The end of this week will mark 6 months since I touched, held, smelled, or kissed my precious daughter. These 6 months have gone by so fast, and yet remembering the last moment that my lips touched her skin feels like forever ago. Her physical presence is missed more than I have words for, but I know where she is. I feel her with me, and around me. It brings me great peace, but can also bring me into heavy, heavy missing. It can take me to a place that looks like avoidance, isolation, unproductive busy-ness, and mindless distractions. All of these a push-back from what I really need to be doing in order to heal.
I attended my second ‘Restoring A Mother’s Heart’ conference this past weekend. It was an absolute gift to be welcomed into such a sacred space filled with transparency, vulnerability, raw emotion, and so so so much love. Attending this second time was very different than the first. I had a much different take away and learned more about myself, and tools that I need to implement into my life to help with the healing process. It wasn’t easy to learn some of these “ah-ha” moments, but extremely necessary to acknowledge and start implementing the work towards.
Every presenter brought such wisdom and guidance at this retreat. Even the mom’s attending were (ARE) my teachers. Their children are teaching me! One presenter in particular, who has also lost a daughter, has the beautiful gift of interior design. She talked to us about decluttering our homes and spaces in order to create an environment that we feel safe and comfortable in. Her daughter’s room is still her daughter’s room in the house. She tried to turn it into a sewing room at one time, but it didn’t feel right. This session resonated with me for many reasons. Days before the retreat, I found myself having a photo shoot with a pile of laundry. A few year’s ago we moved Livia downstairs. We created a beautiful bedroom for her, as well as remodeled a bathroom so that all of her care would be on the first level of our home. I still kept her upstairs room hers; including keeping her clothes in her dresser. Her window seat/toy box was an easy place to set her piles of clean folded laundry if I didn’t have time to put them away. She had a pile on her window seat from before she died. I couldn’t put them away. It was as if seeing those piles gave me a sense of her presence. I wasn’t ready until I was ready. I organized the piles, and each item of clothing I touched brought me a memory, an ache, and a huge sense of her. It hurt, but I was ready. A few pieces of Liv’s clothing were going to go into Finley’s dresser. I love seeing Finley in Livia’s clothes. The majority of the clothes went right back into Livia’s dresser. I didn’t have to get rid of them, but I was done looking at them every time I passed her room. I was ready to declutter. Not erase, just reorganize. The same theme of decluttering my heart rings true. This weekend, I discovered things about myself that need reorganized in order to allow healing. Healing, never forgetting or erasing. To declutter means “to remove unnecessary items from.” For me, this means removing unnecessary shame and guilt that I carry with me which creates a dialogue of doubt. I think that when you go through trauma or a situation that changes your life, there’s nothing you can do to ever forget it. There may even be shame or blame attached to the situation, but what matters is how we declutter and reorganize the emotions attached.
Eckhart Tolle said “I am not my thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences. I am not the content of my life. I am Life. I am the space in which all things happen. I am consciousness. I am the Now. I Am.”
My #1 strength finder is Developer. Basically, what that means is that I recognize and relay the potential in others. My “ah-ha” take away is that because I haven’t decluttered my own heart, I couldn’t even recognize my own potential. That the dialogue I had created has been holding me back from healing, and from pursuing. I’m tired of living my life this way. I’m tired of keeping to myself in order to protect myself. Livia is Jake + Kelly. Livia is a huge part of me. By reorganizing and believing in what I’m capable of, Livia will LIV on through what I do. What I say. She will LIV when I walk out of my home. People will see her when they meet me. I could see how much Livia had to offer. It’s time to recognize the same for myself.