we learn how to assimilate their loss into our lives without them. We memorialize them in different ways. For me, it’s been four years in the making, but I’m trying to be my best self living my best life. Some moments I am more successful than others but the important thing is that I haven’t given up and I keep trying. 

I have had many chats with my friend since she died. That is the liberating part of what I believe in, and it helps me to still have that contact. I’m still trying to make sense out of something that will never make sense but I’m also accepting that there will never be a satisfactory reason. So, I must stop hiding in work, stop needing to be the martyr and the perfectionist, and focus on building a calm, loving and happy life. 

I love all of my friends, past and present, wholeheartedly, and even after bad endings, I never stop loving them. I like this about myself. I focus on what existed that was positive, and the fun and laughter that was shared. Even if I don’t like them any more (one person only really). I remember the love. 

Man, thoughts are messy today lol. Yoga in an hour will go a long way to helping that. Hopefully. A little bit of a headache too – repressed tears methinks. The body is such a strong mirror to the mind. 

I am okay. The process of life is never smooth. And it’s beauty rests in the contrasts. Without contrasts we can’t appreciate what we have that is good. A paradox, and one that often stings on days like today. A necessary paradox. 

And on that note, time to fester a bit more before yoga … because that’s how I roll 😉.

Namaste 🙏🏻