I have become a pretty expert loser this year.
Within a period of 16 weeks, I lost:
>> The family I thought I would have and the life I worked to build for 17 years.
>> The man who I believed was my twin flame and I love with body, mind and soul.
>> The house my husband and I painstakingly looked for for five years and bought and made beautiful.
>> And finally, the job and career I loved.
I have always been a “glass half full” kind of person—upbeat about everything. But after these losses, I felt well, sad.
I found myself in the face of all of this —so I grieved.
I grieved for the dreams that would not come true, the family rituals I wouldn’t have, the body I don’t get to hold in this lifetime, the successes and laughter and joy of those paths that would not be mine. The doors that were now shut. The future that can no longer be mine.
I cried. A lot. With wild abandon.
I punched pillows. Walls. I yelled at the sky. The sun, the moon. It was like everything had failed me.
I felt my anger and my sadness rise in me like a tidal wave. I was a warrior fighting the demons of my own mind.
I cried some more. With each tear, it was if I was burning inside.
And through my grief and being real about it, I stopped trying to pretend I was feeling nothing but what I was feeling. I didn’t hide it. It became my truth. I found that I was not alone. So many people that I loved along the way had also lost. There were so many stories of heartbreak, job loss, foreclosure, death. I could feel our parallels. I realized in my grief what unites us all is our authenticity and our ability to feel. I felt myself connecting with the darkness and the sadness.
And in our dance of life, where we are always heading toward the light, part of the dance is the darkness. The sadness. It is real, it is authentic—it is us.
I kept crying. Until no more tears would come. They dried up. Eventually, I could no longer be sad.
And a strange thing happened.
I started the beginnings of happiness.
At first I thought it was crazy, because one day, well, I just started feeling better.
The sky got brighter. Laughter got louder. I found myself getting inspired again. Finding joy. And realizing of course, that it is and was all around me. The light came back in and guided me to the next beginning in my journey.
Even on our darkest days, we are strong enough to let that darkness in, and then let it pass. So our light can return to guide us into the next chapter, and we can begin again.
Author: Kerin Smollen
Image: Neil Bates/Unsplash
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis