Pay attention to your patterns. The way you learned to survive may not be the way you continue to live. Heal and Shift
This quote is so profound for me. I never really realized this before. The truth in this quote.
I am currently editing and proofreading “THE NICU” part of my book. And I am reading a lot of the things that happened in those five months. The tragedy of the truth. The miracles that came from HIS Hand. And I was so spiritually and emotionally fragile during that time. I was so weak and I felt so broken. I honestly did not think that I would make it through. But on the days when I had to get up and I had to function like a human being, I was in fight mode. I was in survival mode. And for years and years, I don’t think I ever really removed myself from that mode.
It was something that no one really thinks about in the simplicity of life. We all eat and drink and we have to keep breathing throughout the day. We do all these things to live the day. All these things we need to do to “survive”.
But when there are extra aspects to our life… kids, job, sickness… our simple survival becomes harder and harder. It makes us upset, sad, angry. It sometimes leaves us feeling inadequate, doubtful and even helpless. We sometimes even spiral into this dark abyss of unknown and in the back of our minds all we can think to say is, “I’m just trying to survive the day!”
So how do we Heal and Shift?? How do we move on from survival mode and transition into a “normal life”?? Especially when, for some of us, our normal has forever changed?? We have a NEW NORMAL. How do we adjust??
I would LOVE to give a blog post of “10 ways to adjust to a new normal”- but if you have been following me for a few years now, you will know I kinda do not like those kind of posts. I really don’t think there is a list ANYWHERE that can help me get through life. Maybe because I am not really good at taking things step by step. I like to think I’m good at following directions, but reading lists and checking things off… not so much me.
But I am going to share with you a little of how I am (STILL) transitioning from survival mode to normal mode.
For FIVE YEARS I literally lived every day in preparation of something bad happening. On sad and hard days I just kind of shrugged and expected it to happen. On good and happy days I lived in anxiety just waiting for something bad to happen. Because it was just inevitable.
As time went on, it went from living day by day waiting for something to happen… to two days in between, one week, two weeks, a month, two months…etc etc. Constant WAITING…. I was living in anticipation of “something bad is going to happen eventually”. It was hard to move on from this because when I would start to relax or smile or even laugh and feel human again, something happened. So I taught myself to be reserved. I engraved in my head the saying,
“Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”
That was something I used to tell myself and my trainees when I was in law enforcement. You hope you have a good day, but you prepare for the worst. Make sure you have all the equipment you need, no matter how unimportant it may seem, you have it. Make sure everything works. Make sure that if you are going to be stuck somewhere, you have food and water to survive. You be ready. I never thought I would live life outside my unit this way. But I did.
Then one day I realized how much I was missing out on life. It was just this past year when I realized that I didn’t want to LIVE in survival mode anymore. I was EXHAUSTED. And I felt so defeated. At this time, it had been five months since Matthew had been admitted in the hospital for a sickness. So when he got sick again, it felt like a punch in the gut. He was only admitted for a couple days… but I felt like I was suffocating. Whatever I had been doing to get through life was not working. Then he got better again. Then life went back to “normal” and suddenly we were getting ready for kindergarten.
But then new test results came in. Matthew needed chemo to kill a virus that has been keeping him sick for a very long time. Suddenly there was a whole different group of questions and worries. This was that one itty bitty tiny piece of information that was told to me that could possibly happen but probably won’t but still might happen to him. It was something that I literally never imagined happening. But here we were.
It was so beyond comprehension for me that I literally thrust myself into work. I got busy with NICU stuff, I got busy with the kids schools and volunteering. I got busy at our new home. I kept myself busy. Then one of my friends shared that quote,
” Pay attention to your patterns. The way you learned to survive may not be the way you continue to live. Heal and Shift”
And it was like a lightning flash, I didn’t want to live through this new medical bump in the road the way I have been living my life for five years… I have been SURVIVING!! It’s time now, to just LIVE!
The wounds of years past were slowly healing. There is a lot that I have already healed from (like the NICU) but there were still things that are still currently healing. Like my relationships with my kids, my marriage, my relationships with friends and family and especially my relationship with God. And when I took a moment to reflect, all I can think of was… I just want to LIVE. Finally!!!
I am healing. I believe what we have been through is something that can only be healed with TIME. A whole lot of prayer for understanding, wisdom and thankfullness. And just TIME to pass. It’s all engraved in my memory. Time will allow it to hurt less. The grief won’t be as strong and it won’t consume me anymore. I am grateful for the time I am given.
I hate doing the whole “New Year, New Me” stuff that comes with the new year. I am not a resolution type person. But this I have to do for myself. I have to just keep LIVING, HEALING, SHIFTING.
So to end this, my advice to you if you feel like you are just surviving through life AFTER your special journey.. take a deep breath. Pray. Reflect. Breathe some more. And just LIVE!! Go to work. Take the kids to the park. Organize or rearrange your home. Workout. Write. Volunteer. Travel. Have fun and try your best to laugh and smile. And breathe even more. But not just breathe, really take in a deep cleansing breath.
Because our life is special no matter which direction it goes in. We are fighters. We are survivors already. Now… lets be overcomers and choose to live.