As May draws to a close, I feel to sit and reflect about this month’s offerings. The month of May has been a month of darkness and sorrow for me. I share this not to bring your mood down. I share this because from chatting to folks, I believe May has been a month that has taken many people to their darkest corners, however, from the darkest corners, we can emerge stronger than before. We can spend time sitting with the lessons we’ve learned and once again move towards a lighter place. All things are transient.
During this month, I quite unexpectedly, lost a very, very close friend. We were due to meet for lunch just the day before she passed away, I never got the chance to say goodbye in the physical realm. However, she was beautiful enough to visit me just before her physical body finally took its last breath and let me know that she was with loved ones, that she was well and her legs didn’t hurt her anymore. I also lost a dear, dear dog at the age of 12. I’ve never experienced so much grief in a short space of time. I know many others have. This process has shone a light on what my coping mechanisms are. It has shown me how I, very much like the animals I love so much, retreat into my shell and sit tight, mostly in silence, processing my emotions holding on to my faith and the firm belief that all is exactly how it should be. Life is about learning to live, love and grow not just through the good times, but the dark ones too.
At times, I have experienced feelings of great overwhelm. Not only coping with my own grief but dealing with the challenges of normal everyday life, including a house move, that we all have. Even the smallest things sometimes seem too hard to handle. Again, I am not sharing this for sympathy. Far from it. I’m moving forward again after a spell of inertia. I’m sharing this because a shared experience sometimes helps other people who are also experiencing personal darkness.
My main solace was found in my artwork. Sitting down to meditate, as I would usually, often didn’t quite work for me during this period of time, although I tried and did have some success, but sitting in front of a canvas with a paintbrush was the perfect exercise in mindful meditation. All else fades as focus hones in on the mark making in front of you, mixing colour and trying to create something that resonates with you and that you hope others will enjoy.
During this period I have put on a huge amount of weight and now my body speaks to me and tells me it’s time to get rid of it. My knees hurt. My hips hurt my back hurts, my head went ‘fuzzy’ with all the delicious sugary foods, refined carbohydrates that I devoured to try and gain some sort of comfort or was it some form of self-flagellation for all the things that I wished I had done and said, and perhaps didn’t? I’m not sure; comfort or punishment? My body, at the moment, is telling me it was punishment and now I pay the price!
I hope you escaped the darkness and if not navigated it well. I hope you found joy in your world, but I know for many this year and in particular the last few weeks have been a huge challenge. However, it is from those challenges that we get to truly know ourselves; our weaknesses / strengths and the things that we need to work on.
One of my lessons perhaps, would be to allow folks in, I’ve had this lesson before, clearly not learned it very well yet! BUT… Do I need I let folk in? Should I hop into my default mode and retreat into my shell knowing that the people who love me will understand this is how I operate? They will understand that this is what I have to do in order to mend myself.
I have learned that many looked to me for support and during the month of May I’ve been unable to offer this and so dealt with the feelings of guilt around this, but sometimes it is good to know when we have to look to ourselves and fix us first.
As I close this latest musing, I look forward to the late spring and summer. I choose to detach myself from the fear that seems to abound across the globe and continue to look inwards and find the great bright light within, holding on to feelings of love and self-acceptance. I continue to live in a mindful way and find gratitude and joy in the smallest of things.