We went picking to heal our hearts and it helped. Yesterday, we found our cat. She had been missing for one day and we knew something was wrong. My husband found her on the side of the road on his way to work. She most likely had been struck by a car and killed. She was only two years old. It was a tough day. I told the kids and cried a lot. I kept reminding them that it was okay to cry and to let out all their feelings. I knew we needed to move and do something though. I decided that peach/pear picking was a good heart healing activity. Something we could do that would make us feel good and not guilty for having too much fun too soon. It was the perfect thing to do. The fresh air, the movement, the smells and colors all made us feel more alive and connected to each other and to love. This is the first pet my children have lost to death other than snails and fish from their tank. We knew this day would come and knew it would be difficult. I am grateful that they do not have to go to school today and we still have a few days left of summer holiday to peacefully transition through this new experience. I am wondering what their grief will look like today and I am hopeful that we can talk through this together. It has been important for the kids to see us cry and discuss our feelings. It has been crucial for them to hear us ask for alone time. These are all things we want to teach them. -That not only are they entitled to but they can find healthy ways of communicating their needs to others. There is no imposition, obligation, or burden. We are also trying to note that we all feel different things at different times. Being a parent is difficult. Being a parent who wants to provide and nurture a balanced healthy emotionally intelligent household is a gauntlet. I am doing my best to go forward on this arduous journey. Walking a family through grief with grace while grieving yourself feels like an impossible task at times. However, I remind myself that we will all be the better for it. Today we can allow our selves to be a little busier and more productive towards school and cleaning. I won’t stress the resistance as much as I might have on a different day. One step at a time we will get there. I will remember that the sadness can make us sluggish. But I will also remember to tell them that we can feel sadness and not be sadness.
This morning in meditation my throat hurt and my head was sore. I was feeling a little under the weather. I kept breathing to release and begin my yoga movement. The more I drifted away from the pain and annoyance of a possible cold coming on, the more I was absorbed in the sound of the birds. I don’t know if they became louder or I became more focused on them but it seemed as though they were in my head. Singing and taking me on a journey. Leading me and coaxing me to sing and let me head fall back to rejoice in the song.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” -Nelson Mandela
I was deeply saddened and reflective upon learning of Mandela’s death. I was home from work and my husband saw it on Twitter moments after it was announced. We had just been having a discussion about something he said to me the night before. I didn’t feel it was very kind and yes, I was a little resentful. We were talking it through – rather I was talking it through. He was listening and then waiting until I was through and changed the topic – usually how it goes. Usually leaves me feeling unsettled and resentful.
Then Mandela died and I was overcome by a flood of memories. Memories throughout my life of learning about this man. I have always been an admirer. He has been an inspiration through out my teenage years and beyond. I sat down and turned on the news. I listened to the President speak. I cried a little. Then I turned off the tele and went to pick up my daughter from daycare. I embraced her with the love of ages. I silently tried to transfer a respect for Mandela’s journey and what I have learned. I gave thanks that education is and always be an opportunity for her. I soaked up the sight and sounds of her to carry with me whenever we are apart.
Then, yesterday a co-worker reminded me of this Mandela quote. Of all the quotes that flooded to my head, this one did not…until she gave it to me. I needed it. I didn’t know how much until that moment but I needed it.
I am swirling inside with unresolved bitter and hurt feelings. They seem to increase every time I try to work them out. This weekend I am reflecting on this quote and examining myself and what I hold onto. I am rejoicing in the here and now as it is full of love and hope. I shall try to “forget the past” and leak out my toxic resentment.
Love is strength.
For the longest time I had people close to me tell me I needed to learn to be more selfish. I thought what a horrible thing to aspire to – but I gave it try. I think my efforts have failed me as I have learned to be selfish in the wrong ways. What my loved ones meant when telling me to be selfish was to be stronger in my commitment to myself, my dreams. I need to be more confident in my place in this world as a beacon of love. The more I try to please others and their manipulative ways, the more manipulative and unhappy I become. Then enter the resentment, the poison. It has been festering throughout my body and has caused me sickness, sanity and time…time that could be spent being content.
Ok Mandela. I continue to learn from you and be amazed that someone so human and so prolific has been in my world. I begin a week of reflecting on letting go and setting goals formyself. It sounds so new age and flimsy but I am inspired.
“It always seems impossible until it is done” – Mandela