Almost 6 years ago, my Grandma passed away due to diabetic complications. I had been her pet, she was my closest of kin. She was the person I loved most in this world. She was the mother and guardian that I valued above all else. When she fell ill and became hospitalized for an infection in her foot, it was I that wept by her bedside uncontrollably when we visited her at the hospital, seeing her so weak and sick. I was always the one to hug and kiss her last when the family said goodbye. When she was at home, sitting in her wheelchair and doing her best to cook and clean and take care of everyone financially even though she was falling apart, she was still doing everything for us. We were not taught to do things for ourselves- she did everything for us with all her love and not a drop of disingenuous generosity. She went without so her family could have, she was noble, sweet, and kind. The gentlest of all mothers, the most compassionate and understanding. I loved her dearly and in her wrinkled hands rested my whole world, and I was only too aware of the fact.
I’ve been doing some soul-searching lately. During her illness, my relationship with God and all that is holy became complicated. I did not and still do not understand God’s methods and quite frankly, I think the guy’s judgement is fucked. I don’t want anything to do with him much less do I think praying to him will ease the pain in my heart and the sorrow and grief that clouds my mind on a daily basis. As much as my grandmother was a good mother and woman in general, she was not happy. She was a sorrowful soul and a sensitive, emotional person. I have carried those aspects of her on, I have aligned myself with her misery and taken up her suffering. They do say pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, and that’s true. I’ve been reading the book A Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson and she talks a lot about “the inner goddess” which is just an acute belief in oneself. It’s a sense of holiness and spirituality and faith in oneself, because when it comes down to it, the only person in the world you can trust is yourself; you are the only one who will never leave you, the only one who truly knows what it is you desire and fear. You are the only one that should determine your path in life. We are the makers of our own destiny, it is our decisions that make us who we are. We can choose to rise above our concerns and fears. We can choose to be strong, we can choose to be positive. When you’re depressed, you spread your depression. When you are confident and in love with yourself, you inspire others around you to be more accepting of their own selves.
In a wiki-how article I read online, it was said that you are not going to give up what is making you unhappy until you have had enough of it, and not a moment before. You might want to investigate why you are so hung up or invested in this version of yourself, and while I was driving around in my car, I had the radio off to sit alone with my thoughts. Recently with my therapist, I hit upon some real truths in myself that I’ve been denying, and they are as follows;
I was 15 when my Grandma first became gravely ill, and lost her leg. She died when I was 18 years old, my freshmen year of college. For three years, I drove her back and forth to my uncle’s house where she cared painstakingly for his child. I helped her with her walker, I took her to some of her hospital and prosthetic appointments all by myself. When she fell into a diabetic comma one day, I was the one that found her passed out and sweating profusely on the couch. I am the one that took her to wal mart and helped her shop. When the electric chairs were available, I was the one walking around the store scanning the aisles for her salt and peppered head. I took her to her dialysis appointments in the mornings and dropped her off. I loved her so much my heart will never be whole again without her.
And yet, 6 years later, I am walking around with this feeling in my heart that I do not deserve love and security and happiness because she did not have them. I am punishing myself for not loving her more, for not taking better care of her when I had her. I was young, I didn’t know the extent of her sorrow, I was dumb and naive and I didn’t realize how much in my older years I would regret the lack of help I offered to her. Our whole family should have gone above and beyond for her, and we shitted out in the end, and didn’t do our most loving and gentle mother any justice. I know she loves us all still even as she turns in her grave at the state of things in all our lives. But I know she wouldn’t want me to feel this way.
I’ve been feeling like my grief is a big bully sitting on me, pushing my face into the ground and making me eat dirt. You don’t deserve love, you don’t deserve to be happy, you don’t deserve nice things. I realized that I’ve been very invested in making myself feel bad because I think I deserve to feel bad. I have been crying out for a religion, I need someone to believe in who is better than me, who will take away this pain and sorrow by releasing me of the regret and guilt I feel by forgiving me, but there is no one for me to believe in to forgive me. I have difficulty forgiving myself… I won’t say I can’t. It will just be so hard to forgive myself for my imagined slights when they feel so monstrously huge and hideous to me.
But I see now that it can be done. I see that the reason I was invested in making myself feel bad or worthless is because I was invested in being sad. I thought being sorrowful brought me closer to Granny, made me more like her, proved that I missed her the most. But I did not love her for her sorrow and her pain, and she would shake her head sadly at me trying to replicate and carry on her pain. I know she wants me to get up off my knees and stop eating dirt, stand up proud and go on. I know she knows I loved her. I know I still love her, I know her love is still inside of me. I can align myself with her in better, healthier ways that will benefit everyone instead of spreading my pain and negative attitude. I can choose to be a light, I can choose not to let these demons overpower me. I am stronger than my inner darkness. I have light within, as do we all. I can align myself with her by carrying on in her gentle spirit, the thing I loved the most, by choosing to live a life of honor, grace, and humility as she did. I have had enough of the heart of darkness, and I am moving into the light. I shall cower no more, I am more than my negativity. I can choose to be different, because different can be an improvement, and I shouldn’t be afraid to improve my life. I deserve to have a life I can be proud of, now only I must live it, and I hope you will realize your power, too.