13 years ago today, the amazing life I had ended. In the blink of an eye, a quite successful career flying for the air force (where I also got to teach the best of the best) vanished, as did the future plans and dreams of my then fiancée (now ex-wife) and I. While life doesn’t often blow up like an atomic bomb; it did for me on 11/10/08, when misfortune sent me 30 feet off a cliff, headfirst onto a boulder below … where I should have died.
I share that again this year because I’m always learning from it. This year I realized I never truly grieved the wonderful life and plans I lost that day. Not long ago, my wife Lisa sagely observed: Do you realize you nearly always make light of and joke about your accident? How right she was!
You see, I use humor to avoid the pain of grief. In doing this, though, I’ve unintentionally “locked away” parts of myself. The dreamer who then goes out and puts my hopes into motion has been caged because I fear the sorrow he feels from this loss. Likewise, something of my childlike tenderness, sensitivity, and vulnerability, and his youthful courage, has also been hidden away.
While I wouldn’t trade my old life for the one I have now—truth is, I’m absolutely awestruck by how the Divine has transformed my loss of career, ability to drive, half of my vision, depth perception, some of my mental capacity, and ability to do normal chores/activities in a normal amount of time (like cleaning the kitchen or making dinner), into a more beautiful life than I could have imagined—I do miss my old life. Even more, though, I miss the courageous, tender, dream-chaser I’ve exiled.
While grief hurts, it truly is good, and is a key to wholeness and wholeheartedness. So, I’m going to cry, journal, mourn, and remember to honor my old life and become more fully alive!
BTW, if you’re interested more of my story, you can check out my memoir Falling into Love: The Transformative Power of Community here: https://amzn.to/3n1Q9vd
Hugs & Love,
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