I know this may sound crazy, and what does talking to dead people have to do with love?  Just hear me out for a second.  Part of the problem I keep seeing in today’s world, is that everyone keeps comparing themselves to those around them, and while I suppose that is one way to check and see if you are on track, it may not be the best way to measure success for yourself.

Until you are happy with yourself, I hate to tell you this but you are going to suck at love.  Your partner is not someone you should look to as one that completes you, but rather someone that compliments you.  Only when you are totally okay with yourself will you search for someone that is a good companion versus looking for someone out of necessity to some fill some void, and that is why they say that before love can find you, you have to first love yourself.

Lots of people struggle to find happiness within themselves, and while there are many different ways we can all go about doing this, today I want to share one of my secret ways to find peace within myself– I talk to the dead.  I have whole conversations with my dead relatives sometimes, and let me explain why…

I was named after my great grandmother, who lived on a farm in Ecuador over a century ago.  Regina had 9 live children, and a couple of miscarriages, and she died in her 40’s.  My grandmother then had to leave elementary school to help her father raise her younger siblings, which I believe were 6 total.  Let me stop right here and say that there is no way I could have had 9 children, and no way would I have quit school to raise someone else’s kids.  But these women were not given the same opportunities or choices that I’ve been afforded in my life.  Can you see now where I am heading with this?

If my great grandmother and grandmother were still alive today, I have no doubt they would be proud of the woman I have become, but there is also no way they could relate to the life I have created for myself here in our nation’s capital.  It humbles me each and every day to think of the sacrifices those earlier generations of women in my family made to get me to where I am today.

I am a first generation born American, who did not know English until I went to grade school.  Through the generosity of so many, I was given amazing athletic and academic opportunities at an early age, so that against all odds I was actually able to pursue some of my wildest dreams, and every day I am reminded of the fact that if I’d been born 100 or even 50 years ago, none of this would have been possible.

We all will have pain and sorrow, and many of us have endured great misfortunes during the Great Recession, but let’s put it all in perspective by thinking back to what our own ancestors endured.  Can you imagine having to kill for your own food?  I can’t sew to save my life, and there is no way I would be hand-washing laundry for a family of 10, and yet my own grandmother had to do all of this and so much more because that is simply what was expected of her back in her time.

This weekend would have been my grandmother’s 99th birthday, and it is totally fitting that her special day always coincides with the coming of spring.  That woman lived 97 years and up until the very end she was always cheerful– no matter what, she always greeted everyone with a smile and warm hug.  She was the light in my life, and I miss her more than mere words could ever convey, and so how do I cope?  Well, because I talk to her, and even in my darkest hours, she is able to shine a bright light that cheers me and fills me with hope.

Do you talk to the dead?  Well, maybe now you see why I think you should.  🙂