Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Time of Silence and A New Day Dawning

Silence has been a blessing over these last few months. It's been an opportunity to commune with my God, my spirit and my voice. It's interesting.  When we strip away the expectations of others, we are left with the true essence of who we were created to be. How many of us try to be what others need so much that we lose that sacred connection with our own heart? Sometimes when we're in the throws of helping others with their pain, we neglect to acknowledge the pain we may be in ourselves.

Most of my last 14 years have been surrounded by caring for someone who was ill. Within the span of 3 years my father, both grandmothers and the family cat passed away. During this same time my mother was so ill that we almost lost her as well. Because I was in survival mode, I didn't take the time to deal with the crushing weight of loss.  Day by day this loss, unbeknownst to me, was settling in my soul. Taking time to process the experience is the last thing on your mind when you're just trying to make it through each day.  Those emotions, whether you realize it or not, have to go somewhere.

It's not that I didn't process and accept the passing of those I loved, but my heart had not been able to release the sheer exhaustion of those years. Death had taken up residence in the walls of my home, but I had no idea it was there. I began to feel very resentful towards those who found it easy to be conveniently unavailable. With no other help or assistance, loneliness became an ever present force that could not be shaken.

I had no idea how strong this force had become. Dreams, ideas and passions were there, but I couldn't seem to progress beyond the middle stage. Sometimes a venture would actually begin to flourish and for some reason I would let go. Family and friends would ask how business was going and my comment was usually, "It's coming...new projects are in the works!"

Sigh...and how true that was. There was ALWAYS a new idea, a new design, but following through to the very end had me baffled! I couldn't seem to put all of the heart and passion into action. My blog started off on a great note, but soon the momentum faded and with it my "voice."  It's a pretty miserable place to be. You have all of this head knowledge, but it's not connecting with your heart because your heart is blocked by pain.

Then a few weeks ago I was confronted with the sadness in my soul. I wanted to know why I was having such a challenge moving forward. And so I prayed...and prayed....and prayed. Much of my time was spent in silence just listening and waiting. Then one day it was as if God released a dam that had blocked all of those tears from these last many years!!! I cried like I had never cried before...you know, one of those ugly cries that you just can't stop. A very attractive moment (:

Within the span of a few minutes all of the pent up emotions from my father's death, my grandmothers' deaths, the fear of my mother's passing, the pain of isolation that caregiving can bring, the loneliness that creeps in when no one really understands what you're going through...everything was felt all at once! All at once!! And then it was gone!! My time of silence was over. The burdensome weight was lifted and it was replaced with peace. I felt like me again.

At this same time relationships were beginning to fall away and break apart...relationships that I didn't want to let go. People I loved and in whom I invested time suddenly became vengeful and downright mean. I didn't recognize them anymore...or was it that I was looking through the glasses of need and expectation for this long?

I was so busy helping and being all available in these relationships that I couldn't see I had neglected to set up boundaries. Where there are no boundaries, there is little respect...and so I let go, shaking the dust from my feet. Peace immediately followed yet again.

New relationships started coming out of the woodwork! A cousin I now consider a sister became a new best friend, online relationships began to flourish, mentors and those offering guidance seemed to appear on a daily basis! I was open to myself and therefore others were open to me (: I joined a writers group which led to participating in our local Luncheon Literary Society and met the most creative, supportive and positive people! These ladies are so fun and you can't help but be encouraged around them (:

Most recently I've had the honor of being able to participate in The Art of Action workshop developed by Tara Gentile of Scoutie Girl. It's "designed to be a professional kick in the pants, a constant reminder that what you have is enough and an affirmation of your ability to do what needs to be done." I'll talk more about this amazing opportunity tomorrow!!

So, in a nut shell...I'm free and ready to face new challenges ahead. It's all about being patient with yourself, waiting expectantly and having a willing heart. So if you find yourself in that stuck place and your dreams aren't quite happening, don't give up, look within, embrace your heart and reach out to others. You don't have to feel alone in this process. It can be messy, heart wrenching and you may go into that "ugly cry mode" once in a while, but it's well worth the runny mascara (:

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!" ~ Habakkuk 2:3

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  1. Sorry for you loss and the sadness that you felt. I'm glad you're feeling better and ready to take on new challenges!

  2. Hi Brandi! Thanks so much for your kind words (: I'm so excited about things and just wanted to be of encouragement to others who might be going through the same experience. ~Michele

  3. Welcome back, Michele! So happy your heart is healing from what sounds like a very difficult time.

  4. Michele this was an emotional but amazing read. I am so sorry for your loss and so empowered by how you have grown and flourished. How you allowed yourself to feel the sorrow and ultimately find peace and clarity.

    Thank you for posting this, I have gained from it. I wish you continued healing and joy.

    Have a wonderful Tuesday!!

  5. So very thankful He has brought you through to the "other side." He is SO Faithful!

  6. Thanks so much Tanya! It's good to be back (:

    Hi Tatum (: Thank you so much for those encouraging words. Congrats on The Nate Berkus Show!! You mentioned you were surprised that they contacted you...well, I'm not! Your talent and enthusiasm shine forth (: I can't wait to hear about part 4!!! When will your segment air? I'd love to watch!!

    Take care!

  7. Hi Anne! Indeed I am thankful. He never lets us go, we just have to remember to keep hanging on (; Hope your week is great!


  8. michele,
    wow...what a powerful post. you have spoken from the depths of your soul and have offered encouragement to others. that is what God would have us to do as we go through those dark times in our own lives. thank you for sharing your heart.

  9. Wow, I know how hard it is to be a caregiver and I can so identify with you. Thanks for sharing, God is so good isn't he.

  10. Hi Michele, I seem to be feeling a bit like you lately. Thank you for sharing and letting me know that I'm not alone, time for me to stop and listen to what God is trying to tell me. I'm glad you are doing better and I pray you continue to have your spirit lifted!

  11. So good to have you back. It is amazing how much a person can grow in the midst of a deep, dark valley. I know you are going to shine and flourish like never before.

  12. Oh honey, I have been there and back and I am so glad you are making it back. It is so true-be still and know that I am God.After going through such a trial , you can now come back better than ever.

  13. Renee, you are so right!! He is good and taking care of things even when we can't see it.

    Kim, I'm so glad I could offer a little boost when you were feeling low. Isn't it great how we can support each other via this venue?!! Thank you so much for your uplifting words ♥

    You gals have encouraged me more than you'll ever know (: Sometimes sharing our hearts can be hard, but you never know what it might mean for someone else. Here's to pressing forward!!



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