Life throws us many curve balls. It’s up to us to decide what we’ll do with them all.

The many twists and turns after my mother’s passing could fill a book. In the aftermath of my mom’s sudden exit, my family’s world turned upside down. Each of my three siblings and my father did our best to cope. Unfortunately, dad’s overwhelming sense of guilt, remorse and grief affected his judgement. Needing a scapegoat, my husband and I became targets for a barrage of long-distance anger. My father was not the man I knew.

There was nothing I could do or say. My desperate attempts to communicate backfired. Suddenly, I had lost both parents. My spirit plummeted.  My back gave out, and three lower slipped discs slipped out of alignment. A surgeon told me I’d be a great candidate for back surgery, but I didn’t want that.  My body was clearly saying, “I can’t stand it anymore!”  Before long, I could barely walk. I was given pain pills and steroids to cope. Overcome with misery, nothing worked.

Still, I felt a spiritual presence watching over me. As I dragged myself through the day, I’d remember mom’s wisdom. I was slowly directed to books and people who helped me feel better. I began to realize that healing starts from the inside out.  When you’re struggling to heal from any loss, here’s what I learned…

1.     Seize The Day. Mom loved the Latin saying, “Carpe Diem,” (“Seize The Day”), and would often kid me by saying, “I’m carp-ing as much as I can.” Was I willing to do that?  I’d recall memories of us walking around her Florida complex, arm in arm. She’d breathe deeply, noticing the beauty around us, and everything felt so peaceful. I wanted to feel that calmness again. So, I decided to journal and meditate for a few minutes each morning.

2.     Contemplate your “dash.” Mom loved a poem called, “The Dash” by Linda Ellis, which refers to the line between our birth and death dates. How do we choose to live our “dash?” I realized that even in the midst of tragedy, we have choices about how we want to live. I decided to see professional help to feel better. See:

3.     Thoughts follow energy. If our emotional, mental and spiritual energy is low, it’s inevitable that our physical health will be affected. Since I desperately needed relief from severe back pain, I tried almost every type of physical healing – doctors, chiropractors, massage, rolfing, Chinese herbal medicine. Nothing worked. Finally, I found a highly regarded chiropractor who did energy healing.  While skeptical, I was determind to try anything to avoid surgery. During my first session, I recognized a moment that became a turning point…

“Do you want to live?” he asked curiously.

“I guess so….” I hesitantly replied.

“It’s either yes or no,” he said firmly, staring intently at me.

“Alright,” I grudgingly conceded, like I was doing him a favor.

The doctor gazed thoughtfully at me. “There is a difference between just existing and living. Would your mother want you to exist like this? Or would she want you to live?”

I knew the answer. “Live…” I slowly started to shift my thoughts towards healing.

4.     People only know what they knowConsider alternative healthcare practitioners. No matter who you speak to, people can only offer advice based on their knowledge and mindset. There is no reason we have to believe only one source.  It’s ALWAYS important to get more than one opinion. Alternative healing practitioners may provide solutions that traditional doctors know nothing about. Your decision to get other opinions can even save a life.

My alternative healer based his work on the teachings of Dr. Masuro Emoto, an internationally renowned Japanese researcher who recognized that our thoughts, words and feelings physically affect the molecular structure of water. Since our bodies are 70% water, it makes sense that our emotions impact our physical health. Here are microscopic images from Emoto’s water crystals. The comparisons are quite fascinating! Check out the different appearances of these microscopic images…

After several months of energy work, and directing “love and gratitude” thoughts towards my body, my slipped discs went back into alignment! I was out of pain without surgery.  If you’re open to new beliefs, a whole world of new opportunities can happen.

5.     Learn to forgive.  Inner emotions affect our physical body.  Seeking help, I found an excellent grief counselor and was led to a transformative book. Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping was a lifesaver. It turned my life around. Tipping teaches how to dissolve emotional, toxic pain, and how to gain a deep level of self-acceptance. If you’d like, you can get free tools for yourself through his website.

Tipping says, “As long as you hold resentment and anger about things that happened in the past or that continue to upset you now, you won’t find peace… Try to understand what is locking your hurtful feelings in place, and then begin to transform them to find the love that waits for you underneath.”

Through Radical Forgiveness, I ultimately realized that my challenges were intended for a Higher reason. I struggled to find the gift in my situation, and began to see a new perspective.  Using Tipping’s exercises, I was able to spiritually forgive my dad. That act changed the energy between us on a physical level. Within the year, my father and I reconciled, and we now have a good relationship. I’ll always be grateful for what I learned.

(My dad and me….)

Imagine how life could be if we could see our lives from a different perspective. As Shakespeare says, “All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players.”

I invite you to consider, ‘What kind of player do you want to be? How do you want to live your life? What is the play you want to create?’

In my final blog from this series, I’ll share my mother’s dramatic gift to me from the Other side. It proved once again that soulmate connections live on. You just need to be willing to listen…