I am sat with a dancing fire, my old favourite Cointreau, lime and tonic and a twirl reflecting on the last few days.
Today I actually think I am emotionless. If that is possible at all? Probably… given the rush of intense feelings in the last week(s), exhaustion has set in or perhaps just self preservation through rest.
The frustration and underlying anger threatened in the early part of the week and erupted with hot, molten anger complete with sparks flying on Thursday, leaving me a trembling volcanic mess: hot and raging on the inside and violently spilling out through my mouth, but cold on the outside as the ugly words hit home.
Yesterday, as the ash settled, all I could see and feel was a sense of complete emptiness and utter loss.
And I felt very strongly the presence of my Mumbo. Lying next to me holding my hand, her hand as soft as it always was. Not saying anything. Just being. The only person I could imagine being with in that moment. And while I felt strangely comforted, I also felt a crushingly overwhelming sense of the magnitude of loss 2016 has brought me.
I am learning that to face in to the pain of an emotion is the right thing; to let it flow through and out, rather than repress it, reject it or bury it.
So I made a mental list and sat with each thought and felt the searing pain in my heart, or the kick to my stomach as I lay there holding my Mumbo’s hand.
And once I had my little pity party and pain fest, I lay quiet. And in that peaceful moment, I felt a double squeeze on my hand the words floated in to my head, “Come on now, where is the sunshine Boo I know and love?”. The energy of my Mumbo clearly present.
In the car the previous day, I had been listening to one of my favourite books, Robin Sharma’s ‘the Monk who sold his ferrari’; a light hearted read but with so many key, uplifting and relevant messages for living your best life. And this passage sprung to mind:
“I remember him telling me that one of them said that the Chinese character for ‘crisis’ is comprised of two sub-characters: one that spells ‘danger’ and another that spells ‘opportunity.’ I guess that even the ancient Chinese knew that there is a bright side to the darkest circumstance — if you have the courage to look for it.”
And so, I took a deep courageous breath and went back round through the list to look for the opportunity.
I have lost my lovely Mumbo. But I have gained back my happy, relaxed, joyous Dad. And my Mumbo by my side always in spirit, rather than a lifeless, memory-less form.
I have lost my fit, healthy, vibrant, energetic, strong body leaving a weak, lifeless, gaunt skeletal, lacklustre one behind. But losing a stone means I get to relax all my dietary rules and eat twirls for tea! And I get to go shopping for the new wardrobe and the new clothes I have resisted buying for the last 2 years.
I have lost my strong feeling of self worth and the identity that I had finally defined, declared and accepted. I have lost my sense of purpose. But, I also felt I had lost it 3 years ago and I rebuilt it again, a better one, a brighter one. So I know I can do it again, dream up and establish a shinier, much improved version of me again, learn from the experience and add in more of what was working and leave out what wasn’t. It left me with a huge sense of empowerment and self control.
I have lost my inner ‘Joy’, my sparkle, my sense of fun. But maybe when Joy returns, she will be less dominant, perhaps more sensitive to the other emotions and therefore be a stronger, more resilient version of Joy, brighter, more attractive, more sumpathetic and compassionate to others.
I have lost my homes, my anchors. But I have found the most beautiful house and home for the next chapter. The kitchen is the one from my guided meditation and I know it belongs in my future, full of light, laughter and contentment.
I have lost my memories. So many of them tainted with association to the dark side and the unknown, the unfathomable yet undeniable. But this is also an opportunity for a fresh start, for new memories, honest memories, true happiness.
I have lost my ability to trust. Anyone. But perhaps that will keep me from being an ignorant fool, gullible to those who take advantage of someone who looks for the best in everything, finds the good and smiles.
I have lost my first husband, my best friend and part of my soul. I have lost the father to my sons. But I have gained a more humble man, appreciative, complimentary, attentive, generous and thoughtful partner and the boys are benefitting from a father who is far more engaged with them than his phone, more involved and who actively listens and laughs with them like they are the most precious, magical beings on earth.
I have lost the future I was in love with creating, we were building. But while I can appreciate the danger side of the crisis, I am willing to see the opportunity to look at new foundations, deeper, stronger, more stable, resilient ones to build a richer, more abundant, bolder and more brilliant one based on our experiences and lessons learnt of the last 20 years.
And so as I lay there, I could feel Mumbo smiling at me. And I smiled back. And I picked up my phone and invited him for chicken and chips.