My Reflections of Years Past
And Opening a Blank Canvas … A Clean Break and New Hope for 2019!
The end of the year always brings both reflection and anticipation. Looking back we reflect on both the victories and the losses of years gone by. Looking forward we anticipate what could happen in the next year, Unfortunately, for many of us, looking back can be a painful enterprise. As we reflect backward, all of the could-have-beens come into focus and the should-have-beens wound us afresh. The losses experienced over the last year suddenly seem to have healed less than we once thought. The pain throbs like it once did.
Looking forward, however, seems to be a much more exciting exercise. Perhaps 2019 will be better, brighter, more profitable, more fulfilling.
For me, I always find the new year exciting. I enjoy pondering the possibilities and dreaming of the potential blessings to come. Spiritually, I believe looking back and looking forward is an essential discipline for each of us. We must never forget what lies behind us, both in terms of victories and trials, and we must always look expectantly forward to what lies ahead.
For me the last 4 years including 2018 were years of many losses although along the way I freed myself of most of my material belongings and took the plunge to start over in a minimal way, a fresh start emotionally, geographically and career wise.
My losses were deeply heartfelt in 2018 as I lost two of my loyal dogs Karu & Ping and also three of my sweet furball cats, Lucy lou, Keba and Crazy cat. We know when we rescue and adopt a dog or cat, it is going to end with us having to say goodbye, but we still do it. And we do it for a very good reason: They bring so much joy and optimism and happiness. They attack every moment of every day with that attitude. They are the loyal companions. My beautiful white Nala I lost to poisoning from someones negligence in 2014 just before my mom passed ♥
“Until One Has Loved an Animal a Part of One's Soul Remains Unawakened”
I am totally embracing 2019 as a year of emotional healing that I so much deserve and I am inviting the sunshine to brightly shine in my life again
It will be four years & four months that my mom died and my marriage ended. Sometimes It feels like four days. Sometimes it feels like four hours.
“Grief doesn’t have a milestone,” my dear friend Cheryl told me. Amen to that.
Things happen in our lives for myriad of reasons. It’s only after the fact, sometimes years later, that we realize it. It was hard to find those reasons when I was doubled over in pain of heartache four years & four months ago. I simply could not believe that my mother, my best friend wasn’t with me anymore. The emptiness was excruciating. She was no longer there to say the simple words of “everything is going to be okay” I felt very alone having to face my divorce totally by myself without the comfort of my mom.
My Mama ♥
Grief is paralyzing, one of my friends put it once. I have had those days, then and still now. My therapy for the loss of my mom was talking to friends, my sisters, and finally a therapist. I felt some relief going through my treasure trove of e-mails and letters from her. Thankfully my mom was a letter-writer and I’m very glad that she was. It put together, a small record of our lives and her thoughts.
My therapy for dealing with divorce has been an emotional trauma. Divorce–and I say this with all my being–sucks. It is a ripping of the fiber of a family. A renting of the one thing that should never be rented. A betrayal to everyone involved.
The vows never speak to the other things. The little things. The not-so-little things. The layers of misunderstanding. Of tiny hurts laid upon tiny hurts. Of things said that can never, ever be taken back. Of a love that started so strong that was, one cell at a time, rendered impotent.
The pain of divorce is often unbearable.
Divorce is just a fancy word masking what is truly a broken attachment between two people. Divorce is more than separating assets and belongings. It’s the severing of a very strong bond founded on deep feelings of love, dependency and need. We developed an attachment to our partner over the course of dating and marriage that connected us on an emotional and physiological level beyond what we realized even when there was emotional trauma.
In my search for healing and recovery I read this book “Why We Love”
According to author Helen Fischer, our “cuddle chemicals,” namely oxytocin and vasopressin, contribute to the sense of closeness and attachment that couples feel toward each other in a love relationship. These bonding hormones promote a sense of fusion between lovers that deepens attachment and a sense of oneness. This biological phenomenon explains the depth of devastation felt when the attachment is broken and the physiological symptoms that become activated when attachments are severed. The end of a marriage is one of the most emotionally painful human experiences. grief, and despair that so often accompany this common life transition..Emotional Trauma
I have come to realize that I need time and space to heal and repair. I am not damaged, I was just temporarily devastated, and the full recovery will come with time which I am now well on my way to recovery. I have embraced forgiveness. Some people say “Forgive and forget.” I would say instead “Forgive, don’t forget, but don’t let the memory of what happened control you.”Forgiveness doesn't mean condoning someone's unacceptable actions against you. Forgiveness is about setting ourselves free. We can’t erase the past, but we can choose to let go of the pain in order to live a happier, more fulfilling life.
The road isn’t easy; in fact, there were days when I felt I was taking one step forward and two steps back, and some days I would just curl up and cry. But I have kept moving forward because I desperately want to get out of that place of personal isolation. I have focused on myself, spent time with family when I can, and am finding more wonderful new friends. I am starting to feel lighter and more at peace.
In the end, I learned that forgiveness is not about the other person; it is about ourselves.
I am regaining my strength that I forgot existed. I know that sounds like a cliché - you don’t realize how strong you are until you need to be. I have to attribute that to the the incredible positive supportive people that have surrounded me in my life through the years. You know who you are and I thank you for all your support and belief in me. Without you I would not have come this far!
Sometimes in this crazy, mixed up world, when our hearts are grieving and we’ve suffered devastating blows, when loss feels too deep, and the battle seems fierce, the most comforting words of all are just these three………...I love you.
I am thankful for my amazing children who shared wise words that helped me see myself and the situation in a whole new way once again.
My love for my children is unconditional and it is the cement that binds my why ♥
Thank you Amanda, Christopher, Peter & Harry III
Let 2019 be a year of new beginnings for you as well.
Monica Johanson Nouhan