I've been journaling for years, which means I have a pile of old journals that contain a ton of thoughts, revelations and reckonings.

Sometimes, I'll go back through an old journal and be reminded that I am still learning some of the same lessons. I notice patterns and themes that I've been navigating throughout my life. One thing that has been prevalent for me throughout adulthood is the exploration of grief, and how I navigate it.

Over the weekend, I opened up an old journal from last year. This entry was from last August - I was waiting to find out if I had cancer and if I was going to have surgery. I was terrified. But it struck me because what I wrote then feels so relevant to what I'm going through today.


It takes time to take meaning from your pain.

A year and a half later, I have made so much meaning from that pain ~ oh, how it was so utterly necessary for the evolution of my soul. All the pain that I've experienced has given me something valuable: perspective, empathy, hindsight, clarity.

And so it is, with my current situation. From this painful and challenging time in my life, a newer version of me will appear. Smarter, wiser, and hopefully more loving. All roads lead back to love. Loving and accepting myself is the way to the truth and the light. I am the truth and the light. I already posses within me everything I need to succeed and to be happy.

It's already there - it's simply a choice to turn towards it and accept it as truth.

If we don't spend time with our pain, we never learn from it.

Grief changes us. It has certainly changed me. Grief has brought me to my knees. Punched my gut so hard. It has torn me apart, while showing me the depth of the human experience. Loving people, losing people, outliving people I never imagined leaving so soon...All of it has emptied me out, leaving space for something new to emerge: love, gratitude, hope, presence.

Without grief, I would not be able to fully appreciate heart-bursting joy and love. The deep valleys allow me to appreciate the soaring heights of the highs. What a beautiful human experience it all is.

Rereading this journal entry perfectly sums up how I feel, once again, at this point in my life.

Yes, there is grief. There is pain. But there's also a lot of hope and love. There's a knowing that the hard experiences give more context and richness to the amazing experiences that will inevitably find me. Looking back at that version of myself, I find comfort in remembering that the sun will always rise again. I will always have another opportunity to have a different experience. I can always choose joy and love, even when things are hard.

I accept and embrace the fullness and totality of this life - the ups and downs, and everything in-between.

I love it all.