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Posts from the ‘healing heart’ Category

Break Up


“The relationship you have with the world is just like any other relationship. Every now and again, even if it’s pissed you off for no good reason, you have to look it in the eyes and say: I love you.” – Iain Thomas

I broke up with life in May of 2007.

For obvious reasons.

My soul mate was killed.

But as the days, months and years passed.

As the smiles grew from corner to corner, laughter escaped, inhaling was appreciated… we made up.

But then another loss. Another break up from the big L.

Then he wined and dined me and we made up. All past issues forgiven 😉

But the past 4 years, when May or December came around, I didn’t just end our longstanding nuptials with a break up, but insisted on at least giving life the cold shoulder.

They’re hard months with hard dates.

Not this year.


Event though we’ve had are disagreements and what at times seemed like a total divorce, life and I have stuck it through.

‘But how? Life has done some pretty messed up things to you?!’

I know. It’s a question asked by many and many times by myself. Please, let me explain.

Life has its flaws. Undoubtedly. But so do I.

Life has sometimes made me question my very existence. But Life never Life never left my side as I figured it out for myself.

But enough about Life..I must admit my own discretions in our relationship.

I’ve hated Life with my very being. I’ve spit on it and told it to never come back. I threw its clothes to the curb. I’ve cursed it to all around me.

But through it all, Life consistently let me know that it was there for me. Life knew that it wasn’t perfect, and most importantly, Life never gave up on me when I had given up on it and myself.

Life understood what I needed to realize for myself….

That it wasn’t perfect, but it was something that many didn’t even have the honor of having in its presence. That it couldn’t give me everything, but if I were to reflect, I’d realize that it had and would give me more than I could have ever asked for or dreamed of.

This May (and after), I’ve made a pact with what I some thought to be a hellish relationship, to really opening my eyes to the utter beauty and unconditional love it has and will show me as long as I’m willing to embrace it.

Life is a gift/relationship denied by many (even by myself at times)….but no longer, hot stuff. I’m on to you and all that I blinded myself from seeing before.

I love you….and I’m so in love with you.



Besides the obvious pain of losing my soul mate, I’ve done many things to challenge my mind and body to see all that I’m capable of and that is still possible after what seemed like the most debilitating of losses.

I’ve walked on fire over a 108 times, done Indian sweat-lodges, put a knitting needle through my hand, walked on glass and more.

Not because I’m a complete nut job (though I may be by many definitions), but because these (what seemed like) physical challenges opened my eyes, mind and heart too much more I had yet to unearth.

I’ve taken those teachings with me and benefited from the metaphorical message they each carried.

They changed me…In a dramatic and drastic way. They have become an integrated part of my daily life, but as I was just reminded, I forgot one pivotal aspect of their teachings.

Change is good. Discomfort is something to be embraced. Change is growth. Change and discomfort is a willingness to live.

But as I recollected just recently, many, if not majority of these teachings, were preceded by a distinct and terrifying pain.

A pain of the unknown. The pain of what could be. A pain of something my thoughts conjured up.

A pain that took place before an action had actually taken place.

A pain that can stop one’s persistence, if easily hindered. A pain that waits for moments of change and discomfort to hold you back from all that you can and could be.

But more than anything, a pain that beckons your heart to take the leap…make the decision…embrace the evolution…return to what you know in your heart is what is right for you.

I chose to take that first step onto the coals. To focus my attention on the moment in what seemed like unbearable environments…to push forward when all things said don’t push forward for one more inch…I didn’t choose to lose Michael, but at one moment I decided to live for him…and then for me.

But there is pain. There is discomfort. There is doubt.

But more than anything, there is the force that has no definition or specified word, that is waiting for you to push through. To find out that it’s not as painful as it looks, or as terrifying as your mind wants to trick you into thinking.

It’s waiting for you to take the next step into what will be the most amazing time of your life.

The only time of your life.

The now.

The time where pain takes backseat to positive change.

The only kind of change that we deserve out of such perils.



“I don’t know that love changes. People change. Circumstances change.”- Nicholas Sparks

December is always one of the toughest months of the year for me.

Wedding Anniversary, Christmas, my birthday…all within 4 days of each other.

And as I’ve mentioned before, I define Michael’s life by his love, not the day he died, so I find our anniversary tougher than the day he left this earth.

But this year I know will be better.

Not because I love him any less. Not because his absence is any less prominent. Not because the pain has fully dissapeared.

Because I have changed.

I see that I have the control. Not to change the circumstances of what has happened. But because I have changed in the sense that I am finally able to see that I change the circumstances of how I will react and evolve from these days.

I will undoubtedly be tired and have my mood swings, more than usual, but I have a feeling that December 2012 will be the best one since December 2007.

The love hasn’t changed…but grown…and finally I am allowing myself to grow with it.


The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. ~Hans Hofmann


I pulled into the driveway.

It was Friday evening. The junk food in hand and wine awaiting my lazy evening.

I step out of the car and see a puddle of water in front of the garage door.

‘Did it rain?’


I open the garage door and the water starts pouring out.

‘It’s probably the water heater in the garage. It must be.’

Then I see it pouring out the small cracks of the door leading into our home.

I exit the garage. Close the door.

Hold my breath for an instant and start walking towards the front door.

The sidewalk is soaked.

I was afraid to enter.

I looked through the glass panes and see it.

4 inches of water throughout.

I open the door. Set down the drive-thru food.

‘The computer cord’ flashes through my mind. I unplug it.

Michael’s combat boots by the front door. I grab them and set on higher ground.

I didn’t think about much more. The electricity and cords probably should have been a first thought…to conventional for my brain, I guess 🙂

Clothes are floating, carpet is rippling like waves in an ocean.

I put the dogs outside. Call the emergency water shut off and sit in my car.

Long story short…much was ruined. The whole hose has been boxed up. All of my laundry was sorted through by commercial dry cleaners and is who knows where (makes me regret the stacks of clothes unwashed ;D ). The walls drilled through. Floors ripped up. Photos and every memento taken down by strangers.

But I had what I needed:

My dogs. His combat boots (his flag was safe on a mantle).

With further rummaging…the letters he wrote me, his voicemails, and portraits of our Charlie.

It’s all I had. It’s all I needed.

And even if those didn’t make it, a calm draped over me that it would reminded me all will be okay.

The crazy thing is I never screamed, cried, became hysterical, etc.

It was as if the house was on fire and I grabbed the essentials and quickly became at peace with all I might have to part with.

As the water rushed through every inch of our house, enveloping everything in it’s grasp…In a way it enveloped me with the knowledge that the material was the material. What I needed was with me or already within me.

I’m unable to live there for another month, but as I lay her with my dogs, a picture of Michael and Charlie, and a bag of clothes that will more than suffice..I’m grateful.

It could have been so much worse. I could have lost so much more. I could have not been as ready as I was when the pipe broke.

It’s a new beginning for our home…and a new chapter in me simplifying my life with the essentials….high off the ground 😉

I’ve gained so much more than I lost.

For once I’ve realized the strength and fortitude I had no idea was within me.

My soul was tested unwillingly and passed with flying colors.


The 4 Fires we created the last night for the 108 aka the 108 times we walked across them for graduation.


We all hopefully do it.

Peel the layer off the onion to reveal the next.

It was hard and unthinkable to have any other “layers” after Michael’s death…but surely, 5 years later, I’ve evolved.



But the growth has been like watching a snail crossing a road:

It’s surely moving, but when you watch it continuously, it looks as slow as molasses…when you turn your glance and look back a time later, it seems as if it’s gone leaps and bounds.

This past week though…I saw the growth happen before my eyes…without taking my eyes off the whole time.

I went to become a Certified Firewalk Instructor for new things I have planned in the future for my passion and cause…but left having learned more about myself than I could have ever imagined.

It was a crash-course in the obstacles, faults, fears, and goals we all have in life.

It was like taking a sip of what I thought was water, to have my system shocked when I realized it was sprite.

I pushed myself (along with the help of a god-sent group of individuals all trying to attain the same goal or facilitating), mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Together we cried, cheered, were inspired by each others faith in the other, by each person’s perseverance when things got bad, by the ability to find a place in our mind that was pure, unscathed, and there to show us the truths within each of us.

There were moments of doubt and apprehension…but always a hand to reach out (Thank you Kathy). There were moments of realizations that we are not alone in are connections (Thank you, Del) and there were realizations that some people will test you to make sure your spirit and soul are reinforced in your being (Thank you, Robert).There were moments that I saw the utter goodness of strangers who want to do nothing more than help other’s achieve the goals set forth (Thank you, FIRE team).

Only one other moment since Michael’s death have I been so utterly sure that the things I learned would change my life forever.

I am now a certified Firewalk Instructor.

But more than that, I am a better person. A person that has much growing to do, but can finally see life with clear eyes and an open heart.

I didn’t want our time at F.I.R.E. to end and had a bit of hesitation in the outside world being able to fully comprehend all that took place…all that will run through my veins from this point on…and they may not…but I knew that for 4 days I learned amazing and extreme tools of enlightenment and empowerment, I met people who are more than people, but now family, and I have no doubt that I was where I was supposed to be…with Michael’s amazing spirit alongside me the whole time.


“Courageous risks are life-giving, they help you grow, make you brave, and better than you think you are.”



There’s a poignant quote from a book that I truly related to in the first days and months after my love’s death:

“My heart was chilled to ice. I felt ill with grief. But there was no time for frozen shock. Something in me did not want to give up on life, was unwilling to let go, wanted to fight the very end. Where that part of me got the heart, I don’t know.”


I didn’t know how I could still live…still breathe…without my other half on earth…by my side.


I turned on all things and people around me…believed in nothing….loathed my fear that deterred me from taking my own life.


But now I know.


Know how that part of me remembered I had the heart to keep living, to keep breathing…but most importantly, to keep growing, giving, and healing.


He did.


You see, Michael was not in the Army for his life career…only 3 years…as a way to feel challenged in life….to feel as if he was making a difference…to feel passion for something outside of himself and for those around him.


I never quite understood it. Understood the ability to be willing to risk one’s own life for another he barely knew. To pursue a career that no one around him could even fathom doing. And yet Michael followed his heart . Became whole. Helped his comrades grow…pursue their dreams….find purpose. The same purpose he was once looking for but had found…if only for a short period in time.


That’s how I had the heart to keep going.


He showed me…gave me the ability to say, that my love died doing what he loved, followed the path wholeheartedly, and had no fear when passion was the guiding light.


He gave me the ability to see that I could do the same…find that passion, pursue it, change my own life and hopefully those around me, and, when the moment comes….one day….one decade…one hundred years from now…and fate meets me face to face….those who know me will be able to say the same, as I’ve been able to say for my husband.


All because I realized not where I got the heart from…but was reminded that I had it all along.