In the blink of an eye, your whole world can change.
We hear this all the time, we say it, we know it, but do we ever fully acknowledge what this actually means. Your whole world could change in an instant. Your whole world. And until it does, you can’t fully grasp the meaning in its totality.
I talk a lot about gratitude. It’s no secret that I believe gratitude and appreciation are the 2 most important practices of my entire spiritual existence. Every morning on my way to work I give great gratitude for another day and every night before bed I rhyme off all the wonderful things that I got to experience in my day that I am so incredibly grateful for. I preach gratitude, but what I have humbly realized in the last 2 weeks is that there is so much of my life that I completely take for granted.
Now to be clear, this post, much like all my posts, is written because I believe the importance of sharing my life experiences in a way that can bring comfort, hope and strength to anyone who reads them and might be going through their own struggles. I write because it’s healing for me and I hope healing for all of you too.
The biggest realization I came to over the past few weeks, the hardest pill I’ve had to swallow is how much I take my parents for granted.
If you’d have asked me this last month I wouldn’t have thought so, I like to think I’m a pretty good daughter, I check in from time to time, share big news when it comes up, say I love you and give hugs and kisses, but to be honest, I don’t do this near as often as I should.
Let me put it this way, as much as I believe that life can change in an instant and the importance of not holding a grudge and letting things go, I have to admit, I also seemed to have believed somewhere down the line that I still have lots of time with them.
It’s interesting to me, to learn this about myself. 2 of my very best friends have both lost a parent long before their time, my husband has also lost his father, one of the most important men to ever be in his life, far too early. I have witnessed the heartache first hand that each of these people dealt with, and still deal with to this day. The grief, the loss, the utter devastation of losing someone so incredibly important to them, and yet, ignorantly enough, I still thought I had time.
Thankfully, my lesson was delivered to me in a way that for the last two weeks I have been thanking God each and every day that I still do have the time that I have been so mindlessly taking for granted.
I didn’t lose any of my parents this time, but I will say we had one hell of a scare.
When I heard that my mom had had another stroke I tried to stay calm. My mom is the one who introduced me to the law of attraction and the world of spirituality and I knew that she wouldn’t want any of us worrying. I mean, I was obviously worried, but since I hadn’t yet seen her I was able to convince myself that everything was fine and she would once again push through like a champ. She’s badass like that!
When I saw her though, it felt as if my heart suddenly weighed a thousand pounds. I could hardly breathe and fighting back tears has never been a strength of mine, and this would prove to be no different.
Seeing my mom in a hospital bed, looking so lost, so confused, so unattached from this reality shook me to my very core. She was there, in her body, I could see her, she could see me, hear me, she could answer questions and comprehend what we were all saying, but her sparkle, the essence of who she was, was gone.
I cried the whole way home, and when I got home I cried in my husbands arms for even longer. I felt like that night I might have just lost my mom as I knew her. I selfishly thought of all the times I didn’t go visit when I should have, when we butted heads or pissed each other off, I thought of all the times where a mere phone call would have gone a long way and I chose to do something else instead.
Funny the places your mind goes when your grieving. Somehow it always comes back to beating ourselves up. This is a struggle all on its own.
I promised my mom I wouldn’t worry, she knows as well as I do that worry only contributes energy to more of what you don’t want and it lowers your vibration. So when I felt myself falling in to worry I tried really hard to shift my mindset to some of my favourite things about my mom, you know, in hope that it would contribute energy to bringing that part of her back.
The way I did that was through prayer. I prayed probably more then I have ever prayed in my entire life, I desperately called in spiritual help from my guides, my angels, her guides and angels, and basically just begged out loud to anyone or anything to please take care of my mom, and give her the strength and courage to fight. I prayed for a day when we can once again have deep, soul shifting conversations about the Universe, how it works, and share questions, insights, and thought provoking concepts that always made us think.
I prayed for her to be able to still be able to teach me everything it was I hadn’t yet learned from her, her lasagna recipe, how to properly sew a pompom back on to a toque, and how the hell to figure out if what’s growing in my garden is a weed or a flower. I might be a grown woman but I don’t think there will ever be an age where I will stop needing my mom. Fuck, why didn’t I tell her that more often.
Mostly though, I prayed for her to continue to find the joy in every day and the inspiration to face this new challenge with the same grace and positive mindset that has gotten her through some of her toughest days already.
I would by lying if I told you I didn’t worry, of course I worried, but I tried not to let my fears take over. In my moments of weakness I would look to find gratitude in the simplest of things to try and shift my vibration. She is here, and I get to be here with her, we get another chance that many people are denied.
Little by little, day by day, my mom began to sparkle once again, seeing her smile, hearing her laugh, reminds me how miraculous our bodies are during the healing process. I gave thanks each and every visit for all the love and support she has received from both the seen and unseen, from family and friends, and not to forget one hell of a medical system.
(Hey, I might be spiritual but that doesn’t mean western medicine isn’t its own miracle in modern society.)
It’s been one hell of a couple weeks, but I am eternally grateful that I have been lucky enough that my gentle reminder gave me a second chance to not take anything or anyone for granted.
I am grateful that I have a mom who is tough as balls and believes in her own ability to heal herself. (along with western medicine of course and the help of some phenomenal physio, occupational, and speech therapists)
Watching my mom heal has not only been a true inspiration, but it’s a reminder to me of just how much we have to be grateful for, not just family, or friends, or loved ones, although let’s be clear, a solid foundation of love in your surroundings is powerful beyond belief. But there’s also all those little things we do each an every day that we take for granted. Driving. Walking. Feeding ourself, having a conversation with someone you love, Hell, even going to the bathroom by yourself for crying out loud (And for parents of toddlers you may have forgotten what this is like, so perhaps be grateful that you at least have entertainment when you gotta go!) Smiling, seriously, when is the last time you have had gratitude for the ability to smile when something warms your heart.
There are so many little things we overlook especially when we get caught up in the shit pile of what is happening in our life. We focus on our shitty job forgetting how fortunate we are to even get to work every day, to get out of bed, shower ourselves, drive a car. Seriously, how fucking lucky are we?
We stress about money, about fights with friends or spouses, we fret over a future that we aren’t even guaranteed. We need to start being grateful for the money we earn, the opportunities we have to move jobs if we wish, and the fact that we have enough wits about us to even disagree with someone we love because we have opinions that are strong and meaningful.
There is so much in this world that we have to be grateful for, so much to celebrate no matter how shitty your day is going. You right now are breathing, your heart is beating and you don’t even have to make a conscious effort to keep that shit up. Be grateful for that. The world is a crazy, fucked up, marvellous and miraculous place, and you only are guaranteed right now, this moment. Enjoy it. Be grateful for it. Don’t wait for tomorrow, or for your new job, or new house, or new lover to start feeling the gratitude. Right now is all you have, don’t let another moment pass you by without being thankful for the miracle you are. Life can change in the blink of an eye, say I love you, I’m sorry, I forgive you, hug tightly and love fiercely, this moment is all we are promised, don’t take it for granted!