Life can be a big pitiful mess sometimes and life doesn’t discriminate—we all have our turn.
The human experience can be chaotic and scary; falling apart and being forced to re-build ourselves is sometimes part of our journey.
At 43 I found myself in a place of change that felt necessary but completely, gut-wrenchingly hard. My 17 year relationship had just ended and I was sad, fearful and confused. The daily suffering of not knowing how to handle it all was overwhelming.
This was not exactly where I had pictured myself in my 40s! I was going through the biggest change and challenge I had ever experienced; in the chaos of this change I was completely falling apart.
I knew that I had to come up with a plan that would see me through to better days. I knew that while I was falling apart each day, I also had to make the effort to work toward building a new life. I knew that self-care was at the core of any plan to move through this pain effectively.
So here’s what I found out about falling apart—we can fall apart while continuing to be fully loving and present parents, we can fall apart while simultaneously knowing we are making the best choices for ourselves and we can fall apart while also putting into action a plan to turn things around.
I’m sure we all feel the need to rush ourselves to find the answers, to feel as happy as we can again as quickly as possible. Sometimes though, life will slow us down. It has its reasons; I think it’s so we can gather ourselves, contemplate what it is we truly desire and hopefully move forward in love, not fear.
When change is big, it’s not a surprise that we travel through the situation with a lot of fear.
But no matter how young or old we are, no matter how much life experience we have, no matter our circumstances, we all can access the same spiritual tools for positive change.
These are the ones I’ve found most useful, especially in recent times. We try to remember that working through difficulties can take time, so we don’t need to rush it—tempting as that is! We just move through it day by day as best we can.
We must have faith in our intuition and the ability this gives us to guide our lives in the direction we feel is honest, authentic and inspiring. Living in the unknown can leave us unsteady and fearful, this is to be expected. This is the perfect time for us to focus our energy on how we truly wish to experience our future. What dreams can we dream while practicing patience and faith?
Trust in life and the process of healing is a huge problem for many of us. Sometimes we have to stay in the unknown, waiting for our efforts to bring to fruition the joy, release and healing we desire. If we know that we have made the best decision possible for ourselves then we can trust that in time, life will show us the way forward.
This is my favourite and I could bang on about it for hours. Self-care is so truly important when going through any of life’s big hurdles and changes. I feel it is an essential part of any recovery and healing. More than that, we should use our self-care activities every day of our lives—for the good days and the not so good. In times of sorrow, self-care nurtures and heals. In times of happiness self-care inspires creativity, openness and joy. What we choose to do is not important, we simply choose what we love to do—yoga, singing, cooking, painting, writing, running, sleeping, playing—the list is endless. Then one day through our self-care we start to see that we have slowly made our way to the other side of darkness and fear.
This one can be so so hard, I know. Any chance you can take to alleviate stress through play should be jumped at, though. Kids are great to hang with when you need a break from yourself; also, good friends who will keep the energy light and fun should be your go-to pals. By removing some stress through play, we allow space for positive energy and solutions to arise—we allow small moments of joy to seep into our heads and hearts.
The hardest of all—non-judgment!—whether that is judging another for the hurt they have caused or judging ourselves for causing suffering. I have had to sit with both during this period of my life and neither place feels good. I have found that to constantly judge myself and others harshly has brought about a dark mistrust of the world I live in and I don’t want that for myself or others. The truth is we all suffer, we all cause suffering. Let’s work together to share our stories. This kind of vulnerability shows us just how similar the human experience is for each of us. We can grow in love and kindness through non-judgement.
Heartbreak, trauma and life’s struggles can be gut wrenching and debilitating. We lose ourselves for a while, lost in the enormity of our emotions and fears but we can find our way through it in a healthy and life affirming way. We can love ourselves enough to prioritise our healing.
Oh and hey, we’re all truly awesome kick-a** people doing our best to work towards a truly awesome kick-a** life! Let’s be good to ourselves and good to each other!
Author: Rachel Fry
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Image: Hillary Boles/Flickr