Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a deliberate state of psychological or spiritual calm despite the potential presence of stressors.
For almost six years I have dreaded the time of year between Sofia's birthday (March 5th) and the anniversary of her death (April 3rd) because it always tears me apart. However, this year on her birthday something clicked giving me new perspective. This year I made the conscious decision that I would no longer be sad on her birthday. While I am allowed to be sad the other 364 days a year, I would now celebrate her birthday for the amazing day it was; as March 5, 1999 was the day my life-long dream of becoming a mother became a reality. It was the day Sofia came into this world and changed mine forever.
The joy and honor I felt that day is one I have to celebrate with or without her. And by celebrate it doesn't mean having a party, singing Happy Birthday and/or eating cake. For me it means remembering her with a smile and spending time with her friends or doing something she enjoyed like eating her favorite meal, and/or looking through old photographs. I feel lucky to have reached this new shift, because honestly, I was starting to think I couldn't find the strength to continue picking myself up.
I've told friends for years that my goal has been to get Gabi to college so that I could come back home and sleep, cry, and lie in bed for at least two weeks. Now I think about what a waste of time that would be!!! There's so much for which to be grateful that I cannot imagine wasting whatever time I have left on this earth in bed. Regardless of where Gabi is she needs me, Carlos needs me and the families Sofia's Hope serves need me. I have to make sure that I continue to fight childhood cancer at any level I can, making sure to give further meaning and purpose to Sofia's short life and long legacy.
By recognizing that Sofia's Hope is a labor of love that comes from the heart makes it all crystal clear. I continue to fight with HOPE. Focusing on my journey and those put in my path to push me forward is what matters. And making sure to eliminate anything that tries to disrupt the positive momentum is essential.
By realizing I am simply a tool for change and not the creator of it frees me from having to carry the gargantuan load of all the responsibility. I can continue to do my part to the best of my ability recognizing that things may not always go smoothly. I can accept it, accommodate as needed and know that it's not a reflection of me but of a greater force working around us.
I now truly understand and live the idea that "inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions". I have taken back control of me and never letting go!!!
So as April 3rd comes and goes I will continue to keep myself busy, yet always remembering Sofia's beautiful smiling face and those expressive eyes knowing she's happy where she is and that someday we'll be together forever!!!