Seasons of Grief, A Time to Every Purpose

Seasons of Grief, A Time to Every Purpose

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3: 1).

Sometimes we may feel discouraged, and feel as if life as we have known it is over. What lies ahead? We live in fear that our best days are behind us, that we have failed and made mistakes, that there is nothing to be done now, nothing that can turn back time and get us back to a place of what once was. In our darkest of moments, we wonder if there was a point to any of this suffering. What is life if it involves pain and grief like this? Life feels empty and meaningless. We feel like giving up.

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Walking Through Times of Grief

Walking Through Times of Grief

It has been 3 years since my initial experience with grief and loss and though many people told me that time would heal, it didn’t make each day easier. Although time heals, it takes a commitment to wake up each day and to make it through to the next day even when your mind, body, and spirit are crushed. At some point this process of living in the face of grief becomes easier, and you find yourself feeling joy and contentment again, even with the pain that is there. It’s like learning how to walk all over again, but this time with a broken leg.

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Two Mountains: The Journey of Grief

Two Mountains: The Journey of Grief

I read somewhere that sometimes life involves two mountains. The first mountain is the one you start off in life climbing. You ascend it, thinking that this is what life is about — your career, money, stability, achievement, making your parents proud, worthiness, etc.

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You're Not Perfect, But You're Not Your Mistakes

You're Not Perfect, But You're Not Your Mistakes

Know this — you are loved. You are worthy and beautiful in every way. You don’t have to be anyone other than who you are. You’ve made mistakes, just as we all have. You’ve said things you wish you could take back. You’re not perfect. But you’re none of these mistakes.

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There is a Light Inside You, Where Sorrow Meets Joy

There is a Light Inside You, Where Sorrow Meets Joy

There is a light inside you. Let it grow and shine. Sometimes it’s long forgotten. We haven’t connected with it given the busyness of our days. Other times, we have allowed the world to tell us that it is not there and never was.

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Mindfully Moving Through Grief and Loss

Mindfully Moving Through Grief and Loss

It’s strange how time passes — how after the unthinkable occurs, life goes on. The sun rises and falls. Flowers bloom. Trees rustle in the wind. There is an eeriness to it and in the beginning it is tempting to stay lost in this space.

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Finding Meaning and Purpose in Pain, Grief, and Loss

Finding Meaning and Purpose in Pain, Grief, and Loss

It’s different for everyone, but for me, grief was like walking through the valley of a shadow of death: a place where I walked and walked with seemingly no hope — just darkness and shadows and the faintest of light.

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Grief As a Sign of Love

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Sometimes I close my eyes, and I’m there again, in the apartment we once shared. The room is small, with wood floors, a white couch, and books neatly arranged along the shelves. The air is still. It’s just me there, and I can feel the beat of my heart, hear the sound of my breath.

It’s times like these that I realize that grief never really ends. For me, grief has been like a tide, ebbing and flowing — sometimes with greater and lesser frequency, but always there, always returning.

In these moments, I remind myself that it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to feel sad and to remember the things that once were. Grief is a sign of love. And at the end of it all, what are we meant to do in this life if but to love, to grow in it and in spirit?

In moments like this, I’m also reminded that some bonds are hard to break, even across time and space. Loved ones are with us in different ways. Sometimes this fact can be painful as we consider our loss, but on the other side of this emotion, perhaps there is also a comfort that we still remember, that we still love.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also find my book, Grieving the Loss of a Love: How to Embrace Grief to Find True Hope and Healing After a Divorce, Breakup, or Death helpful. 

Living Bipolar Strong

Living Bipolar Strong

Bipolar can be such a devastating illness. It can be a difficult monster to defeat. It is deceptively beautiful at times. Thoughts come so fast that they overwhelm you. Emotions are so beautiful you are moved to tears. Creativity abounds and you’re filled with confidence.

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How to Handle Anxiety and Fear After Divorce

How to Handle Anxiety and Fear After Divorce

After my divorce, the future seemed very uncertain. Suddenly, there was no longer an anchor to my life — no familiar structure or plan. There were many possibilities, but it felt as if there were almost too many — I could start a new job, move to another part of the country, go back to graduate school. The possibilities were endless and overwhelming. 

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Learning How to Love After Divorce and Bipolar Depression

Learning How to Love After Divorce and Bipolar Depression

After my divorce, I didn't love less; instead, I found that I loved more. There was a dark period in time in which I wrestled with demons. I saw all my flaws. All the horrible mistakes I had made. I had spent so much time caught up in the material, tangible things in front of me that I had failed to realize the truth until it all came crashing down on me. When my life fell apart and I was left with nothing, when it was just me in the dark, peeling back the layers of my life, wrestling with God to please kill me now, suddenly, only truths remained: that there is meaning in life and it is love. 

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11 Inspiring Quotes That Give Hope

11 Inspiring Quotes That Give Hope

I've been thinking a lot about hope lately. Before my diagnosis of Bipolar, I thought of hope as an emotion that people experienced erroneously or sometimes, even tragically. But after my diagnosis — after losing my marriage, identity, health, friends, family, and life as I knew it — I began to understand that hope is so much more.

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Work as a Spiritual Journey and Practice

Work as a Spiritual Journey and Practice

I have been thinking a lot about work lately -- the nature of it and what purpose it serves. What roles money, growth, and fulfillment play in it. How it relates to myself and to others. 

When you work a job that drains all the energy from you, there is nothing worse. You feel worn down and depleted, meaningless and empty. 

But when you are doing work that resonates with you, its as if time stands still. You're filled with clarity and calmness ('flow').You feel excited and engaged. 

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Finding Purpose in Pain

Finding Purpose in Pain

I believe that there is a greater purpose to pain. I believe pain and suffering can be transcended -- transformed into something good. That we have a purpose in our lives, and our job is to discover that purpose, to align our lives with it. I believe that by following this energy and light, we move toward the wholeness we were made for.

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Time in a Bottle

Time in a Bottle

I heard this very beautiful song on the radio today. It's called Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce

If I could save time in a bottle
 The first thing that I'd like to do
 Is to save every day
 'Til eternity passes away
 Just to spend them with you

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Thich Nhat Hanh // How to Turn Garbage into Flowers

Thich Nhat Hanh // How to Turn Garbage into Flowers

Lately, I've been reading through Thich Nhat Hanhs book, You Are Here. One of my favorite passages in it involves the topic of turning garbage into flowers: 

Sorrow, fear, and depression are all a kind of garbage. These bits of garbage are part of real life, and we must look deeply into their nature. You can practice in order to turn these bits of garbage into flowers. It is not only your love that is organic; your hate is, too. So you should not throw anything out. All you have to do is learn how to transform your garbage into flowers. 

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Gratitude and Growth as a Journey

Gratitude and Growth as a Journey

There was a moment early in my recovery in which I looked into Simon's eyes and felt so much unconditional love that I was moved to tears. They were tears of gratitude -- gratitude for the entire journey of my life to that moment in time, for all the joys and good things that had happened, but also the bad -- the things that hadn't gone right, the sadness and sorrows. I felt somehow I was exactly where I needed to be. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for making it to this moment, gratitude for the light that had carried me through to this life ahead.

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2 Quotes on The Transformational Power of Pain

2 Quotes on The Transformational Power of Pain

I've been reading a lot lately and came across the following two passages that I found quite powerful. I spent most of my life always focused on what was next--I'd graduate, then go on fellowship, then have a baby, then I'd get this job, then I'd advance to another... I was always thinking that happiness was around the corner, so much so that I missed it. I missed it in the moments of solitude. I missed it in the beauty of sipping tea. I missed the look in my loved one's eyes. After my divorce and health crisis, I realized that sooner or later we are going to die, and all we have in life are these moments in which we are present, alive.

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What It's Like to Live with Bipolar Disorder

What It's Like to Live with Bipolar Disorder

The best way I can describe living with Bipolar is that it is like living with cancer. Bipolar is a beautiful monster, albeit a deadly one -- one which, if left untamed, has no qualms about consuming you alive. It is an illness that must be faced and fought back each day to prevent greater progression and malignancy. Some days are easier than others. But the potential for illness recurrence is always there. I say this not to discourage anyone with Bipolar or to make light of cancer, but instead to highlight the grave seriousness that treatment and self care for Bipolar must hold.

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