For Every Ending is a New Beginning
May 30, 2017 | by Michelle Meier
We are bound to lose those we love; the only lasting relationship is with yourself and with God. Here's how loss and life changes help me grow and find the love within myself that I realized I've been seeking all along. To new beginnings...
Something I’ve sat with when grieving the loss of my mom and then my dog, Arco, is that everything in life is always changing. Sometimes those changes will be positive changes that I’ve consciously worked towards and sometimes those changes were unexpected and painful. The less I was willing to let go and accept them, the more painful they were.
The one constant for me through it all is God. And the common denominator in everything I experience, from love to loss and everything in between, boils down to me and my relationship with myself. Having struggled with loving and accepting myself, I’d created “The 7 Principles of Self Love”, which was inspired by a reading I had 2 years ago with psychic medium Erica Korman (you can find the principles all here in my blog starting in March 2016). My mom had come through with a very powerful message for me: I’m on the right track with what I’m doing in life, keep following my heart, and the only thing that is keeping me from having everything I want is learning to love myself. Well, that seemed so easy, to simply love myself.
But it was no walk in the park, especially when losing Arco and all the emotions I’d felt when losing my mom had resurfaced. Some days my heart was so heavy and broken, I felt like I’d self-implode. And that is exactly when I needed this the most: to love myself.
I went back to the 7 Principles I’d written and realized I was sorely lacking Principle #4 in my life: Discipline. Bleh. Not my favorite word or thing to do. But my gut was telling me I needed it, now more than ever.
So while I’ve still been somewhat absent from social media, I’ve mandated an early bedtime to ensure I get 8 hours of sleep every night—I’m finding more and more that a good night’s rest provides the foundation for everything else! From there, I’ve been practicing yoga regularly several times a week.
In my previous blog Human Being Under Construction, I’d noted that the right side of my body, from my shoulder all the way down through my IT band, had suddenly frozen and it was painful to move. This, I knew, was the grief manifesting in my body. With the new commitment to my yoga practice, I’ve now regained my flexibility and the pain and tightness in my body are gone.
I’m meditating almost daily. I cut myself some slack on the weekends. Since I can easily get caught up with my day and skip a meal, I’m making sure to eat regularly and incorporate more protein in my diet. I noticed that if I don’t eat enough protein one day, the next morning I wake up nauseous.
With this foundation of sleep, exercise and nutrition, I’ve regained the energy to write for my book on death, grief and healing. Here’s where I learned the kicker...
It was one of my clients that had asked me last week about my book and I’d responded that I need to get it done by June 24th (this was the date I’d set for myself to print a full copy of it). She lovingly pointed out my use of the word “need”. I’d said I need to get it done by that date. She made the distinction that the word “need” implies urgency and that I was putting too much pressure on myself by this.
She was right. I had been feeling antsy when trying to write since setting that date and then stopped writing altogether for 3 weeks. I’d effectively set myself up for failure.
I don’t need to do anything. Instead, I’m choosing to make a commitment to myself to complete this book. It is choice I make because it’s helping me process my emotions and hopefully it will help others navigate their own emotions through grief. My goal is still June 24th but not because I need to finish it by then; it's because I choose to do so by then. Since that tiny yet huge distinction, I’ve been working on my book almost daily. Looking back at old journal entries I’d written while watching my mom die also revealed to me how far I’ve come since then. It's been incredibly cathartic.
The way we do one thing is the way we do everything.
This is what came up during one of my meditations recently. So where else in my life have I approached things with the same need, the same sense of urgency? And how has this robbed me of the joy of being in the present moment? I’ve begun to catch myself while cleaning the house, running errands or even getting ready for bed with that urgency—like I’m trying to stay disciplined as I promised I would with myself, gosh darn it! The thing is I can still be disciplined but I can approach it with joy, presence and the reminder that everything I do is a choice.
And instead of being motivated by fear (fear I will not get everything done on To Do list, fear that I have no control over the way things go in life, etc.), I am choosing to do things from a place of love. Because I’m committed to loving myself and living my best life, my purpose.
With every end comes a new beginning.
Losing my mom was a catalyst to change my life. Now without Arco in it, it is changing yet again. Things will never be the same. But we wouldn't want them to be. Loss is inevitable but at least I feel I want to keep evolving. While it shattered my heart to lose those whom I’ve loved the most, I’ve been given an incredible learning opportunity to see the truth and grow. My yoga practice and my deepening relationship with God and with myself have kept me grounded when everything around me is changing.
In what ways have you grown from closing a chapter in your life and starting a new one? Amidst troubles and tough times, can you choose to see the light? Can you see the truth within yourself that will set you free?
"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings."