The Strength we find, The Lessons we Learn…

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Life is meant for us to be broken open, the core parts of ourselves faced to ultimately become what we were meant to be. I am trying so hard this year to understand and learn from all the curve balls the universe has thrown at me. I had such high hopes that this year was going to be the year. A Job that paid well, promised me advancement, a relationship that I thought was finally the one; full of love and respect, a city I had dreamed about living in since I was a teenager. Its ironic that what I thought was my dream became my nightmare. I never thought moving to Portland would be my undoing, but that is what it has become, breaking me open and stripping me to naked vulnerability. It seems like yesterday I stood in my new driveway, a grin from ear to ear, completely in love with arms of security wrapped around me. Today I stood in that same driveway, drizzly rain making my hair frizz and my sweater damp. I still wake up sometimes thinking that it was just a dream and I will laugh at the universe, but reality always sets in and my arm falls onto the cold side of the bed.

It seems the year is not yet done as I lost another piece of my heart this past week, my beautiful soft grey fur kid, my beautiful Isadora. She was my soul pet, I bottle fed her as a kitten when I got her at 4 weeks old. I remember the day she became mine was a full lunar eclipse, and so I named her Isadora, which means “gift from the moon”. I guess its only fitting, some kind of cosmic circle that I lose her on a lunar eclipse.  I had 13 years with this amazing creature and I will miss the smell of her fur, her purring as she slept next to my head every night.  I yelled at the universe tonight, I told it I only have two things left that I love in this damn world, my dog and my mom so please leave them. I think that when we lose one parent we become hyper vigilant in our fear of the loss of the other. We look around at what else we have to lose and we worry so much about those losses, maybe as a way to cover up the grief we are trying not to feel. The cake topper of this last 6 months is I found out 5 days after losing my Isadora that I have squamous cell carcinoma, skin cancer, though it is treatable and by itself would not be as scary but after the past 6 months the news really rattled me. My hand shaking in my work cube as I listen to my dermatologist tell me the next steps we need to take. I felt weak as I let the tears come, allowing myself to be afraid. I decide at that moment I will no longer live with fear in my heart.

I have come out fighting, swinging at the universe.  I did not break, I did not blow away in the wind, I stand firm and I am learning to bend and sway, I am surviving.  So instead of losing my strength, my grace, my hope I am screaming into the wind “I am not surrendering, I will not break!! I have found an inner strength I didn’t know I had, a gift of writing hidden deep, I am accepting my journey and not looking to the end. I was told by a wise friend that I was the “grass is greener” girl, always looking to the next job, the next place I was going to live, that it would be better there; but what I have learned is that by living that way you never get to love and experience the moments, the job you may hate but may still hold many lessons or the amazing people you met by moving to that crappy city. I was never able to just be in the now, to be still and at peace with where I was in that moment. I lied to myself, saying it was my ambitious nature, to always strive for more. In reality it was a safety mechanism of not having to live, not in the moment, it was fear winning.

I printed out a quote from the Dalai Lama and I look at it everyday. I am learning to accept and live in this moment and feeling, embracing everything, even the negative feelings, the scary ones. I can no longer run, I can no longer hold his hand or lay my face on his chest at night, or fall back on the strength of my father, bury my face in my cats soft fur, sit at my aunts kitchen table and discuss my family history, or drive my trusty Durango that has taken me to everyplace I have lived since leaving home. I have been broken open and forced to learn acceptance, release, and ultimately letting go.

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I have made a promise to myself, not to anyone else, not anymore, just to my heart. I will accept my challenges, I will face them with grace, kindness and compassion. I will grow and learn through these lessons, I will feel what I need to, accept what I must and change what I have the power to change. I am a survivor, and that is what we do, for we have no other choices, giving up is not in our vocabulary. We are all given choices, crossroads, forks in our paths, challenges, encounters and it is up to us who we choose to be at that moment and how we respond, with anger, selfishness and bitterness or with kindness, empathy, gentleness and compassion. I have and will always strive to do the latter but I am human and I have slipped and chosen the angry path at times. Though I am now learning that I do not have the capacity for that anymore. I can not take others anger and their lessons, I can’t even take mine.

I end this Post with the hope of new beginnings, that as each door is closed another is opened. New places, new adventures, new friends, and maybe even a new love if the universe deems me worthy. I hope for everyone who is reading this, everyone who is struggling, that they find their inner strength. That you choose to not give up, That you choose the hard path, choose to find and accept your lessons, to evolve and become your higher self. That you choose Love, Laughter, Kindness, Empathy, Compassion, Understanding, and Acceptance. Love and Light to the universe, even if it sucks big at times….

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