Honestly … I didn’t feel much of the joy that I choose to write about and focus on through my blogging this year. Looking back as 2016 comes to an end though, there is a lot to be grateful for, thank goodness for the practice of gratitude! There are days when gratitude literally saves your heart from breaking. A blogger who shares as openly, intimately and honestly as I do goes through a regular soul rattling decision making process .. to share or not to share. I pick and choose from so many emotions, daily happenings and thoughts.
It has been a year of routine, being the best Mum I can be, working 6 days a week, hibernating and doing my best to keep it all together. Behind the blessing of a blog award, achieving amazing things at work in the charity sector, being able to support others through my honesty .. behind the things I choose to share is a whole lot more.
I never share for sympathy, or for attention. In the past I have relied on these things to fill gaps in my heart. Over time and with lots of growth and work I have learned the valuable lesson that these things don’t fill those gaps, they only cover them temporarily.
The truth is, I have one sibling, and until a year ago I considered him one of my soul mates and best friends. My little man and I adore him, he is the only Uncle he will ever have. It has now been a year since we have heard from him. I honestly never imagined there could be a greater pain than losing my Mother in the incredibly traumatic way that I did. 2016 was the year this was proven wrong.
The truth is, my immediate family is small and precious to me. There is a lot of family out there, but they are funeral family, sadly that is when we see them, not through my choosing. Christmas this year was one of the hardest for me, I stayed focused on the simple moments of the season and my incredibly important role as Santa and creator of the magic, these things got me through. It is most often during this season that grief and loss is amplified, it becomes almost too much to survive for some.
The pain of grief and loss is such an individual experience. I am well aware that there are humans living in much greater pain than I am, that others have very little to be grateful for. I have seen so many people lose loved ones this year. I have cried so many tears for the innocent children in Aleppo. My heart has hurt for the parents who had to bury their children this year, and the children who lost a parent.
The truth is, my heart hurt for myself too. The truth is, I am far from perfect. Some days I honestly ask the universe why the hell I have been trusted to raise another precious human being. Some days I am just cranky, and lonely and filled with sadness.
The truth is I have eaten my way through recovering and healing from domestic violence. The truth is, I have not practiced what I so lovingly and wholeheartedly preach. The truth is I am still wracked with the guilt of letting this happen.
The truth is, my little man has asked me this year in tears if I will ever be married and if he will ever have a baby brother or sister. I could never even start to try and explain how that feels.
The truth is, some days I feel like a failure. I focus more on my flaws and my longing than anything else. Despite being one of the most optimistic people you will meet, there have been more days of darkness this year than optimism.
Thankfully though I have this amazing sense of hope buried deep inside somewhere, and the most resilience anyone so prone to darkness could wish for. For some reason I always have an inner knowing that I will be OK. For some reason I accept that all of this has given me the extra-ordinary gift of being able to lead others gently out of their own darkness.
I was able to share my own losses, my experience of anxiety and many other ways that I have risen strong this year. I know that I have been a light for others this year, and I think this is where my hope lives. It also lives in the eyes of my little man who has been the greatest love of my life and always will be. I am more determined than ever to be the light for him.
So as we all prepare to farewell 2016, I choose to focus on surrender and these words from Sonia Ricotti:
“Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.”