Surviving The Sinkhole
I feel like I have experienced the most difficult month of my entire life. They say, “when it rains, it pours,” and this was certainly true for me nearly every single day, as evidenced by the river of tears that run down my face.
My life suddenly felt like a big sinkhole and I was hanging on the edge for dear life. There was a part of me wanting to let go and disappear into the abyss, while the other part seemed to be dangling on as if by a tiny hangnail. In a short time, I had gone through a financial crisis, business challenges, health challenges, and relationship turmoil. However, it was the sudden death of my son’s eighteen-year-old friend that really took an emotional toll on me.
I pondered: “How could such a young man with so much going for him have such a freak accident?”
He wasn’t doing anything wrong. He wasn’t acting carelessly. He wasn’t sick. Yet, he was found drowned in his hot tub shortly after his younger brother had been with him. This unexpected loss made me question every aspect of my life. I questioned my relationships, career, spirituality, and my life-purpose. I found myself in the depths of depression and so confused that all I wanted was for my life to go back to where it was before the chaos.
But, going back was not an option. Based on my understanding of Equilibration, I knew that there had to be light in this darkness. I started my healing process by doing guided meditations (because the unguided ones left me too open for “thinking”). I took the time to journal my thoughts and write about things I was thankful for in my life. Unapologetically, I gave myself permission to cry. I consciously made an effort to consume healthy foods, and I made sure to get ample sleep and take rest breaks during the day. All of these things helped me nourish my wounded soul and move out of my funk and into a more peaceful place once again.
Although I am still uncovering the lessons of my experience, I have been fortunate to compile several benefits that I am thankful for having.
Here are just a few:
- Death has a way of bringing people together: I saw my son step up to a place of leadership, which I had not seen him do before.
- Chaos can spawn Clarity: I’ve had the desire for quite some time to delve into volunteer work again, but couldn’t find anything I was really passionate about. My deep soul searching gave me some clarity and I have reached out to two organizations.
- I faced my demons and found my STRENGTH. I stepped up to take ownership of where I’ve been failing in my own life. It’s much easier to blame someone else for your failures than to take responsibility for yourself and be faced with admitting your weakness and vulnerability. It is not in our human nature to expose vulnerability. However, it is only in acknowledging our vulnerability that we can work on strengthening ourselves.
I found this journey heart-breaking and gut-wrenching. But, I also found it introspective and liberating. Just as pain must be endured from the breaking down of muscle fibers in order to achieve muscle growth, we too must endure the pain of life in order to grow into a bigger, stronger version of ourselves.
Leo Tolstoy said it best: “It is by those who have suffered, that the world has been advanced.” So, here’s to advancement!!!
If you enjoyed this personal reflection, please tune in next week to read: The Benefit of Being Broke
Written by Gina Van Luven