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People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Within the past several years, I experienced the death of my Dad, my brother, who is my only sibling, as well as the death of 4 treasured fur babies. I am no stranger to loss and trauma. Through it all, my light within shined. There were moments when it was dim, but it never went out completely.

I think I handled is quite well. I was told numerous times by numerous people how “strong” I am. Me strong. Wow.

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Just recently I battled a pretty serious illness which I am presently healing from. I think the years of grief had finally caught up to me. This came from being “strong” and holding so much in. After all, my children deserve to have a happy Mommy.  My husband deserves a happy wife and my Mom needs me to be strong for her. Everyone told me I needed to be strong for my Mom, husband and children. That’s me. Strong.

I’m absolutely fabulous at taking care of others. I do whatever it takes to ensure that my home is the most nurturing, happy, warm, loving fun home it can be. We are a very close family and I am supportive, understanding and overwhelmingly doting.  Apparently, I neglected to take complete care of me and it BOOM! It finally caught up to me.

Yes I eat healthy, exercise and try to get plenty of rest. I don’t drink, smoke or do anything detrimental to my health. Apparently, this wasn’t enough. I continued my life in the normal fashion. I didn’t take the appropriate time for me and the self-care I so obviously needed.

It is very important that you take this away with you: When you are going through a tough time, it’s crucial to not get caught up in things that will only bring you and your body more stress. You need to remove yourself from situations that will hinder your healing.

One thing that is so easy to do is to get wrapped up in the situations and emotions of our friends. This is all to common and it’s considered a normal part of our relationships.  However, when you are going through your own personal turmoil, it is simply not the time to take on others’ burdens. It is draining to your own energy. Listening to the emotions of others can sometimes even cause those emotions to be stirred up in ourselves, especially if we are able relate to their situation. Our energy needs to be conserved for our own healing and our own well-being.

Another thing we need to do is accept ourselves.  This means that we need to accept who we are and what we are capable of at the present moment. Are you able to do that? Are you able to truly and honestly recognize that there are times when you just won’t be 100% and off-the-chart spectacular? Are you able to realize that there are going to be times that your energy is depleted and you can only do so much? Don’t beat yourself up because you’re not the Superhero you want to be at that given point in your life. Hang up the cape for a while. It will be there when you are ready.

When you are going through unusual stress, you need to embrace what helps you feel good. What used to bring you tremendous joy or relaxation may not be working and you’ll sometimes need to shift your surroundings. You need to pay close attention to your own needs and what will work at this particular moment in time. If things aren’t nourishing your soul, don’t do them. There will be time to get back into those things when you’re feeling up to it. Don’t ever let anyone rush you or tell you it will be good for you. It may be good for you in general but if you aren’t ready, it’s not good for you at that time.

If you feel super busy, please take the time to unwind.  And when I say unwind, I don’t mean sitting on the couch staring at your smart phone looking social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, answering emails or surfing the web. It’s so easy to get caught up in it. On one hand, it connects us to so much, but on the other, it robs us of being present, really present, in the moment and what truly matters. You need to be present in your life and your family’s life. It is crucial to savor the moments. It is not crucial to play Words with Friends or read your Twitter timeline.

Stay in the moment. Be in the moment. Relax. Nurture. Make memories. This is imperative for stress relief as well.

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The willingness to be present in what is unfolding around you will change your life. It’s not easy and it takes practice. You may even mess up a lot. But each time you don’t give in, you get stronger. The stronger you get, the more able you will handle things that life throws your way.

So what are you going to do today to relax, be happy and take care of yourself? Please share in the comments section. I’d love to read about it.

 

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