This morning, I sat in my living room, playing with my 7 month old son, and feeling so happy. The sun was streaming into our room, he was happy, I had gotten a full night of sleep, and nostalgia as I remembered that today was pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.
Memories of my past as shadows
Two years ago, I was between miscarriages. I was about to get pregnant for the second time this time two years ago. I remember how shattered my world felt for a season. And as I sat playing with my perfect baby in the most beautiful home, surrounded by sunlight, I was filled with gratitude. I felt a twinge of sadness, but it was different this time. I didn’t own my sadness. I felt it come into my heart, like a stranger, then leave, like a whisp of steam.
At first I felt concerned-does this mean I’m pushing away those feelings? Or, maybe, just maybe, this is a sign that I’m healing.
As I thought about the fleeting visit from grief, I saw a beautiful shadow on my wall. The beautiful sunlight streaming had hit a vase of branches in my living room, creating a beautiful play of shadows dancing on my wall. The shadows danced for such a quick minute-I ran to get my camera and they had already changed!
And then it hit me. The reason that I loved the sunlight streaming into my living room was because of the beautiful shadows it created. You see, there’s beauty in the shadows, the difficult times in our lives. They are gone so quickly, but while they’re there, they help us see the light so much more.
Your past as a prison
The shadows don’t actually exist. They’re just a mirage-when we treat them as our current reality, we are choosing to live as a shadow. And our shadows become our prisons. Trade in the prison of your past for light.
Dear one reading this today, step back from the shadows of your life and take a look at them. Why are they there? They’re there to remind you that you’re alive. That YOU are standing in the sunlight.
So, turn and face the light.
You’ve been staring at the shadows for so long that you have forgotten what the sun on your face feels like. Turn your back on the shadows, not the light. For the shadows will come and go. But the light stays.
It’s time to turn and face the sun and let the shadows fall behind you.
When the memories of past hurts or dark seasons of grief come back to your life, don’t shove them away or greet them with fear. Welcome the grief like a long lost friend coming for dinner. She’s not staying. But she’s there for a reason. Sit with her for a minute, understand her, and ask her what she wants you to know.
Could it simply be that your past wants you to remember that it’s a shadow, not a prison?
Thank you to Bekah of Sankalpa Life Yoga and Wellness for the life-giving conversation that inspired this post. (If you aren’t following Bekah on instagram, do it now. You’ll feel her beauty and strength in each post.)