Go Back To The Battleground To Save Your Life

I had a mammogram scheduled this week, and I wasn’t just dreading it. 

I was petrified of it. 

And this was not the only time I felt terror for a simple test. 

I spent months coughing over the summer and I avoided every X ray I was offered. 

You see, when you spend years as a caregiver seeing death, destruction and lives completely changed through disease you are terrified of a simple diagnostic test. 

You have what I call Medical diagnosis phobia

I came up with this term as nothing else was close to describing the fear when I enter a diagnostic machine of any kind. 

This letter may not be as poetic as all the others, but it is equally important. 

I want to ask you to be brave when it comes to these diagnostic tests. 

I know how scary it is to have them.

Doing the mammogram this week was not fun but afterwards I went and found myself the most tasty vegan cauliflower and potato pie and celebrated my courage. 

I was proud of myself for getting the test done regardless of the terror. 

I don’t use the word terror lightly. 

For people like you and I, who have seen as much as we have it is terrifying to go back to the battle grounds. 

Today I will ask you to do just that. 

If you have a test you need to get done like a mammogram, colonoscopy, scan or you have had symptoms that you have been ignoring, please call and make the appointment. (Click to tweet!)

Then, either reply to this message just to tell me you did it, so I can celebrate with you. 

Or if you are reading this blog on social media, please write in the comment area that you called your doctor or scheduled your test. 

I want you to live a healthy and long life. 

You and I still have a big life to live and work to do here on earth. 

Let’s keep each other alive. 

I know I can’t take the fear away on that day, but I can share my fears with you so you never feel alone when you go back to the battle ground. 

With diagnosis phobia and love for my life,

Christina

P.S. I hope you are listening in: www.dearlifepodcast.com/episodes

PPS. And if you are looking for life changing gifts for your family and friends I hope you gift them Second Firsts and Where Did You Go?


A Melody And Not A Jingle

It’s the smell of food being made. 

The lights on the decorated trees. 

All, reminders of a life. That is no longer ours. 

The ghost life. 

On days such as today, we get thrown into a life that no longer exists for us, 

but we are forced to see it on others. 

People who have not experienced tragedy can’t possibly know that when they invite us to their beautifully decorated homes with the 5 course meal on the perfect table set, they might as well be scratching our wounds. 

I know, it’s harsh to say this. 

I know, I know. 

And yes, they mean well. 

They want to give us their world so we can feel better. 

But they might as well be eating their five course meal in front of a homeless man. 

Parading their luxury cars in front of people waiting for the bus. 

Need I go on?

You may ask, then what? 

What can anyone do for someone who has lost their whole world? 

For the grieving soul. 

They should have pajama parties in front of the tv for us instead. 

No meals planned. 

No home cooked pies. 

Gifts given without wrapping papers around them. 

We are alive but not fully living. 

Anchored on the edge of life. 

When life becomes vibrant around us, we may lose our grip and fall back into the abyss. 

This is why it should be a slow save. 

A gentle hand helping us up. 

The getting back should be a quiet song. 

The holiday season for those grieving, needs not be a reminder of all the things they lost, 

but a prayer for healing. 

Can you hear it?

Quiet, but yet there for us. 

Inviting, but not forcing.

A melody and not a jingle. (Click to tweet!)

Life can never get us back by reminding us of all the things we miss. 

It must slowly light the way with some popcorn, a new set of bed sheets and maybe a good glass of wine. 

Anything else, would be trying way too hard. 

With prayers, 

Christina

P.S. And if you find time to listen to a podcast or two I hope my guests and I can keep you company while you are in your pjs. www.dearlifepodcast.com

PPS. And if you know anyone who wants to subscribe to receive my letters weekly send them here: www.christinarasmussen.com/miab


Will You Come And Sit With Me?

It’s heavy in there, isn’t it? 

It is as if you are carrying a whole arena. 

One, no one can see. 

No witness to it. 

Even you, you are blinded to your own hurt. 

The heaviness, steals the words you wish you could utter. 

There is something about the weight of it, that can mask your voice. 

When we have not named our pain it feels less real. 

The less real it is, the heavier it feels.

The less seen, the more impossible to carry. 

And we become pain lifters. (Click to tweet!)

We all suffer quietly unless, well unless someone can sit with us. 

And as we sit together, the arena of hurt transitions from the unseen to the seen. 

In many ways, I am sitting with you every Friday. 

Finding the words that can unburden the shame, the stress of your job, your obligations, the ways you were treated, the men or women who hurt you. 

The hard moments you never told anyone about. 

The things you think are not worth sharing.

Especially those. 

There is so much hidden pain inside us all. 

This is why a good friendship can save our life. 

A kind stranger can free us.

To be seen from the inside is the most healing experience we can ever have. 

When I write to you about your hidden arena I am also revealing mine. 

You see, we save each other this way. 

As I am writing to you I see us sitting together on this bench. 

You were the first there and I joined after. 

Even just the act of sitting next to each other is deeply felt.

Like a big bang.

A big bang. 

That can lift the pain arena off your heart once and for all. 

Mine too. 

With a lot of sitting together, 

Christina

P.S. Join me at The Temple World Event. You can register here: https://www.1440.org/programs/faculty-led-programs/personal-growth/self-discovery/temple-journey

PPS. For those who have not read my book that reveals the Temple World, you can check it out here: https://www.amazon.com/Where-Did-You-Go-Life-Changing/dp/0062689622

 


Catch Me If You Can

I was trying to explain how I feel to someone new in my life.

She seemed lost.

I could see it in her eyes, she just stared at me in silence. 

She was struggling. Trying to understand me. 

Attempting to respond with the right words. 

She was failing, for me and for her. 

And it hit me. 

People like you and I live in many worlds. 

We live in this life, in our old life, in a life we wish we could have. 

In the future. 

In many versions of the future. 

In the dreams we have at night. 

In the invisible world. 

The list is long. (Click to tweet!)

When you meet someone new, what can you really say that could capture who you are now? 

You are many selves. 

The old self, the current transitional self, and the future self are all overlapping. 

You are also occupying many lives. 

Your past, present and future life. 

It’s like you can jump from one world to another in one sentence and they can’t catch up. 

Sure you can slow it down for them. 

Sure you can tone it down by talking about one world at a time. 

But it will feel as if you are sharing only a small part of you. 

Your conversations will fall flat. 

And this is why it feels so lonely after loss. 

You see, your loss has added multiple inner worlds and you live in them simultaneously. 

So you go out every day thinking everyone else also lives in many worlds. 

And they don’t. 

They don’t know how to travel with you.

It took me many years to understand what the empty look I got from others was all about. 

They are not judging. 

They are not hating. 

They are just trying to understand what we are telling them. 

And they can’t catch up sometimes. 

Not because we are smarter than them, but because we are no longer living in a linear way. You jump outside of time and space a hundred times a day after loss. 

You go in your memories. 

Then you go into all the possible futures. 

Then you come back in your present. 

And you do all of this fast.

The saying, ‘Catch me if you can.’ takes a whole other meaning for people like us. 

With many worlds,

Christina

P.S. One of the worlds I live in every day is the TEMPLE WORLD, from my book Where Did You Go? 

I hope you come and spend a weekend with me in Northern California so we can travel outside of time and space together. REGISTER HERE: https://www.1440.org/programs/faculty-led-programs/personal-growth/self-discovery/temple-journey


The Field Amidst The Two Houses: A Short Story

And then there is this knowing that affairs, even the love kind, are not blameless.

They foil with the future the way God quickens our destiny without caution, just like the rain dawns in the midst of a summer’s day dampening the exposed ground.

At the cottage down the hill a wasted senile man is sitting, hair uncombed, its oil brims out, his eyes lingering between closed and open.

But go back fifty years, he is dancing in our house, this same one.

After his beers find their way to his mind, a lion swimming. 

Maybe drunk.

Hard to say if he ever feels the lion. 

All he wants to do is toss me around, make me a lioness.

Make me his.

I run away. 

Like a scared cat. 

Oh I was once a fool moving life around like a puppet show using love as my strings: 

Whatever you are thinking of doing, you better stay right here.

But his voice was full of burpings and profanities, none of them carried love, so I forged on: while his brother was waiting for me to brace the field amidst the two houses. 

As I look back at it now it is clear how lost all three of us were. 

But this could not have been undone. 

He was only lucid two hours a day, no burps and beers early in the morning. 

And when his beers walked in I walked out, where the field opened up like a gateway to another life. 

Journeying to his brother’s arms, his hot off the pot stew, his doting eyes, his bed and white sheets waiting for me like a bride. 

But now it’s a ghost house that resembles the love nest he built just for us, away from his drunken brother. 

He has been gone for half a decade, buried under this cross I carved out the day after. 

And while I do not understand the yearnings of death, still I think there's a reason why we got found out that summer night, and both died.

Him from his brother’s hand and I from a broken heart. 

In the midst of sitting old, I glance across the field, I still see him standing at the door waving at me. 

Oh we are not forgotten, we are not past. 

Call it sin. Call it lust. 

His love, his laughter, his waiting. 

Then the old man moves from the chair and I come back to this drunken life. 

Far away from him. 

With many lost loves,

Christina

P.S. This may be a fictional short story, but the loss we experience in life is complex and spans our whole lives sometimes.

Lost loves. Lost identities. Staying in unhealthy relationships. Living life with regrets. 


I Would Remember

When all is said and done I would remember the snow outside the doctor’s office. 

The unknowingness in my children’s lives. 

The struggle to be inside a new chapter after.

I would remember the stars. 

The lake. 

Loneliness on the deck. 

The decade that was born from the grief. 

My dogs.

The girls growing and finding out how much they lost. 

I would remember the pale colors that surrounded me. 

The lack of interest in a regular world. 

The stories I told myself and others. 

The mailman. 

The houses I lived in. The moves. 

All the people I met. You. I would remember you. 

The tragedies I was told about. Everyone else’s pain. 

All the things I carried. Mine. And not mine. 

The writing of the letters. 

This letter. 

Writing to you. To us. 

The words that got me through it all. 

I will remember being afraid always. 

The panic in all the nights before. 

The noise inside my head. 

The changes.  

The gifts. The becoming. 

Being reborn while being alive. 

The early mornings. Coffee. 

The courage to live while letting go of all the things that were no longer here or mine. 

The sunrise. The sunrise. The sunrise. 

I would remember how unexpected, all of it was. 

How long it felt, while there. 

And of course I would remember the miracles. 

The rocket launches. 

The conversations. 

But most of all, I would remember me. 

The girl who didn’t know herself. 

Until the world saw her. 

Until you. 

Now it’s your turn. 

Go on. 

Go into the future and see yourself.

What would you remember about your life after loss?

With lots of memories,

Christina 

PS. Have you read WHERE DID YOU GO?


You Can Call Me Georgia

Something magical happens when you stop caring about what others think of you. 

You start to taste a level of freedom that questions all of your past decisions. 

It changes your interactions with people. 

Your conversations with your boss. 

Your friends. 

The whole ecosystem around you. 

The other day, I met someone ‘important.’ 

Semi famous.

He was so used to people being excited around him. 

Half way through my conversation I noticed that he was nervous. 

And I noticed something about myself too. 

I was a little bored with our conversation. 

I didn’t care about his fame. 

I was ready to be done with our meeting. 

I had no interest. 

Of course I didn’t show it to him, but he knew.

He knew.  

It is hard to hide indifference. 

That evening, I sat on my favorite chair at home and started to process what happened. 

You see, I had spent my whole life trying to prove my value, my worthiness. 

I sought validation from everyone. 

Especially people with influence. 

But now, it is like someone just took the ‘I care what others think’ feeling out of my heart. 

I could suddenly hear all the way inside the universe. 

When you don’t need to be somebody else. 

It is like sitting down inside your own body.

And marveling at yourself. 

And if you are thinking what does this have to do with grief and loss. 

Well, everything. 

Grief hides the true you when you are in pain. 

It is so much easier to please the world and copy what is out on display vs what is hiding inside of you. (Click to tweet!)

For me, 2019 has been a year of unexpected evolution towards a self that I can respect. 

I think of women like Georgia O’Keefe, Yayoi Kusama, Sophie Scholl, Harriet Tubman.

And I am running towards them so fast yelling, one day I will become. 

I will become like you, relentlessly yourselves. 

Abundantly unique

Ridiculously indifferent towards anyone else’s opinions about the way you lived your lives. 

Who will you become when you stop caring about what others think of you? 

What shall I call you? 

You can call me Georgia. 

With many names but one inner view,

Christina

P.S. Join me this March in Northern California, it will be a life altering, life bending adventure with not only the people in the room but with the people we loved and lost. REGISTER HERE: https://www.1440.org/programs/faculty-led-programs/personal-growth/self-discovery/temple-journey


The Life After Loss Kidnapper

She resides inside new love. 

She makes her home within a new memory. 

She keeps you up at night after a first date. 

And she whispers words of utter destruction. 

Especially after laughter. 

After fun. 

Her name is guilt. 

And she ain’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

Or so she thinks. 

Her hands have hooks inside your ear drums. 

When music starts to play, she turns the volume down. 

When life walks in, she kicks her out. 

A hurricane of metal rain. 

A storm without rainbows after. 

Guilt, the most heartbreaking of thieves. 

The cherry eliminator. 

The frosting stealer. 

The life after loss kidnapper. 

But guilt is a fake impersonator. 

A bad actress inside a good movie. 

Hiding behind good lines. 

Exceptional script. 

Don’t forget, this is your life. 

Your lines. Your new chapter. 

She broke in when you were crying. 

She stole the lines when you were lost. 

But now that you are feeling a little better. 

She yells out louder to get your full attention. 

Afraid of what you might do with someone like her. 

She is now seen for what she really is. 

A liar. 

A performer without her own stage.

A wannabee. 

Can’t you see? 

Guilt doesn’t belong in your story. 

Unless you are directing a parody. 

A soap opera. 

Guilt should be kicked out of your ears, and punched out of your new found moments of happiness. 

Because if you let her stay, you might as well let the thief sleep in your bed. 

Make you coffee and feed you breakfast. 

Let’s not do that. 

Let’s not even say her name. 

Or even write a letter about her. 

Never let anyone rob you from your hard earned joy after loss. 

You deserve way better. 

With no guilt whatsoever,

Christina

P.S. I hope you are listening to our incredible podcast guests: http://www.dearlifepodcast.com/episodes

PPS. See you in March at 1440 Multiversity in California. Register for class, room and board here: https://www.1440.org/programs/faculty-led-programs/personal-growth/self-discovery/temple-journey


The Long Way Home

It has taken me over 13 years to feel a longer lasting sense of happiness. 

You might want to yell out but Christina, that’s too long of a journey. 

And I will say that is the good side of life after loss. 

Not many of us ever make it back to a happy life. 

You see, after a traumatic loss when we feel happiness again, it comes in short bursts. 

You may have a minute of feeling good.

And then back to feeling sad. 

As time goes by, you may experience feeling good for a whole day. 

A few years in, you could have a good week. 

What I noticed from my own life was that I never really felt good for a long period of time. 

Longer than a few hours. Longer than a day. 

I was being chased by so many demons born by trauma. 

And they were complex demons.

Demons nobody mentioned.  

No support groups. No friends. No books. 

Nobody really talked about the unspoken way of living after loss. 

It was almost as if I could never catch my breath. 

Or fully exhale. 

I kept trying different ways to live life. 

Build new homes. New relationships. 

New skills. New identities. And they were all needed. 

They were a part of learning how to live again. 

As long as I was not going to give up. 

Or stop hoping for a full exhale. 

I would finally get here. 

And I did a few weeks ago. 

I started to notice that the heavy weight I was carrying inside my chest especially in the mornings was lessened. 

I felt lighter. 

Things that felt difficult before, were not so difficult anymore. 

I had less panic attacks. 

Less heart palpitations. 

And less emotional eating. 

And yes I noticed. Something had indeed changed. 

Finally this last reentry brought with it a sense of peace. 

I wish I could tell you I got here earlier. 

That I found a shortcut.

But, it is better late than never. 

Many people never find long lasting happiness after loss.  

For those who make it, you just witnessed a miracle. (Click to tweet!)

If you are still carrying the burden in your chest just like I was for so long, keep going. 

Keep rebuilding. 

Changing things up. 

Until you notice happiness staying longer and longer. 

Until everyday life is not so hard anymore. 

When you go to bed at night and you can’t wait for tomorrow morning to come. 

When you want to go out and have fun instead of staying in, alone. 

It may have taken me a long time to get here, but I am grateful to make it here after all. 

With a longer lasting happiness,

Christina

P.S. Registration for my Temple Journey weekend at 1440 Multiversity this March is now open. 

You will spend a weekend with me learning how to connect with your loved one. 

You will leave with new memories, new understanding of life and death and last but not least, you will learn how to co create a new life with your loved one and the cosmos. 

Register here: https://www.1440.org/programs/faculty-led-programs/personal-growth/self-discovery/temple-journey

You can call 1440 Multiversity with any questions about rooms here: +1-888-727-1440 

The Temple journey process is inside my book Where Did You Go?


I Wish Time Never Ran Out

I wish I could play music. 

Sing like an Opera singer. 

Write as if I have lived many lives. 

I wish doors opened for me.

I wish I was lucky.

And much younger when I got my act together. 

Smarter. 

Good at math. 

And I could live long enough to see earth from space. 

I wish time never ran out. 

Not for me, not for anyone. 

I wish I could time travel to the past and experience some of my favorite things, twice. (Click to tweet!)

Sit with my grandparents and just listen to them. 

Then, travel to the future to meet my great grandchildren. 

Look at them from afar and see me and him, in them. 

Find out how books are read in the year 2100. 

How space travel is a thing everyone does. 

I wish I could meet an alien. 

And see worlds beyond this one. 

I always wanted to tell Bjarne about facebook. 

How the ipod became the phone. 

He died before all of that came about. 

Show him pictures of the girls. 

I wish I knew the year I would die. 

And slow that year down. 

And even though I might never make it to 2100, and sing like an opera singer, I know one thing for sure. 

During my time here, I was able to slow down my thoughts so I could write you these letters.

I made meaning out of my pain. 

I somehow found a way to mend hearts scattered around earth without a rocket ship. 

Or time travel abilities. 

I found a way to speak to you without a phone, or ever meeting you in person. 

I didn’t need math, or luck or even doors to open for me, so I could get to you. 

Maybe after all, I was good with words. 

And that was enough. 

With the whole universe by my side,

Christina

P.S. You can see this letter on the blog here.

PPS. If you have a friend who has gone through a loss and would like to receive this letter every Friday send them to this page so they can sign up.