This summer has been very different for me as my father passed away. He was a wonderful man, respected by many and from whom I learnt a great deal of wisdom and gained a lot of strength. He was the solid, dependable person in my childhood years. He was the one person who inspired me to become a Homeopath and follow his wonderful footsteps. He was my rock.
I clearly remember how he would enjoy his mile long walk every morning to come and meet my children and I at the school gate when they were younger, simply to spend a few minutes with them each morning and share with me a nugget or two about a particular remedy or a recent case he had taken on …. these pearls of wisdom and experience have remained with me ever since.
It’s a great loss to not have him in my life each and every day, but equally I feel very blessed to have had the privilege of sharing 50 years of my life with such a noble and humble man.
From this emotional loss there’s a few life lessons I have taken away and really understood, more so now than ever before.
1. My awareness has increased
I have really understood the value and importance in each day and furthermore, each moment and have become more selective about the ‘stuff’ I allow to enter my head. Space is tight up there and there’s no room for litter any more, so an efficient de-cluttering system is key. Most situations that take place around me or are attempting to absorb all my energy are out of my hands – they’re out of my control and probably won’t be so important or carry as much weight in a day, week or years’ time.
2. I must go with the flow, and not be too hard on myself
Each day brings new challenges, some predictable, others not. Hey, that’s life! I have acknowledged the importance of slowing down and dealing with what I can and can’t accomplish, because in reality, the time and energy allowance given to me each day is limited.
3. I have learnt to trust that, ‘It will be okay in the end’
Fear is only an emotion, not my reality. For years and decades in fact, fear of losing a parent has been lurking around me.
I was always afraid of the day when I would lose my father from a very early age – and more recently so I felt as though I started grieving before I lost him. Intuitively I knew… however, I feel that that in itself had a benefit also, as it allowed me to embrace the special moments I had with him in total awareness, so that I was more prepared to endure the pain that this inevitable cycle of life would bring for me. I was able to accept his passing more readily and I now realise that I’m much stronger than I thought. My approach to life has changed.
I have also understood that each situation we face in life is different, the dynamics around the situation are unique and based on our own life journey as well as that of other’s. We all respond to the same circumstances in different ways.
4. The importance of consistent self care is beyond measure
After my father’s heart attack in 2007 he picked himself up, gradually bounced back and lived each day with greater focus and determination – to do this in ones 80’s is commendable in itself. For him this meant, one hour’s breathing exercise, followed by physical stretches, a healthy satisfying breakfast and a good mile long walk around the park. He was proud of his routine and for him his self care regime was a non-negotiable. Whilst I have always understood the value of prioritising self care my father’s approach has been exemplary and served him well up to his final days.
Below are the principles by which he lived his life and from these I find myself discovering that I still have much to learn.
5. A small gesture can make a big difference
I also find myself becoming even more aware of the needs of elderly people and their journey particularly in their latter years. I have understood more so, that they were young once, much more independent, robust and energetic than they may possibly be now. The latter years can become tough for some and a struggle at times and every considerate thought and action we take can make a huge difference to their day. A text message, sending an uplifting quote, a phone call or better still making quality time for a cup of tea and a chat can make all the difference to someone who finds the battles of day to day life that bit more challenging.
6. Stay connected with your mind, body and soul
Most importantly, I have understood that this life that we are experiencing is not permanent and has a definite start and end date. So making a difference, having a driving force, something that ignites the fire within you and makes you get up each morning and live your life with a sense of purpose – whatever that may be, as long as it feels right for you as that’s what will get you through the tough times in life.
For me, it’s my wonderful family, friends and my work and yes, that includes you all, doing the work I do feeds my soul and gives me a meaning and a sense of purpose, fulfillment and reward.
7. Simple living, high thinking
This really was the way my father lived his life. This was his mantra. He instilled in me the importance of self respect and integrity. He lived his life with dignity and pride and taught me the meaning of compassion – to help others wholeheartedly without expecting anything back.
As I gradually move forward this month, back to where my passion and purpose lies I will be doing so by embracing the qualities and values that my father instilled in his life as these will live on through Rebalancing Life and its work.
So, as we come to the end of this blog post I would just like to say that whatever battles you may be experiencing right now, I hope you can draw some strength from my learning and translate these in to your personal situation. I would love to hear of your experiences, so feel free to write a comment below, share your story and how you have changed as a result. After all, we’re all here to learn from each other!
Finally, as we move on swiftly in to embrace the beauty of Autumn and its wonderful array of colours I wish you all new opportunities, greater health and success.
Take good care of yourself, much love and speak soon!
‘Life is about change and the ability to adapt to those changes. Do not fear the changing seasons. Taste the fruit and drink the drink of each – whether bitter or sweet, it too, shall pass.’ Anon