Thursday, June 13, 2013

Embrace Your Journey

"Embrace Your Journey."

You may have wondered why that phrase is listed at the top of my blog underneath the title, "Cry, Laugh, Heal. " 

"Embrace Your Journey" is something called a tagline, a phrase to give you -- my fantastic, wonderful and supportive readers -- a heads up about the things that I'm going to write about.  Things that have helped me to slowly but surely work my way through the loss of my husband, learn to be both mother and father to a young son and develop resilience.  "Embrace Your Journey" helps me to set a tone of strength and acceptance and even humor in the posts that I write for you and it lets you know this is my approach to living life -- no matter what hits the fan.

Embrace Your Journey No Matter Where It Leads
I came to call this phrase my own because I truly believe that I get out of life what I put into it.  Things may happen to me that I cannot control but I can choose how to react to it.  I can stay down for the count or I can choose to get up and try again.  I can choose whether to be positive or negative.  I can choose whether or not to hold on to something that hurt me, something that made me feel bad or something that didn't work out right.  Me.  All by myself in the driver's seat. 

Sounds simple right?  No way.  It is anything but simple.  It took me years of living and making mistakes and talking and support groups and feeling bad and more talking and gaining experience from all of that up and down and turned around rigamarole to get to this somewhat healthy point of view. 

It all hit the fan for me in 2003 when my husband died.  I had no idea what life had in store for me and our young son but I was sure that I was going to do my best to make a good life for us.  At the time, it looked like a dead end.  Truly I felt as if I were free falling off a cliff and who knew what was going to happen next?  But then daily small decisions and small steps built upon themselves and my confidence began to come back.  I actually began to believe that I would heal.  There were a lot of stops and starts, a lot of two steps forward and five backwards.  But eventually it all began to work together and I began to see that day by day life was going to stabilize and get better.

It will never be the life I had before but it is a different life and I am blessed to have what I have.

It is not easy, I will be honest with you about that.  There were times when I completely fell apart and also times when I forced myself to do things I really, really didn't want to do but knew were good for me.

For some reason, the pain made me grow.  The pain made me a better person.  Now isn't that weird?  I would never wish pain on anyone but sometimes you have to feel it to work through it, and when you find yourself on the other side of it, you feel emotionally stronger and confident.  You feel as though you can deal with anything that life might toss your way because you have already lost everything and come back from that deep pain.

The pain made me reshuffle my priorities and now I look at life differently.  I appreciate it more and I also understand how quickly it can change.

Your present journey may not be everything you want it to be, but don't be afraid to work on your journey and embrace it for what it is.  Embrace it for its beauty.  Embrace it for the pain.  Embrace it for the laughs.  Embrace it because it's yours.

Believing is half the battle.  I know you can do it.

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