Meanings of words and phrases in italics are at the end of this post.
For a while I had been thinking about learning to kōrero te reō Māori, both to improve my confidence in pronunciation and as a way of gaining a deeper understanding of te ao Māori. What I didn’t expect to get from it was a way into a better relationship with myself and a new tattoo.
A couple of parts of my life were falling apart, my mental health and self esteem were at the most fragile they had been for a long time. I was struggling through the days in an ongoing toxic work situation and my self belief was further shaken by the loss of what had seemed a promising intimate relationship. I had not been sleeping, relying on sleeping pills that left me fuzzy, was losing weight, and the voice of my inner critic, the one that tells me how useless I am, that it’s all my fault, that I am unlovable, had become louder, more insistent, and harder to change the record on.
I found this in among the tarotscopes and yoga class listings in a local Byron Bay magazine while on holiday. The column is called heavily meditated – and I do love a good pun. This was something I needed to read today and a lesson I needed to learn. Again.
The line that jumped out at me was this: “An inability to forgive others is reflective of an inability to forgive yourself.” Continue reading
I think most people who have lost a child would tell you, that in those first days, one of the most painful things is that unrelenting march forward of the days. Each dawn after each sleepless or drugged oblivious night taking you one day further from the last day you heard your child laugh, looked into their eyes, watched their breath rise and fall while they slept (until it didn’t), held their warm body.
Perhaps it’s different for those with other children, but after a while I took comfort in the idea that each day was also one day closer to being with my daughter again, that each day could be endured on the basis that at the end of it, there was one less to slog through before I could look into her eyes again, hear that little chuckle. Each new wrinkle and each gray hair a sign that we would be together all the sooner. All I had to do was put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Continue reading
I don’t believe in those five stages of grief. There are plenty of other theories around. This isn’t one of them.
Yesterday I cycled around handing out Easter eggs for The Angel Zoe Kindness Project (and to burn off calories from consumption of Easter treats). Everyone I met was happy to take the Easter eggs and exchange a few words.
On my way down to the cycle-way, I encountered someone I see from time to time asking for money outside the local supermarket. When I see him I usually give him a couple of dollars or buy some food to give him on the way out. Sometimes he’s left before I come back with the food, even if I ask him to stay. Continue reading
Zoe with one of the anaesthetic technicians, She improbably looked forward to seeing the team every day of her six weeks of radiation.
How can you learn gratitude from something that wreaks havoc, turns lives upside down, tortures children and families with unbearable treatments and choices (that are somehow borne anyway) and takes lives?
On the day of Zoe’s diagnosis, I could never have imagined that I would owe childhood cancer any gratitude. But in a strange and improbable way, I do. Continue reading