Seasons: Everything Is Temporary

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Wisdom is knowing that everything is temporary and life goes through seasons.

I believe that success and happiness should be immediately celebrated. After Tyler died I learned to really live in the moment and be grateful for just one moment of peace or in the joy of a good laugh with friends. Tragedy, loss, and challenges should not drive you to give up. Really, neither one will last. Things are always changing. When we learn to roll through all seasons knowing they are not going to last forever  it is a sign of true wisdom and our growing experience.

When you see people who are very successful that are humble and kind, you are seeing wisdom. Winning lasts only for a day. Quickly that is all forgotten by the world. It is temporary like the summer. It is so important to invest in what really matters and endures.  Which I think is kindness. I think the best use of success is to improve the world around us.

When facing loss, challenges and unwanted change, we could best use those times to learn. We should not let those times push us into complete despair, stopping us from moving forward. We know that winter will end and it won’t be cold forever. Slowly Spring sneaks in and before we know it the whole world is renewed. If we keep moving, we will eventually find ourselves in a totally different place. Good things are always on the horizon, we just have to stay open to them during the hard times. If we let ourselves be defeated and stay down, it is very likely we will be miss the very opportunities that could raise us up and out of that place. We don’t have to stay in difficult times longer than necessary.

Never Give Up!

Be blessed and keep going!

Chelsey

The Unknown

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I have been thinking about life altering changes, mostly those that are unwanted and unexpected. There are a lot of challenges in life, but there are a few that can truly spin us around and leave us totally disoriented. They also take away our security and sense of our future. When your future becomes a black hole and you lose everything in a moment, what do you do next?

Death, divorce, and cancer…unexpected losses, life threatening challenges or tragedies are some of the life events that will test us to the max and kick us out of our every day comfort zone and rip our known future away. Of course these things happen all the time, we just don’t expect them to happen to us.

It is really bewildering to go from an everyday couple with a routine about to start a fun summer weekend to the 26 year old widow. At least it was for me. I know that other serious life events can have a similar feeling when it comes to where to go or what to do next after these experiences.

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For me, I felt frozen. I wanted to go backwards, definitely not forward. I felt it would take me further away from my comfort zone, my life that I knew, the husband I loved with all my heart, my best friend and the life we had planned out together. Our future. When I looked forward it was just black.

 

It was like when you first enter a unfamiliar dark room from the light and you can’t see anything. You put your hands out in front of you and squint to try to see. But there is nothing. So you try to shuffle backwards out of the darkness…..but then you realize that the door you came through is now a solid wall and there is no turning back.

 

So here’s what I figured out, you better get used to the unknown. Just like in a dark room, your eyes will adjust. Let go of the need to live in routine. Let go of living only in the familiar. You will adapt, but you do have to open your eyes and face it to overcome it.

I now believe that as terrible as these life experiences are, they are also blessings. Perhaps there are some people who get by in life with only experiencing minor loss and challenges, but will they ever really know who they truly are? If you are never pushed and tested, you can never know what you are capable of. A few naturally test their limits, and some, are forced into it by life.

Whatever has happened to you may be the absolute worst, terrifyingly devastating experience that you barely survive, but at the same time, it also can be the best one, that leads you to finally truly live for the first time.

What do I mean by that? You will learn to value every second, be grateful for every small blessing, feeling happy or one carefree minute in the light, once you get back to it. Laughing will become a cherished past time, as well as those that partake in it with you…because you have died while living, you now have the knowledge to know what it is to truly live.

The truth is, your future has always been unknown. You and others just convinced yourself otherwise. That is why these events are such a shock. People die? Marriages end? People are not perfect? I am mortal and not guaranteed a 100 years free of tragedy or suffering? What a revelation, right?

So, embrace the unknown. Then kick it’s ass. Learn to try, learn to take a risk, learn to make mistakes. Avoiding mistakes will lead you to living to only a fraction of your potential. You’ve already been locked into the darkness, open your eyes and step forward. It’s the only way to find the way out.

And as always, NEVER GIVE UP.

 

Chelsey

 

 

http://www.facebook.com/chelseystimson

 

Part 2: I’ve Never Been A Widow Before

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Sadness. It is a useless emotion. I believe that it is necessary and has to be indulged to make it through our grief (and believe me, I indulged) but, it will not help you get anywhere new. Now anger, anger is a motivating emotion.

I was a walking ball of sadness and grief I was devoid of energy especially the first months after Tyler’s death. I could barely function. I was just surviving as a dehydrated, never hungry, zombie with bloodshot, aching eyes. I was lost. I had no power and I let others take care of me. Which is fine, that is what friends are for but at some point, I gave up all of my power to be me and had few opinions on anything or that I could muster the energy to express in contrast with someone else’s when it came to me, my husband, or our life.

This would have some detrimental repercussions in the long run because one day, I would be strong again and the sadness would finally be overtaken. I would finally regain full consciousness and some people weren’t going to like it. It was more change and we had already had quite enough of it by then. They were used to the widowed and broken me. Really I was just a shadow of my real self at the time.

Around 6 months, I woke up. I remember exactly when it happened. I was at the bank talking to them about finally taking his name off the accounts and all of a sudden it was like I snapped into the current time after living the day he died over and over…every, single, day. I would waiver back and forth after that, but never again would I go back to being completely overtaken by grief for months at a time. It was then I realized how much I had let go and how much I wish I wouldn’t have. I then realized that while I had many people supporting me, my weakness had also been taken advantage of by a a few.

Then I was angry. With myself, my situation and those that I allowed to take over. The good thing was I was finally awake and I realized I wanted to live not just exist. I wanted to live my life fully like I knew Tyler would have wanted me to. One thing about him was no one (except maybe me) ever told him what he was going to do. I knew this and knew he would say “who gives a damn what they think!”. I would smile and gain a little more confidence every time I thought of him saying that. He was well known for his bluntness.

I finally wanted to make the most of the time I had and now I wanted to do it in my own way.

Of course, after all this time of being an agreeable pile of moldable clay, obviously, it was going to be a tough transition for those around me to handle my sudden desire for independence. Even more difficult would be the courage for me to speak up and muster the courage to actually DO what I wanted and thought was best for me. Many people wouldn’t give this so much thought or struggle with just doing what they decide to do, but I was too worried about doing what others wanted me to do or thought was what I should be doing. Even with Tyler’s words ringing in my ears, I was struggling.

I would liken that time to a baby deer learning to stand. I was going to give it my best but there was no way around the fact that it was going to be awkward (VERY awkward at times) and I was going to make mistakes.

But hey, I didn’t know what I was doing! I had never been a widow before.

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What I Never Should Have Given Away

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Part 1:

Even before my husband passed away, I was never good at confrontation. Well, he would probably argue that in relation to him like most husbands! Usually, I would have to be pushed to it though and only if I could not find a way to avoid it. I am sure, also, that I can be categorized as a people pleaser. Mix that with some Christian sense of duty and I’ll give you everything I have…well, maybe more like let you take it right in front of me without saying anything….Or while mumbling to my self like Milton in Office Space about my stapler.

At least, that is what I used to be like.

Of all the things that I let go of or let people take without asking when my husband Tyler passed away, the thing I would miss the most would be my power to decide how to live my life. It is one thing I would get back after letting it go, however, I would have to fight for it.

I was so broken, so collapsed inside myself the day he died, I lost all sense of direction. My compass was spinning wildly as I sat surrounded by the ashes of my previous life. I was overwhelmed by the weight of my grief and the reality that my husband, my best friend, the center of my world, was dead. I would never speak to or see him again. I couldn’t imagine a life without him. Everything else lost it’s meaning and no longer mattered to me.

It was so strange, when he died, he was the person I wanted to talk to. He was the one I wanted to comfort me. He was the only one who really could. The reality was that comfort would never come. I would have to rise up on my own and deal with the pain.

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