I literally just sat here and tried to upload photos from December until now. I got all the way to this month and something 'unclicked' and the whole thing went to crap.
So, if you don't follow me on Instagram, please do. That's where you'll find more of my photos, more of my writing, more of the real, everyday life stuff.
Almost all of the photos can also be seen on my facebook page but I really am trying only to use facebook as a way to run my business at this point so I'm not *great* about keeping the photos updated as often as I once was. Again, I just prefer the community of Instagram.
As I mentioned yesterday, the last several months have really changed and shaped me. Having this blog dating back at least 12 years is excruciating at times. For the record, I do not go back and re-read my old posts. I know that as I have evolved and my thinking has changed that even the verbiage I once used will infuriate me. It's embarrassing and some of it I am really not proud of.
This summer has been like a really clean mirror for me. God has truly made sure that I have seen the parts of my reflection that I need to see and let me say, I'm not very impressed with myself at times. This life has been strange. It has taken me all of 3 years to come out of this deep fog that grief thrusted me into. And I won't sit today and proclaim to be completely out of that fog, either, because I genuinely don't know anymore if I am. I can feel total clarity today and in one year from now look back and not remember this at all.
All I know in this exact moment, in this exact place in time is that I have been made very aware (by a simple shift in perspective) that I have, at times, behaved pretty badly.
I suppose what I mean by that is just this:
My child died and I went into total survival mode. And I became really good at it. I did not have the emotional capacity from that moment forward to confront or deal with anything heavy or hard at all, other than simply surviving. It isn't that I didn't think about other people's feelings or emotions during this time, it was that I just could not care enough to go into the appropriate spaces with them and immerse myself within their feelings alongside my own. I never intentionally hurt anyone by my silence or inability to communicate or heal relationships that were hurting along the way, but inadvertently, that's exactly what I did. I allowed myself to be just selfish enough to survive and then a little more selfish in allowing it to be an excuse to let things go that could have maybe been altered or changed before now.
However, I also know that's not totally true.
In the last few weeks I have made an effort to change and heal some relationships from the past that have held heavy weight for me over the last couple of years. I made a conscious effort only now because I have had the time and energy to do so but also because I finally felt some peace, some forgiveness, some deep need to move forward with a lightness in my life that hasn't been there in some time. My heart isn't quite as tender as it was 3 years ago, 2 years ago, a year ago, or even just 6 months ago. It is absolutely still tender and these hard conversations were nerve wracking and caused me anxiety that I would have rather avoided. However, I felt God nudging me and trusted that they would turn out ok. That He was, in fact, leading me to apologize where necessary and allow for others to do the same. To communicate. To heal.
And that's really what has happened.
You know, there is something that goes on when you are in a unique position in life like I have been; a position where your child is sick for so long and then dies. The people around you, who care deeply about you, try very hard to be sensitive to you. In doing so, though, they tend to over think their every text, conversation or interaction with you. And beyond that, they most definitely analyze your every word and your every action.
On the face of it, I am such a direct open book. I am a realist. I am the exact opposite of passive when it comes to what I think, how I feel or in just about every single way you can imagine. At some point in the last several months I have just gotten really exhausted watching or picking up on the world around me continuing to analyze me; to pick me apart. I always understood (and do understand) that it comes from a place of caring and thoughtfulness and concern, but God.
It begins to feel invasive and even offensive.
So I have pulled back from many people in many ways and life has begun to look and feel very different.
It was and continues to be necessary but that doesn't make it easy.
Though, these very purposeful life choices are what have allowed my mind to shift and the change in my perspective to occur, which in turn has been incredibly freeing.
I needed desperately to see and feel things differently than I had for so long in order to mend relationships that, at one time, had been so special to me and that I had allowed to harden and dissipate.
Again, I have developed a painful and introspective view of myself by pulling back, being alone, sitting quietly. The truth is, I have often said too much, spoke about others in ways I wish I never would have, voiced opinions loudly that maybe never needed expressed outside of my own heart. I feel as though I am known for some of those traits and hope that though they have served me well in some instances, in others I will be able to practice genuine change in the way I have behaved and move forward acting differently.
All I long for now is the ability to continue evolving and growing in my thoughts and actions. To be alone in the journey that is solely mine and to disassemble every area of my life that feels too complicated and recreate it in a way that feels right. I have come to the conclusion that this means life will continue to look and feel different than it once did and that I have to let that be ok.
I am forever grateful to be alive and to have the unique perspective that only my life journey has provided. I want to honor God, my children, this marriage and myself by being authentic every step of the way and I hope, at the very least, I have done and will continue to do that with deep intention.
Onward, friends. To healing and to changing and to all things that life brings.