The Most Beautiful Gift

hearts together

As many of you know, my sweet dog-ter, Xena, died three weeks ago. And while she was 14 and had many health problems, I thought she would be with us for at least several more months. I was (and still am) in complete shock and complete sadness that she’s gone.

In this time of grief, I’ve learned so many things about myself and my life and my friends and my world.

I believe that there is a beautiful gift in every experience. I have always believed this. And while my heart has been completely broken open – because my heart has been completely broken open – I feel like I’m seeing everything more clearly. I feel like my senses are more connected. I feel like I’m able to step out of myself and look in and be able to find the gifts.

And while there are so many that have come from this sadness, the one that holds the most weight for me is learning that I can show up as myself and still be loved. 



I’m used to being the strong one. The one who inspires and uplifts and supports and loves and helps and shares. And honestly, I just didn’t have it in me to do any of these things over the past few weeks. It was all I could do to get up each day and maybe take a shower. Maybe not spend the entire day crying. I couldn’t imagine writing something inspiring or sharing a piece of soul art on Facebook. I just couldn’t. It wouldn’t have been authentic.

And that’s the thing – I never want to show up from an inauthentic space. And so when I was feeling sad and in my deepest grief, I thought that I maybe just shouldn’t show up at all. I figured that I would just bring everyone down – that no one would want to hear how sad I was or how empty I felt.

But something inside nudged me to take the risk and share my truth anyway. And so I did – on Facebook, here on Soul Speak, and in private emails.

And in doing so, I received such a beautiful gift.

In all of my years of being the strong one and inspiring and supporting, I rarely allowed anyone to support me back. I rarely allowed myself to receive love back. I rarely allowed myself to accept another’s gifts.

And, in this space of my heart being broken open, I didn’t have the strength to push love away. And boy did it come pouring in. I didn’t have the strength to deflect it back to the giver, and boy am I thankful for that.

I allowed myself to show up authentically. And in doing so, I received the gift of love. So much love. From all of you. 

Your love poured in, and it continues to pour in. Your prayers, your cards, your gifts, your loving words, your energetic support. All of it. Pouring into my heart and helping me get through each day. Knowing that I am loved. Exactly as I am.

You have shown me that I don’t need to do anything or be anything in order to be loved. 

I don’t have to write a stellar post in order for you to love me. I don’t have to inspire you in some way in order for you to love me. I don’t have to give something away in order for you to love me. I don’t have to be positive and have a smile on my face in order for you to love me. I can simply be me – wherever I am and you will still love me.

And that feels amazing.

So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I am taking all of your love into my heart and allowing it to mend the break. And I’ll remember this gift the next time I feel that I need to show up a certain way or say a certain thing in order to be loved. Because I’ll remember that the best gift I can give to you is my true self – inspiring or withdrawn, happy or sad, giver or receiver.

You have shown me that I’m loved so deeply – me. Not me the inspirer or me the teacher or me the writer. Me. Just Jodi. 

And I thank you for that. So, so much.





The Most Beautiful Gift — 12 Comments

  1. Jodi,

    You have cultivated a space for pure love for your community and for you. You are receiving the support you provide to so many. It’s a beautiful thing!

    Crystal recently posted..Sweet handsMy Profile

  2. Wow, Jodi! That’s really cool. Thank you for sharing. It’s inspiring because I have a tendency not to share heavier parts of myself with certain people for fear of judgement and lack of support. When a certain person kept asking me about a difficult situation I experienced, I went ahead and told her about it and she said she understood. That felt good! So I am learning to always be my authentic self too. It is worth it! Thank you for being a blessing in my life. Sending you much peace and comfort at this difficult time, and always, with much love….. Jackie

  3. That’s wonderful Jodi, and unconditional love is the only kind worth having anyway. I recently found a quote that I had lost for a long time that I loved from a friendship book that describes this unconditional love type friendship.

    “Oh the comfort the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words – but pouring them all out – just as they are – chaff and grain together – certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them – keep what is worth keeping – and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

    Dinah Craik

  4. What a beautiful sharing Jodi! <3 Isn't it amazing how we automatically want to deprive ourselves of such a beautiful and natural experience? I know this from myself as well. So glad you had the courage to let us help carry the load even a little bit and give back some of what you provide for all of us here.

  5. Many thanks to you for this powerful reminder that we can show up authentically and be loved for who we are. All of our feelings are important and valid, we have to be *real* to truly connect with what is real in others. Sending you much love, especially now during this time of loss. xoxo
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  6. Hi Jodi. This has to be one of the most authentically written posts I’ve ever read. And emotional. I’m crying. Tears of joy for you; for the support you have discovered you have and for the idea that others can support anyone with such incredible outpourings of pure LOVE. I am also crying once again at the heartbreak I know too well of a losing a fur son or daughter, bawling away the nights and just trying to put one foot in front of the other day after day. I continue to send you light and love. Perhaps Xena is playfully chasing the three cat ‘boyz’ I’ve lost. ♥

  7. Jodi, Just jodi…You are loved no matter what..You and your furry friend are loved beyond thinking..
    Love your courageous Heart that showed up in such an amazing way to express yourself…Thank you my dear soul sister..You are loved beyond expression..!!

  8. Wow, Jodi, I was not expecting these… I followed your grief on Facebook and it never occurred to me that you were anything less than perfect:) Thank you for sharing, great lessons for all of us. With love, Alenka
    Alenka recently posted..You’ve got plan? Now do it!My Profile

  9. “I’m used to being the strong one. The one who inspires and uplifts and supports and loves and helps and shares.” Even strong people need a shoulder to lean on, to be inspired and be lifted up and supported from time to time. The strongest branch will break if it is not a little flexible. I am so sorry you lost your beloved Xena.

  10. Jodi, hon, your authenticity is breathtaking, and such a freaking inspiration.

    I know how hard it is to keep everything going when you’re grieving, and I love how you’ve stepped forward and done what you could with such raw honesty and vulnerability.

    It’s an honour to know you :-)


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