“The other day I saw a funny bumper sticker that asked:
“What do you know that you’re not letting yourself see?”– Paul S. Boynton, “Begin With YES”
The question rang true for me.
Let’s read it again:
“What do you know that you’re not letting yourself see?”
My first thoughts were times in my life when I felt stuck.
Stuck in grief,
the role of a caregiver (no regrets but still felt stuck),
a job that was going nowhere,
a location that I no longer want to live in.
Other times I wanted so badly to accomplish a goal and I had to make choices to think of myself first or others that I loved.
As I thought about these things, I realized that feeling stuck is a choice.
This may not sit well with some who subscribe to the idea that everything is beyond our control, but I believe the biggest thing we have control over is our thoughts.
For instance, when Larry died grief was real. Instead of stuffing my feelings, I made the decision to mourn.
Mourning was painful. I had to make a choice to take steps to heal or face the alternative: live the remainder of my life stuck in sadness and pain. I had to realize that I couldn’t heal by remaining stuck in the “why” so I had to let it go to embrace healing.
While going through the process, I realized that healing from the death of a loved one does not mean living a life devoid of the sadness that accompanies death. It does not require forgetting their existence. Sadness is still under the surface – it’s how I deal with that sadness that counts.
I chose to recognize the difference between transient sadness that comes with memories and the heart-wrenching, debilitating “I want to jump over a cliff because I cannot stand the pain” sadness of the first months of grief and mourning.
Now I call it “riding the waves”.
Waves that come in different forms from small tidal waves to tsunamis.
The normal daily ups and downs of tidal waves with an occasional tsunami that hits swift and knocks one off ones feet.
The key is keeping one’s head above the water until back on shore.
The other situations required similar thought processes:
Sometimes identifying the problem is the hardest part because it requires knowing things that we are not letting ourselves see.
Identifying the problem, making a choice, planning action steps, and finally taking action.