My Bleeding Heart #YoureNotAlone #Grief #KeepMoving

My heart bleeds with sympathy, with the ache of loss, and with the hurt of this world. My heart bleeds for my community and the way death has made its brutal appearance known. My heart aches for those left with memories of a person no longer breathing. My heart aches for the battles they face today and the ones waiting in tomorrows. There’s truly a deep ache in my chest for all the loss. Tears don’t glisten in my eyes but when death knocks on the door I think of those left to deal with the aftermath and the ache returns to my heart.

I was editing my grief book yesterday and while I felt such a sense of accomplishment for how many pages I got through it leaves me with a rawness. I don’t want to talk nor do I have anything to talk about. It actually leaves my head empty and that’s bizarre considering the amount of thoughts I have in a day. I don’t text my friends and I barely socialize. I don’t feel sad merely quiet almost void of emotion.

There’s been another wave of losses in my community and with each one it triggers the same response. A bleeding, aching heart. Maybe if I could cry for their pain the ache wouldn’t reside in my chest. Or maybe that ache has become my defense mechanism to keep from backsliding into that dreaded, dark world of grief.

Regardless, I feel your losses. I hurt for the children who lost a parent, for parents who lost a child, and for significant others who lost their love, and every other relationship lost to death. I deeply and profoundly hurt for you and with you.

One of the biggest reason I’m even torturing myself with writing my story of grieving is so  that you know you’re not alone in your suffering and to show you there is redemption and healing ahead. It happens, but right now isn’t the time to think about that. When you’ve lost someone, the most important piece of advice I can give you is to feel. Feel everything. Cry. Get angry. Hug one another. Whatever it is you need to do. Allow yourself to feel this but don’t forget that these feelings are temporary. There is hope for healing. Hope for so many wonderful things.

Today if you’re mourning a recent loss or one that’s lingering, please remember you’re not alone. Don’t give up just yet. Keep fighting through the pain, eventually the rain will subside and you’ll be able to find light within the darkness.

In the meantime know I’m praying for you because that’s the greatest gift I can give. Prayers saved my life and so I’m passing that along. Life changes but it goes on because love never dies. And since love never dies, neither do we. We merely change forms.

#ThisIsTemporary #LoveNeverDies #KeepFighting #KeepMoving #YoureNotAlone

It All Balances Out #MyConfession #EverythingReconciles

Confession. I’m a Virgo. I like structure, plans, rules, and balance. I guess that’s why accounting was an obvious choice for me early on. I like organization and being able to put things in order and in nice neat little colored coded, alphabetical boxes. While I love happy surprises I struggle with the unexpected. I despise not knowing and spend too much time trying to figure out the present, the past, and wishing I could see the future. I’d dare to say there are a lot of you in the same boat I’m in.

Let me tell you a secret in case you haven’t figured it out yet. Life does not work like this 99% of the time. Annoying, right? *insert eye roll* I’m constantly fighting my nature to put my life in these little boxes which is completely ridiculous especially when I know that I myself don’t fit into a box. When someone asks me what I do for a living it’s a whole ten minute explanation. I’m a CPA, an accounting professor, oh yeah and I write books that have nothing to do with accounting. Then the weird looks and questions ensue. LOL! Sometimes I get so stuck on who I should be versus who I really am, which is ridiculous when my career doesn’t even fit into a neat little package. That’s why I often say “I’m just Michelle.” I don’t know how else to put it.

Then there’s this whole thing of balance. I get a dorky thrill when a reconciliation works and I can get numbers to balance. I’m constantly searching for that cut and dry, double underline (where the numbers equal) kind of balance in my life. I want things to equal out. Sadly life isn’t a ten minute bank reconciliation or a nice short and sweet balance sheet. (Bear with my accounting lingo for a moment. It holds a purpose.)

Life is messy. It’s a pile of papers, photos, and random sticky notes all over the place. As soon as we get everything organized and in a manageable mess someone opens the window and the papers go flying everywhere. (Sometimes we want to punch said person in the face, but that’s not nice so don’t. 😉 ) Then we race back to put things in order only to find some things have flown out the window and maybe a few new papers have flown in. We return to the mess and attempt to organize it, figure out where people fit in our lives, cry over our missing pages that we thought held all the answers, and sometimes we quit doing anything and lie on top of the mess of papers to keep from losing or gaining anything when the winds start to blow again.

Lying on your papers is a temporary fix. Just sitting there and letting life happen around you isn’t going to help you. I tried that before and the only result is that you’re miserable because you are too afraid to move for fear of losing those few pieces of valuable information. Sometimes we get too comfortable in our messes. (Again, been there done that.) And you can’t stay there forever. What are you going to do when the wind isn’t your issue anymore and instead a flood fills your house with water? Are you going to keep lying on the floor and drown as the waters rise or are you going to swim? (Please swim.)

The most difficult lesson I’ve learned in life is I’m not in control. And sorry to burst your bubble but neither are you. We can make good, well thought out decisions, sort our papers, double and even triple check our calculations but that doesn’t stop outside forces from making a mess of our work aka our life. I have to keep coming back to this lack of control over and over again, because there are days when I really feel like I’ve got it all together. My balance sheet is about to balance and make my accountant heart happy. Then BAM! Everything gets jacked up. Ugh.

Life is about the constant art of balance—in all things! It’s about learning how to organize your papers but not getting frustrated when the wind shuffles them. It’s about learning when to work and when to play. Remembering that we have no control over whether our heart stops beating today or fifty years from now. I’m not saying we shouldn’t make good choices to help ourselves out, but I am saying every day we have to do our best and remember there’s a greater force in power. Sometimes that’s hard to swallow, but at the same time do you really want the stress of being in control of everything in your life? That’s a big responsibility too.

I say open your windows, let in the sunshine, and if the wind blows your papers around don’t fret. Sometimes the things we see as tragedies set us up for our greatest triumphs. They’ll be days when you sit and stare at your perfectly placed papers in satisfaction, and they’ll be days when you want to pull your hair out from the chaos. But remember when we come to the end of our life, it all works out. If we keep moving and keep doing our best, we’ll get handed a pretty little balance sheet where everything balances out. In the end, it all gets reconciled by the Big Guy in charge. Oh and don’t forget in the meantime He’s always available for consultations. 😉

#AccountantAnalogies #LoveHugsAndSunshine #DontGiveUp #KeepMovingForward #GiveUpOnControl #ArtOfBalance #EverythingReconciles