This morning when I woke up, I did what I have been doing the last few mornings: I chose the thought "Life is good" to replace my morning default "I hate my life."
This is a vulnerable confession. This is part of my journey since losing my daughter. Choosing this new thought each morning is a challenge, but it definitely is helping me face each day more fully.
I know from experience and from my studies that all-out positive thinking doesn't really help—and can even harm—if you don't believe what you're thinking. Trapping your true feelings beneath pretty thoughts leaves grief and pain crying silently in the depths of your soul like neglected or abandoned children.
But substituting one partially-believed thought ("I hate my life") with a more positive partially-believed thought ("Life is good") can shift our focus and feelings in a self-nurturing way without denying our present reality.
It is painful for me to think "Life is good." How can life be good without Caety? How can life be good when I have lost my precious child? How can life be good when she did not get to continue living here, where she enjoyed so much of this world?
Yet I know there is a glimmer of truth in "Life is good." Family, friendships, caring for others, giving and receiving love—these are all still part of my life, and they are good.
So I step forward on that truth, that chosen thought, wincing with discomfort and effort, like someone learning to walk again as they heal from a hundred broken bones. ♥
The day after I wrote the above—before I even had a chance to post it—grief suddenly dropped me into a hole so dark I couldn't even see the glimmer of truth in "Life is good."
I slept as much as I could (the only way I felt relief), cried a lot, and breathed through the intense pain in body, mind, and heart.
Eckhart Tolle says to accept everything—even to accept that you cannot accept. Some days I cannot accept the way life is. At those times, I accept that I cannot accept. No sense beating yourself up for not being able to stand.
Six days later, I am able again to awaken this morning and tentatively tell myself "Life is good." ♥
Photo: Caety, Stephen, and Ryan, July 2011
Life is good Beach Wave Heart T-Shirt (Pacific Blue)