Tag Archives: Emotional Support

When Raised on Crumbs of Love

I gave this letter to someone I love, but the message is universal. I’m sharing an edited version here, all privacy protected. Maybe you or someone you love needs this today.

My Dear,

There were many times when I wished a wiser future self could have reached back, shook me awake and loved me hard. I want to channel that most loving and knowable part of you, to remind you and guide you.

If you can open your heart to hear this without shame, without even a tinge of judgement and self-criticism, then this will serve you well. These words are a song my heart pumps through the body until I am full, and it needs to go out, to live somewhere in the world.

Know this. You are good and whole and worthy, exactly as you are, right now. You are beautiful. You are poetry. You deserve to be cherished and honored and respected. There will be no prince charming. You are your own best prince charming and fairy godmother. There is a long lineage of dysfunction and trauma, that goes back farther than the lifetimes we know, longer than we can even imagine. This does not set your destiny, but is up for you to heal in your own lifetime, in the way you love yourself and your children. Our ancestors look upon us with such tenderness. They cannot undo the wounds of the past, but whisper to you, “Your pain is a precious jewel. This inheritance has forged you in the fire of resilience, courage and compassion. You know what it takes to survive. Stand up and walk.”

When you inflict pain upon yourself, or numb yourself, or stay in the energy of physical or emotional abuse and disrespect, you carry that energy forward, into the person you are becoming. Your body knows how to constantly make itself anew. Even now as you read this, new cells are forming deep in the marrow of your bones. How will you make yourself today? What will you tolerate and allow?

And what does it take to feed and fuel a miracle? A woman’s body can form a baby, which she will love with the entirety of her soul. So too does your own life beg to be cherished. Who is worthy of sharing space and energy and time with you? What is the future you wish to build for yourself? Even though you may not see it, how will it feel to walk into your future home? Who is there to greet you? What are the colors there? Create it in the fullness of your mind, so you can be led into it by your deepest and truest desire. You would defend and protect your child like the fiercest lioness. Walk into and inhabit your life. Defend your right to be loved and fully respected, like the queen you are. Settle for nothing less.

When raised on crumbs of love, the spirit becomes accustomed to hunger. Crumbs may seem like a justifiable meal when that is all you’ve known. I want the full banquet for you, nothing less.

When parents are trying so very hard to keep their heads above water, they may not be able to show you what it is to be a strong swimmer. It can feel messy and scary, like drowning. You learn for your own survival how to tread water, but not always the full long strokes of directionality and personal power.

As a young woman, I wish someone had told me to stop flailing, to lie on my back and look up at the stars, and helped me to see what I could have and be if I stopped waiting for rescue. Catch your breath and gather your strength my love. You know how to swim. You are stronger and wiser and more capable than you even know.

Courage, Clarity, Confidence, Community.

Connect here for more support.

#TogetherWeRise #MelissaEppardCoaching #BadassWomen

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Coping with Loss after Cancer

There is a raw wordless ache in my core. When I start to approach it, it builds into a fire that agitates my whole system and threatens to engulf the whole of me. It’s in my pulse and my blood. My scalp prickles and my hair hurts. I itch all over. My hands are restless, so I scrub dishes and fold laundry and pull weeds. I’m afraid that if I get too close to it, all my positive efforts at healing and rebuilding… my health, my career, all my gratitude, that it will careen off into a blurry void of hopelessness and crash into a gully of despair.

Three people in my circle have had their lives taken by cancer this year. Their names are Champagne Joy, Milyn Kukon and just this past weekend, Cat Barney. Cat and I were newly acquainted, and I wish I had more time to know her. Our sons go to school together, and this similarity in age, the idea of leaving behind a husband and son, it gathers the storm clouds and terrifies me.

I want to put a name on it, to analytically dissect it. That is safer than feeling the tsunami of emotion. I am left with this question:  How can I experience loss without retraumatization?

I have heard the saying that, “Anger is Sad’s bodyguard,” but I wonder if Sad is somehow allowing the walls to still stand. Anger threatens to obliterate me. Anger seeks to undo my remasking as a “Person Among the Living” after the absurdity that is cancer. Who am I angry with? Is it God? Is it Mankind’s destruction of the environment? Why would my genetic code go haywire like this?

I don’t know what to do with these feelings, so I write. I lean into my community again, like I did when I was weak and bald and sutured. What comes to me now is the image of being carried by a sea of people who love and support me.

After Harvey and Irma, and our mass retraumatization of watching these devastating images, I remember that most of us intimately know loss and pain and the vulnerability of being alive. I see these images and all I want to do is get on a bus and head to the most ravished place I can find and try to pick up the pieces.

As I wrote Cat’s name the sun broke through. I want to tell myself a story that she and Milyn and Champagne are everywhere now, all around us, invisible in the air, and we can breathe them in. Is raw vulnerability the gift they left? This reminder of impermanence? It makes me double down on my mission. Busy is my default coping mode.

Refocusing on the other, finding my community again, I’m leaning in.