Every once in awhile, things line up nicely. . .
We have a morning ritual in our house—we wake up, enjoy some coffee, and either turn on music and watch the hummingbird feeder or watch some HuffPost news.
This morning, a big blonde ‘do caught my attention in the ‘Recent Videos’ section—it was a screenshot of Theresa Caputo, aka: The Long Island Medium, from an interview last week. As a Theresa-lover, I went straight to the video. . . and it paid off in spades. She was wise and insightful, and it was a great emotional way to start the day.
Some of the things she said went right to my core:
“Everybody has gifts and uses their gifts differently.”
Theresa said that she wanted her abilities as a medium to serve a good purpose and help people heal. She also said that she was 28 when she learned about her gift and was able to harness and use it to complete herself and to help others. I’ve been trying to uncover my gifts, rediscover myself, and find fulfillment using them to help others.
Theresa recounted her emotional journey, and how she was completely down before finding her purpose—something I can relate to, almost TOO well, at the moment. There are times that I feel too full, but frustrated at my inability to clearly see how to release, while other times I feel empty and lost to even know how to fill myself. But this morning, in the most unexpected way, Theresa encouraged me.
I’ve gotten glimpses of the rejuvenation that comes with knowing and using my gifts. An old friend once said that my name should have been “Joy” because I was bouncy and bright and full of happiness. That joy comes naturally, or it used to; for a long time, I just DID what came to mind and it was fun and energetic, but somewhere along the way I lost that joy. And it’s been my mission to find that joy, my light, my gift, whatever *it* is that people saw/see in me. I like my joy, and I’m determined to live in it again.
Realizing my gifts is how I’ll find my light again, I just know it. It used to scare me to feel the darkness, and now I know that’s because I’m meant to shine. We’re all meant to.
And what’s more, I’m encouraged because I am starting to see my old self again being silly and making jokes and enjoying life in the simplest ways. And it may be that I’m acknowledging the small things again, when I didn’t before, or because I can appreciate the emotional journey instead of feeling the pressure of being smack-dab in the middle of it.
And there’s also something about making others better by making ourselves better first.
“I know what it’s like to feel different, to feel like there’s something missing deep within your soul and you don’t know what it is.”
In so many ways. . . le sigh
Fortunately, I’m at a place where I don’t feel like I’m missing something (a vast improvement from before). Instead it feels like I have something to find, the opportunity to uncover my light. . . and that’s an optimism and excitement I haven’t felt in a long time. Even if my gift is the ability to share this journey and spread some Pollyanna-like enthusiasm, so be it—it feels good to be able to express myself and to feel like an adventurer again.
Theresa talked about how her anxiety was affecting her—she couldn’t leave the house, she cried all the time—and how her husband stuck with her. It made me grateful to my partner for being with me on my emotional journey, not to “fix” me, but to walk with me. Since meeting her, I have understood that I’m full of love and light and happiness even when things seem dark; and it encourages me that she sees the good in me, accepts me when I’m feeling low, and wants me to find myself (that is, a constant contentedness).
“We’re responsible for our own happiness. And i understand that. And until I accepted who I was, but more importantly meant to be, is when my life really felt complete.”
Theresa got me good with this one. Like, I-need-to-write-in-my-journal got me.
On losing someone:
“There truly is more to life than just here in the physical world.”
Theresa said she found fulfillment helping people fill a hole left by a loved one who has passed. She said that she took heart in knowing that people are OK once they’re “gone” and wanted others to experience that same peace about death. This struck a chord because losing my Papaw over three years ago still grieves me—it’s the biggest loss I’ve faced so far. But, he and I got to say goodbye and he said some pretty brave things even with Death staring him in the face; and it’s those things that kept me from worrying about him. He and I said our goodbyes almost exactly a week before he passed & I’m glad to have ended it by saying all the things we needed to say, rather than having a different memory of our final time together.
And a final note I took away:
Try to look at the positive side of things.
I’ve struggled with this in recent years because of the flippant way I’ve heard it said. I just couldn’t accept a fake, rose-colored-glasses way of living, so I had to tweak it and see something beyond the surface.
I recently re-read ‘Pollyanna’ and noticed that she saw things for the way they were and chose to be optimistic and grateful anyway. When everything was dark in my mind, I couldn’t see the ways to be happy. But at some point, something changed—some light peeked through, and my view changed. . . I found some optimism, and just a little bit is all it took.
That little bit encouraged me that there was still some light inside me. And that may be what made the Theresa Caputo video stand out for me: it provided an unexpected and unconventional reminder to keep looking for the good things, inside, outside, everywhere.