At the time of writing this blog, I had recently experienced my 64th birthday. I say experienced because it really wasn’t a celebration. My attention and focus was making myself available for my niece and her family to enjoy her time in South Africa while celebrating her 50th birthday and the very important task of sifting through her late mother’s belongings (my sister). My sister passed 2.5 years ago and covid prevented her daughter from attending the memorial service or visiting to complete the difficult task of deciding what to do with her belongings. Therefore, my birthday was just another day and all my energy was around holding space for my family.
This presented me with something that came as a shock. I was feeling neglected. Me? “Surely not” was the response of some people. Being a life coach comes with some assumptions about who and what I am and the common expectation is that I should be able to be strong and able to cope with anything. Well I didn’t and it sucked.
I’ve come to understand how ordinary and human we all are and I allowed myself to grieve again. I thought I was done with grieving my sister and my brother, who passed in June, strangely on my sister’s birthday, but I wasn’t. I wanted some attention. I wanted people to be there for me and mostly they were, except that I wanted something more and I wasn’t sure what that was. I was feeling empty. I thought I was missing hearing my sibling’s voices wishing me well for my birthday. I was their baby sister, and I was used to receiving love and acknowledgement and the stark reality hit home that that would never, ever, happen again, but I could feel it wasn’t that either.
Reuniting with my niece who immigrated to Australia 4 years ago with her family and spending time with family I hadn’t seen in years, stirred up unresolved emotion in me and I felt sad. Then one evening while chatting over dinner with family, I began to sense what was really at the core of my sadness. It was me. I needed to stand up for myself and I hadn’t done that for years.
Mostly I can be honest and truthful while remaining kind and loving, and yet somehow, I wasn’t being that with myself. I am good at doing that for others by pointing them back to the truth of who they really are, but the loss of loved ones and the pain of grieving again had clouded my idea of what it means to be honest with my loved ones still living!
It was fear. It came as a surprise. I was scared of losing the love of those closest to me so I pretended that everything was ok when it wasn’t. As the truth of what I was feeling began to bubble up my confidence grew and I started speaking up and what happened shocked me. Those that heard my truth, told their truth and peace began to settle into my bones. The realization that “the truth will set you free” makes more sense to me now more than ever. I’d always understood it but now I was feeling it, maybe for the first time ever.
And that’s what really stood out for me. Intellectualizing things often means we complicate the simplicity of life. Being real and truthful means allowing ourselves to feel all the feels, and still be ok. That’s resiliency. That’s simple. Being truthful doesn’t have to mean being unkind and being honest doesn’t have to come across as unloving. I had to feel it. Now I know that the fear of losing the love of those I cared most about, was an illusion. It never happened and in fact, I am closer to those I was truthful with in an even deeper way now.
Again, I’m not encouraging unkindness or resisting being loving, what I’m hoping you get is that suppressing how you feel is not the solution. Expressing how you feel from the real you, feels authentic and clear and if it’s your truth, it will land gently and healing will happen. Once the truth is out, there is a lightness of being that envelops one and it stops feeling heavy and hard and becomes simple and uncomplicated.
What are you suppressing? Does the fear of losing the love of someone prevent you from being honest? Can you tell from the feeling that it’s not the truth? Once you realize that your thoughts create the fear and that fear is a made-up idea in your mind, the layers of fearful thinking fall away and the truth is pure and clear. Now, I really understand “the peace that passes all understanding” comes from knowing that as you step into truth, the rest of the path becomes much clearer and feels much easier.
“If the answer is simple, it’s from God. Complications are man-made”
All my love