Still Here

Grief is a strange thing. It comes back in unexpected ways and stops you in your tracks. All of sudden the emotion is there whether you are prepared to deal with it or not. We look for closure, for finalization as a bridge to move forward. However, as time goes by, I am left wondering if closure is actually a reality or if we simply learn to live with the heaviness while still embracing new life, new joy. Life doesn’t stop and so we must continue to move forward even if a clear path does not present itself.


Sunday, the last sail race of the season, was significant, yet again. The end of my sailing season and the beginning of Fall, marking transition and loss in similar and different ways for the second year in a row. Last years race was dark and stormy, mirroring the events that were happening in my life and relationship at the time. In that relationship, I had found a new hope and so the loss of that was significant. Now, I fear it may still paint some of my views on love and my emotional reactions to connecting with other people.


Recently, I was challenged to view connections with other people as lessons I learn rather than focusing on the loss that I experienced. So what did I learn? I learned to stand my ground, I learned to speak my truth even when it was constantly questioned. I learned that I wanted more in life, more in my relationship. I learned to let go of a toxic situation because I am worth more than that, I do not need to allow that type of energy into my life and by default my daughter’s life.


This year, was a clear, beautiful, sunny day with no wind. A new mirror of current events. I am far more grounded and centered, far more okay this year than I was at this time last year. I can see the light despite the pain and darkness I have experienced. In a strange way, “no wind,” seems like the perfect metaphor for a relationship that I have fought for on and off again for almost four years with very little forward motion. Without wind, there is no race. The end.


However, I am too close to the experience to process the lessons I learned at this time. Instead I find my heart wrapped up in the loss and lack of closure for both situations. I find myself hopeful but grieving. I find myself alive but broken. I find myself resigned and yet I can not quiet the fight that is constantly going on in my heart. Letting go without a defined sense of closure is hard to do.


I organize things, I fix things, I make things neat and pretty – I can not do that this time around and it goes against the grain of who I am at the deepest level. I love until it hurts, literally, I don’t let go. However, this time, I have to let go. I can not hold on anymore. If I learned anything last year, it is that I matter and that I am the one who determines my path, no one else. However, there is still a level of heaviness in that knowledge and always grief in letting go.


Some days, my heart carries this weight well and I am able to go about my day with a sense of purpose and hope in new things to come. However, on days when my defenses are down and the grief hits unexpectedly, I struggle to remain steady and hopeful. I will not remain there though, I have fought too hard and stood my ground too long to give up now. So instead, I carry the grief and loss, joy and pain, love and let go, hope and brokenness inside my heart as graciously as I am able to and I keep on moving forward.

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I’m still here, I’m still smiling, I’d say that’s winning.

xo

leah

Change Is the Only Way

I’ve learned to never stay down too long

I get back up, I pick myself up

I smile

Not a fake smile, not a pasted on smile

An assured smile

Because life keeps turning

I keep learning

Change is the only way I know how to grow

Maybe I like the pain now

It inspires me, it motivates me, it moves me

So I look up at the Sun

And I drink in the beauty of this broken thing we call life

And know in my heart

It was not a mistake, it never is, it was the process

And I trust the process

It takes me where I need to be

When I’m too wrapped up in what I want it to be

Every time I fall

It’s the vast sky I look up to see

And I know life has a long road ahead for me

Even in the darkness

There’s such beauty

So raw, so real, so deep

And I realize I was too distracted to see

What was right there in front of me

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Onward & Upward, Always … xo 

Leah 

 

If It Doesn’t Scream “LOVE!”

My beliefs have always been something deeply personal to me. I find them hard to express to those who “believe” and to those who don’t; because they are my own, not shaped by a specific affiliation, they can be misunderstood or disregarded. I think more often than not, when you believe in something deeply, passionately, and unreservedly it can be daunting to others who either do not believe or whose own beliefs are challenged by yours. As for me, personally, I am not threatened by what others may or may not believe, this is my walk and only I need to be at peace with my path. The journey here has been a long one, one filled with many questions and doubts. I have experienced a shift in beliefs more than once and have found continued enlightenment along the way as I have opened my heart fully to listen and learn.

One of the main things that I have come to understand is this, if you are scared to open your mind to a change in your beliefs than your beliefs are not that solid. Fear is the greatest inhibitor of growth. I determined some time ago to open my mind to the possibility of change – I wanted to be able to stand solid in my core beliefs while still allowing myself to see things from another point of view. I am not scared of changing the way I think; I am well aware that I am not an expert and that I don’t know everything. I want growth, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and that requires facing down the fear of the unknown even if it rocks me to my core.

I recently stumbled across a blog by Micah Murray, Redemption Pictures, and his writings have resonated with me deeply. He writes the raw, the real, and with great thought and depth. I have been inspired, encouraged, and comforted by his words. Lately, I have found that I am feeling the need to stop censoring myself when it comes to what I really believe and how I really feel. Micah touches on this in one of his entries:

“I’m done with writing from the heart and then hitting backspace until it feels safe again. I’m not going to sit here and talk like I’ve arrived, like I don’t feel completely lost sometimes, like every day isn’t a journey. But I’m stumbling in the direction of God, I think. I hope.”

That is my hope as well, that I am stumbling in the right direction. I have always followed Love. At the core of everything that I believe, if it doesn’t scream “LOVE!,” then it is not something that I can accept or follow. So today and everyday, my path will be guided by Love and Acceptance. All are welcome, all are cherished – we all belong.

I believe in the God of love & light

In the One who surrounds and engulfs and envelopes you as a whole

A whole being, just as you are

Just as you were made

In an unending Ocean of Love

Where drowning is the ultimate end

And the place where a heart can truly begin

Oh the vastness, the greatness, the richness of this Love

That not one can comprehend, prevent, or box in

It is beyond a wildest dream, it is as tender as the hearts deepest wish

Why are you afraid?

You have been led to believe it can’t be this good

You have been told it never could

Cover you

Yet there it is, this Love

In the deepest parts of you

Hidden and obscured by lies and abuse, yet unchanged

Unchanged, unending, unfathomable, yet completely yours

This God of pure Love

Sets you free to let go, to give in,

To enter the safest place you’ll ever know

The Depths of Love

Let Go of Fear, Breathe in the Love

xo

Leah