Why I am not sugarcoating my loss

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Warning: This week’s post is intensely personal, and my perspective may not resonate with everyone. This is just a humble perspective of loss from a party of one. 

On 2/11/14, I had a miscarriage. For 6-7 brief weeks, he appeared, but suddenly he was gone. I even named him, spirit baby Michael.

For 2 weeks, I allowed myself to feel pain, anger, shame, denial, and unworthiness. I admitted to myself I wanted this so badly. I stopped getting mad at myself for allowing myself to get excited so soon. I questioned, then stopped questioning, wondering what I could have done differently. In my grief, one night, I even projected my pain onto my husband, because he said having another child would not be his first choice, then finally, I took responsibility for projecting my loss. Past losses came up again for healing “Hadn’t I been through enough already?—stage 4 cancer, my mother’s suicide, divorce, infertility , etc” until one morning I woke up to begin counting my blessings and gratitude instead of re-writing all of those stories. I stopped thinking I wasn’t good enough, worthy enough for this spirit baby to stay.

This week, I was reminded that:

Everything is energy.
What we focus on amplifies.

Energy doesn’t discern whether a loss is big or small.
It just knows it’s moving or it’s stuck.

There are 2 ways I could heal my loss.
I could continue to stay in my grief and give more to that stuck energy.
I could even build stories around my loss, an armor to protect my heart.
This is the way of the warrior.

THE WARRIOR.
Telling myself I’ve got to control it, manage it. Keep trying, going, going, don’t stop. Get the sword out to fight, (especially in the case of wanting to be pregnant) with no idea when and if I will get there (success) or how it is going to end.

This was the old me around secondary infertility. I would have continued to go through my to-do list, meditate, run energy, eat super healthy, exercise 3-4 times a day, etc. Do whatever it takes to “manifest” or “will” baby Michael to make another appearance. This way is exhausting.

And at what cost?

There is another way. A softer way.
Whatever your loss is, find your way to accept things as they are.

Miscarriage isn’t a good or bad
Death isn’t a good or bad
Divorce isn’t a good or bad
Cancer isn’t a good or bad
A breakup isn’t a good or bad
It just IS.

Instead of grasping at negative messages, learn to let negative emotions go. Neutralize self-judgments or negative thoughts. Stop sugarcoating loss with well meaning myths like “It’s God’s will” “Be strong”, or “Stay busy”. Put away the guilt, the “would haves” “should haves”. A loss is a loss is a loss. One loss isn’t more important than any other.

You are not less or more of a person because of any loss that’s happened. 

You are wise, capable and a good person. Period.

No sugarcoating the past few weeks. I had a miscarriage. In the darkest moments, there was pain, darkness, suffering.  I am far from perfect. I’ve been down the slippery slope of depressed and back.

The softer way. I remind myself all the “doing” is  just an illusion of me trying to be in control. A month away from my 46th birthday, I accept pregnancy may never happen for me again, ever. Or it may. Either way, it doesn’t change who I am. I am no longer attached to the outcome in a way that can be paralyzing. I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t be over the moon in calling in a sibling for Kayman. In present time, I am accepting of what is.
What’s true today. I love being a mother (to both my 2 legged and the 4 legged “kids”)  I am going to focus that goodness here right now versus the suffering.  I am so so profoundly grateful for these learnings (and I continue to learn and uncover more gems each day), and ways to work through the ebbs and flow of loss. I am no different or more special than anyone else because of what happened.

Through these personal experiences, I’ve learned some new tools to transform loss. I’m grateful to be on other side of more possibilities, and am here to support you or anyone you know that is going through a rough patch.   I am grateful for my coach and my community being a “container” for my loss. I took some time off to grief, knowing that in order to be there for others, I had to replenish first. It feels good to feel grounded, and back in my body. If you are grieving, this is my wish for you too.

I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a love note below  what helped you the last time you found yourself navigating loss.

Get your “joy sparkles” on!

Ten years ago,
My heart was broken.
I was grieving deeply, having just said good-bye to a marriage
followed by the death of my beloved dog, Sophie.

Sophie was my little dutch boy with his finger in the dam.
The catalyst for me to shine the flashlight on my own grief.

I started a luxury pet keepsakes company to honor her, and heal my grief.
I was still numb.
I had no idea how I was supposed to be in the world with my darkness.

In all that darkness I used my awesome work ethic to move forward.
In all honesty though, it still sucked.
Want to know why?

I closed my heart.
Because I was “grieving”
I said no the light.
I stayed in the dark.
I didn’t let any joy in.

Not one joy sparkle.
Not when we launched Luxepets gifting styling celebrity pooches.
Not when I sold my first remembrance charm at the NYC gift show.
Not when we were featured in InStyle magazine’s holiday editorial next to Burberry.

Why am I telling you this?
Whether you are grieving,  weathering your own challenges, feeling okay but want to feel great,
I want to let you in on a little secret.

You have permission to feel a sparkle of “joy”, or what I call “Joy sparkles” even when you are feeling like crap.
Especially on those days when you have to drag yourself out of bed,
It’s when we need sparkles of joy to motivate us.

What are “joy sparkles”?

It can be as simple as:
-writing yourself a post it note to yourself before you go to bed, so you awake to something you need to hear. IE: “I matter.” “This WILL get better.”
-set your coffeemaker timer to brew, so you have a cup of coffee waiting for you in the morning, or when you make your bed in the am, turn it like in a hotel and leave yourself a mint.
-put something nutritious on the kitchen counter for you to take before you goto work. I love my Lara bars when I am running late.
-find a funny something to watch on youTube.
-you don’t have to be a dog person or own one to go to a dog park, or pet store for some unconditional love.
-at work, get up from your desk, go walk OUTSIDE. Go find a tree. And really LOOK. Pay attention to how the branches extend out, the leaves, the color. Notice.
Drink it in. Allow your senses to perk up. Imagine the tree as a young seedling and how it’s grown over time.
-If you are in an office park/cubicle, get up. Walk over to a Starbucks or a café near you. Notice something different on way there, something you haven’t seen before.

The point is; Do SOMETHING that allows some joy into your daily life.

The key is to do something, 1 thing, everyday.

Action. Forward. Action.

When we are sitting in dark, we feel alone, in that boat out to sea, having to do everything ourselves.
We miss the person, the pet that used to do those things for us.

When we begin to DO for ourselves, each joy sparkle will illuminate the room just a bit more.
The darkness begins to lift.

Challenge:
November is the month of manifestation! Can you committ to doing one thing that gets your “joy sparkles” up and out?
Look at one dream you have, and see if you can do one little joyful thing each day to bring you closer to it.
I would love to hear about your “woot woot” below.