What I wrote 1 year after my brother Nate died (Written May 2017)

So many tears especially these last few weeks… one cannot compare grief, we all feel it deeply even if we put on a smile for others or distract ourselves between being hit with grief again. They say the only way to heal is to feel, and grief is the price we pay for love.

I hear both Aline and Nate through various ways, thoughts of comfort, specific messages in dreams, songs, flickering lights or electronics, and seeing repeated numbers, that they’re okay and are still a part of my life and I’m not alone because they are my guardian angel.

Aline channeled her energy through various animals like the snowy owl, a butterfly and a kitten, Nate likes putting certain things with his name across my path, usually with a song so I know for sure, overheard conversations with Aline’s name, telepathic conversations with Nate in my mind, countless synchronicities I wish I’d written down but I can’t remember them now because they were for that moment.

Their soul and love lives on and they will always be a part of my life, they always comfort me when I’m sad and make me laugh when I’m having a good day. I feel them around, not constantly but often.

I was at an event recently where Wilma Derkson was speaking, she is the mother of Candice who was murdered as a teen in Winnipeg years ago. She had so many insights about how to deal with grief, I’ve read her book, and I took some notes:

When you get stuck, see a psychologist or grief counselor.

Grief is like a river and visualize little boats of forgiveness and compassion.

Art is very important to some whether it’s through making sculptures or colouring mandalas, it’s a way to process.

There is always blame, guilt and truth confusion, usually we don’t do blame well, often blaming someone close to us or ourselves instead of realizing the responsibility is not ours, even though it’s natural to think would, could or should.

We get angry or resist at least 14x per day, we must forgive ourselves and others each time to find inner peace, visualizing little paper boats, acceptance of what is transforms us from victim to survivor.

Have a conversation with yourself, either aloud or on paper, question your thoughts if they’re true, often we convince ourselves of things not true.

Source: Mindful Regeneration

You're Safe Now

You’re safe now.

Your old coping mechanisms are not serving you anymore. They are holding you back. You don’t need them anymore to protect you.

Acceptance is a better way to live life.

The devil is not behind every bush, there is not somebody always watching and reading your mind who will punish you if you think a bad thought.

Nobody will physically hurt you if you accidently do or say the wrong thing. Others are not keeping track to punish you later or shove it back in your face to justify abusive behavior.

You didn’t know that you could tell someone and escape; you didn’t know you had the power to change things for those you love. It’s okay, you did the best you could with what you knew.

Nobody can forbid your best friend to talk to you. You are free to talk with whoever you like. You are not a bad influence, you are LIGHT. They were just afraid of your freedom to question everything.

Walking into a room will not produce anger in an authority figure. They won’t say you’re a bad person because you haven’t measured up to their expectations of perfection and that you need to work harder and not waste time.

You don’t have to disassociate to escape your feelings, it is safe to focus on what you’re doing. You don’t have to remain hyper-vigilant thinking of the worst case scenario and prepared for another’s drastic mood change or something bad happening.

Everybody is not watching you, waiting for you to mess up so they can judge you. They don’t even notice what you’re wearing or if your hair is messy. They’re not talking behind your back that you’re not smart enough or that you’re not cool enough to be friends with them. If someone does that, it’s really all about them and not at all about you.

You don’t have to worry about what to say at a social event, you just have to listen and only give advice when they ask for it. Your opinion matters too, even if you don’t get a chance to get a word in edgewise.

It’s okay if others don’t agree with you, it doesn’t mean that they won’t like you anymore. Healthy people can agree to disagree and remain friends.

A misunderstanding does not mean the relationship is over. They are not obsessing about it and have most likely forgotten. You don’t have to apologize for everything.

It’s okay to be silly and have fun. Fun is not bad or wrong. You have a kind heart that not everyone understands, just keep shining and give others the freedom to come out of their shells too. It’s okay to not be perfect; there is so much beauty in imperfection.

It’s okay if someone is coming over or you were invited to a social event. You do belong, keep breathing, they won’t notice that you’re focused on breathing. Your responses to their conversation will not be overanalyzed. When someone doesn’t understand you, it’s not rejection; they just are not at the same place on their journey.

Care about what others are sharing with you about themselves instead of caring so much if they’ll accept you. You accept you, you are awesome. They think you’re awesome too. Everyone wants to be heard and understood, give them the gift of attention instead of staying in your little world of safety.

Loss is part of life, accidents happen. Everything changes, everyone comes and goes. Now that you hold them with an open hand, you don’t have to constantly worry that something bad is going to happen to those you love. It’s going to be okay regardless, and the good memories you made together are yours to keep forever. Continue being grateful for the good.

It is not your fault when someone else is in a bad mood. Everyone is responsible for their own feelings. You are smart enough to make your own decisions, mistakes are a part of life and each mistake is your teacher.

They only told you that you needed their advice so they could control you. Learn to recognize abuse. Nobody has the power to mind control you anymore. You are an adult, you are safe now. They have zero power over you. Nobody owns you. You don’t need permission to live, you can choose the life you want. Be an example of really living to those who look up to you.

It is not your job to rescue adults who choose to live under oppression. They don’t need you. Your courage to leave will help them more than staying because of an unhealthy emotional attachment.

It’s safe to tell the truth about and expose people who keep harming others. If they didn’t want a bad reputation, they should not have hurt people. Their negative energy can’t bring you down anymore, now that you’ve learned to vibrate higher and remove yourself from toxicity. Their rejection cannot affect you anymore because you now know how to accept and love yourself.

Your sadness will not overwhelm you, your anger is like flowing water, but on it travels little paper boats of acceptance and compassion. It’s okay to not have your shit together all the time, life is both the highs and the lows. Fighting feelings only makes them stronger, don’t give them your energy. It’s okay to feel bad. Those feelings are temporary.

You don’t have to keep running, you don’t have to distract yourself with entertainment or being busy or obsessing about other people’s lives. It’s safe to be here in the moment, alone with yourself.

Awareness that your thoughts and emotions are not you, has given you freedom and power. You are divine and can manifest whatever you feel.

You are learning how to take care of yourself every day so life doesn’t get overwhelming. You no longer need to search for a home, for love. What you need was inside you all along.

Source: Mindful Regeneration

The Ego vs. Our True Self

“When I connect with my true self, I understand life. When I believe what the ego says, I get lost and fall apart.”

I used to wonder what people meant when they said they were trying to “find themselves” and I recently went down that path. First looking outside of myself, seeing where I fit in this world. I thought how others viewed me, would define who I was. The life lesson came from understanding the difference between the ego and my true self.

I struggle with social anxiety and have to remind myself that I don’t need to be afraid of other people, I’ll be okay no matter what they think of me. I don’t have to talk or act the same way as the last time I came in contact with them or over-analyze what they might think of me. I’m learning to be aware of my fears and talk myself out of them, shifting my focus to love instead of fear. The ego is entirely based on fear. It traps people in the story of their past.

The ego is a fairly new concept for me. Of course I had heard the word, I just didn’t understand it. The ego is a person’s sense of self-importance, your social mask, your titles and roles. The ego is an illusion of the mind. I’ve been learning how to recognize it. I think that it’s something very important to have a basic knowledge of.

The ego tells us that we need to make others think we are important. It is something we all have to live with but we don’t have to believe what it has to say, because it’s not who we are. Deep down below all the labels, roles, social masks and expectations, we can find our true selves. Our very existence in this world makes us beautiful, valuable and amazing.

Even though a different part of my personality comes out, depending on the person I’m spending time with, I’m still being true to myself. All of the roles I play are true because I am limitless. My true self cannot be defined and it trumps the ego. I can reinvent myself every day if I want.

Never confuse self-love with the ego. The two are entirely different. The ego requires a person to think they are better than others and will put others down in order to keep that perception. Self-love means you are your own best friend and that you are able to give that gift to others indirectly, by inspiring them to do the same for themselves.

People seem to need to feed the ego by identifying and bragging about where they fit in life, with a certain group, as if where they are from makes them more important. I feel that every human being on the planet has equal worth and that the world belongs to all of humanity.

“There’s no race, no religion, no class system, no color, nothing, no sexual orientation, that makes us better than anyone else. We are all deserving of love.” ~ Sandra Bullock

All suffering is ego-created and caused by resistance. The ego will always be there, but it doesn’t have to rule our lives. The key is to carefully be aware of the thoughts circling your mind instead of getting lost in the thoughts themselves. Happiness is slowing down and listening to the conversations in your head without believing them.

When you hear the ego start to cut yourself or others down, or trick you with scare tactics, address it immediately “I know you’re trying to protect me from a future pain that you think is coming. I appreciate your desire to protect me but I will not dwell in fear” If you can remember to do this, your true self will prevail over the ego. Yes you can allow feelings to wash over you like a wave, as long as you recognize that it’s temporary, accepting instead of fighting it, knowing that life can be tough, but so are you. You are resilient.

There is a counter force to the ego. It allows you to overcome all of the ego’s fear and anxiety. It is your true self. Maybe you have caught glimpses of it? It is different for all people, but they are the same, in that for a brief moment, we catch a glimpse of our true selves and the ego disappears completely. In that moment there is no fear or worry, there is only you: infinite, kind, beautiful you. Perhaps it is while riding a bike or driving down the road with your favorite music, maybe you were on the treadmill or taking a walk outside and you felt: This is it. This is my peace, my happiness. Centered and grounded.

In addition to recognizing and overcoming the ego, we must embrace our true selves. Seek out those moments where you feel alive, create more of those moments. When you feel that sense of calm infinite peace in your soul, capture that feeling and dwell on it often. Stop living in the painful shadows of your past and allow your true self to begin guiding your life.

When the ego is in charge we will be caught thinking about the same things over and over, consumed by negative emotions, focused on anxieties, fears and doubts. When the ego is in charge our worth is dependent on external things, a partner, friends, career, family, outward appearance, home etc. When the ego is in charge, validation from others will be a desperate need and we’ll be easily bruised when people let us down and life doesn’t go our way.

Believing the ego means you get your identity from others, it means a second-hand life. The moment you realize you don’t need to depend on others and that you have your own intelligence, you can look within. When someone says something about you, don’t internalize those words, to be hurt implies you believe what they said. When you stop believing negative self-talk from the ego, you’ll also stop believing hurtful things that others say about you. You won’t need their acceptance or understanding if you truly accept and love yourself.

When our true self is in charge, we accept ourselves, others and circumstances completely, our preferences and desires bubble up from within us, not from external influences like society and the expectations of others. When our true self is in charge we feel in the flow and lose ourselves in our hobbies, connect with nature, a sunrise, a starry night, or quotes that resonate. Life feels effortless, and we feel free and empowered to live a beautiful life, our purpose in life is to follow our heart’s song and share our unique gifts with others.

Forgetting our true self comes from seeing through the eyes of the ego. This is why there is so much unhappiness. But those negative feelings are sometimes the reason for the awakening of the desire to return home to who we really are.

To be fair, it is incredibly challenging to dismiss the allure of the ego and be led by your true self, but even if you manage to connect with this deeper part of yourself a few minutes a day, your life will improve in a beautiful way. The smaller you make the ego, the easier it is to escape your prison cell and find freedom. When the ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind and beautiful. Even a teaspoon worth of love, wisdom or courage coming from your true self is a thousand times more powerful than negative messages coming from the ego. Try to remember this, beautiful soul.

Source: Mindful Regeneration