My sweet, mischievous little schnoodle, Maggie, died last week. Wow, did my heart hurt. It still does, but not as much. Her brother, Bailey, and I are finding a new routine and it's going good.
My deepest desire this past week? To escape and numb out. I wanted sleep, ice cream, and NetFlix. Thank God I am a fitness instructor.
Because you know what I HAD to do? Get my sad butt off the couch and teach Tread, every day this week except Friday. I didn't feel like it. I wasn't excited about it. But do you know what happened once I started moving? Of course you do, because you've experienced it, too. I felt better!
Loss is confusing, because there is a part of me that wants to stay sad as evidence of my love for this little dog. I remember feeling this way about the death of my parents, too. Thinking, if I make peace with their death and am happy again, will that mean I didn't love them?
But I remembered yet again, through the pain of this loss, that we are meant to rise up. Rise up. Rise Up! And the things that helped me arise were simple:
1. Talking to people who listened with an open heart.
2. Sweating my ass off on the treadmill to loud music.
3. Eating ice cream. (Yes, I admit it helped a lot.) haha :-)
Escape felt so good for a few days, but then it was time to get real and feel what needed to be felt. Also, to become aware of what story I was telling myself. I had to really watch my self-talk/thoughts and not allow any lies to take hold. No guilt allowed, no shoulda-coulda-wouldas.
Today in Tread, listening to those Gospel songs that we play on Sundays, I had my arms up and was singing and I felt happy. Exercise is a miracle and a true gift. I may have felt stuck this week, but those chains fell off and my heart was free.
I know you may feel stuck, or sad, or frustrated, or defeated. Take a day or two to escape. Binge watch and have some ice cream. But don't stay there! That's numbness, not joy. To experience authentic joy, you have to risk opening your heart back up to life and love. Rise up! Get moving!
God's not through with us yet. Rise up, sisters! The best is yet to come.