Recently, a friend who experienced a very traumatic loss, asked me:
"Why does being in nature feel so good?" I immediately replied, "because it's amazing!"
And it truly is. I wasn't surprised by her question, because it's how I felt after losing Isabel. But I am always surprised by how much of what I experience others grieving also experience. There is something about death and losing someone close, that makes you feel so connected to earth, and all its natural elements. All I ever really want to do is be outside, whatever the season, to explore, listen to the sounds, and feel the elements. There is a deep energy about nature that is so healing, it gives us a strong feeling of connection to life, death, and birth. It makes us feel whole and at peace with life. It's a crazy and beautiful thing.
Spring is an important time in life (and in my grief). It's about birth and growth, and everything begins to come alive again, even people. After losing Isabel, it seemed like spring would never come. It wasn't something I was intentionally looking forward to, until someone told me to wait for spring, and that it would bring so much hope, sunshine and beauty back into my life. And it did. I didn't realize how much it would mean to me, but it was everything. It brought much needed peace and energy. Most days, I remember spending all day outside, eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was beautiful, and I crave it again each year.
I've posted before about the beauty of simple things that surround us everyday, and how we should take a moment to appreciate them. But why death brings us closer to nature, will always be a wondrous delight. It's something I'm thankful for. Something I look forward to every year. Something that will never fail me. Something that is everlasting. And something that has effortless beauty.
The best things in life are free, a common phrase that really holds so much value. Nature is everywhere, and its benefits reach all of humanity. If you're lucky, and can afford it, you can travel to some pretty extraordinary places, like random waterfalls on a drive up the mountains in beautiful British Columbia.
Embrace spring for its ability to change you, and what nature brings in all its seasons. It really is a magical thing.
Peace & Love
We often expect so much of ourselves, consciously and subconsciously. Whether it is things we should be doing, how we should be feeling, or the person we should be. And when we don't meet those expectations we can get really upset with ourselves, and lose track of who we really are.
After losing Isabel, a few things easily became black and white for me. They were things that seemed so simple and straight forward to recognize. It was easier for me to label right from wrong, easy from hard, good, bad, etc. But I had an experience that was not black or white, it was some shade of grey, and I didn't realize it was even grey until it was too late and I was in the midst of it. I let myself enter into a situation that could potentially be uncomfortable and awful. And it turned out to be the most uncomfortable I have felt in a long time. I hated it, and wished I could have avoided it altogether. It was the worst. I was even having physical reactions to the emotions I was feeling. Heard of fight or flight? I had those reactions. I was sweating all over, turning red, trembling and wanted to run away quickly. I wanted to flight but didn't, and I may have fought, but it didn't feel like it. It took so much out of me. I was trying to hide it at all too. I not only expected myself to be able to handle the situation, but expected to handle it alone. And I didn't expect to open myself up to the unknown.
We try to control our environment to protect ourselves from so much, things that we know we will be uncomfortable with, or we fear. I have protected myself many times before, but this time I didn't because I didn't know that I needed it. Some people would call it bravery, but I call it high expectations. And what I really feel, is that I threw myself under the bus. What was I thinking? The truth is that I wasn't.
I've being trying so hard to be more comfortable in my skin, and have really tried to understand what makes and breaks me. But this isn't always possible or even necessary, so I've realized that sometimes you just have to be okay with not being okay. Everything passes.
Lessons seemed to have been getting easier for me, but this showed me that as I continue to grow and live, they actually get harder. And I realize that this too is okay. If we are too comfortable, then we aren't always able to grow. And maybe this was just what I needed; everything has felt a little misaligned lately. This new perspective could be to remind me how important patience and peace with ourselves is and that we must always remember to be kind, even to ourselves.
Peace & Love