When life as you know it ends abruptly, you fall into such a dark place. It leaves you questioning everything. In the space of grief you lose all sense of the faith and trust in the world you once so effortlessly knew and trusted. Things like waking up tomorrow. Or everyone you love waking up tomorrow. And that you’ll go to work tomorrow and do all the other normal life stuff that you’ve done every day before. When that normal life is shattered, you are shocked into whole other kinds of existence that is unpredictable and feels dangerous.
Suddenly nothing is certain or known, and all of life becomes an unfathomably large volume of big and complex questions and fears. It is that carefully complex system that goes on underneath my skin at all times. A whole undercurrent of questions and thoughts and scenarios that run through me… like “Where are you? Are you up in the sky somewhere, or right here next to me still? What is God really to me? How do I truly define that higher power and what is my honest soul connection to that? How to establish a connection to you, and to God? What do I do with all of this? Do I have a purpose, and if so how do I find that? Am I being led right now, right this very moment? Will I meet someone today who is going to be an important part of that purpose of mine? And will I know it? When will I love again? Am I even capable of falling in love again? What am I supposed to do now?” That’s just a tiny fraction of the things that continuously course through my veins now. Even in the middle of a crowd of people, often times this is where I truly am… in the listening place.
I am learning gradually to sit in this space – still and quiet – and to listen for the guidance I need. Listening for the soft whisper of the answers I search for – which often times come in the form of just one word: Trust. Trusting is a lot easier when your life is settled and you feel like you know what to expect every day. It’s a whole other battle entirely when you cannot see anything in front of you. When you’re walking into blackness. When nothing feels like a known and everything feels like danger. That is the place where you can build something powerful though. The kind of inner trust and faith that moves mountains and is unshakable.
I have found when I remain quiet and allow myself this protected listening space inside of me, that I am able to connect with something larger than myself. And from this listening place I find a deeper trust than I ever knew existed… in myself, in a higher power, in the love of my soul mate, and in the unknowns of the journey ahead. That guidance does not always come quickly, or clearly. And it takes me an incredible amount of energy sometimes to decide to trust things a world that feels so unpredictable now. But I keep on trying, trusting, listening, and asking for guidance… and in the stillness of the listening place, eventually, it always seems to come.
About the Series: Through 40 weekly photos and accompanying essays, 'Still, Life' captures a deeply emotional and psychological journey of what it means to grieve, to heal, and to live on.