What you tell yourself matters.
What you rehearse becomes what you believe.
What you believe becomes what you do.
When Dominic first ran ahead to Heaven, I was determined to hold onto truth with both hands. I would not allow my mind to wander the winding path of “Why?“ or “What if?” or “Where now?”
I was able to keep that up until the funeral.
Then the bottom fell out.
All the thoughts I had kept at bay crashed through my defenses like an invading army. My mind was consumed by questions, doubts, horrible imagery and awful anxiety.
Slowly, slowly I recaptured the conquered territory.
I hung scribbled Bible verses and encouraging quotes all around the house. I refused to read or listen to news stories recounting accidents. I began the day with remembering Dom was gone, but also remembering I was still here and that my three living children, husband and parents needed me.
When my heart screamed, “Give up! Give in! It’s not worth it!”
My head answered, “No. I will endure. I will continue. I will be the one to carry Dominic’s light into the world.”
If I speak doom, gloom and despair to myself then I will live darkness, defeat and disillusionment.
If I speak courage, calm and compassion to my heart then I will live with hope and reach for happiness.
Self-talk matters more than we know.
How I frame my experience-both my son’s death and my ongoing interaction with the living-determines if I will waste the days that remain or will work to make them count.
I have no control over the past, but I have a little over the future.
I can’t change what happened, but I can change my attitude.