This year has been particularly different; in my 30 something years I have never lived such an eventful and a what in the world is happening Year. Literally everyday I read, watch or listen to something different, weird or crazier! To be honest sometimes I wish I could close my eyes and go back to the end of 2019 in El Salvador sitting by the infinity pool at our Hotel, drinking a fresh fruit juice, listening to my kids shouting, water splashing and dreaming, planning and chatting with my husband about 2020. Can you picture it? Because I can! And a lot of ideas, dreams and trips we had planned didn’t happened because of… (say with me) “Corona” *with a rolling eyes emoji*
Lucca my 6 year old says it all the time and refers to the virus like it was a witch or a very mean person… “Oh that’s right, we can’t because of Corona” Ugh! Maybe when Corona leaves we will…” Ha! I don’t say it exactly like that but I have found my self thinking the exact same way!
Why do I share this? Because I have chosen to see the positive in everything, take the time to journal almost everyday starting with 3 things that I am thankful for and I have learned (the hard way!) to quickly fix my thoughts whenever I am feeling unmotivated or discouraged, choosing to enjoy my everyday and considering the circumstances and the physical losses this pandemic has brought to so many, personally and as a family we have learned so much, that I see this year as a year of awakening and rebuilding.
BUT… I had to be honest with myself!
Deep inside in the depths of my soul I was grieving, I had a feeling of loss, I didn’t understand why!
I will quickly compare situations and say to myself: I Haven’t lost anyone from my family, I still have a job, We are healthy, nothing has been lost, I will get it together and go on… But the feeling didn’t leave and as August arrived I had this thought in my mind: grief is healthy, grief is necessary.
Grief is a natural response to loss. And I found myself journaling that first day of August on the emotional and physical things I had lost, not everything was negative, not everything was hurtful but It was a loss and I had to deal with it once I was aware of it. Yes, you read it right: DEAL WITH IT.
What I have learned in the past months has been key to my personal growth and emotional health and I pray it encourages you to evaluate or come back to this post whenever grief shows up at the door of your heart.
Grief has the potential to teach us so much…
I live out of my head and since I am aware of it, I consciously and intentionally try to feed my head with scripture, books (Love audiobooks) and uplifting music, it truly works! What you think you end up feeling. so I have learned to fix my thoughts and wow! I start feeling better. But when God is nudging me in a specific area “When that feeling doesn’t leave” I know I have to look deep into my heart and that exercise for my choleric, #3 wing 1 personality is ummm… ANNOYING. Ha! Im been real here!
As I started savoring grief (like a 3 pack of Ferreros on your cheat day) kind of savoring, I knew I had to be honest. I was grieving the year I had envisioned and carefully put into God’s hand, grieving the trips I had patiently saved and waited for years to be able to make. I had to grief the friendships that were not longer friendships but simply beautiful people God put in my life for a season but a pandemic and a lack of “seeing each other” took away.
I had to combined both (my emotions and my thoughts) as a bucket and a shovel working together in the hands of a child collecting sand and to my surprise (combining both) has been the most beautiful gift this year has brought.
My honest grief has connected me to the sufferings of my Savior, it has allowed me to experience his love on a deeper level.
As I discovered that grief and loss was something I was dealing with, I started listening to my body, I had Less energy, less creativity and a sense of uncertainty that was not allowing me to dream so I took the decision to default in what I know helps and grounds me; like writing in my journal as tears come down, riding in my bicycle as I listened to instrumental music that allows me to think how I feel and doesn’t distract me with fun beats and “man made” lyrics and I experienced something: “I can be sad with Jesus”
He is with me in every season, in every little detail of my life and as He held my hand during this discovery, He whispered: “There has been things you have lost but you will never loose me”
Here’s the thing: every loss is valid And every loss is not the same so don’t try to compare yours to other people’s losses.
Grief needs to be honored and heard without being dismissed. It could be the death of someone, a heartbreak, the loss of a job, a life-altering loss that changes your everyday not better, not worse simply not the same, a miscarriage, re-location, a birth and the loss of the no-child freedom lifestyle, a divorce… you name it! We need to honor it.
When you choose to find meaning and growth in your loss it becomes a personal experience between you and God. See, grief is not a problem to be solved; it’s an experience to be carried. Identify what has changed and be present, allowing God to teach and guide you to build again with out the person, the thing or the situation. That quiet inner observation has taught me to understand & see grief in a whole new way.
This year we all have lost something call it stability, passion, rhythm, disciplines, a change of heart, commitments or heavy losses as the passing of a loved one, a relationship, a friendship, our health, peace… whatever you have lost this year just remember that “wind stress is necessary for the healthy growth of a tree, a tree bends and sways gracefully when the wind blows against it. It does not stand rigid, resisting the flow of energy. It does not push back. The tree accepts the strong wind as a blessing that helps it grow”
Circumstances are like a moving river, always changing and always shifting so embrace the shift and choose to live one day at a time using the gift of acceptance as the motor that feeds your soul. These experiences develop our character and deepen our spiritual roots. When we grow deep, we too, get to stand tall.
As Martin Luther king Jr said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that . Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” So, too, resistance to the reality of a loss cannot drive out resistance; only acceptance can do that.
I want to motivate you to Yield to God and put a name to the pain or the loss you have experienced, He understands you and me in ways that no human being can… and the truth is that we (You and me) need him desperately to rebuild what 2020 took away. Can you hear his sweet voice as He whispers: “there has been things you have lost but you will never loose me?”
Summer is a season (not a reward) As winter is a season (not a punishment).
If you are in a winter season embrace it. There are lessons to be learned & beauty to be found right where you are, “In the midst of your winter”.