A Requiem for The Survivors Club
I have a unique roster of the closest, amazing people in the world to me, but in fairness I live in a unique world. The only reqirement for membership is that you have to have experienced a loss or trauma so great that it basicaly killed the life you built and knew replacing it with the catch all phrase ‘The New Normal’. The kind of stuff where when you tell someone for the first time, their face muscles all just drop and they usually instinctivly cover their mouths out of shock. We used to think we had seen or been through it all, I don’t think any of us will be saying that again. Life throws some wicked curve balls. But we all know, even through the tears, is that the only way to truly survive is to live in love and celebrate the people and things with and no longer with us.
Life is not fair, there is no getting around it. I do believe in a purposeful universe but fairness has nothing to do with that. None of us did anything to deserve the kind of unanesthetized slices that cut through us, severing our hearts, souls and minds. Yet they happened and nothing can reverse it. I’ve been dealing with that all of my life or, avoiding dealing with it is more like it. Even in my pain, I know I really have nothing to bemoan or desire. It’s true that when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters. Watching my beloved friend enduring the loss of her son 6 months ago, it cuts through everything else and reminds you what is truly important. Being the best us we can be for ourselves and our loved ones and valuing the little things.
So what I used to think of as The Survivors Club I now choose to think of as The Healers Club. We have the insight and power to help ourselves and countless others by showing that if you just carry on, you’ll find the path you need to follow. Letting go of the pain and the fear is actually scary in and of itself because it is so familiar. That’s fine, I accept it but I’m letting go anyway. Everyday, life offers the opportunity to improve or even completely change your life. I’ve wasted so many of them that being present has become priority. That’s not an easy task, I’m an over thinker. It’s not as easy as saying just don’t think about it. Elizabath Gilbert was right when she said that your thoughts can be selected just like your clothes and that’s a power you can cultivate. It takes work and patience and faith that happiness is still attainable, but I believe it is.
The change in words may seem trivial, but it actually holds the key to it all. Perspective is everything. If I think of myself as a healer and not a survivor, my focus will be on what good things I can do for myself and not lost in thought about the things that make me sad, that I survived. More than that, none of us give ourselves enough credit for not just surviving the event but clawing and climbing through it to save ourselves. We are warriors in our own ways and deserve to be proud. What you focus on expands, my focus is on healing and loving and embracing my passions. Appreciating the people and comforts I take for granted. Being a warrior of light in whatever way I am able. Not because I need to but because I want to.
So with an open mind and a fragile but open heart, I go into this holiday season in profound gratitude. My bestie is coming to spend it with me and my family at Disney World, I accomplished major goals I set for myself, I’ve been a steadfast friend and advocate whenever needed. I have a family that loves me of more than just my blood. I have every reason in the world to want to heal and help heal others. It will be a process of diverting my energy and attention to the positives until it becomes automatic, and it doesn’t even have to be a battle. If I go with the current and relax, I believe it will keep me moving in the right direction.