After looking over Amanda's story my heart was exploding. I wished so deeply to have been beside her, to be her support over the past 15 years! I began this piece with a drive to show this phenomenal woman that she has not walked her path for nothing. That she has endured the darkness that she has, because of who she really is inside. That her story matters and will help so many others as she finds her way to share it and tell. Perhaps this can be a starting point for her.
Sometimes when we struggle and have to be strong for so long we lose sight of the beauty we hold within us. We become lost and when we get through to the other side of our struggles we feel like we are in a transition and emerging into the light from the dark slowly one light fractal at a time.
Amanda's Light is a reflection of how when we endure difficulties, trials, and life tragedies that we have no choice but to face and deal, there is still beauty that remains.
I want people to understand from this piece that when we see a fellow human being carrying on despite the struggle, the positions pressed upon them, the loss of a loved one, the loss of our true North, it is not easy.
I want people to stop and really ask someone who is struggling through something how they are holding up? and LISTEN! Stop and DO something for that person even it is just a small note to say you are amazed by them and they matter. Sit with them and hold their hand.
Amanda has a story that would be a Nora Effron classic, if she were still with us today! This woman has experienced so much in life. Her heart is greater than the ocean, her endurance beyond the call of a marathon runner. Her kindness and willingness to help others in need enveloping as the sunrise and sunsets. All done without any real thought to herself or her personal desires.
Here were some expressions and little glimpses of her heart and story that moved me to tears and reminded me to stop and support someone even when it is difficult to do.
"I ended up spending...ten years basically taking care of my mom. Had a decent job,... but not a lot of time for much else other than work and family stuff. Mom had a second stroke in 2001 that left her unable to work...finally being diagnosed with lung cancer in May, 2008.
She died in December, 2009, on the longest night of the year - a bit of poetry to end what was a terrifying and dark journey that I wouldn't wish on anyone. She's left me an incredible legacy that I do my best to honour but also some battle scars that I'm still coming to terms with.
After a decade of caring for someone else, I gave myself permission to be selfish.... At the start, I didn't know what that meant really....
I tried to be all things to all people because that's the only way I know how to care about someone and at the same time was trying to be the type of leader I wanted to see myself as. I lost perspective, health and balance somewhere along the way so I had to find a way out and in what will always feel like one of my most selfish choices, I did. I found a different job more suited to who I am, not who I think I want to be, but that will still give me lots of opportunities for growth. Not much glory but I'm ok with that if it means sanity!
I guess it feels like I'm in a moment of transition. I'm not sure I have a grander calling or purpose - or if I do, I haven't found it yet! - but right now I'm just learning how to live a life that doesn't have to feel so darn hard every day."
She did all that she has with love, and humor in her heart. She became lost along the way and as the result found growth and her focus to find her center again. She opened her heart and did not let life shut her down or become bitter. She found her heart, and kept leaning into the storm to keep her footing and make it through.
She has shared so many valuable lessons for us all in her story! To do what it takes to make it through and the extreme value of self care and finding our way back to that if we have lost that practice.
I want to hug her and tell her she is an amazing person. That her heart is so full of love and the kind of love that so many have never experienced. What I see in you Amanda I just can not seem to roll out in words here without it sounding inadequate. You may not see yourself as one of this world's heroes but I do. We do not often get to see behind a hero's mask. Today we have and it is nothing short of incredible.
Let your light shine for all to see my beautiful woman. Let this be your time to put away the fears and the insecurities and let your heart out into whatever you decide to put your touch to.
I believe in you! You my dear one, matter greatly.
As always there is music that goes with this heart of work:
I placed the music into two parts one the first were go to music for happiness and the heart:
The second part are songs that break the heart open when the heart is hurting: