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yes, but at least

Updated: May 13, 2020

"In this time of quiet and pause, we can also go inside and find out how to be there for ourselves. We can find things that ground and centre us, and focus on the things that matter to us most."

I didn’t start out thinking I would share my experiences publicly. I wrote a personal post that that became an article. It turned into more as I realized I had learned a few things from personal isolation that stemmed from chronic pain and the departure of friends and loved ones. I’ve said before, isolation can be physical, mental or emotional, or a combination of the three. It can also be caused by so many different things. To me it is the absence of normalcy.

Pain is pain. Loss is loss. Change is change. Fear is fear. Grief is grief. It does not matter if you understand what someone is going through, or whether you can relate to it, or imagine it. It is my hope we can develop a collective empathy and understanding to change one thing -- the tendency to say... yes, but...

Yes, but at least you have...

Yes, but at least you don’t have...

Yes, but you don’t look...

Yes, but a least you are not going through...

Instead, try:

I’m sorry to hear that

I love you

I am here for you

I care about you

And possibly...

What can I do to be here for you?

In this time of quiet and pause, we can also go inside and find out how to be there for ourselves. We can find things that ground and centre us, and focus on the things that matter to us most.

I have talked about a lot of things that have helped me personally overcoming isolation, changes implemented long before they were enforced. I reflected inward to break away from things I didn’t even realize had taken hold of me. I spoke about going to a medium and not expecting it to be more than a fun activity that might provide some amusement, but it was a real catalyst for change. At the time, I was feeling very alone. I was deeply sad. I was focused on what I had lost. I had felt that way a long time. In my reading, my aunt, along with other departed loved ones substantiated their continued presence in my life. I was told I am not alone and that I am surrounded by love.

I was given an accurate account of the last time I was with my aunt and uncle before their deaths. The loving vision of them holding hands in the hospital was described to me in detail. I was also told my aunt was aware of the final moments I shared with her. The very last thing. No one else knows what I said, or what I did, but the medium described that too.

This was an unburdening of sorts, because I was reminded that I have all I need to rise, within me. In fact, my departed loved ones recommended a book that was not published when any of them were alive and that the medium was aware existed, but had never read. With all of the specific details my loved ones imparted, I decided I had nothing to lose, so I read the book. Within its pages were all the answers I needed to find my way. They said the book was about women rising and owning my power.

In the book it posed a question: why would you give your power away? I was not even aware I had, but it was true. My pain, loss, fear of more loss and sadness had stripped away more of me than I even knew. Thankfully it was not gone. I just needed to summon it again.

“Your inside will be your outside. If you can listen to the silence inside you, hear what love wants to say, to do, then no one outside of you can ever silence you again.” ~ Mary Magdalene Revealed, Meggan Watterson.

As I started to reclaim my power, I sought help for my physical pain and accepted validation that the losses were more than anyone should or could handle, or easily process. I accepted permission to be sad, so I could finally start to shed it, layer by layer, like pulling the individual strands from my rubber band ball.

Then, I did all of the things I mentioned in my previous posts. I removed things from my home that no longer served a purpose, that had bad energy, or that were left behind. I renovated my bedroom. I took up sage smudging, crystals and meditation. I replaced wine with water. I did more yoga and other physical activities, and continued to seek therapeutic treatments for my chronic pain. I took inventory of my thoughts and started to replace the long list of who and what I felt I had lost, with the long list of who and what I still have. I started taking guitar lessons. I enrolled in a class called The Science of Well Being. I read more. I started asking people to spend time with me and to come over to my house to fill it with new energy and memories.

The effort was truly customized to be what I needed. It was the answers I could only find inside. It was an effort of mind, body and spirit. The journey is not nearly complete, nor will it ever be. It is not perfect. I still miss people. I still have pain. But I cry less. I feel my power again. I am rising.

I want to share something my dad recently sent me. I feel it is good advice for everyone and might be just what we all need to hear right now:

I just finished reading your article. If you live life there is always going to be some hurt, but there is a lot of good as well. It's probably in your genes to not pass off the negative easily. You have accomplished a lot and will continue to do more.

I think we all feel really strange right now, it's difficult to put a handle on it. Just hope in the end it unites the world and makes everyone realize what a unique place this is.

Thanks for sharing your article, there will be a lot of good times and new beginnings ahead, you will be okay.

Love you Ilan -- a long social distance hug -- Dad

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