Saturday, March 18, 2017

Surviving Year Two: Week 32

Losing the Old Me & Welcoming in The New Me

This is Week 32 of my Surviving Year Two Grief Project. Details about all my Grief Projects, as well as Grief Resources can be found here.

Part of my Healing Grief Journey has been reorienting myself in the world. I've shared before about how close my late husband and I were. As a recovering co-dependent, I often found myself orbiting around his larger than life personality — supporting him and being his cheerleader — while often forgetting myself and my own needs. He did not encourage this way of being and often would call me out on it when it happened. In many ways, I had tremendous healing around my co-dependence during my time with my husband. He was a great teacher in boundaries and self-care.

Now I am on my own again, and part of my Healing Grief Journey is clearly continuing to heal the ways I can be in a relationship, not just with others, but with myself. This week has brought some deep epiphanies about how I have been both taking care of myself and abandoning myself. Old lovers continue to re-surface and present me with choices and decisions about what I am and am not ready for. Almost every time, I have chosen self-love over sacrificing my heart to another and it feels like a very powerful and healing act. It's also been fascinating to see how my healthy boundaries are received by these people — some get angry and abandon me and when this has happened, instead of feeling hurt, shamed and rejected (which is my pattern) I have felt grateful that these toxic people are now out of my life in a clean and clear way. On the flip side, others have received my healthy boundaries with love and appreciation, which has shown me so beautifully how self-care and boundaries are not in fact "selfish" but incredibly healthy for all involved, and in fact can bring in more love and connection.

a page from my healing art journal

Of course, this level of deep healing and "standing in the fire" has made my old anxieties come up full-force. The gauntlet mainly consists of hurtful self-talk like: I will always be alone; No one will ever love me the way my husband did; I am too fat and ugly to be desired; and I should be grateful anyone is interested in me at all. These are very old, dark thoughts that stem from my childhood and when they come up, I am trying to see them for what they are (scared, little girl attempts at protection) and gently let them go as being the very untrue statements I know they are.

This is in direct relation to my "heart re-calibration" that I have committed to. My word for 2017 is "Self-Love" and I'm proud at how I have really committed to that journey, alongside my Healing Grief path. I'm just creeping up to the edge of understanding that loving myself can only raise my overall "love vibration" which can attract all sorts of wonderful people and experiences into my life. Making strong, loving boundaries does not isolate me — it connects me to the greater power of love that is all around me.

This reminds me of an experience I had this week. It was late and I should have been in bed, asleep but I was wide awake. Normally, this would send me into an anxious panic. "I have to go to sleep! I have to lift tomorrow morning!" Since that anxious, panicked self-talk rarely makes things better, I decided to just "be okay" with the fact that I was awake. I put on some Irma Thomas, lit some candles and took a bath. It was a wonderful, sensual evening with myself. It was peaceful and gentle and I haven't felt that level of peace at night, since my husband passed away. It felt like a major step in my Healing Grief Journey. I am so grateful for this healing path.

Thank you for witnessing me. See you next week.

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