Ayrie’s Guidance On How to Live My Life: Openness, Joy, Love, and Bravery

If you’ve read my work before, you know that my son Ayrie died at four and a half years old in 2010. There are no words that truly express what this feels like, or the feelings running through me as I type these sentences, but think along the lines of my throat closing, a sudden pressure on my chest, and tears building behind my eyes that must be held back—MUST be held back—because I am never sure if they’ll stop once they start. I’m never sure how dark and bottomless the abyss of grief is at any given time. Sometimes it pulls me under for the rest of the day. If you don’t know about Ayrie and our journey, you can read more here, here, and here.

He’s given me advice since he died. And when I say advice, I mean wisdom that gets to the very heart of why we exist as humans and what the purpose of our lives is. This isn’t Hallmark stuff. Doing it means stepping outside of what’s comfortable, throwing away many of the things I thought I knew, and risking sounding a bit nuts. But when I weigh that against the possibility that I’ll miss the point of life, the risk suddenly seem small.

His advice:

Be Open (Sept 2010). There is a world beyond the physical world. This world is, in fact, more real than this world that you can know, touch, see, feel, smell. This world, the real world exists in the spiritual realm and operates by different principles (think no time and space, for example). It's characterized by love, connection, joy, creativity, and intelligence, and the wisdom, light, and guidance of this world are always available to us. My work is learning how to be open to that guidance and connection. 

Follow Your Joy (July 2015). Reason and logic have gotten me far in life. Good grades, awards, a masters degree, a doctorate, and access to fulfilling work and a rich professional network. The problem was that this path sometimes brought me so far away from *who I am* that I experienced loneliness, emptiness, and depression. My work is to find my inner guide rather than looking to others for validation and measures of success. This means noticing and following my joy.

Learn To Love and Be Loved (February 2016). It has been really hard for me to believe that I'm valuable and lovable. For as long as I can remember I've been ambivalent about life. One part of me has wanted to live, and another didn't. It's been too painful at times. Too lonely. So my thinking was often, "Sure, living is fine. But I'm a waste of space and don't add anything to this world.But I know there are people who would be terribly sad if I was gone so I'll stay." Recently I've chosen life. I *want* to live the rest of my life. Love at the core of a beautiful life. My work is to learn how to love and be loved.

Be Brave (June 2017). This is the newest piece of advice...just a week old. I don't have much more to say about this right now except that this rings really true. I have definitely diminished my potential by choosing fear over abundance, choosing fear over freedom, choosing fear over conviction, chosing fear over power, voice, inspiration. My work is to learn how to live my life and my truth bravely.

I’ll explore what each of these has meant for me in the upcoming weeks. If any of these resonate with you, please leave a comment or send me an email!