A quick personal post today, because it’s been a minute.
Valentine’s Day can be HARD. On the outside, it looks like cards and balloons and roses and chocolate. Professions of love, date nights and proposals. But for many … it is not. It triggers grief, sadness and even anxiety. It’s a day that makes people feel even more alone than they already are. Or remember past years spent with someone they love who passed away or left their life for one reason or another leaving them feeling abandoned. Because that’s the reality of it on holidays such as this one, unfortunately.
Hang in with me here, I’m not all doom and gloom today. Read on …
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned over the past 4 years since my own loss, it’s that “the in between” is where we grow. Sure, it’s also the most painful. But definitely where the “magic” happens. If you are there right now, I’m here to remind you … it’s not a terrible place to be. And I can say that. Because I have been there and back. It may seem like it at this moment, but you will not always be in a state of pain and feeling lost. I promise you that. Please believe me when I tell you, that you will come out on the other side again. And when you do, you will have such a different – and beautiful – perspective on that thing or person that brought you so much pain. There is beauty in the breakdown. Beauty from ashes. It takes hard work to get there but it is so worth it. I believe when we experience something traumatic or painful, that our energy shifts along with it. It is a heavy, dense type of energy that weighs us down, robs us of our focus, clarity and purpose. Wow, I could go on an on about my thoughts on this shift, but I will save that for another day.
So today, my wish for you is to think about how far you’ve come. Maybe you’ve already been doing the work and haven’t given yourself enough credit. Maybe you’ve been so enveloped in your circumstances and trying to find a way out that you haven’t taken a minute to stop and look where you are.
Where you are today is the journey.
The in between. Where’s there’s hope and happiness peeks it’s head out of the darkness. My wish for you is that today you see that I’m right.
About 8 months after my late husband passed away unexpectedly, I started having dreams of someone I had known many, many years ago. We actually dated for a minute when we were only 15. Let me say I was smitten with him. He was a skater and had the most amazing blue eyes and was as sweet as they come. But fast forward 25 years, and I was nowhere ready to let someone else into my life mostly because my heart was broken and I was focusing all of my energy on my children, ages 2 & 7 at the time. But these dreams were so vivid and so real, I knew something bigger than me was urging me to reach out to him and say hello … So I sent him a message on Facebook (because we didn’t have cell phones back when we were in high school!) at 7am in the morning … my phone dinged back at me within 30 seconds. My heart jumped. We chatted. We messaged each other a few times over a few days before I admitted how much I hate fb messenger and gave him my real phone number … my phone dinged back at me again within 30 seconds. I found myself being pulled towards him, like what is happening?? First, in my dreams and now we instantly have a connection?? Crazytown. One day, I’ll share the full story but for now I’ll just share the cliff notes.
I went on to marry that sweet boy. He is still cool, has those amazing blue eyes and best of all, is still as kind and gentle as he always was. I know I’m lucky, I know that most stories like this aren’t written this way. I’m grateful for that every single day. But most of all, I’m grateful for the time in between. The time that my heart (and life) was so shattered and broken that I had no other choice but to pick up the pieces and move on. I learned more about myself in that space than any other space in my lifetime so far. I didn’t do it alone, though. I had an incredible network of family & friends and an incredible therapist that never left my side.
I look back on that dark time now, and have an appreciation for where I’ve been. I almost needed to go through it to be where I am today. And so now I look back at that time in between with gratitude. I grew so much. I fully understood what it would take to be happy again. To trust love enough to let it in my life again. To teach my children to trust love again. I look now at where we are as a family and I never would have imagined it as so. It’s far from perfect, but it sure is wonderful.
Which brings me back to my first thought when I wrote the title for this post.
I love my smile lines. They are proof of where I’ve been. If you look closely in between those lines, you’ll know there’s a story there. A story that’s been rewritten several times, each time with more depth and understanding that I’d be nothing without the pain and the time I’ve spent … in the in between.
Happy Valentine’s Day xoxo Mishelle