"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Monday, October 6, 2014

Chaos, Broken, and Foundations for Greater Strength and Growth

The past 5 months have been hard, life changing even. Once again I will warn you the following is pretty chaotic, raw, and even messy but that is what life has been for me so I think that is fitting.

In the past few months I was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, experienced major upheavals with my closest friends including loss, have been hit with some major financial issues, found out I no longer have a brain aneurysm even though they don't know why (but I am still very grateful), started experiencing perimenopause, and been brought full circle to face some of my greatest fears. It has been a hell of a ride.

The brain aneurysm was huge. It stops you in your tracks and makes you re-evaluate everything in your life. What matters? What is actually important? What will you do with your very short and precious amount of time here? Have I failed at this event called life? Big stuff. Often without any clear answers, just more questions. Then after some major tests....it was gone. They don't know why. The earlier tests showed it was there but the better test now shows nothing. I don't know why. Out of all of the things I have experience this summer, I think I am most at peace with this one. Maybe it was even a miracle. I could live with that.

During this time of medical mayhem and immediately following, I experience some very difficult and very emotional situations with friends incredibly dear to my heart. It was not a good time for me to deal with these issues but they happen when they happen. I won't go any further with this because it is not just my story to tell but needless to say I felt like part of my heart was ripped out of me. It hurt, a lot.

This all brings me to facing my fears. For most of my life I have never felt good enough. Deeply within my soul I have felt I was not living up to my potential and for some reason that failure mattered deeply. I am not actually terribly ambitious. I like living a life of thinking and dreaming. I like living a quiet life and I do not crave, nor do I want, to live a rigorous life of success. Even though it wasn't important to me, I felt the failure. I was failing...someone or something.

Having children changed my life. I am really good at this mother thing. I love running my home and caring for my family.  Homeschooling is something I excel at with ease. It just makes sense to me and I love it. What I do each day really matters. During this time I have branched out and went deeper in yoga and meditation. I started drawing and painting. I discovered for the first time I am an artist and I revel in it! I taught myself to play the recorder and then the piano. My life was very beautiful and fulfilling to me.

This summer has rocked that paradigm. Over a year ago John lost his job. We devastated all of our savings and money put back in order to survive the months before his new job started. We had to buy a second car and incur some additional expenses outside of our budget. Due to a high  deductible, NONE of my tests or doctor visits were paid for this summer. Every, single penny is out of pocket. Both kids and myself where walloped with major dental. Groceries and gas keep climbing. I am sure you understand. You live in this economy too. But what it comes down to is, I need to bring in some money to help the family and this scares the hell out of me.

I do not know if I have the strength and reserves to manage our family, homeschool, work, and keep my depression at bay. I am easily overwhelmed. I want the best for my family. Over the summer I also had my spirituality questioned. That was deeply personal and really cut me. The amalgamation of experiences had given rise to anger, irritation, anxiety, and even some rage. I think I had a band-aid over these emotions ripped away and they all poured forth. There was doubt that I could possibly practice yoga, mediation, and intentional living AND experience these big, ugly emotions. Any other time I would have let these musings roll off of me but this time, well this time was days after I had found out I didn't have a ticking time bomb in my head and my heart was vulnerable. It caused me to really doubt myself.

Now I know a lot of people have it harder than I do. I know there are eleventy frillion cases of people in far worse situations than I am. This is true. But pain is relative and still hurts. It doesn't really matter where you fall on the who has it worse scale, it can still feel devastating.

This brings me to now. In many ways I feel broken. I feel like my soul was stripped of protection and vulnerable then experienced some rather rough handling while in that fragile state. I am at a crossroad of how my life will be shaped from here. I am at the foundations. Yes, there is fear but you know what? There is some excitement as well. Change can be beautiful and terrifying all at the same time. Before we can create, we must often tear down. Am I broken or am I simply stripped bare and metaphysically tore down ready for the creation process? I can tell you I feel real. I feel authentic. I feel as if perspectives and preconceived notions have been at least partially stripped away leaving an open space waiting quietly for the new.

I wonder where this adventure will take me?

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