Can Death Push Us Towards a Deeper Consciousness of Life?
A couple of weeks ago, I heard an author explain the difference between transparency and vulnerability:
“Transparency is sharing where we have been, vulnerability is sharing where we are.”
We live in a world that craves social recognition from highlighting and sharing external accomplishments, and from posting happy and successful moments. The bigger the accomplishments, the better! The more, the merrier! The number of followers on social media platforms almost became as important as your credit score to get a loan these days. Social media influencers are more easily recognized than hard-working and devoted professionals. And, showing or discussing hardship doesn’t necessarily look “good” on social media feeds. It has become so much easier to share positive messages, such as gratitude, awareness, optimistic mindsets to become rich, and manifestation techniques to be successful in life.
But what about celebrating and recognizing inner success and inner wealth?
We all crave that positive juice, but is it fair to say that the reality is, life is not always flowing with so much positivity?
Can we be positive all the time?
I don’t believe it is possible in our human experience to be positive all the time unless we are hiding or promoting false positivity, which I would personally refer to this behaviour as toxic.
In writing this blog, I want to be transparent and vulnerable with you all by sharing where I was and where I am. As a holistic educator, I have often witnessed a projection from individuals holding a position like mine where there is some assertion that we have surpassed a certain level in our spiritual journey, and therefore, certain life lessons and challenging events in our lives are merely seen as a “walk in the park.” However, this is a false misconception. I have heard statements like, “Well, what you are going through is difficult, but you are strong Émilie, and you always know what to do,” or “ Oh Émilie, sorry for your losses, remember you were chosen to have this difficult path, you are strong. It is a part of your journey, you will be fine.”
One thing I would like to clarify is that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience. So if you are a shaman, a spiritual teacher, a coach, or a therapist, you will experience moments of despair, tremendous pain, and confusion like any other person. Personally, these last few months have been brutally painful for me. Energetically speaking, this year has been a year of intense and emotional moments with so many planetary shifts, and unfortunately, I experienced two family losses in March 2023.
I had just finished my exam and submitted my requirements for my life coaching certification when I received the news that my father was at the hospital and wasn’t given a lot of time to live. His condition was critical. I had the opportunity to speak with him and share everything that I believed he needed to hear for him to let go. Even though he wasn’t able to respond to me, it was clear that he was listening to me, as his body started moving as soon as he heard me. And, with great effort, he made some sounds to acknowledge me when he recognized my voice. I could sense my father’s fear of death, and I knew I needed to hold space for him. I was able to assist him energetically until he transitioned into the afterlife. Years ago, I committed myself to heal and forgive my father. I didn’t want to carry the burden of hate and resentment in my heart. Writing my book The Naked Truth of a Healer: The Path to My Authentic Self was the most beautiful gift I could give to myself. I believe that healing our deepest wounds is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and the world.
While I was going through my father’s passing, within a week my 20-year-old nephew passed away. This tremendous loss just punched me to the core, and my heart shattered. I couldn’t even comprehend what had happened. One minute he was healthy, and just like that he was gone forever. Devastated, I knew so many people were relying on me to be strong for them. I had to park my pain and slip right back into the rescuer role, a role so familiar to me from playing it all my life. But when I arrived in France to spend time with my family, there was absolutely nothing I could fix, per se. There were no magic words I could say to my sister to make her pain lighter. The reality is, her heart was broken, she was experiencing a profound loss, and her life would never be the same. There was absolutely nothing I could do to change that.
After returning from France, I felt depleted. There were so many demands that I had left on standby that I had pushed myself to work through and complete all that was expected of me. In doing so, I suddenly noticed some anger rising. I had done a significant amount of work on myself, and I knew that I needed to sit with this emotion and welcome it. After all, this anger was showing me something. Anger is one of the stages of grief and is a natural part of our human experience. At times, anger isn’t necessarily welcomed, but anger itself is natural, as it is an emotion like any other. Anger, in grief, can give us a sense of power or control to face this powerless feeling of loss. Under this anger was my pain hiding, this deep pain that I hadn’t allowed to come and rise.
Intense emotions need to be felt and expressed, not suppressed. I have experienced the consequences of suppressing my emotions before in my life.
I had to sit with this anger. And once I did, the walls that I had created which had kept me standing just crashed me down, leaving me with this deep feeling of sadness and confusion. I couldn’t see with clarity, and my mind was overwhelmed with questions and non-stop thoughts.
When you are faced with loss, I believe there is a natural process that occurs. You start to question and audit every inch of what you are doing in life, and you begin to reflect on what truly matters, such as the people you want to be surrounded by, and the vital changes you need to make to live fully. We are faced with the inevitable certainty of our mortality.
The loss of both your parents makes you feel like no one else holds your past. There was this painful awakening of suddenly feeling like an orphan. It harshly wakes you up to the idea that your generation is next in line to die. I unconsciously created this movie theatre in my mind where I kept replaying my life over and over.
Am I living fully in my truth? Is my path reflecting who I am and what I have to offer to this world? Am I living fully while being my true self without clinging to the expectations of others? Have I fully explored what life has to offer and reach my full potential?
These were a few of the deep questions that I had that my soul was suddenly awakened to. Even now, these questions remain present and I am consciously aware of them every day. I believe that death urges us to look at our lives with a sense of urgency. Grief shakes you to the core. And in that, I believe there lies an incredible spiritual potential to change and grow, but in due time. Growth is a process, and it isn't something that can be rushed.
I try to live my life with no regrets. I don’t want to arrive on my deathbed and feel that I f&*ed up or regret what I should have done or didn’t do. I need to embrace who I am and become who I am supposed to be in this life. For example, I had many ideas of what the next steps were in my business before I experienced these losses. And honestly, none of these steps are even appealing to me anymore. It is as though I see life through a brand-new lens.
Becoming and rebirthing are two keywords that I have been deeply experiencing. In my continuous reflections these past few months, I realized that I left behind some pieces of myself to fit in a mould that was created by the opinions of others and what was expected from me.
I realized that at times, I have been hurt and frustrated because I have surrounded myself with people who weren’t able to see my worth, lift me up, or even inspire me, but have only been demanding of me. At times, I have placed my attention and energy in the wrong places. However, all I needed to do was refocus my attention and direction.
The only people who deserve a place in our lives are the people who love us and support all versions of ourselves, the ones who celebrate our wins, the ones who pick us up when we fall, and the ones who see us, hear us, and understand us.
Death shows us that life is so precious and fragile. We have a choice to make, and this choice is only in our hands. We can choose to survive by staying in our comfort zone and not rock the boat, or we can choose to go on this crazy adventure and find out who we are and unleash our true selves.
In this adventure, you may lose some people along the way, but if you do, it is because they were not meant to be a part of your new path. The right people in your life will cheer you on while you unleash your full potential!
For now, I would like to leave you with that.
Life is impermanent, today is all we have. One choice can change the entire trajectory of your life.
Your worth and value are not found externally. Choose wisely with who you surround yourself because life is too precious to waste time with those who don’t deserve it. Boundaries are necessary, and they reflect the love and respect you have for yourself. Self-worth is much more important than net worth.
Celebrate and love life!
Love, in the end… all we need is love.
Love yourself, and spread love around you. Tell people how much you love and how much you care.
Brené Brown, an American author and professor, has so eloquently shared that “when grief is part of your story, it needs to be held to be healed.”
Here is my story, and thank you for holding it with me as I heal.
Love and Light,