customized boxes to nourish the soul after loss

One year ago, this month, my life broke in a big sort of way.  And then a few months later, it broke again.  Then when I thought it could not break anymore, it broke some more. And then during all of the breaking, I broke too. 

Almost nothing in my life looks the same as it did twelve months ago.  We left our town and left our church and left our state.  We left our house and left our things and left our friends.  We left broken relationships and healthy relationships and beautiful growing relationships.

A few months ago we claimed a fresh start and began a new life.  I thought the fresh start would make everything better.  And in many ways, it has.  Life feels sweet.  We live on a peninsula in Florida, and the warm days and the long rains have done their work to revive me.  And our children are thriving and growing and healthy and happy.  And our cars work and our house works and our jobs work.  And I can hug my mother regularly and see my brother and visit my grandmother.  Life is good, right? 

And it is.  It is sweet.  So so sweet. 

But it is not.  It is so so not.  

Because I am mildly traumatized by the last year.  I am afraid of new people.  I fret with fear of being judged.  I am sure I seem too emotional or fragile.  I struggle with fears that life may just break again.  That someone or something may come along and demand our marriage and our money and our home and our security.  That something will strip us naked vulnerable again.

And this is a strange place to be, because letting a fearful mind run wild is not healthy.  And yet settling a frightened soul is tricky and elusive work.  So since I have no perfect answer, I am giving into my biggest craving.  

Rest.

I am giving into endless hours of my children on my lap, and familiar foods I love, and smells I know, and panoramas I recognize, and friends who remember me before jobs and children and mortgages and bills.   I am giving into quiet days filled with boredom, and I am not reading books, and I am skipping an ugly election cycle, and from the outside I may look like I am failing a little bit.  

But I don't care what it seems like, because I am building a quiet and steady stream of peaceful days.  The raging storm of the last year has passed, and the damage is still evident.  But for now I am letting mild waters shore up my soul and carve their new path.  And it is so so sweet.

April 26, 2016 by Johanna Mutz

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