7 years it’s been. Today, I look back on my journals that I filled the year after your passing and leaving this earth. I had written so much about the “firsts”. The first Christmas, the 1st new year at the cabin, the first birth, the first death, the first wedding, the first spring, the first Iris and Peony that bloomed, the first everything without you here by our sides. The other random things on those pages were all the things you have said to me that I didn’t want to ever forget, the funny, the sad, the desperate, the insights, the blessings, the advice, the passions we had in common and the traits we had in common that I wanted to strengthen. The rest of the pages were filled with goals and wishes in my life to represent and celebrate you and to find me in the midst of all of it. I set goals. I made promises.
Since that year, here are some of the things that I have put into practice. I practice to carry on with beautiful things, actions, beliefs and ideas. It isn’t all sunshine and roses either, but I do feel the sunshine more sweetly and soulfully, and the scent of the roses bring me closer to my roots, they bring delicate memories of you and grandma to my mind. This is a direct connection I feel when I see them. Here we go.
- I smile at strangers and create connections.
- When my ego starts to lead my actions, I humbly serve another instead of myself.
- I have begun to know myself and have slowly gained the bravery to be more “me” despite what others think I should be.
- I recall you telling me that we only have one spark of madness, don’t waste it, I listened, I want you to know that I am mad, in all the ways my heart can be and I’m getting better at fanning that spark into a flame.
- I’ve become intimate with my darker corners and as you told me, I am embracing their importance in my journey. They are what has guided me to better acceptance of not only myself, but everyone. They are the lessons that have helped me achieve a stronger foundation to build beauty upon.
- I am learning that to be human and kind does not mean being a doormat. I am kind, but I as I become more human, my kindness grows and this is a kindness and acceptance of the me I am becoming. With that, I understand that it requires bravery and no dependance on the expectations that others have placed on me. But being kind to that with the understanding that I don’t judge their journey or disrespect where they are on it.
- I have learned to be quiet, I know it is hard to believe. But when I am unsure of my path, I practice turning in and listen to your voice. It makes it easier to feel your guidance and a constant reminder that I am enough and do not need the confirmation from another. It has crushed fear from my heart and my mind. I love the silence and stillness most when my practice of life wanders off course, ironically I go there.
- I have come to accept, that not everyone thinks the way I do and that it is very ok to speak my mind wither or not they like what I say or not. I used to cringe when you did this, even though I had a tremendous amount of respect for it. But no longer. I am more accepting of what others say, I provide a place where people can speak their mind with no negative reaction on my part, but this in no way keeps me from speaking mine. It no longer matters if they understand my point of view and I accept that as I may not agree with theirs, I can be that person that any ego can come to without improper judgement. It’s made me better in both directions.
- I am on a yes trip. I practice saying yes. I no longer always tell myself no. If I practice saying yes to all the opportunities that arise, I am so blessed that the right path chooses itself to lay out before me. I am becoming passionate about stepping into the unknown and feel so confident in my effortless joy that I hold no expectations or attachment to the outcome.
- I am invigorated with possibility and the beauty that surrounds me. The universe conspires on my behalf and I no longer fear it, I just let it do it’s magic as I trust the work I put into it. Complacency is a habit I used to have and now I have shed that weight. It is no longer easy to stay in what is because of fear or judgement or loss.
- This one’s a doozy. I have figured out how I feel and express anger. I have learned to feel it, express it in a way that doesn’t attack others and best of all, I have learned to let it go. As much as I didn’t want to admit that I knew what it was ( I didn’t recognize it and expressed it very negatively towards myself and others), I learned. I practiced the best way to find it, identify it and I am intimate with it now in a way that leads me on a more honest path. The biggest lesson with anger for me is the process of letting go of anything that doesn’t serve me. Because I practice letting go of anger, letting go of other things that keep me in the dark are ever becoming easier to let go of. This had helped make me a better person. In my acceptance and dealings with others, I am better at accepting other points of view that I may not share, but humbly respecting the differences between all of us and a more humble sense of love. All of this because I have learned to recognize and feel and then let go of anger. Because of my loss when you left, this lesson has become the most useful as of yet.
- Mom, I’ve grown so much since you’ve been gone. I’m confident of your influence and your energy that I feel. It reminds me everyday that things are exactly as they should be. I have accepted that imperfection is the only perfect. I carry no ill will, I accept and love bigger and better. I also accept that others don’t see it that way….yet. I am more open to what is truly important to learn in this earthly life and I am crazier and more intent than ever to live life. I’m going where I am led. At an earlier point in my life I wouldn’t have considered this the correct way to sacrifice. You have taught me that sacrifice doesn’t have to be of myself. I can still sacrifice my time, but no longer my health and happiness. I’ve learned that through self love, I can better and more expansively love and serve others. I’ve learned that no matter what others think or what I think they think, it actually is easier to be true to myself and follow my own path than to stay in a place not meant for me. Complacency is not easier.
- I am still a pain in the ass. I cause headaches all the time. I am holding space to work on this, but the ginger devil in me likes it here. I have plans to work on this, but it is kinda low on my practice list, for I feel adversity might be a part I play in other peoples dharma currently. I can’t swear by that, but I can’t fix everything at once. It is on my list though. So that is a big step.
So Mother, as time passes, I realize more and more that even though you are gone physically that your life and the importance of your existence in context to me has become omnipotent. Your life has strengthened me and my resolve to live appropriately in my journey. I’m practicing walking my spiritual path with confidence and surety. The doubts and negative thoughts and below standard behaviors are still there, I am just learning their place and importance. I don’t have to act upon them every time, but don’t freak out with self judgment when I do. I just use the reflection to make choices, better choices. I don’t always do that, but like I said I am practicing. I am practicing to pay attention to my inner visions and dreams for they show what is going on within me. I am practicing the alignment of my values and my beliefs and through this practice finding what works for the better good and for me. I have learned to step out of my conceived comfort zone and discover where true comfort lies.
Today mom, on this the anniversary of your leaving this world, I gracefully and humbly thank you for your guidance and your presence and I hope that you are proud of me and who I am constantly evolving towards. Wait, I know you are because you told me so. I am a student of life and now, with you by my side, I move in new directions, toward new opportunities, all with you in my heart. Long after I die, l know we are joined on a journey and can now understand the bond will never be broken. I love you. I miss you. So much. Soooo much.
your favorite child (this is a thing). If you can’t remember which favorite I am, it’s me,