Inside each of us there’s a continual autumn.Our leaves fall and are blown out over the water, a crow sits in the blackened limbs and talks about what’s gone.There’s a necessary dying, and then we are reborn breathing again.Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground.Be crumbled so wildflowers will come up where you are.~Rumi
A month before my mom died, my life looked pretty darn good on paper. Own my own business, doing something good for the world, check. Great friends, check. Surrounded by creativity and enjoying lots of travel, check. In a loving (albeit new) relationship, check.
But the moment I found out my mom died, I felt like a derailed train coming to a screeching halt. I became instantly intolerant of trivial crap — and for a while, everything seemed like trivial crap. I didn’t care about client emails or texts about the next party. I began to view the clutter of daily life with a new lens – a lens that showed the glaring truth of over-inflated egos and an overall lack in meaning. I wanted nothing to do with any of it. All I craved was connection and love.
I was faced with a choice. I could choose to fight to keep life-as-I-knew-it intact, or I could choose to listen, to be crumbled and be changed.
I wrote to a friend:
"[I'm] feeling defeated and sad and like I can't live my life the way it is anymore. I can't handle dealing with the self-made stress...what I was once so excited about is just falling apart. And when I try to get the energy to put it back together I just can't do it. I don't have an ounce of heart for it and everything is feeling forced..."
Somewhere, deep down, I knew my mother’s death was catapulting me into a different direction. There would be no “back to normal”. There would only be a new normal, and a new me.
That is not to say it wasn’t (and isn’t) hard as hell to ride the waves of change. Even with a deep understanding that my life change was inevitable, and even for the better, I didn’t want it. I wept to think I couldn’t hug my mom again. I felt the despair of being orphaned at 32 years of age, with the second half of my foundation ripped from beneath me. And I cried as I watched my business fall apart before my eyes – it was my baby, built from scratch and nurtured for five years. I was losing a big part of my “self”. I made several attempts to keep my business alive which left me feeling weak and lifeless again. The time came when I did not have the energy to fight.
My point? When I truly listened to my heart and gut, I knew I needed to BE CRUMBLED and BE CHANGED. There was no fighting this one. I needed to allow my grief to change me. For me, that meant changing my career, moving back to my childhood home, and letting go of a ton of “stuff”- including my business – that was no longer serving me. It meant letting go of a sense of self that was based on external factors and motivations, and not the true me.
I challenge each person affected by loss or grief to be crumbled and to allow yourself to change. Find out what that change looks like for you. I promise you it’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be pretty, but when the seasons pass and spring comes again, don’t be surprised when wildflowers come up where you are.