Honouring the best

Around this time 10 years ago a very special soul left my life, and this world forever.

I was 19, and she was my mum.

On her headstone I wrote that she’d been too pure for this world to keep and I stand by this.

Mum was the first person I knew who always had plenty of love for everyone around her, and that was pretty amazing to grow up with.

She was the kind of person who made everyone feel special. She had a way about her that had strangers sit next to her on benches and divulge their secrets. She had kind eyes, and a smile that made everything better.

I grew up wanting to be her, and her death left me wanting to make her proud. I swore I’d live the life she missed out on.

This decision cast a shadow for a long time as I tried to do this. 

Eventually as I got older and started to figure out who I was, I began to see her as my imperfectly perfect starting point to mould how I want to be. Not the blueprint.

Her kindness, compassion, strength and inner beauty are all things I aspire to keep within me, but her inability to put her own needs anywhere on the list is not. That part won’t get me anywhere that I want to go.

I wanted to be her yes, and honour her memory, but I also grew up and wanted more for my life. I want to be the change in the world she never believed she could be.

She had aspirations of her own – of helping people in need, creating success and purpose but instead she settled with finding it within her family life. She did her very best to be our world, and sometimes we weren’t the most appreciative audience.

By her choice, and for our family, she never got to create a life that she dreamed of. A life where she was more than she grew up believing she could be.

She made sure that I grew up differently, and filled my head with the knowledge that I could do anything that I set my mind to.

With her still in my mind, I know I can.

I can do this because grown from where she started.

I’ve learned that I have to be me, and that doesn’t mean I won’t love her still or honour her life.

It hurt to let go of that, but it was a kid’s way of thinking and I’ve grown up.

We can’t help anyone if we don’t care for ourselves first. This is a lesson by now you’ve heard me talk about quite a lot. It’s a work in progress but always on my radar.

When you’ve spent 20-something years putting everyone else first, learning a new way of being is like a baby giraffe taking its first steps.

First you fall, look around and realise that things are not okay. Then you look up and see where you want to go, and everyone around you doing their own thing.

From here you learn how to move your feet, then how to straighten your legs, and then move both parts together. Soon your head is raised and you are free to explore and play without any thought required.

So this is for you Mum. Your life taught me how important it is to stay soft in a world that tries so hard to make us hard. Your death taught me to be strong, and my life since has taught me how powerful it is to combine the two. 

Much love,

C

Mourning mindfully

A friend of mine took his life recently.

It would have been tough, as this was too large for friends or even him to sort out alone, but with the help of some professionals he had options.

A few days ago however, he made his choice.

Having been so closely involved I wasn’t sure how to react to the news. I knew it was a risk so unlike others I wasn’t caught completely off guard that he hadn’t been happy.

As someone still exploring how to live a powerful, conscious life…and also in utter shock…I called up my aunty to ask how to deal with this in an empowered way.

You are all familiar with how I dealt with, or for that matter hid from these situations in the past.

Emotions weren’t my forte but I now understand how important it is to feel my way through life. Especially in the harder times.

The conversation with my aunty reminded me that we must understand that feelings are just that, and allow them to pass. We need to actively assist this process in any way that we can.

Only then are we able to look around and care for those around us who might be suffering or in need.

It’s not about forgetting ourselves or suppression, no. It’s about being able to step outside of these emotions if need be to help others, while still feeling our way through.

For me I wrote that first night for 2 hours until I couldn’t feel my hand anymore. I let it all come out of my subconscious. Then I ran away to distract myself with dance. Then I came home to reality and cried.

There are emotions, many that I need to feel my way through, but by understanding that they are emotions and not all encompassing I will still able to be powerful in my life.

I will be able to be there for my friends who are suffering with this news if they need me. I will be able to remember a great man and to honour his memory.

I will also allow myself to heal as easily as possible.

It will take time. There will be good days and bad for I don’t know how long. But this loss will not consume my life.

I will still be able to bring love to the world and support those around me while handling my own crisis powerfully and completely. My emotions will also be much less all encompassing than they would have been previously as I feel them and let them pass.

This mindfulness is the key to living a powerful life. This is also the key to creating a better world.

Emotions are not the enemy.

They should not be suppressed nor allowed to take over with no end.

For a little while sure, feel your way through, but don’t let them take you away forever.

Mourn, be sad, be mad, be all the things. But be love in between.

Be kind to yourself, be kind to those around you, nurture and support others and honour the memory of your lost loved one.

I know you can. How? Because I’ve learned and from where I’ve come from I know anyone can.

You just need to choose. In every moment, we choose.

Much love,

C