In 4 days it will be 1 whole year since I lost my mum. A year. It simultaneously feels like yesterday and a life time. This past year has changed my life more than I ever could have imagined. I have learned more about myself, about who I want to be, where I want to be going and importantly who I want to be there when I arrive. The year has brought a oxymoronic mixture of kindness and harshness.
I have always been a believer that you do not have to be friends with everyone.
More importantly, that this sentiment does not reflect badly on either party. There are so many people in the world and life is just way too short to be anyone (or with anyone) than those who set your soul on fire.
There have been friendships that have strengthened beyond belief and others that have fizzled away (sometimes a little forcefully). There have been moments when maybe I should have made a different choice. Where I could have been kinder.
Depression taught me (and grief has concreted) that kindness starts at home.
By this I mean that you cannot be kind to the world without first being kind to yourself. That how we treat the world is a direct reflection of how we treat ourselves. If you are at constant battle with others, you are battling yourself. If you are criticizing others, you are criticizing yourself. It is the law of the universe.
I have learned that putting my mental health first is not only okay, but also really really important. In a time where it took every ounce of strength that I had to brush my hair, put on my pants and leave the house, I did not have time for anyone that drained my energy. I had to let some people go. I had to step away from energy that was taking my only life blood.
Occasionally, it is these situations that maybe I could have handled better. Maybe, I could have kept going, been kinder. But I am a strong believer in energy. I feel it in others, and I feel it leaving me to prop up them. I have found that by letting go of old negative relationships created a vacuum for exactly the people I needed. With complimentary energy, with laughs, encouragement, support and wine.
We are often criticized in our society for being “selfish”. A word which has come to mean more “anything that I don’t like” rather than an activity which intentionally makes your life easier and someone else’s harder.
At some times in your life you need to be selfish.
You need to put yourself, your body, your heart and your soul first. I wish only love and happiness to those that I have stepped away from. I celebrate their successes from a far. I am proud of who they are becoming.
As a wonderful yoga teacher once told me “you cannot pour from an empty cup”. When you are grieving, when your cup has gaping holes, you do everything you can to full it for yourself. Because first of all you need you.