How many people in the world are stuck in a cage? Stuck in the perspective that life should be a certain way? When are we going to break free of this? I’m not talking about viewing the glass as half full, or making lemonade out of the lemons life gives you…I’m talking about making some cookies to dip in that milk and planting a tree out of the seeds of those lemons. I am talking about how I built the wings I used to fly out of this cage!
I was just told this last week that I need to start talking more about my story so people will know why I am starting my non profit organization along with my healing practice to relieve people from their suffering. So, I will continue to talk about my son. I will continue to share my story. Not because I am a victim, but because I AM my story. I have made the cookies, I am planting the trees, I am flying! But before I get into more of how I’ve done this, I want to tell you who this little boy was while he was alive!
Kaleb was an amazing, free spirited, hard to handle little boy. I know now, he had a lot to do and a little time to do it in. He loved his movies and loved to make believe, which is the only reason I did not feel guilty when my 15 month old was able to work the VCR…yes, that’s what he watched the most of VHS’s! He loved dinosaurs and superheroes. His favorite was Spiderman. There were many times I thought he was Spiderman. You would have too if you would have seen this boy climb with no fear and leap from the shelves to the cushion-less couch and flop onto the freshly cushioned floor! The boy had moves and would web anyone standing in his way, for fun, or out of anger!
My son. Wild and free. Completely un-caged. I wrote this quote for him, “The fire in a child’s eye lets you never forget what it’s like to be free.” When I lost him, I lost me…or at least the parts of me I had started to find being a young single mom. I had gotten a glimpse of what balance could be like…then it was ripped away. The darkness of the unknown surrounded me…I had no idea how to do this…how do I get through losing a child. No! No! No! This is NOT what I meant when I said I wanted to be free!
The pain of losing him has been talked about in a previous blog, The Accident
, but what I want to write about here is the steps I took to unlock the cage of despair and suffering. How I found a way to build my WINGS. It is something that numerous people have asked me how I was able to get through it.
In hopes of getting a closer look at “how” I healed, I decided to break it down: W=Willingness; I=Individual; N=Notice; G=Gratitude; S=Self-Love.
Willingness: I had to be willing to feel. To face the emotions head on. All of them. Every pain-staking last one of them. I had so many feelings and emotions that I started coming up with new names for them. Like, “Ice pic angry”…I’ll let you use your imagination on that…anyway, being willing to feel these feelings and emotions meant that I was willing to start healing. I was willing to be vulnerable. I was willing to cry the ugly cry, time after time, day after day. It was cleansing. It was healing. The salty tears that stained my face, pillow and multiple shoulders allowed me to get through each one of those heartbreaking moments.
Individual: Each person’s path is individual. There is no right or wrong way to heal. Every circumstance is different. Everyone’s background is unique. For me I didn’t want to go to a support group, I had my own I created. I searched out different healing techniques. I wrote. I spent time with friends. I helped friends who almost lost their children. One was an adult who almost died in Africa, one a baby who did die for a short time on the operating table, but was revived. (Both are now alive and thriving.) I had massages and cranial sacral therapy , energy work and hypnotherapy as my healthy way of healing. I also had bad, destructive behaviors I indulged in as well. I pushed away people I couldn’t handle in my life and drew in people I could. A wise woman once told me, “There is no straight and narrow. We all have our different paths that we take that eventually lead to the same place.” She was talking about heaven. In my mind, it is happiness. My path was unique to me, wouldn’t work for everyone, but that is why the healing process is so individualized.
Notice: Notice the signs. Look around you and see. What is speaking to you? What is showing up for you? For me it was rainbows. It seemed as every time I needed one, I’d look up in the sky and there one would be. Wildlife was another huge one. Specifically for me, dolphins. Monterey Bay was a beach that I had gone to all my life. This particular beach was choppy and I had never seen dolphin around there before, except that summer I lost Kaleb. Not only did I see a dolphin off in the distance, but it was a family of dolphins…momma’s and babies leaping and jumping. To me, that was a sign that I was not alone. My son was letting me know he was free and that I could take comfort in healing. Once you stop and listen and watch, you will see a world open up to you that is more clear and in depth than you ever imagined. Take the time to notice the signs and believe they are in place to give you what you need.
: I have written some of my thought on gratitude before. (Gratitude)
It is such an important idea for me. Having gratitude. Being grateful for everything in your life. Be grateful for the moments you had with your loved one, be grateful for the love that you are being shown by your support system. Even be grateful for those moments of pain and confusion that bring you to your moments of clarity. I am so humbled and grateful for each and every experience that I have had that has brought me to this point in my life. I am who I am today because of it. I am more than grateful that I was even able to experience the level of pain and suffering that I did, because I has brought me to the place I am today. A place where I get to understand others. I’ve been given this gift, so I could show others it’s possible to be grateful for even the darkest moments.
Self-love: This one is the hardest for me. It is easy to love and help others. We can see the good in them. How hard they try to be a good person, (most of the time,) so, why is it so hard to love ourselves. To be gentle with ourselves. For me, it is because I put unrealistic expectations on myself and then when I don’t achieve these I beat myself up. “I should have been more loving to those around me suffering when my son died. I shouldn’t have put all of those bad toxins into my body.” The list goes on. Well, guess what? I healed exactly the way I needed to for me. How I can say that now, is because I learned so many lessons in each mistake I made. Thank you God for allowing me to see it! I forgive myself each time I hurt myself now, or say something mean to myself, or do something that goes against who I know I have worked so hard to become. I am much more gentle with myself. I feed myself better. I exercise more. I take the time to do the things that inspire me…like blogging! I literally tell myself, “I love you, Chalese. You deserve the best for you. Keep striving for greatness everyday.” And because of this self-love that I’m actually starting to believe, it is making me a better mom, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, employee and healer.
This were the concepts I used to build my WINGS. They have empowered me to heal from the loss of a child, the one thing that when people talk to me say, “I could never get over something like that..” I am proud to share my journey with them. I am honored to say that I have found a way to release myself from the cage of suffering. I learned how to see the world with an entirely different view point. The glass isn’t only half full, I’ve made cookies, and those lemons life gave me? Their seeds are now growing roots. No more cages. I have found my way to fly. I am living a life knowing that Kaleb is living through me, allowing myself to be completely fearless and believing anything is possible. Thank you, Son, for freeing me.