Tonight I was catching up on Facebook posts and I read “Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better” on The Cornered Cat’s page.

It reminded me of something I have said several times over the years…the easiest thing in the world to do is nothing. It takes courage to change.

To do something different is very scary for people and so many, if not, most people choose the easy path and do nothing. They choose to remain in a place of misery, or fear, or a victim.

After my brother killed himself, my parents, understandably, had a rough time. It was a difficult time for all of us, but my parents couldn’t seem to move on from the guilt and the pain. They were in so much pain and filled with such anger, anger that just grew and grew, that they essentially were no longer living. I remember telling my dad that he was doing my brother no good. The guilt he felt about being a bad parent wasn’t serving any purpose except to destroy another life. It made more sense to take the lessons learned and to be a better father, grandfather, friend, person…

I understood it would be hard, but it was really the only choice.

Three days after my brother’s funeral, I laid on the floor, on my stomach, curled up and sobbed. It was the first time I really let go of my emotions and sobbed. Up until that point, I had cried,of course, but there was much to be done, to include being strong for my parents. I don’t remember how long I laid there, but my husband says it was hours. He knows because the entire time, he laid on top of me and held me. At some point, I pulled myself together and moved forward. One of the things I said to my husband was that I wanted to show my kids how to handle hardships. How to deal with the worst life has to offer and to come out the other side, not just alive, but living. It took me about a year after my brother killed himself until I fully felt like myself. Durning that year, I had a lot of good days. Days that I laughed and days that I smiled, but from time to time, I would get overwhelmed by the emotions of anger I felt at him or the enormous amount of loss I felt not having him around and when those times came, I let them out. I cried and talked about how I felt and then I moved on. The time between “break-downs” got longer and longer until they just didn’t happen any more. Now my kids were very young then, so I shielded them from a lot as I do today, but when they ask about that time, I can tell them, I had days where I just laid in bed, but the days I got up far out weighed the ones when I didn’t and I am so glad I did because look at what I would have missed.

I am trying to do that now too. I am trying to teach my kids how to heal from a bad situation. I want them to learn lessons from my mistakes and also give them skills to cope with life, the good and the bad.

It is not healthy to feel guilty and I don’t and it’s not healthy to stay in a cycle of self pity and I am not, but it is not realistic to think some events won’t cause pain or won’t be difficult. I want my children to know its ok to cry and it’s ok to have a bad day, and doing so doesn’t make you unstable or unhealthy. Just the opposite, really. Cry, scream, yell, then move forward. Find positive ways to move forward. That is inconvenience. That is healing.

Make no mistake, I am tougher and if ever anyone makes the mistake of coming at me again, the scenario will end much differently and make no mistake, I am preparing my children to be fighters, to be mentally tough, to be courageous, but I am also teaching them how to feel. How to be passionate, how to care, how to have empathy and love for others and themselves. I am trying to be an example of healing. I don’t think I am teaching them much if I am only hard and never soft. If I am only strong and never weak. I want them to know being strong doesn’t mean not feeling sad. Being brave doesn’t mean not crying.

Change takes inconvenience. It takes courage. It is not a smooth ride. It is worth the effort.

Pretty soon we will only find these posts in my archives, but until then, I will keep moving forward.

I am making the changes. I am healing. I am living.

Tomorrow one of my daughter’s from China is turning 8. When she came to us, she was 4, she was broken, she was empty, she needed things she couldn’t ask for, she could offer us nothing in return, but we loved on her and we taught her how to heal. Today she is confident, carefree, peaceful, full of life. She still needs us, but not the way she used to. Tomorrow I will be smiling and probably crying and my heart will be full. We will be celebrating not only her birth, but also her life and her fighting spirit.

Yep, it’s worth the effort.

13 thoughts on “Change

  1. This is a very touching post and also very true.

    “I am preparing my children to be fighters, to be mentally tough, to be courageous, but I am also teaching them how to feel. How to be passionate, how to care, how to have empathy and love for others and themselves.” <-- that is perhaps one of the best gifts you can give your children.

  2. Another great post. It’s so important to instill healthy emotions in our children. It’s so very important for males to show that caring side as well.

  3. Well said, and all of us deal with ‘adversity’ differently. Each of us makes those decisions based on our own schedule and way of dealing with it. And yes, change IS hard; it’s always easier to go along/get along/not rock the boat. When you DO, you take not only yourself but others out of their comfort zones, and force re-examination of their first principals, especially when you talk about core issues (healing, love, death). Continue the march forward, and know you have support from us.

  4. When my brother was killed, I thought that I was irretrievably broken. I really did. I would cry and break down and then try to stuff it all back down when people were telling me to “be strong.” It is such a relief to read someone else’s thoughts on the matter. . .someone with (sadly) some experience in the matter, who thinks that it IS brave to cry in between the forward steps one has to take to move on. Reading the lessons that you are teaching your children . . .I am in awe. You are a WONDERFUL mother and your little family is so blessed to have you at the helm. It’s nice to see parents who can balance the fighting spirit with compassion and love. So MANY people mistakenly think that it has to be one or the other. It’s so beautiful to see parents that are able to realistically mix the two. xo

  5. Awwww what a sweet person you are.I can’t count the many ways I admire you. What a beautiful message you put on here today! Thank you.

  6. Wow, brought tears to my eyes missing my own lost siblings and remembering the pain of loss. You are a strong person and you have come farther than you know. thank you.

  7. Amy- aren’t we blessed that we have learned nothing can break us irretrievably. I am sorry for your loss. What a great example you are!!

    Lynne-You have such a sweet heart.


    Old NFO- Big hugs! Thanks!

  8. Life if worth the effort – if it wasn’t I dare say none of us would be having these conversations and doing what we do to protect it.

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