I spent the hours of 2am-4am staring at my bedroom ceiling, thinking about the past year of my life. I haven’t shared much about my personal challenges throughout the past year, because much of it involves the journeys of others whose lives are intertwined with mine. Therefore the story is not mine alone, though the impact on my life has been immense. I realized that this “breaking open” has been building since this time last year. My dad’s death was the final blow. Not that his passing alone isn’t enough to unravel those who loved him. Laying there in the dark I was finally able to give myself permission to be in the place I’m in, right now. I’m tired, and sad. I’m often lonely even while surrounded by love. This doesn’t make me weak or whiny or ungrateful. It makes me human. I know many of you have been encouraging me to be gentle with myself. Why is it so hard to have compassion for oneself? It feels indulgent when it should be instinctual. Just like they tell you on an airplane – place the oxygen mask on yourself first. 

I thought about the 365 day gratitude challenge I’ve imposed upon myself and honestly, there was some cursing in my inner dialogue, because I don’t FEEL grateful (and why do I have to be so damn impulsive?!). However, I realize that is precisely WHY I need to do it. I am going to root myself in a place where I can be both compassionate with myself for feeling like shit AND remind myself in a gentle way that my world is a beautiful place.

So, here we go…Day 3. Today will be a small thing. I am grateful for these – my dad’s slippers. Slipping into them on cold mornings is a gesture of warmth both physically and emotionally for me. I am sure he would make a joke about me “walking in his shoes.” It’s really more of a shuffle because they are way too big…that would be funny to him, too…his shoes are literally too big to fill. I try.

dads slippers

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