Human Being Under Construction
April 25, 2017 | by Michelle Meier
Often times you check a website and it's "Under Construction". This time it was me that has been under construction. I've been on a roller coaster of grief and this is the flower that is now blossoming from the crushed seed.
WEBSITE HUMAN BEING UNDER CONSTRUCTION
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on social media and, I admit, I rather liked the time off. Sometimes it feels overwhelming to keep up with everything—emails, texts, Facebook, Instragram and I’ve been romancing the idea of getting onto YouTube. I know so many of you do even more than that with SnapChat, Twitter and the like. Hats off to you. It is the great balancing act! But the break for me has been much needed. Watching my dog Arco die in February brought up all these feelings of going through losing my mom four and half years ago.
I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster. One day I’d be home vacuuming the space where Arco’s bed used to be and I’d burst into tears over the emptiness inside and around me. The next day I’d be riding a bike in the park, filled with joy to reconnect with nature.
It continued like this—up and down, up and down. Grief can kind of mess with your head, not just your heart. I had several “un-yogic” moments of losing my cool over trivial things. I was so full of emotion, it was bound to burst at some point. So during my time off from posting I found ways to reconnect with myself. I got back into my regular practice of yoga, which had been rather irregular through the New Year.
Since Arco died, the right side of my body had become painfully stiff. My shoulder wouldn’t rotate fully and my IT band froze. I couldn’t even hold a Warrior 2 pose without a rush of pain down my leg. I knew this was the grief manifesting in my body.
Getting back into my personal yoga practice, I resisted the urge to push myself back to where I once was flexibility-wise. It would come in its time. For the time being, I found solace in the rhythmic cadence of my breath as I moved softly and mindfully through each pose. I found comfort in Child’s Pose, allowing myself to go inward and finding rest when I needed it.
I’d spent time scrolling through pictures and reliving special memories with my mom and Arco. I cried a lot.
The day after Arco passed, I was home crying when I got a call from a new client who wanted to start with me right away. It reminds me that, even in my emotionally toughest times, God continues to bless me.
One thing I learned through grief is that helping others always helps you feel better. I really wanted to help this new client. Doesn’t it feel good to know when we have positively impacted other people’s lives? My schedule has since filled up and work has kept me busy. I often stop within myself during a session and think how blessed I am to work with the amazing clients I have. They feel like family to me, each one of them special in my heart.
Then I’d be overcome with sadness again when coming home to an empty place and wondering what’s this all for? What's the point? I became grossly aware of how negatively my thoughts often turned. I realized that, while I’m an overall happy person, I think I’ve put much of that happiness on to cover a heart that’s been shattered for four and a half years when I’d lost my mom who was everything to me. I’d even fooled myself for a bit. But, really, I suck as an actor so the pain was surely to be seen at some point.
Whatever we don’t face within ourselves will keep resurfacing until we learn to deal with it.
Did I fear being seen? Yes. Am I afraid now? No. The depressive thoughts that threatened my wellbeing are a natural part of the healing process of grief. The emotional ups like when riding the bike or when recently holding a friend’s newborn baby are also part of it. There’s no need to feel guilty for finding yourself happy or enjoying something just after your loved one dies. I discovered it is indeed possible to be happy and sad at the same time. This is life. So I let all the emotions come as they may.
What helped me sort through them all was journaling. I journaled everyday for the first eight days after Arco died and then almost regularly thereafter. I finally got the push I needed, thanks to my boyfriend for inspiring and believing in me, to set a date to complete the first printed copy of my book on grief and healing. That date is June 24th of this year. This means I will have followed through on my heart's desire. I’m committing to myself to consciously create my reality. This will take focus, discipline, and replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
The life lessons have been coming faster. I’m becoming more comfortable with the discomfort of growth. I feel freer speaking my truth.
Today is my birthday and I feel that with every death, there is rebirth and renewal. That’s where I’m at. I knew going into this year it would be about blooming into my full potential. It is life's most difficult challenges that shape who we become. And this is the blossoming flower that bursts forth from the crushed seed.
"For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction."