Having been faced with a quite a few challenges for the past few years, which culminated in me not achieving the goals I had in mind, 2018 brought a set of challenges that left me with no tools to deal with and a level of vulnerability I had never ever experienced in my entire life (which is full of many traumatic and adverse issues from the past already that I have healed and worked through).
However, through these set of challenges brought a huge realisation of what I still had left to find within me, I thought I had reached my capacity to love, to cope and be calm… what I learned was there is always something greater within us that needs to come out. This tends to happen when hope and faith is tested.
My courageous, kind and beautiful Mother had suffered a stroke in the motor cortex of her brain 8 years ago. Over time she deteriorated to the point where she could not walk, talk, eat or move. She had recurrent lung infections that used to flare up, and other issues. Whenever she would be rushed into the hospital, we took it in turns to stop overnight as her needs were so specific, she was unable to press the buzzer and call for help. We knew her every expression, her feelings and assisted and supported her, often going in the next day to work (2 of us in the family are teachers, me in secondary and my sister in FE). The drill became familiar …. the doctors would say she’s not going to make it and we would all leave work and rush to the hospital … only to find she’d pull through again and again. The doctors agreed she defied all textbooks.
Until early July this year, I was taken into hospital with viral lung issues, and my Mum was struggling so much with super resistant bacterial lung infection, that Dad decided on recommendation of the doctors that she should be allowed to release up, peacefully than just to keep her going with antibiotics. It was her time and she went peacefully. A very bitter sweet feeling.
There was a level of peace we all felt while we were looking at her body. We were still talking to her (well…I was doing most of the talking as that’s what I do well!). Many, many tears too. When the doctor came to check her ….he shone the light in her eyes. I watched. Hoping against hope her pupils would respond. They didn’t. Hoping against hope that her chest would rise once more and she would cough. She didn’t. She was gone. All I knew was we need to look out for each other and console each other knowing Mum was safely in her light.
Even though Mum was so poorly, she still managed to teach us lessons. She made me dig deeper and deeper. Resilience, perseverance, courage, kindness and compassion. When knowing doctors said she wouldn’t pull through, we took it in turns to be brave, to play and joke with her. Courage, compassion and an open heart, even through the heartache. Yet life went on, work went on, when I returned to work, teaching went on.
I, we, all felt vulnerable. I went to work and without the cushioning of my family, I felt exposed. I could not relate to this level of emotional vulnerability, the heartache, the emotions. I had no tools to cope with this and nothing anyone could say would make me feel better. Yet people shared their stories, a problem shared is a problem halved. Staff were kind and supportive.
I learned to sit with these feelings, emotions that came in waves. I cried when I needed to, I spoke to Mum in spirit when I needed to …I embraced it all as it was a part of me that helped me get through it. I learned what I needed to from this experience.
Then came October half term. Routine blood tests and certain niggling issues resulted in fast tracked appointments as they found CA markers that were elevated. People told me not to worry until there was something concrete to work with. Blood tests every week revealed the markers going up in their hundreds. My life was whizzing by my eyes, as were my dreams, goals and ambitions. “Don’t worry” people kept saying. Excruciating pain and definitely need to go for surgery. Consultant sent me for a 1 hour MRI scan just to make sure she “hadn’t missed anything.”
I broke down at the doctors, I cried with the consultant. I spent a few days in a further vulnerable state, emotional state ….again with no tools to deal with this news.
Then I had to dig deep….again.
I looked at what my Mum had been through (she’d had a brain tumour years back that was removed).
I learned to acknowledge and be with my fears, my anxieties, my vulnerability again. Being with them, sitting with them helped me to move through them. I learned to get up, and stand up and know I will get through this.
I still went to work this half term though was told by doctors I need time off to myself and dealing with the pain.
Only a few people were able to help me acknowledge these feelings, those who did were with me. The ones who couldn’t, kept skipping past the fact that I was worried and jumped straight onto “only worry about it when you are told specifically”….so basically, inadvertently my feelings, fears, emotions were not being acknowledged or even listened to.
I’m a trained subtle energy field healer (www.energyfieldhealing.com) and so started doing much self healing, meditation, sitting still. I pulled all the resources I could to get myself stronger emotionally, physically and mentally. Painkillers around the clock got me through every day, as did the support of team members.
The final week of term, the results came back and CA markers had dropped. Again I cried to the secretary on the phone. This time tears of joy and relief. I didn’t know I was holding myself together so much until it released. Yet I still did the best I could for my students and staff (and got a certificate for world class provision in teaching for that term).
The reason for sharing this is that every difficult situation becomes an opportunity to grow, to become, to be greater, yet at the time nothing feels like that. I became very human, with pain, grief, sadness….until I dug deep.
So, what did I learn?
- We are far more resilient than we ever think we are.
- To work through something means acknowledging your emotions, fears, anxieties first …or find someone who can help you acknowledge them.
- Never, ever dismiss how someone or you are feeling. Once you acknowledge how they are feeling you will help yourself and them to move through it. Otherwise it becomes stuck, they become stuck and it becomes a compounded issue.
- Perseverance grows patience and understanding. Never, ever give up hope and faith.
- Work on opening your heart, feeling and giving love, for it is an open heart that will feed you and nourish you in times of pain. Yes….your heart can still love and heal even if you are in pain. Give it time and patience.
- Once you have worked through the issues, you then have it in your make up to deal with them and support others through them if need be.
I learned we have far greater depth to our character than we ever can imagine. I have learned to be at peace with myself, my situation, the difficulties I was faced with and people around me (well…most of the time as I am only human!)
Hello to 2019 that will see me successfully through surgery and then embrace the learning lessons that I have learned and reignite my dreams, goals and passions. I would like to share my thoughts, feelings, journeys and most importantly the lessons I have learned more through blogs …which I wanted to do last year but hopefully you can see it would have been difficult.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it made a positive connection with you and helped you connect, or reconnect to your true being.
Reflection: What were your gifts and #learninglessons2018 that have helped you grow that you will bring into 2019.
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Wishing you all a peaceful, joyful and successful 2019.
Hugs and blessings