M Offered Me Tough Love as I Grieved

M often gave me tough love as I grieved. During a pity party, M challenged me to choose to live. She said it wasn’t easy, I’d have to frequently make the decision to counter the violence of the emotional storms I experienced. Here is an excerpt from Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again where M helped me make it through another emotional storm:

“I’ve never experienced emotional storms with wind gusts reaching hurricane strength. They strike at times of their choosing. . . . I was listening to music when one of our favorite songs played. My emotions were overwhelming and I couldn’t stop the tears. How do I handle these storms, M?”

M offered a soft smile and a question. “When the tears and shaking stopped, what did you do?”

I gave M a quizzical look in reply.

“What did you do?” she asked again, softly but firmly.

“I moved the clothes out of the washer and into the dryer. I made a healthy salad to go with supper. And I put more bird seed in the bird feeder. Why?”

“I’m hearing you say you had an emotional storm. You weathered it. And, you chose to go on living. You didn’t crawl into a shell and feel sorry for yourself. . . . What’s your problem?” M pressed on. “You had an emotional storm. It came. It brought its winds. You survived. More will come. You’ll survive. You’ll survive as long as you choose to live when the storm ends.”

Ordering information for the paperback or ebook version of Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again may be found at https://dancingalone530.com/dancing-alone/

Excerpt From: Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again by Ray Calabrese. This material is protected by copyright

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Grieving Generates Strong Emotions With No Let Up

Grieving Generates Strong EmotionS With No Let Up

M asked me to journal about the emotions I was experiencing. She said, “Our emotions, if left unchecked, can cripple us.” Journaling while I grieved was difficult, I felt at a deep level it was important if I were to learn to live again. Here is a journal excerpt from Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again

“I run from away from dealing with my emotions by engaging in exercise, prayer, and writing. Even in those times of distraction, my emotions rear their ugly heads into my space, grab ahold of me, and throw me to the floor. My emotions stand over me, waving their fists and daring me to get up, all too willing to knock me down again. I wearily rise to my knees. I stand again, my legs wobbly. I try to clear my head. It hurts like hell.

My emotions cause me to cry over the most trivial things. I go to church for solace. I gaze at the stained glass windows behind the altar and cry. I listen to hymns and cry. I hear a scriptural verse and cry. I stare straight ahead, avoiding the glances of other patrons. I don’t want people to stare at me. I let the tears stream off my face and drip from my chin. It hurts like hell.”

Ordering information for the paperback or ebook version of Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again may be found at https://dancingalone530.com/dancing-alone/

Excerpt From: Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again by Ray Calabrese. This material is protected by copyright