“What in holy hell is going on?!” I wrote this on Facebook yesterday after hearing of the death of Eagle’s guitarist Glenn Frey (always one of my faves). Because, really, the last 2 or 3 weeks have been awful. Natalie Cole, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Dallas Taylor and Dale Griffin (the drummers for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and Mott the Hoople, respectively). All these great artists have passed, one on top of the other. It’s gotten so I’m almost afraid to look at Facebook in the morning.
On top of those losses to pop culture, there have been personal ones: my kitty, Pepper, died last week after being hit by a car. One of my colleagues tells me her marriage just imploded. There was some grim health news for a family member. And that’s just on my end. I know of other people going through some seriously tough stuff right now.
Seriously, January is off to a super-sucky start.
Last month, I wrote about how the numerological vibe of 2016 is “9,” representing endings, leavings, finishings, “clearing out”-ings. At that writing, my generally sunny outlook saw the “9” vibe as a positive, making way for new and better things – but only after something else got out of the way.
While I still believe that, part of me still wants to punch that sunny version of myself in the throat.
OK, so here we are, smack dab in the middle of a TON of “endings.” It’s almost overwhelming. How do we manage that sense of being off balance, of missing someone or something? What do we take from this tidal wave of things leaving us, whether we’re ready or not? Here are some tips:
-Second, drink. Breathe again.
-Cry if you have or want to. When I realized that Pepper was gone for good, I lost it in a big way. For hours. My indoor cats were looking at me with concern (rare for a cat, even rarer for mine). But afterwards, I felt better, more peaceful. I was clearing out my sadness and frustration in a physical way.
-When you’re feeling raw from all the turmoil, visualize a bubble of sparkly white light encasing you. It’s healing, but it also prevents any other heavy energies from impacting you and making you feel worse. Think of it as spiritual “bubble wrap.”
Now, part of the distress associated with loss or sudden/forced change is that it reminds us of how little control we have over some things. So times like these are good for reflecting on exactly what you can – and can’t – control about your own world. For my friend whose marriage is dissolving, she’s realizing she can’t control the increasingly bad choices of her husband. It’s a hard, painful truth and she’s finally accepting it and letting go. She’s making a space for her next chapter to begin.
Another thing about loss is that it forces us to reflect on where we are in our own life. Obviously, none of us are at the level of a Bowie or Frey, but people are commenting on what they left behind, what they contributed, how they impacted people. So what will each of us leave behind, as testament to our time on the planet? Were we kind? Did we help? Did we show love or understanding? It doesn’t have to be a classic album or movie or TV show that we’re remembered for: we can have a great impact on the world with the simplest of gestures. So use this particularly crazy time to take stock and course-correct your journey. That will be the positive, empowering thing to do when it all seems to be going haywire.
When it came out in 1972, who knew that this song would be so appropriate?
“Turn and face the strange,” indeed.