I will never forget the moment that the police told me that my husband was dead.
It stands out as the worst moment of my life and yet within it has been the discovery of so much more. In the days, weeks and months after, as I reached for relief it was hard to let go of what I had had: the love, the life, the story.
I was a happily married 39-year-old woman, mother of four children and my life was good. I loved being a mom and even with the bumps of marriage I knew what it meant to be loved unconditionally. The man I had chosen accepted me fully and I loved the picture he reflected back to me of myself. He loved me as I am and saw the shine in me even when I couldn’t. Being in this life with him felt safe and secure, I knew I was taken care of and good enough. Life felt good.
But then it all came crashing down around me. In losing him I lost myself.
Without the image of myself reflected back to me as seen through his eyes I didn’t know who I was anymore. I felt empty and alone. I longed for him to hold me and soothe me in this time of true heartbreak. After all he was my best friend and after 14 years together, he was the one person that really got me, saw me for who I am and loved me – all of me.
So now what? I felt frozen in place, uncertain what to do. I hated the word widow and the idea of being a single mom literally scared the hell out of me. I didn’t know how to identify myself or how to be in the world without him. I could find no safe haven, no escape from all the angst that seemed to consume me. I reached for what I had had, looking for love in all the wrong places and feeling worse. My kids were hurting, I was hurting and life felt hard. I knew something needed to change. My kids needed me, I felt it and though I was physically present for them I felt so empty and unable to really give them what they needed. Given they had already lost their father I felt their need deeply, wanting with everything in me to be more present and more emotional with them.
I knew that I had to find a way.
Then something shifted. It was like I got tired of feeling so bad all the time, tired of trying so hard.
Not just missing him but missing my life that was forever changed, the picture I had of myself and my family that was gone. In between the tears and gasps I knew I would be okay.
I knew that I had within me everything I needed to find my balance again.
I began a quest to myself. I reasoned that in this time of angst and heartbreak I could soothe myself better than anyone.
I went on dates with myself, for lunch or shopping or walks. I decided to go places and do things on my own and to feel the power and control of that. I realized that I was good company and I enjoyed this new relationship I was discovering with myself.
I began to feel lighter. I realized that I wasn’t really alone, as I had myself. With these new feelings within me I was able to open myself up more with my kids. I talked about their dad with them, about how much he loved us, I allowed them to say and express whatever felt good to them. We cried together, played together, even laughed. And when I held them through their tears
I knew we would be okay.
Then one day I had an experience that confirmed that and shifted it fully.
I was playing in the ocean. I was out in the waves and as I stood there I felt the waves crashing over my feet and then as they came back in, I felt the sand come out from under me. I started to feel shaky on my feet as more and more of the sand fell out from under me. Then I stepped onto more solid ground as if by instinct. As I found that solid footing everything made sense, as if a big connection happened within me.
My experience in the ocean was a metaphor for my life.
The ground was pulled out from under me and I was panicking as I attempted to stay standing in the same place, but now the time had come for me to take a step onto the solid ground within me to a new place and into a new life. It was profound.
I know an energetic shift happened that day and I see it as the day I took the first step into my new life.
The metaphor of the sand coming out from under me further reminded me that though I did not choose this experience, I still had a choice about how I would be with it. I could continue the experience of the ground coming out from under me and the scrambling that that required or I could choose to trust that solid ground I had found within me. It felt powerful to acknowledge this choice and from it I gained some perspective to view the situation. I could see how my feelings of “no control” within it had left me feeling so out of control. Now I could see that I did have control, control of how I viewed the experience, the story I told and the way I felt.
I decided that I wanted to feel as good as possible about this experience, that I wanted others to focus on my positivity and that my story would be one of inspiration not tragedy. These three intentions become my doctrine for living, that culminated in my being fully engaged and present in my one wild and precious life.
Now from my new found stance it was possible to look at myself through my own eyes, really see myself and love who I saw.
This marked a significant step in Trina’s journey of life re-entry and her on-going journey in love and joy. Trina Rabideau recently launched her new business as The Vibe Coach. She works with others to stimulate them to think in uplifting ways, to release limiting beliefs and to find the best in everything, every one and every experience. It was her own tragic experience of loss that pushed her to embrace all that this one wild and precious life has to offer. She dreams big, reaches high, and is authentic and passionate about showing others how to do the same. Check out her website and grab Trina’s FREE fun, kickass, creative process to bust outdated limiting beliefs.
I’m so excited to debut the Life Starter’s Blog Series. I have had the greatest honor and fortune of hearing your powerful stories of personal transformation and I wanted to share them all. Because I know that together we can help support, inspire and lift one another. Every Tuesday, we will proudly feature your stories. If you’d like to submit a post, please go here for guidelines and more info. Happy reading!