Life is not a linear journey from A to B, and neither is overcoming great loss.
It’s a journey full of twists and turns, but a journey only you can take. Do this at your own pace, and as the journey continues, know that you’ll learn from each step.
The people who start the journey with you may not be there further along, but that’s ok. Think of it as a relay race - they’ll pass on the baton to the next person who’s there to accompany you.
Along the way, I’ve found myself presented with new roadblocks. Like a tree blocking the path of my life. Sometimes it means taking a different route, other times, it’s enough to sit and wait calmly until the road ahead clears.
Each step along the way will bring more clarity, more struggles, but also more gratitude for the life you still get to live.
The power of gratitude
Despite the huge losses I’ve experienced, I’m still able to live a life of joy and hope, and I believe this is because of gratitude. I practice gratitude daily, especially on the days when the pain and loss feel overwhelming. I look to the things I still have in my life to be grateful for. My husband. My children. My animals. My business. My friends. New opportunities and experiences.
When I’m grateful, I feel a deep appreciation for life, and the world feels like a nicer place for me to be. I feel an energetic change in the way I’m connected with the world. Research shows gratitude can help us be happier and healthier. To be more optimistic and hopeful. On the darkest days when I miss Molly, I seek more gratitude.
Presence and pain
Being present with my pain has helped me overcome life’s obstacles.
For me, it means living in the moment, and giving myself permission to stay in the moment. Allowing thoughts to come and go in their own time. Getting lost in activities, engaging in conversations with every part of my being, listening, and watching. I find calmness and gratitude are the by-products of living in the moment and noticing life’s small details.
Being present has also meant prioritising self-care and looking after every aspect of my wellbeing. It sounds basic, but eating the right food, getting quality sleep, and exercising regularly can all greatly benefit your ability to cope with challenges.
Facing grief is exhausting. When your body is running on empty, it can impact your mental health, immunity, behaviour and energy levels. Learning about gut health and its power to impact on overall health helped me to cope with what felt impossible.
By eating well, I saw immediate benefits. I slept better. My grief softened, and I was able to respond to things more mindfully. The mind and the gut are closely connected, so it really makes sense to think about the kind of fuel you’re putting into your engine.
Moving goal posts
Life continues to change. I’m still navigating obstacles, clearing paths, and even helping others to find their way.
My goals have changed. In the early days, just getting out of bed and dressed felt like enough of a challenge. But as time passed, I was able to aim for bigger goals, and to take steps towards creating an authentic life.
Know that one day, you’ll stop and look back, and be amazed at just how far you’ve come.