That Sweet Sudden Grief…

Image from www.baby-pictures.org

“Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, how it holds you in place.” 
~ Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

I didn’t expect to be blogging about grief today. But grief snuck up on me last night and broadsided me. This morning I can still taste its bitter-sweetness.

It’s been weeks since I’ve thought of a girlfriend of mine. We’d been close since childhood. Kate was a performer, an artist, a free spirit. My dearest friend. She died suddenly, after an accident, back in 2010.

I’d thought that particular wound was healing over nicely. Mostly my memories have been happy ones lately, and the sting of her passing had faded to a dull ache.

And then last night a song ripped off the scab, and the wound was as fresh and raw as it ever was.  Music.  It’s always my undoing. It’s always my salvation.

I chanced to hear a late night song on the radio and suddenly we were young girls again in the 80’s, me and Kate, running amok in late-night Brisbane Streets, living in the craziness of share houses, experiencing all the pains and joys and revelations of growing up and growing older. Last night Hunters and Collectors ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ took me right back to a life I’m so far from now – squeezed up against the thumping speakers at a live performance at the Mansfield Tavern – Kate and I singing along to every word of this song with Mark Seymour as if it were our personal anthem.

We tumbled out of the pub afterwards, laughing because our ears were ringing so loud we couldn’t hear each other at all.  Kate yelled at me “I so want to shag him”, her eyes bright with excitement and life, just as their van drove slowly past, windows down in the summertime heat.  They tooted their horn in acknowledgement as they drove off and we almost died laughing.

I miss my friend. Sometimes I miss her so much it’s a visceral thing.

Is this what love is then? A healing and a hurting, and a healing and a hurting, over and over until your heart is all scarred up?

That’s okay, if that is how this process works.  I’d rather a scar that I can feel than an empty place where the rain gets in and the wind blows cold.

One simple song and I was in a time machine, going back twenty years to a place as fresh and real for me as if it were just yesterday. Does music have the power to do that for you, too?

The night of Kate’s untimely death two years ago, another friend sent me a link to a song, Johnny Cash covering Nine Inch Nail’s Hurt . What a gift. That song expressed for me all that I felt and couldn’t speak; Kate’s pain, my loss, my utter hopelessness and despair at having someone precious snatched away just as things were finally working out for them after a lifetime of disaster.

Music got me through.  And it’s still my bridge to her. That’s a good thing. Something for which I’m forever grateful.

So this morning I’m raw, and full of feeling, life and love. This morning I’m giving thanks for all the musicians, artists, writers, risk takers and untamed spirits who make this planet richer with their art, and who express for us what’s in our hearts, in ways more eloquent than we alone might say.

Mr Cash, Kate Prentice, I honour you…

And Kitkat, this last song’s for you – cos I know how much you loved it. Every time I hear it, it makes me smile (AND think of the time Queensland won the Sheffield Shield!).  Love you, my friend ♥ xx

Guided Meditation for Emotional Support

Can miles truly separate you from friends… If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?
~ Richard Bach

Life is a glorious adventure, but sometimes the road is hard.  Sometimes we become overwhelmed by our troubles, we feel alone, and we think that we don’t have not enough strength to face even the smallest uphill journey.

I want you to know something. I want you to know that you are loved.  Even though you might not understand it, there is love all around you. You are never alone.  There is so much that supports you energetically.

Disconnection is a feeling we’ve all had, but it is truly an illusion.  Today I’ve recorded a Guided Meditation to help you connect back into the energies of love and support. All you have to do is sit back, relax, close your eyes, and listen to the sound of my voice.

You’ll need to allow about fifteen minutes for the entire process.  It’s a great way to start or end your day.  Just click on the link below to begin:

Nicole Cody’s Guided Meditation for Emotional Support

You’re in my thoughts and prayers.  You’re in my daily meditations. From my heart to yours, I’m sending love across the miles.  ♥

Bittersweet cupcake celebrations…

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

This should be a post about birthdays and love, and it is all of those things.  But it’s also a post about love and loss, and the way grief can affect us.

The Fourth of July has long been a special day for birthdays in our household; a date shared by our niece, our beautiful old dog Charlie, and a treasured friend, Kate.

It’s a day for kisses and candles, hugs and birthday wishes. A day for cupcakes and celebration for humans and dogs alike.

This year it’s also been a sad day. My friend Kate passed away unexpectedly on 26 October, 2010. At forty she was just too young. Death snuck up and snatched her away in the form of a brain aneurysm. She’d laugh I’m sure, and say that she was one of the ones who died young, leaving a good-looking corpse.

It’s my second year celebrating the Fourth of July Birthday Cupcake Fiesta without her.

At this point I must disclose our secret Motto for Life:

I thought it would have been easier this year. I happily still ate a cupcake in her honour. I smiled at the things we’ve shared, and some of the crazy things she’s done in her life.

But I find myself missing her more than words can say, even though it hurts a little less somehow.

I’m not uncomfortable about death, and I know that all of us are here in the most temporary of ways. At first I was sad when Kate died because she would never get to do any more of the things she’d dreamed about. After a hard life things were finally working out for her, and it’s true to say that she died at a very good place in her life, but with so much more to come, that will now forever remain unfinished.

That’s how it is for all of us.  We die as works in progress.

But this year I realised something different. I’m sad for the loss of the physicality of our friendship. I can’t just get on the phone anymore.  There isn’t someone to go on driving adventures with, or to celebrate cupcake feasts, or to share those special or hard moments in life. I can’t get a hug, or a song, or a crazy dance routine to cheer me up and make me laugh til my face hurts.

I’m sure those of you who’ve lost loved ones will know what I mean.

There is something wonderful about having someone to share life’s ups and downs with, about having a person who knows you well and holds your secrets and is there for you when you need them. Many people find these relationships with lovers and soul mates, or family members, but occasionally we are also blessed to find them in the form of friends.

Kate always loved an excuse for tasty treats and a party.

So this is for her.

Happy Birthday, Kate.

 

And this, because Kate adored Eva Cassidy, and because time really does help us heal…

 

If I have one wish for you today? That you hug the ones you love, that you phone a friend and have a good old chat, that you eat a cupcake, and smile for no particular reason except that it’s good to be alive.

Knowing When to Walk Away

Walking away… Last Deviation by Seryia Uchina

“Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realise our worth and value, but because we finally realise our own.” ~ Robert Tew

You know the old saying I am sure.  The definition of madness (some actually say stupidity) is to do the same thing over and over, and yet keep expecting a different result.

Walking away is not an admission of defeat.  Walking away is about recognising our own boundaries, our own limits, and our own needs.

So how do you know if it’s time to walk away?  (And I’m not just talking relationships – I’m talking jobs, business deals, addictions, habits, workloads, friendships, situations… )

Look for these signs, and ask yourself honestly if any of these describe you:

If it’s just not adding up, no matter which way you crunch the numbers…

Image by Pixomar

If the warning bells keep going off in your mind…

Image by cbenjasuwan

If you’re not being respected, honoured or valued…

Image by kenfotos

If they keep doing the thing they promised to stop doing…

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If it’s always your fault, even when it’s not…

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If it’s only ever about them…

Vanity by John William Waterhouse 1908

If the only thing you ever get is pain, pain and more pain..

Image from bemycareercoach.com

If you recognise that to continue with this situation/relationship is only going to drag you further and further down…

Image by Bert Blondeel

If your head is so full, or your body is so tired, or both, that you need to push back for a bit and go get some fresh air…

Image from bbrblog.com

If there’s no love left, if you’re not having fun any more…

Image by winstonwolfe

If your heart is being pulled in a new direction…

Image from allwomenstalk.com

Any of these things are serious cause for consideration.

Life is short. For you. For them. If it’s not working, and you’ve done all you can do, or all you’re willing to do, walk away. Do it in your own time – there’s no need to make life harder for yourself. But do it. Do it because if you don’t value yourself, no-one else will.

 

♥ You may find these posts useful too:

Knowing when to let go

Emotions and their impact on your health

The Broken Robot Repair Shop

How to Nurture your sense of Self Love

What to do when you don’t know where you’re going

Dare to Love…

image from allglowallpaper.com

Love. It’s what we all want.  It’s what we all need. I urge you – dare to love. It’s not hard to do – the act of loving is hard-wired into us.  All we need to do is be brave enough to open our hearts…

Open Your Heart - by Helen Green

Love is the greatest feeling in the world. Love is intoxicating, love is all-consuming, love is the greatest fuel for creativity and acts of kindness and compassion known to mankind. Love lights us up and lifts us up, and brings out the very best in us.  When we know love there is a strengthening inside us, a softening inside us, an opportunity to grow into more than we have ever been. We can thrive under the harshest of conditions.  We can bloom on barren ground.

Image from ehow.com

Love can be so wonderful, but it can also bring about the worst feelings in the world.  That doesn’t matter.  Choose love anyway.

People often forget, when they think about love, what real love entails.

Love hurts. In good ways and bad ways. But it still hurts. Real love endures.  And anything that endures will know many seasons.

We can know so much love and expansion that our heart aches, and our face hurts from perpetually smiling.

Image from myfreewallpapers.net

We can feel sadness or loneliness if there begins to be a drift apart; whether that is the nature of the time in our lives, or a fork in the road. Many times the roads join up again, and we come back together refreshed and understanding more about ourselves, each other, and life.  The difficulties strengthen and deepen our love.

Image from davidsanger.com

Sometimes love leaves us in the most terrible of places. Cracked open and bleeding, hurting til we almost cannot see through the tears, or breathe through the pain. We get to a place where we don’t know how we’ll go on…

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And even in the presence of more pain, all caused by love, we do, eventually find our way from grief and despair…

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…back to a place of hope, and renewal, and we find that our hearts have expanded, even with their scars and holes and hurts.

We find that loving creates the capacity to love more.

image from airtravelwithpets.com

Dare to love. Dare to reach out. Let loving define you. Live from your heart in the most reckless and carefree of ways.  Despite the risk. Despite the inevitability of pain. Nothing will ever fill you up, or open you up, or give you more joy and satisfaction than love.

♥ Love is worth it.  You are worth it.  Choose love. ♥

Let your love for self, others and life illuminate our world.

Image from lolfunweb.blogspot.com

What to do when you don’t know where you’re going…

Lonely - image from scottysplace.blogspot.com

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
~ Dr. Seuss

Feeling lost is a very normal human emotion. And it is especially common when we are going through change.

When we find ourselves in that in-between space: in between jobs, relationships, projects… when we’ve given something up, or lost that something which has helped define us…

image from bestprofilepicture.blogspot.com

it’s normal to feel hollowed out, lonely, directionless, lost.

And in that space it’s okay to not know where you’re going.

image from designzzz.com

There is a wisdom in this Universe. It is greater than anything that you will muster as an individual. It carries you along in its flow, whether you are aware of it or not.

This wisdom contrives for us wonders and synchronicities far beyond anything we may ever imagine or dream for ourselves.

The Bello Nebula - image from wallpaperstock.net

So our job is not to have all the answers.  Our job isn’t even about asking the right questions.

When life is difficult,

when we don’t know where we are going…

image from freebigpictures.com

our job is to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Learn to fill yourself up on your own. Do the things you can do. Take care of yourself and do the best you can. Honour your own values and principles.  Live from integrity.

Trust.

If you keep putting one foot in front of the other, eventually the way will find you – the path will become clearer – new doors will open, new companions will show up along the way.

So for now, keep walking.

image from livromans.com

We kid ourselves into thinking we ever know where we are going – life is so much stranger and more wonderful than that.

It’s okay to be scared –  know that this is all part of the journey.

Keep going and don’t think about it or plan into the future so much or you’ll miss all the glorious stuff going on right now, right in front of you.

image from ineffabletwaddle.com

The fact is, it’s usually when we don’t know where we’re going that we find ourselves.

Bless ♥ xx

What to do when you’re forced to let go…

When you decide to let go, it empowers YOU. When we make the choice to let go, we change the dynamics of our lives, and by default, the lives of those around us.

So what happens if you are at the receiving end of letting go? We’ve all been there. Someone dies. We’re fired from our job. Our lover, partner, spouse ends our relationship.  A friend closes the door and says they don’t want us in their lives any more.  A family member stops speaking to us.

Our ability to respond, to change, to control, to continue, to hope…   it’s all taken away from us. We end up, we are sure, on the wrong side of the door. There’s no key. No one answers our knocks. Or worse, they shout for us to go away.

Whenever that happens we experience a kind of death. Whether it is a person who has passed over, or the end of something in our lives, there are phases we will go through.  Knowing that there are phases helps.  Then we can understand our emotions as a process.

The grief cycle looks like this:

In the aftermath of loss

Let yourself feel and honour what comes up for you. Be kind to yourself, and tolerant of your emotions.  Give yourself space to grieve and to heal.  Find support. Do what you can to nurture and uplift yourself. (abundant suggestions for self-nurture here) There is no denying that there will be pain. Loss is never fun. It’s not the season for that.

This sort of letting go, after the abrupt severance from the other end of the connection, is often harder at first than being the one who let go. At the point of consciously letting go, the other person has pulled back from you already.They knew what was coming.  It was their choice, and theirs alone, no matter how painful. You, at the receiving end, are gifted with  the frayed remains of something, the shock of the disconnect, the awful feeling of being DISEMPOWERED.

But wait.

We could get caught up in this sorry business here, but the longer we hold to it, the more we stay stuck in it.

Life changes.  Seasons come and go. Friendships, relationships, times in our lives – they all come to an end.  No one ever knows when a loved one will pass from our lives. The only thing we can know for certain is that change is inevitable, and that at some stage we will all die.

Allow yourself to grieve, and as you begin to emerge from grief, look for ways to continue living, ways to reconnect with family or community, ways to rediscover hope and gratitude. Know that when a loved one dies they are not lost to us, and that their love is enduring. I have seen so much of this in my work as a psychic, and it gives me incredible comfort.

And if your relationship has come to an end? If the job no longer wants you?

No matter how committed you were, no matter how much you gave, or loved, or tried…  it was no longer a good energetic fit.

Something had changed for the other person or party.  Maybe slowly, over a long time.  Maybe suddenly.  But with that knowledge, and that recognition of the lack of energetic fit, they drew back. One day they just woke up in bed with the wrong person and knew they couldn’t keep doing it  – and that person was you!

That’s so much of what the energies of 2012 are all about.  Change, dealing with change, creating change, growth. This year, especially, we will be compelled to change. The things that have no value, no integrity, no further use for us will be broken down.  Things that are unbalanced will need to come back into flow.

So if someone has closed the door on you? It means you are no longer an energetic match. One of you has changed enough that you no longer fit together. It leaves the ‘door-closer’ free to find a better match, or to stay unchanged if you are the one who is growing and evolving. Not everyone will embrace change and that’s okay.

More importantly, when a relationship ends, it leaves YOU free to connect to something that better honours you. Sometimes what feels terrible at the time turns out to be a Blessing in your life. The Universe has wisdom beyond anything we can ever understand.

So many times I have heard the story of a marriage ending, and then the person meets their life partner and soul mate. They continue to grow and evolve in ways that are healthy and positive.  They finally know contentment.

Publisher after publisher reject a novel.  Suddenly someone takes it up and it becomes a best seller. (This is reassuringly common!)

The job ends and the person takes a career change. Unexpected doors open, new directions unfold. Life opens out again. Life becomes more authentically matched to the talents and gifts of that person.

You get rejected from the University course you had your heart set on, go travelling and find a new love, a new direction, a new passion you didn’t know was in you.  You go from the misery of not ever being a Lawyer to the joy of being a Horticulturalist or a Pediatric Nurse where you KNOW it’s where you’re meant to be.

Life’s road has twists and turns.  Sometimes your companion on the road of life leaves. For a time you may need to walk solo.  But it’s a busy road.  Other walkers will be along.  Sometimes you will meet back up with the person you walked with before, and find your have both changed, both grown, and are able to come back together. Sometimes you’ll meet that person and they will be happily walking with a new companion, you’ll be walking with a new companion and you’ll breathe a sigh of relief that they are no longer in your lives. Often you’ll only discover and connect with your authentic self, and find your true direction, when you’ve walked a mile or two on your own.

We act as unknowing Angels in each other’s lives, helping each other find a path more suited to us. Sometimes we close the door.  Sometimes it is closed on us.  Life forks out in new directions.

The only thing you need to do is keep moving.  At some stage you need to pick yourself up from the floor, dust yourself off, and continue on the journey.  Who knows what adventure is around the corner?  Who knows what qualities you will find within yourself, what values you will come to hold dear? Who knows what companion might join you next?

There is a wisdom and a synchronicity within the Universe. We are loved and supported and guided at every turn. There is a season and a reason for everything, although this can be hard to see until we have walked further along the path and get to a place where we look back over our shoulder and finally understand.

Wishing you strength, courage and good cheer for the journey. Bless ♥ xx