I love people more now than I did before he died.
I love people with nothing.
People who lost everything.
This Sunday it will be Bjarne’s 13 year death anniversary.
I have spent the last 13 years trying to love myself again.
It was harder than expected.
At first I had to start loving others who also lost a lot.
I had to start with loving you.
Compassion for you allowed me to have compassion for me.
But loving myself took the longest.
I have thought about the dance between pain and love.
Darkness and love.
Grief and self-love.
Something breaks down when the two meet.
I wish someone reached out 13 years ago and whispered to me ‘Try to seek joy and gifts for yourself.’
Give to yourself first, then to your kids, then to your future.
Self-love is one of the biggest invisible losses after a major loss.
It is because our old self dies and the ghost self that is present prioritizes survival.
The brain wires itself for just the basics.
And you get used to living in hardship, just getting food and water but nothing else.
As I look back at the 13 year old journey since he died on July 21st 2006, I realize that I didn’t just lose him but the love for myself.
This is something I never expected.
Without love of self we can’t really heal.
No matter where you are on your journey after loss prioritize love for yourself.
Without that, the darkness won’t go away.
The pain won’t stop hurting you.
It’s your own hand that needs to feed you and gift you things you don’t think you need.
Lately, I have found that the gift I needed the most all these years has been freedom.
And the only person that could give it to me, was myself.
I denied it the longest.
A couple of days before he died he whispered to me through his two oxygen masks ‘I wish I stopped working earlier.’
He wished he had given himself more freedom.
Looking back now he did whisper this to me.
I just couldn’t apply it to myself.
But 13 years later, I care less for the things I used to care the most for.
I no longer try to make other people comfortable.
I miss deadlines.
I run away from building big things unless they come chasing me.
Instead, last week I made a list of all the things that make me feel blissful.
I am sharing it with you, so you can write yours without having to wait 13 years.
When you write the list ask yourself not what makes you happy but what brings you euphoria and bliss.
It has to be at that level.
Here is what I put together.
Swimming in blue turquoise waters
Learning about the universe
There are many things I enjoy but these things make me feel euphoric.
I hope I have the chance to live long enough where I am able to live every day doing just these things.
Now it’s your turn, what is your bliss list?
If nothing comes at first, don’t give up.
It’s the only way back to life.
Here’s to your bliss, especially for you my sisters and brothers who lost everything.
With blue waters,
P.S. JOIN ME FOR THE TEMPLE JOURNEY: A LIFE AFTER DEATH. REGISTER HERE: https://www.1440.org/programs/faculty-led-programs/personal-growth/self-discovery/temple-journey