Matters of the heart

Posted by jennifer gibson on Monday, January 22, 2018 Under: Jan 2018

This past weekend has been unusually warm with temperatures hovering above 5C along with beautiful sunshine. It was a welcome reprieve to the bone chilling temperatures at minus 25C and a ridiculous amount of snow. Because of the warm weather, much of the deep snow has melted, I can now view the grass peeking through in the front field and actually see my driveway. Although that might not last very long, since there is another storm headed this way with freezing rain. To me, that's a fun photography challenge I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning.

As the rain falls outside and the sky grows dark, Luna is snuggled across my lap, purring happily. The fire beside me is toasty warm and Bella is lounging on the ottoman in front of it, enjoying the heat. I can smell the pot of stew that is cooking in the oven. The mulled wine warms my tummy as I sip it, and the sweet taste of cloves lingers on my tongue.

I recently stopped by one of Mom's favourite stores in Peterborough, Tribal Voices, where we often shopped on a regular basis. We love that store since it offered an eclectic mix of health and wellness items that promoted a healing environment. On our previous visits, we bought beautiful silver rings with natural gems like golden amber, soft alpaca scarves, candles, unique wooden carvings, and a variety of spiritual books. This time required a lot of courage for me to step inside that store since it brought back those memories. It reminded me of Mom in many ways. But I knew that I had to move forward and my instinct was telling me to spend time there. It wasn't easy but I sensed that I needed to be there for a reason. I got the feeling that Mom was likely guiding me to that spot.

I'm a big believer that things often happen for a good reason and I kept an open mind about that while I browsed around. When I glanced at the book shelves on my right, one in particular caught my eye. The cover looked like a watercolour painting in shades of pink and lilac which I loved. Pink is one of my fave colours. And the title, "You are Amazing" stood out in bold, shiny metallic pink. It was written by Sonia and Sabrina Choquette-Tully.

Looking at that title and reading the blurb on the back, made me wonder if I was meant to get this book. Money was tight but I needed to trust my intuition and I decided to get it. Mainly because I spent the past year trying to focus more on myself as I grieved and trying to find ways to heal. It didn't mean that I was on my knees, sobbing in a dark room, it was more about the moments that had a tendency to catch me off guard such as my first birthday or first christmas without my mom. I was at the point where I needed to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

As I worked through my grief, looked after my rescued fur-babies, and searched for a new place to live, I realized that I needed to tap into my passion. I'll admit that it took me awhile to figure that out but it occurred to me that I should be sharing my experiences and knowledge about living with a profound hearing loss. I've already written a series of teen novels in that aspect, it just made sense to expand on that concept such as public speaking or working for a hearing aid company.

While I read the "You are Amazing" book, I was struck by how many statements that I immediately connected to. That was a sign that I chose the right topic. One chapter in particular really hit me which was courage, I've been using that quite a bit lately. The authors said that the word "courage" comes from the French word "couer" or "heart". They go on to say that tuning into our hearts is what gives us the courage to follow our passion or dreams. That rang true with me.

Sonia and Sabrina continue to state that we should be living from our hearts and leading an intuitive life. We should be experiencing things with an open heart, learning from our mistakes, and seeing the goodness in ourselves and around us. Most of all, we need to learn to love ourselves which means being nice to ourselves. We really shouldn't be belittling every little thing that bothers us. Instead, we should be focusing more on treating ourselves with more kindness and compassion, and finding ways to make us feel truly valued.

To me, that was a deeply personal message. It meant that I needed to look inwards in order to see my true soul. In some ways, time stopped when I was about five years old. After enduring many negative incidents at school by the people I trusted, it forever changed my outlook on life. I went from a wide-eyed, shy and inquisitive young girl to a frightened, distrustful and nervous child. At that time, I didn't realize or understand why I was being treated so differently from the other kids and for the most part, ostracized for being who I was as a direct result of my severe hearing loss. It prevented me from being able to comprehend my surroundings or voice my concerns since I couldn't hear what was going on. I couldn't speak up or even stand up for myself. Within that first year of being at school, I become resentful and unhappy.

It was as if I had lost of part of my soul. I've spent the rest of my life searching for it, trying to reclaim that sweet, innocent little girl. In many ways, I had closed off my heart and built a wall around myself to protect my soul. Recently, I came across several of my mother's notes from when she was teaching a Journalling course and Grief Therapy for her church. Even though these messages were not intended for me, I found that the timing was perfect and that I was meant to find them. It was what I needed to hear, especially from her.

Her words gave me comfort and they were a gentle reminder that I needed to be more kind to myself. Some of the things she said were absolutely insightful and perfect, such as this: "You deserve to be here. You deserve to be loved. You are beautiful. You are very special. You are not alone anymore. I love you. I will look after you." I couldn't believe it! It was a reflection of what I had been reading and the timing was simply incredible.

Some of her notes stated that we should be treating ourselves as a special person and doing nice things for ourselves. It didn't mean that we should be selfish, it simply simply meant doing a kind gesture for our soul. Simple things such as buying ourselves pretty flowers, a sweet cupcake, or a pink shirt to brighten our day with more cheerful colours. It's the little things that counted: a happy kitty purring in our lap, a warm fire cracking beside me while I read a book, or munching on a cookie that I just made. Mom's words reminded me that I should be more aware of those moments in my life and being grateful for them.

Between the book and Mom's written words, the overall consensus was that I needed to be more kind to myself. It meant that my journey is about being more self-aware and kind to myself. It was a reminder from both of them that I had to find a way to love myself and my soul. And I already know that it's not going to be easy. Loving myself is, in many ways, a very difficult thing to do. I personally don't view myself as being beautiful or attractive in any way, I'm not photogenic at all, I'm kind of boring and rather weird. So, this will be a monumental challenge for me and a sense of awakening for me.

In : Jan 2018 

Tags: awakening  journal  mom  "tribal voices" "you are amazing" "sonia choquette" 
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