Thursday, September 27, 2018

Hold on

This picture was taken after these two experienced WWIII together 😆

Hold on.

These are the words that I shout inside at least once or twice a day. And some days, it’s many more times than that.

Recently I posted some family pictures taken last month up on my Facebook account. My dear friend and family member, Dawnette, took them for us and they turned out just beautiful. When I look at the pictures of us all together, a flood of emotions run through my body. The first is immense gratitude for each child that I get to raise, and my heart fills with love looking at each of their sweet faces. I also feel a huge sense of humility as I think and feel of the treasured gift of motherhood I have been given. I love them each deeply and want them to feel how much they are loved and to never feel alone. I also think of the many, many family and friends who have been right by my side, especially these last 3 years since Tony’s initial downhill in his health. They are unwavering through every situation I have been in, and continue to be my tender mercies every day (you all know who you are ☺️). Thank you from the deepest parts of my heart. I only hope to be saviors to you if you are ever in need as you have been for me.

Subtle sad feelings also settle in when I look at these pictures. I feel worry, fatigue, and disappointment. Worry that I can’t live up to my own expectations as a mother and as an individual. Fatigue because of the emotional toll that comes from being a widowed mother. And disappointment that Tony can’t be here in person with us, working side by side with me. 

A few people have reached out to me because it’s been awhile since I last wrote a blog entry, some expressing concern hoping to know I am doing well. My children continue to be full of love and life, hopeful, excited, and resilient through all the changes they have encountered the last few years.

But in all honesty, the last few months have had some of the hardest challenges I have gone through, some related to my grieving but many unrelated. My faith has been tested (and become stronger in ways I didn’t know) and I’ve let my self-esteem suffer as I focused too much on my weakness and my constant desire to be better for my kids and for myself and those around me. Most days I feel fulfilled and happy and excited for the future as I enjoy my family and make goals and plans. But unfortunately there are more days than I wish that I feel anxious and sad and almost buried under my burdens, barely hanging on the edge.

I share these feelings and thoughts with you not in an effort to have people reach out to me (because my support system truly is wonderful!) but to let you know that we can still find hope no matter how trodden down we may feel. I know this because this is what keeps me afloat on those difficult days and what recharges me on my good days.

Here are some suggestions that have really worked for me!

-As I keep mentioning, find a good support system! This is actually the first suggestion given to those who are grieving. Having family and friends that love you and a support system that can empathize with you is a HUGE way to put your life in perspective and helps you see the good in your life. Even if it’s just one person, make it a priority to find someone and open up about your life. When you can talk about your feelings and concerns, it doesn’t usually solve any problems but it does make the load a whole lot lighter.

-Even more effective than the first suggestion is to find your support through a relationship with your Heavenly Father and your Savior. Not only does this help bring people into your life for you but no matter what you are experiencing, this is the one place you can turn for completely unconditional love. All it takes is honest and quiet reflection through prayer each day. It’s amazing how grounding prayer can be when you humble yourself and sincerely ask for help in your life. 

-Find the power of true self esteem. What attributes makes you, you? Make a list of all your strengths and then take it further and add on the strengths you are working toward. When you see what you do love about yourself and then see the positive things you are working toward, it’s empowering to know that each day you can and will become a better version of yourself, even when we make mistakes. Don’t let life force you to feel stagnant or incapable; you are a child of God and are worth so much and can become so many wonderful attributes.

-Cut out the negative. If something is making you feel awful, just stop. If someone isn’t a positive influence to you or building you up, take a break and fill your circle with only positive influences. You can still be kind to others but don’t have to subject yourself to negativity, especially if it’s bringing you down.

-When it rains, it pours..... and then the sun shines again (and sometimes with a rainbow!). In the thick of it, there never seems to be an end, and often more difficult things keep piling onto our life. Try to feel empowered by knowing you are getting stronger by withstanding and enduring difficult things, that when you reach the end of your particular trial, you most definitely can be a better and stronger person if you allow.

Lastly, hold on. When everything seems as if it’s failing, including ourselves, just keep holding on. Try these suggestions and other things that work for you but when it doesn’t hold you up enough on your toughest days, just keep clinging on a little longer. Find that hope in your life, even if it’s so minuscule that you can hardly see it, and grasp onto it and don’t let go. Life has its ups and downs, and when it goes down (and sometimes a lot further down than we realize it can go), it HAS to come up again at some point. Cling onto that thought; believe with your whole heart that there are always better days to come because they will most certainly come!