My Instant Pot Adventure

Loss and the grief it causes tend to create a lot of pressure inside you.  You have so many conflicting thoughts and feelings bouncing around that you start to feel like a tea kettle that is ready to boil, and sometimes like you’re going to explode.  And since loss and grief accumulate, if you don’t do something to complete them, the pressure can be overwhelming.  That’s when people look for ways to relieve those feelings inside.  Everyone does it some way or another.  Alcohol or drugs are hugely popular choices.  “Retail therapy”.  Too much binge watching of television.  Other types of escapism.  Sex.  Working extra long hours.   We all find ways to dull the pain and tension that come with grief.

My coping mechanism was eating, because it seemed like the only fun thing left in my life.  I started with some overeating at the beginning but that sunk into eating all the wrong foods.  It was easier to walk to the car, drive to a fast food place, and walk back into the house with a bag of unhealthy food than expend the energy to cook.  That took planning.  And caring.  Two things I didn’t have much of back then.  So now I’m overweight, addicted to taking the easy way out of meal planning and now sure how to unravel that.

I’ve cleared up enough grief that I don’t need that coping mechanism anymore, but…. and this is a big BUT…. it’s now hard wired into my brain.  I’ve become addicted to eating junk, to taking the easy way out.  Our brains do that to us, in trying to be helpful.  Junk food = relief = do it again because feeling better is good, then keep doing it until the pattern is well ingrained as a habit.  So now I’m trying to undo all of that.  Not so easy!!!!!!

One thing I know I do is use work as an excuse.  I often have meetings during lunch because I work with people in other time zones.  It’s easier to grab a protein bar (or two) or a TV dinner than it is to take the time to cook something.  And after work I’m too tired to cook, of course.  Ah, the things addiction does to cloud your thinking.

I tried meal planning, but that was in direct opposition to my addiction.  Part of my day job is to be a project manager, so you’d think I’d take to meal planning like a duck to water.   Not so.  I say that I’m too burned out from doing that during the day to want to do it in my free time.

The other excuse was that I didn’t know what to eat any more.  There are too many conflicting nutritional theories out there.  Even our doctors don’t agree, so I don’t know what to eat.  Cee called my bluff on that by having me make a list of the foods I used to love to eat before she got sick, when I was thin and still cooking food.  So I can’t use that excuse any more.

I decided to try the Instant Pot (IP), just to see if it made it easier to get things cooked.  And it does.  It is amazing.  For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s an electric pressure cooker that has replaced my sauté pan, rice cooker, crock pot and soup kettle.  It’s incredible, and reduces cooking time.  I can grab some frozen chicken breasts, throw them in the IP and have them perfectly cooked in about 10- 12 minutes.  From frozen.  Go figure!  No fuss, no muss.  I can add it to a salad for lunch and I’m done.  I can focus on eating healthier instead of  creating excuses.

I’m still not out from under my fast food addiction, but I’m working on it, one instant pot meal at a time.  Fresh ingredients, no preservatives, cooked from scratch, but without me having to slave over a hot stove.

Now if I can just get Cee to hide the car keys…

For all you IP lovers out there, please send me your favorite recipes.  They will be greatly appreciated, especially vegetarian ones.  

Hugs and bon appetit.

Chris

 

“F” word #3 – Familiarity

The following article was written by one of the co-founders of The Grief Recovery Method (GRM), Russell Friedman, on October 27, 1993.  You can find this article on GRM’s blog.   This is the last of three articles he wrote.  

In our posts dated April 14 and April 21, Russell explored the impact of forgiveness and fear might have on our hearts, our minds, and our bodies. In this last article, he focuses on our stuck patterns of familiarity to guide our recovery from significant emotional loss.

___________________________________________________________________________

What you practice is what you get good at! The Grief Recovery Handbook makes constant reference to the fact that you must grieve and complete your relationship to your pain. Lacking grief recovery skills, grievers often begin to identify themselves by the pain they have experienced. In a relatively short time, the griever becomes familiar with that painful identity. The griever may also develop a very strong loyalty to the now familiar pain. No one wants to give up things they own or feel very familiar with.

What you practice is what you get good at!

In a society that does not encourage or support effective grief recovery actions, it is typical for grievers to find themselves isolating from friends, family, and co-workers. In an attempt to escape the very real sense of being judged or criticized for having the normal feelings caused by loss, the griever may begin to avoid all people or events that might lead to having to defend their feelings or to act as if they were recovered. The griever becomes very familiar with and loyal to the isolation that seems to protect them.

What you practice is what you get good at!

We have been taught, incorrectly, that grievers want and need to be alone. We have been taught, incorrectly, that grievers do not want to talk about the losses they have experienced. The griever, caught between the treatment they receive from well intentioned friends and their own fears, begins to become very familiar with being alone.

What you practice is what you get good at!

So far we have identified pain, isolation, and loneliness as highly probable areas of familiarity for grieving people. It is tragic when a griever, already struggling with the normal and natural emotions caused by loss, is further limited by some habits that do not enhance or encourage completion and recovery from significant emotional loss.

Familiar is not necessarily good, it is only familiar. Comfortable is not necessarily good, it is often just familiar. The old cliché, “better the devil I know then the devil I don’t know,” almost explains our loyalty to the familiarity of pain, isolation, and loneliness. Change can be difficult and awkward at the best of times, and it is clearly difficult for grieving people for whom the whole universe may seem upside down.

It is essential that we begin to become familiar with actions, skills, and behaviors that will lead to successful recovery from significant emotional losses. It does not require any more energy to practice helpful things than unhelpful ones. The Grief Recovery Handbook is an excellent source for appropriate and effective grief recovery tools that can lead to completion of familiar behaviors or beliefs that are not helping us improve our lives. In a prior article we said, “Familiarity can create a powerful illusion that change is not necessary, that growth is not possible.”  You must fight off the illusion of comfort caused by familiarity. It is not your nature to live a life of pain, isolation, and loneliness. It is your nature to be loving and lovable, trusting and trustable. Practicing the principles of grief recovery will help you become familiar with your natural ability to be happy.

What you practice is what you get good at!

If you found this article helpful information, we suggest you consider reading the other two articles in this series:

Exploring the “F” Words – Forgiveness

Exploring the “F” Words – Fear

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

 

Which footstep will …

I took this photo of Chris (upper middle in pink) as she walked along this trail and off into the woods.  Life is constantly changing and you can always take that next step and you could be off on an adventure that brings you closer to your dreams.

Part of Becca’s Nurturing Thursday challenge.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

 

 

 

The Circle Game

I heard Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game” playing the other day and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.  (The song and lyrics links are below.)  It speaks so much to loss and grief.  It’s a poignant song about a young boy growing to manhood and how his hopes and dreams are changed by the losses he encounters going through life.

We’re captive on a carousel of time…

The song’s chorus talks about going round and round, and being captives on a carousel of time.  Isn’t that how grief works?  We never quite get over it.  We just experience one loss after another, some small, some big, but always adding to our load, stuck on a seemingly never ending carousel of time.

We can’t return, we can only look behind from where we came….

And how often does that happen?  We spend too much time in the past, living with painful memories, having trouble moving forward.

Cee and I tell you that we are Certified Grief Recovery Specialists but we haven’t really explained much about the Grief Recovery Method (GRM).  It’s a practical and proven way to break that never ending circle, to get you off the carousel of time.

How can I explain GRM in a nutshell?  We start by giving you a better understanding of loss and the part it’s played in your life.  We talk about how the world deals with grief, and the ineffectiveness of what we refer to as grief myths.  Then we help you chart the losses in your life, so that you can see how they’ve influenced your beliefs, attitudes and behaviors all these years.  We work together to unravel your relationships, one at a time,  that you would like to complete with a person, living or dead.  Your grief generally stems from having unfulfilled hopes, dreams and expectations, and communication with someone that was never voiced.  There are things you still need to say to that person so that you can get some peace.  We help you say them, and bear witness to that.

What does all that accomplish?  It gets us out of the circle game.

(Joni Mitchell is a very talented Canadian singer, songwriter and artist.  She’s been a favorite of mine since high school.  —  Chris)

The Circle Game

by Joni Mitchell, L.A. Express

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like, when you’re older, must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels through the town
And they tell him,
Take your time, it won’t be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There’ll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Songwriters: Joni Mitchell, 1966

The Circle Game lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Crazy Crow Music / Siquomb Music Publishing

“F” word #2 – Fear

The following article was written by one of the co-founders of The Grief Recovery Method (GRM), Russell Friedman, on September 17, 1993.  You can find this article on GRM’s blog.   This is the second of three articles he wrote.  They will be posted here on the next few Saturdays.

___________________________________________________________________________

In our post dated April 14, Russell explored the impact that lack of forgiveness might have on our hearts, our minds, and our bodies. In this one he focuses on our emotional microscope on the possible consequences of using FEAR to guide our recovery from significant emotional loss.

Retained FEAR is cumulative and cumulatively negative. If the griever does not feel safe enough to communicate about their fears, then the fears themselves appear to be real and begin to define and limit the griever. In a play on that old phrase, “you are what you eat” and “you create what you fear.”

Fear is one of the most normal emotional responses to loss. The fear of the unknown, the fear of the unfamiliar, and the fear of adapting to a dramatic change in all of our familiar habits, behaviors, and feelings.

Fear is one of the most common emotional responses to loss. For example, when a spouse dies: How can I go on without them? Or, after a divorce: Where will I find another mate as wonderful, as beautiful?

Those fears are normal and natural responses to the end of long-term relationships. If acknowledged and allowed, those fears and the thoughts and feelings they generate, can be completed and diminish without serious aftermath. As we learn to acknowledge and complete our relationship to our fear, we can then move on to the more important task of grieving and completing the relationship that ended or changed.

But, if we have been socialized to believe fear is unnatural or bad, then we tend to bury our fears to avoid feeling judged by our fellows who seem to want us to feel better very quickly after a loss.

There is also danger that we may have been socialized to express fear indirectly as anger. While there is often some unexpressed anger attached to incomplete relationships, we usually discover that it accounts for a very small percentage of unresolved grief. It is also important not to confuse Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s “stages of dying,” which includes anger, with the totally unique responses that follow a loss.

An even larger danger looms when we develop relationships with and loyalties to our fears. We believe them as if they were real. We defend them with our lives, and to some extent, it is, indeed, our lives that we are gambling with. As we develop a fierce relationship with our fears, we lose sight of our original objective, which was to grieve and complete the relationship that has ended or changed. It is as if we have shifted all of our energy to the fear so we do not have to deal with the painful emotions caused by the loss.

Reminders of loved ones who have died, or relationships that have ended will often take us on a rocket ride to the PAST, where we are liable to dig up a little regret. After thinking about that regret for a while, we might rocket out to the FUTURE, where we will generate some worry or FEAR. The point is that those fears we generate, while they feel totally real, are often the result of some out-of-the-moment adventures. It may be helpful to remember this little phrase: “My feelings are real, but they do not necessarily represent current reality.”

While FEAR is often the emotional response to loss, in our society, ISOLATION is frequently the behavioral reaction to the fear. If isolation is the problem, then participation is a major part of the solution. Fight your way through the fear so that you will not isolate further. Recovery from significant emotional loss is not achieved alone.

This article on Fear was written by Russell Friedman on September 17, 1993.

august 16The article on forgiveness was written by Russell Friedman on September 17, 1993

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

 

The Dog

Here is my first story I ever wrote about grief.  I was six years old and in the first grade at the time.

Here is the translation for those of your who need it.  I was known as Patti at that age.  My father was a forest ranger and we lived in the woods.

The Dog

Lady was a little dog.  Lady only a year old.  She got lost in the woods and got a bullet.  She had to go to the veterinarian. She had to die.

I remember getting Lady as a young puppy.   Someone we knew had a littler of puppies and my sister and I got to pick her out.  One day in the fall she just never came home.  About a week later there was this faint sound at the door and it was Lady who had been shot by a hunter.

My father took her to the nearest vet, a long drive away.  The vet had to put her down.  She was too injured, and had too much infection to recover.

Somehow I instinctively knew how to write about the death of my dog.  I am lucky.  I was able to process this loss.  I was able to share it with my teacher and that allowed me to close my own grief process, much the same as the Grief Recovery Method teaches.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

 

“F” word #1 – Forgiveness

The following article was written by one of the co-founders of The Grief Recovery Method (GRM), Russell Friedman, on August 16, 1993.  You can find this article on GRM’s blog.   This is the first of three articles he wrote.  They will be posted here on the next few Saturdays.

I am one who has a hard time with the word forgiveness.  I tend to think like the rest of the world and believe forgive means to condone a specific act or person.

___________________________________________________________________________

This article is the first of a trilogy where we will probe some of the myths and misinformation about three words that are very important when using The Grief Recovery Method. The words are FORGIVENESS, FEAR, and FAMILIARITY. FORGIVENESS is the subject of this article.

It is almost a pleasure to write about forgiveness rather than talking about it. There is no subject that provokes more argument, more rigidity, or more pain than the idea of forgiveness. In fact, if forgiveness were not such an important stepping stone to successful grief recovery, we would not bring it up at all.

Forgiveness is one of the least understood concepts in the world, and is especially problematic in English-speaking countries. Most people seem to convert the word forgive into the word condone. The definitions in our Webster’s Dictionary illustrate the problem.

FORGIVE ….to cease to feel resentment against [an offender].

CONDONE…. to pardon or overlook voluntarily; esp.: to treat as if trivial, harmless, or of no importance.

If we believe the two words to be synonymous, it would be virtually impossible to forgive. The implication that we might trivialize a horrible event is clearly unacceptable. However, if we used the top definition for forgive we would be on the right track.

For example, a griever might harbor a tremendous amount of resentment against the person who murdered his/her child. That resentment might create and consume a lot of energy, that in turn might mask the pain and sadness about the death of the child. As long as the griever stays focused on the murderer, they may find it impossible to grieve and complete their relationship with the child who died. The resentment, or lack of forgiveness of the murderer, gives more importance and energy to the murderer than to the child. Successful recovery from the pain caused by loss requires that we focus our energy on completing our relationship with our loved one who died. By not forgiving the murderer we almost guarantee staying incomplete with the child.

Grief is the normal and natural emotional response to loss. It is essential to correctly identify the loss – the death of the child – so a process of completion can begin. The example about the murderer and the child can be applied to the perpetrator and the victim of any kind of event.

If the death of a loved one was a suicide, you might need to forgive them for taking their own life so that you could then complete what was emotionally incomplete for you when they died.

Forgiveness is not our objective. Forgiveness is one of the tools we may need to employ in order to complete the relationship that ended or changed, due to death or divorce or other life circumstance. The subject of forgiveness is massive and carries with it many, many beliefs, passed on from generation to generation. We offer this article and the following questions and answers to help you determine if the definitions that you were taught are helpful or if they need some updating.

QUESTION: What if I have built up a resistance to the word forgive. Is there any other way of approaching the issue?

ANSWER: We recently helped someone who couldn’t even say forgive. She called it the “F” word, which inspired this column. We gave her the following phrase: I acknowledge the things that you did that hurt me, and I am not going to let them hurt me anymore.

QUESTION: Is it appropriate to forgive people in person?

ANSWER: An unsolicited forgiveness will almost always be perceived as an attack, therefore it is almost always inadvisable. It will usually provoke a new issue that will create even more incompleteness. The person being forgiven need never know that it has happened.

This article was written by Russell Friedman on August 16, 1993.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com

 

Losses in the Aging Process

Our dear friend and mentor, Cari Dawson, graces us once again with her words of wisdom.  We go through tremendous losses as we age, and those seem to accelerate with every passing year.  Since I’m only eight years younger than Cari, I can align quite easily with what she is saying.  And it’s about time someone said it!

I have been a Grief Recovery Specialist for nearly twenty three years. The loss of a grandchild was the catalyst for me, an event that started me on this life-saving work so that I could help others. My loss history is lengthy: I’ve lost parents, a 2-year-old niece and a 25-year-old nephew, a brother, other family members, pets, jobs, lifestyles, husbands, friends, trust, and patients. Now, as I move deeper into my mid-seventies, I am becoming more acutely aware of the losses associated with aging.

The most obvious loss in aging is the fact of limited time on earth. It becomes more real that gravity is chipping away at us. There are subtle and not so subtle clues that we are disappearing. One of my friends talks about the invisibility in this elderly period of life as we are embedded in a culture of youth. “When people talk to me, I don’t feel like they see me.” Others say they don’t recognize the person in their mirror. “Who is that old lady? I don’t feel like what I am seeing.”  Friends complain that their lives are narrowing, that doctor visits are crowding their calendars. Some are losing their joints and other body parts.  They are getting hips and knees replaced, cataracts removed, hearing aids fitted, open heart surgery. Almost all of us have arthritic changes, we lose flexibility and dexterity, we lose cadence when we reach for words that don’t come as easily as they used to. We are generally slowing down. We adapt to the gradual losses, but as I am wont to say hoping to lighten up with dark humor, “None of us is getting out of here alive.”

And we often experience a loss of dignity. I personally encountered such a loss during annual well visits with my Primary Care Physician (PCP).  Although I have managed to reach this point in life with only occasional use of prescription drugs like antibiotics and I remain in excellent physical and mental health, I am a firm believer in preventative care, routine tests and lab work. Twice in the last several years, I have felt humiliated when unsolicited, my PCP’s office performed memory tests involving my retrieving three unrelated words (sunset-chair-banana) said earlier in the visit by the health care provider. Part of this test included a request to draw an image of a clock at 11:00. I was tempted to draw the image digitally rather than as the face of a clock with hands and numbers! At a time in my life when I intentionally enter into contemplative meditation and practice letting go, I felt like I was being graded on my ability to remain linear and dualistic to please government (Medicare) and health care professionals. I doubt if the health care provider understood that I felt like a fungible commodity instead of a human being.

Putting this into perspective, I understand that tests for dementia can be a necessary and good thing, but I wonder if the health care provider considers the context of the patient (other than chronological age) before launching into such tests. For example, the first time this test was administered, I had been in the throes of grief over multiple significant losses (which happens frequently as we grow older) and was experiencing disorientation and detachment from the dualism of this world. I was in no frame of mind to remember three unrelated words and I felt that having to draw a clock with the big hand on 12 and the little hand on 11 was demeaning and counterproductive. In fact, the loss of respect and dignity compounded my losses and my grief. Am I losing my mind too?  My identity?  Am I just some thing to be charted rather than a mature woman with feelings?

On the other hand, there are so many joys of life at this stage!  Balance is the most important aspect of our lives as we age. Although I continue to work—see and counsel clients— and volunteer, it is done with utmost concern for balance and my priorities which facilitate my journey to wholeness:  contemplation, spending time with close friends and family, enjoying my furry friend, reading, and working out at the gym.  I have become more acutely aware of the clock that is ticking away and ironically and interestingly, it has given me more peace of mind and focus knowing what I thought I knew all along: that my time here is running out.

I marvel as I reflect upon a long journey from a small town Ohio Valley high school girl of seventeen whose highest aspiration was to be a secretary and housewife, to multiple and diverse careers and paths, to where I am now in my mid-seventies contentment. I hear the clock ticking like a heartbeat. It’s a good reminder to live in the present, to see the beauty in Life, to taste, touch and feel it, to grieve the inevitable losses and know it is all good.

Cari D. Dawson, MTS, MA, JD, www.transitionscelebrant.com

Cari’s previous post was about grieving the loss of a pet.

Your Turn!

We would love to get some feedback from you.  Give us some guidance about what you like, don’t like, or want to see more of, please!  As most of you know, this blog is fairly new (since 23 February 2018), so we’d like to hear what you are enjoying, want more of, or even less of.

Much love and very gentle virtual hugs to all of you,

Cee and Chris

cee@cee-chris.com and chris@cee-chris.com

More Losses!

We’ve revised our Loss List.  We thought we were doing a good job with our 47 items until I found someone else who had 64 losses on their list.  No, this isn’t a case of loss list envy.  It’s important because grief is our reaction to loss, and if you’re ever going to move beyond the things that hold you back in life, you need to recognize and understand the impact your losses have had on your life.

So what are we adding?

  1. Estrangement from family.  I can’t believe we never had this on our list.  This is a huge issue with so many families, and for so many reasons.
  2. Entering or leaving military service.  This is another I can’t believe we forgot, since I’m a veteran.
  3. KIA.  We list MIA (Missing In Action) and POW (Prisoner Of War), but don’t have KIA (Killed In Action), so we will rectify that oversight as well.
  4. Grieving someone you didn’t know at all (like a celebrity).  Remember when Princess Diana was killed?  Or the shock we felt when Robin Williams died by suicide?  Or, if you’re from my era, when President Kennedy was assassinated?  True, these events didn’t have the impact of more personal losses, but they touched your life story.
  5. Grieving someone you only knew online (cyber loss).  We can make some good friends on line, and we feel the loss when they are no longer with us.
  6. Getting clean and the loss of drugs.  We know that sinking into addiction is a loss, but so is getting clean and sober.
  7. Death of the partner in an extra-marital affair.  This is one thing you will probably have to grieve alone.
  8. Grieving someone you can’t remember (ex. a parent who died when you were an infant).  Yes, this is a real thing.  I’ve worked with children who have problems with this.
  9. Grieving someone who died before you were born (an older sibling who died before you were born).

So that’s just a preview.  There will be other additions.  More things to come to get you thinking and remembering.

Lots of hugs,

Chris

Changing Expectations

Cee had a revelation a few days ago.  We had a great day, with plenty of physical activity, time spent cleaning up the house, planning the future and working on our business.  And we were astonished by that.

We shouldn’t have been.

She discovered that we have come to expect bad days, low achievement days, sitting in limbo days, because that is all we have known for fifteen years.  Lyme disease, and the grief that came with it, reduced the quality of our lives to barely breathing.  We were couch potatoes, not by choice but by the control Lymes had over both of us.

We don’t have to live that way any more but no one told us to change our expectations.

Drat these lives for not coming with instruction manuals.

Here’s the thing… when the circumstances of our lives change, we have to adjust our expectations, too.  Sometimes that is painfully obvious, like with the death of a spouse.   With something like a disease or illness, that isn’t always so obvious.  Cee came out of a debilitating coma with the expectation that life would return to normal, but it didn’t.

But what do we do when there are good things in our lives?  Do we think to change expectations?  Probably not.  We’ve become hard-wired the other way.  So when, like in Cee’s case, you are getting healthier and more able to move, what do you do with it?  Do you even recognize that there is an opportunity for new expectations?

Nobody ever tells you that when a life pattern changes, you have to change your expectations, but you DO have to change.  Expectations come from your heart, not from your head.  You might know that something isn’t going to happen like it used to, but that comes from your head.  Your head is telling you one thing, and your heart is saying another. You have to get the two of them in alignment with each other again.

Bad things are going to happen.  Good things are going to happen.  That’s what life is all about.

Can you think of a time your heart held onto old expectations, old dreams, good or bad, even when you head was telling you not to?  Did you adjust your expectations or not?

Lots of virtual hugs,

Chris

Chris@Cee-Chris.com

Didn’t know before…

I know for me, forgiving myself is one of the hardest things to do.

The definition of forgive is “to stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake”.

My illness has caused a lot of damage in our lives.  We’ve lost our home, cars, jobs, friends, everything… almost.  I wonder at times how I didn’t lose Chris.  Chronic illness effects every part of your world.  I blame myself for all of it and I struggle to forgive myself.

Is it right to blame myself?  Chris says no, because I didn’t do anything to cause my illness.  But it’s hard not to feel responsible. It’s hard for me to forgive me.

I am learning through my training as a Grief Recovery Method Specialist that I was only judging myself for a lack of knowledge and experience in new or different situations, none of which needs forgiveness.  There is nothing for me to forgive because I did nothing wrong.  I didn’t set out to create an “offense, flaw or mistake” as the definition of forgiveness states.

Sometimes we just have to let ourselves off the hook, to let go of the past.  Sometimes things just happen.  It’s no one’s fault.  It just is.

I’m learning to love myself more, and that feels good.  It makes me smile.

Hugs, Cee

email: cee@cee-chris.com