Hooray! At this moment in time, there is exactly $1211 in the Jacob Kotler Memorial Fund. I’m so excited. That happened pretty quickly. It makes me realize how rapidly that number can change when donations of $100 come in. In times when I’m freaking out because, let’s face it, $100,000 is a BIG number, I remind myself that it’s simply 1000 x $100. That feels much more palatable. Thank you to the amazing individuals who have got this ball rolling.
Of course, I have only just begun… and stopped. Yeah. This week was not so hot. I began questioning what I am doing. How often do I harass my personal contacts? When do I call them up? Do I send another email? (NO.) Do I need to do an event and how big should it be? I like to plan and feel sure about things, but that’s also one of the main ways I procrastinate. Thinking, “Ooh, I dunno… I might get it wrong” or “I’m not sure” are fantastic ways to procrastinate and shoot yourself in the foot and stop you from taking steps towards your goals.
I have an amazing life coach. She’s guiding me through all sorts of helpful exercises to move me through blocks. This is a new experience for me and it’s been, um… a rollercoaster to be honest. I appreciate the ride because I’m learning a whole lot about myself and being held accountable to myself and what I really want. She’s teaching me a new way of making decisions; ones I have to wholly own because I have to get in touch with me – the real 100% Richelle me – to make those decisions.
Being responsible for your own decisions (my coach isn’t going to give me the answer) is empowering and terrifying, especially when you’re a people-pleasing perfectionist. Did I mention that this often keeps me from doing what I really want to do? After all, what would people think if I actually raise $100,000? What will they expect of me next? Can I live up to that? What if I FAIL?????????
All this negativity doesn’t leave me feeling so hot. In fact, I become a big old grumpus who’s anxious, emotionally eating, not taking proper self-care, feeling guilty for avoiding tasks, spending far too much time on social media trying to escape and watching TV (I try to convince myself that watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday is really about self-development). Let’s be honest, all of these things are an escape from doing what I know I need to do to move my goal forward. I’m essentially running from my fear of failure and having a hard time believing I deserve success.
Who cares? Sometimes I do. I admit to caring what others think about what I am doing and sometimes it stops me in my tracks. Because I don’t want to get it wrong or look like a fool, I just don’t do it. Or worse, I am feeling lazy and so I don’t try. Any of these things can stop me from doing things I enjoy and will move me forward in raising $100,000.
I enjoy writing and connecting with people. I love telling stories. Sharing my story brings me healing, offers time for me to remember Jacob and it moves me forward in my life. I share because it may help another person in some way; after all, we are all connected.
For me, people are everything. People matter. And we are all joined by love. Love is the unbreakable bond that connects us all. I can love anyone and anyone can love me, too. It’s part of the human condition.
It is love that connects us to those who have died. I didn’t want to become a part of this horrendous club I was forced to join when my son, Jacob, died seven and a half years ago. I don’t want any other parents to join this club EVER, but ultimately they will. Children die every day. That breaks my heart. But that is part of life – death. Not a single person in this world has control over that. Love keeps the children alive in the hearts of their families, their friends, and strangers who were touched by their stories. We are all connected – always – by love.
I remind myself of this when I find myself lagging: I care about these parents and I care about myself. I wouldn’t be where I am today without help from many people and programs like the Pediatric Grief Support Program offered through Rotary Flames House and the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
So what does love have to do with breaking blocks?
Loving myself does NOT mean letting myself off the hook. It means, loving myself enough to let go of fear, risk failure, pick myself up if something goes wrong, and try again. Love accepts what is and reminds me to be more present in THIS moment and to focus on what I am doing right now. Self-love moves me forward because it wants for me to be happy and joyous and live the life I want to live. It helps me develop the self-discipline I need to change what I need to change and to evolve into a better human being.
I must love myself to forgive myself when I get stuck or don’t do something or I make a mistake. I must draw on the love rather than the loss of Jacob to find the strength to be triumphant and move forward with my goals. It is my love for the other parents who will or have lost children that compel me to give back to a community that has helped me. It is my love for Jacob’s brother that allows me to play and enjoy him; this sparks my creativity and gratitude. It’s my loving relationship with my husband that gives me support and helps me talk through things. It’s my stinky old cat’s love as she sits in my lap and I cry expressing my grief. When it comes, I feel my loss with a loving heart, sit with it, feel it, then release it so I can be productive once more. Grief is soothed by love.
Ultimately, love is my motivation. People matter. I matter. So to move forward, the one thing I must do every day: Feel the love. Next thing: DO something about the love. Focus on the step in front of me until it is complete. Then feel the love again and move to the next step in this project. I will get there and it will take a whole lot of love and that truly warms my heart.
Originally published on www.meetingmichaelbuble.com.