On loss, unlived lives, and becoming who you are: Remembering Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Five years ago to this day, on August 31st of 2010, my father passed away. Just five weeks earlier, my mother...

Five years ago to this day, on August 31st of 2010, my father passed away. Just five weeks earlier, my mother had suddenly died from a heart attack.

As I heard the news of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s passing this morning, I could not help but to feel that I had come full circle in a way, and needed to reflect on the road I have traveled since that day.

While emptying my parents’ house after their passing, I stumbled upon a book by Dr. Dyer called Your Erroneous Zones. It was the Dutch version of the book, though, and the title read something less mysterious: ‘Not tomorrow, but now!’ It was one of my mother’s’ books. One of her many, many self-help books. And like so many others, it was intact, unread, and tucked away on the bookshelf of what could have been her life.

My mother was a broken woman. As the wife of an often difficult man, who was struggling with his own demons, she had learned to be invisible and to bear her pain in silence. But besides being the housewife to a terrible man, she had also been the mother to 3 children who had themselves been bearing the hardship of their upbringing. My mother loved us dearly. And we loved her too, the best we knew how. While we were growing up, she took care of us relentlessly, often shielding us from the worst my father had to offer. But as time went on and we grew older, the sorrow in her eyes grew bigger and the voice of a life that never was became louder and louder. In her head, my mother lived an entirely different life. But from the many books and magazines she left behind, I could make out what an amazing, wide, and bright life she wished to have.

on loss

When I stumbled upon Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book a few days after her passing, I was nailed to the ground, overpowered by sadness I had never felt before and have never felt since. This book was the culmination of a life unlived. Its title, urging my mother to take action now, and its condition proof that she had not. I felt helpless, holding my mother’s story in my hands. Her entire life, she had waited. And now she was gone.

It took me years to accept this and overcome the grief that came from it. As I did, I realized that she was not alone in her waiting. There are millions of lives waiting to be lived around us. And I was one of them, until I found that book, and after that myself. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to help women love themselves into change.

Because I see this often. Buying the book is good. It is a first and necessary step towards awakening. But then you have to read the book, listen to the call, act on it, and do the work. Change happens from within. Don’t wait for it to come to you – do it yourself, and do it now! That is what Dr. Dyer has taught me.

At the time of my parents’ passing I was still sound asleep myself. Recovering from the scars of my childhood years and chasing the unattainable ideals I had set for myself, I never took the time to stop and think about my life. I took pain and unhappiness for granted, and I didn’t know there was another way to live. But in that moment, right there when I lifted that book off the bookshelf of my mother’s unlived life, something shifted.

I took the book home and read it from cover to cover that night. It was the first spiritual book I had ever read. With every word, the world appeared clearer to me, changed forever. And in the midst of one of the most horrible experiences of my life, what had looked like an insignificant event became one of the most serendipitous moments of my existence.

Today, I remember my parents’ passing and also mourn the loss of one of the brightest and wisest minds of our time. But as I do, I also say: Thank you, Dr. Dyer, for the words that brought light into my soul, and for the wisdom that showed me the path to another way. I am forever grateful for the journey.

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