I will never forget the day that I died. No, it wasn’t me physically. It was my son, yet, the day he died, for a while, I was dead inside. That is at least what I thought. However, if I was dead, I don’t think I would feel the pain like I did. No, that was torture. Complete and utter torture. It is a pain I cannot describe. It is so deep and so hollow that it made me physically ill. I cried without warning. I would shake so bad that I felt as if I was literally falling apart. I would scream and have panic attacks that were triggered by merely a sound. I wanted to die. It would have been better…for me. But I didn’t. I wasn’t going to. I couldn’t. I was lost. I was broken. How I was able to pick up the pieces of the missing me and put me back together, I’m not quite sure. But what I do know is that I did.
I have been sifting through pages of old journals and I have realized something. Page after page, month after month, year after year I talk about how lost I was. I felt these feelings for a very long time. I’m continuously working on finding myself. And do you know what I realized? I actually realized that I have always been right here.
I had looked around wandering aimlessly, trying tirelessly to find where and who I was, what I was put here on this planet for. I realized that, for just one moment, I needed to look in the mirror. There I was, staring back at me. I found myself! I was right here all along! I was looking outside of myself to find the way, rather than right here inside of my being. I am here because of the decisions I have made, the path I have followed, the love I have experienced and the heartache I have endured. All of it has been for a reason. All of it is what it took to get me exactly this point I am at right now. Looking at that image in the mirror, at every detail; every scar, every stretch mark, every wrinkle, every pound I’ve gained or lost…it’s all a map of my journey and it’s me, right here right now. I know what has brought me to this point in my life.
It is time to stop saying, “I’m lost.” It’s time to start saying, “I’ve been found.” That does not mean that I am never going to struggle. It doesn’t mean that I am not going to feel stuck at times. It doesn’t mean that I am not going to be hurt, feel pain, even wish I had done things differently in my life. What it means is I accept me for everything I am. I have worked hard to be in this moment right now. I have suffered through pain and tragedy that, even now, is unimaginable, and I am making it through, still, each and every day. I am a full time working, single mom of two beautiful, active and very independent children, and I am making it through each and every day. It’s not easy, but it is where I’m at. I am present.
I ran across a great quote by Kaci Diane, “I love the person I’ve become, because I fought to become her.” This is true for all of us. We are all here because we have made it to this point in our lives. We all have our own journey and our own path to get to where we are today. Look back on what yours has been. Be grateful for each step of the way. I am at a place now, where I can move forward, one step at a time, with confidence that I know where I am, because I know where I’ve been. When I have a bad day, or make bad decisions or struggle through a difficult situation in my life, I will no longer say, “I am lost.” In the tough times especially, in order to remember my strength and my confidence. I will continue to move forward with trust and faith knowing I am very much alive. I am willing to feel it all, and am ready to face any challenge that comes my way because I am ready to make it to the next moment in my life with a little bit more knowledge than I had before. I will be looking in that mirror and say, “Here I am. I am right here. I am found!”