Losing our home and our beloved dogs (May their souls rest in peace and may they guide us as angels along the way) last July was an agonising experience.
I remember the first few nights after everyone fell asleep I would rock myself back and forth trying not to go crazy, and my husband holding me down telling me we will be ok together. It felt like everything I held dear had been snatched away – my cherished memories, the stability of a home, my comforting routines, and the essence of my life itself. Amidst the overwhelming grief, I found myself on a journey into the uncharted territory of this limbo that had become our new reality.
During this challenging period, I discovered that my usual coping mechanisms were no longer effective. With few tools at my disposal, I embarked on a quest to forge new ones, slowly but surely rebuilding a sense of normalcy and control in my life. Here’s how I’ve been navigating this uncharted terrain:
- Leaning on Friends and Family: Throughout my life, I’ve taken pride in holding myself together and depending only on myself. This self-reliance made it nearly impossible for me to ask for help or even accept it when offered. However, this challenging period has taught me the beauty of help, support, and leaning on others. When you allow others to support and love you, they create a vast space for you to bear your own pain. It’s a profoundly beautiful experience that has given me hope. It has shown me that even in the darkest of times, the world still holds kindness, and people genuinely care. So if you are going through something Lean in, letting others help you is powerful.
- Recreating Familiar Routines:** In the absence of my usual daily routine, I felt lost and unable to take any action. I’ve found solace in recreating small old habits that felt familiar. Something as simple as making my morning coffee and taking a walk in the fresh air when possible has made me feel grounded and felt like something I knew. It helps to recreate to rebalance.
- Embracing Emotional Release Through a weird meditation:** I began to practice long meditation sessions where I lay down, put noise cancellation headphones on, an eye mask, I lay down on the floor and I have a playlist that lasts an hour this one has been my go to I set an intention then I play it, all I have to do is let go of my will and follow my senses, this has become my sanctuary, where I permit myself to express the full spectrum of my emotions. I cry, I get angry, and then I set an empowering intention for the day ahead. My main one is “it is what it is, I’m doing my best”
- Regaining a Sense of Control:** One surprising source of comfort has been focusing on personal grooming, particularly skincare and haircare. In the midst of chaos, and my inability to take action until the dust settles, and clarity arrives these routines provide a semblance of control and a tangible goal that doesn’t require major life decisions. I focus on deciding to fix my hair shedding and my skin starting reacting due to stress. This felt silly at the start, but it was one of the small things I feel I can take action that doesn’t have to be life changing.
- Strengthening Body and Mind:** We all know that a stronger body can help you, deal with stress and difficulties easier, The fire left my body feeling weak and fragile. To counter this, I turned to Pilates (another thing that felt familiar), a gentle yet effective way to rebuild my physical and mental strength. The stronger I get the more able I feel to handle the motion of what has happened.
- Rediscovering Discipline as Freedom:** A book I’ve been reading about discipline has been transformative. It has reshaped my perception of discipline as not a prison but as a pathway to freedom. Discipline, when harnessed with intention, becomes a tool to reclaim control over our lives and steer them in the direction we desire. This is the book here.
As you can see I’m focusing on repetition and creating familiar experiences, what has happened to us has been incredibly difficult, but each day we are feeling stronger as a family to handle life’s unexpected twists and turns that can leave us feeling adrift, but I’ve come to realize that it’s in these moments of uncertainty that we truly discover our resilience. It’s a journey of embracing change, adapting to new circumstances, and finding strength in the most unexpected places. While the road ahead may remain uncertain, I’m learning to navigate it with a newfound sense of purpose and hope.