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Monday, December 23, 2013

Moving Forward

It is funny… in a blog that I have titled "Moving Forward," I have found myself stuck the last few days on what to say here.  Even as my fingers move around on the keyboard, I am still not sure what is going to come out.

I have had moments of insight the last few weeks, profound, (or at least what I believe are profound,) thoughts that I want to share with you all.  I have taken notes as they come up so I do not forget them, but then there is the whole "how do I introduce this," dialogue that I have with myself.

Do I just lay it out in bullet points?
  • profound thought A
  • profound thought B
  • etc…
Eh, that doesn't really have the effect does it or seem that profound?

Death is an interesting process.  I use the word interesting because I find it interesting how one event, someone's passing, can create a different experience for so many people.

Death brings up more of a variety of thoughts and feelings then probably any other event in our life.  With death comes the full spectrum of our emotional experience.  We have anger and fear at one end and on the other we have joy and love.  In between there are emotions such as sadness, frustration, happiness, guilt, and so on.

Most fields of psychology will say that the grieving/mourning process follows "x" number of steps.  I am not sure I completely agree with it being as clear cut as that.  From a teaching experience there is a need to compartmentalize our thoughts and emotions into steps.  It gives teachers something tangible to pass onto their students.  It also gives those of us going through the process something tangible that we can work with and towards.

However, from an experiential standpoint, as someone who is going through the mourning/grieving process now and has gone through it in the past; I tend to view it more as a vast open field that is filled with hidden "emotion bombs."

These bombs, whenever you step on one of them, cause their respective emotion to explode inside of you.  

Imagine if you will… You have just lost someone you love and you find yourself walking through a vast open field.  You are not really thinking or feeling anything, you are just kind of "numb," and feel an "emptiness."  As you are walking along you step on one of these hidden emotion bombs.  This one happens to be anger, and when you step it, suddenly this angry feeling explodes inside of you and fills up that "emptiness," and takes away the "numbness," you were experiencing just a few minutes before.

As you travel through the field the anger stays with you.  It may have caused you to run now instead of walk.  It may have removed the caution with which you were moving forward because you are now blinded by the anger inside of you.  This continues until you step on the next emotion bomb.  This one happens to be sadness.  When you step on sadness it explodes inside of you.  This new explosion is so powerful that it is able to push the previous explosion (anger) out of you and now you are able to fully experience sadness.

The process repeats itself over and over again.  You keep traveling through the field and you keep stepping on different emotion bombs.  Anger, sadness, happiness, joy, fear, frustration, excitement, etc… they all show up at some point.

This is the best way I can describe how I have felt the last few weeks.  Like I am going through the field, stepping on different bombs from time to time.  What sets off one bomb may be clear, what sets off another one may be a mystery, but none the less, the bombs go off and the feelings are there.

I understand that it is important to allow myself to acknowledge and feel those feelings.  Some of which I may not necessarily want to, but I need to because it is all part of my process.

The field has no end to it because the field is ones' journey through life.  What can end is the presence of the "emotion bombs." They will gradually dissipate and eventually disappear completely as you go through the mourning/grieving process and as you allow yourself to heal.

Allowing yourself to heal… 

I believe that one of the greatest tragedies to ever befall humans is the tragedy that we choose to hold onto so much of the hurt, the loss, the let down, the failures, that we prevent ourselves from ever fully healing.  Thus robbing ourselves of being able to experience those feelings of happiness, joy, pleasure, elation, etc… at a higher level and more consistently.

We experience tragedy in life, we get hurt, we experience pain, and then we never move past it, instead we choose to hold onto it.  The hurt and loss becomes our new reality and we humans have sadly become experts at forming an identity around hurt and loss.

Why do we do this, why?  

I have a theory, but that is for another time and place; another blog.

As previously mentioned, I do have some thoughts/insights that have come to mind the last few weeks, as I have tip toed my way through the "emotion bomb" field, that I would like to share with you all:

I am going to go for the bullet point approach here :)

  • What will it take to get people to a place that they celebrate life with the same intensity that they mourn death?
  • It is so important to say and do what's most important while you have the breath to do so.
  • I have felt sad a lot the last few weeks.  A lot of times people think of sad as a negative feeling, but in situations such as this, I disagree.  I believe sadness is an important emotion to allow yourself to feel in times of loss.  I believe sadness is the yin to the yang of love.  Thus sadness is a way of reminding you the depth of love you felt for the person you lost.
  • Sadness continued:  Just because you feel sadness does not mean you have to become sadness or let it control your life.
  • How you choose to live your life after you have lost someone is ultimately how you choose to honor that person.
  • Whenever you experience loss you have a choice: choose to let the loss define you or choose to define the loss.
As I continue to move forward I have thought a lot about how challenging life can be at times.  It has been my experience that every challenge I have faced, every tragedy I have endured, has ultimately made me stronger and more capable of fulfilling my purpose on this Earth.  I believe the present one will prove the same.

For now, I will leave you with a phrase I have been thinking about quite a bit over the last few weeks.  These words of wisdom come from one of the great thinkers and philosophers of modern time… Rocky Balboa (aka Sylvester Stallone). 

"The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward."

I guess what he is saying, is that we have a choice… :)

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,


  1. When I was 15, I experienced the first major loss in my family that I would be able to really understand. I remember being at the wake, and the funeral and all those things that come with death and watching people laugh. I intensely remember being angry at these people, standing around, smiling, laughing and seemly being joyful. I really thought how dare these people express joy, when we have just experienced something so sad, so world shaking. Frankly I thought them extremely disrespectful. I was to devastated to be happy. There was only room for anger and sadness. Then at 23 I had my second sense of loss, and it was strangely different.
    The only anger I felt was for the suffering my loved one had to go through before it was their time to go. At her wake, funeral and at home, we told stories of experiences we had had with her. We smiled, we remembered and most importantly, we laughed at the amazing memories we had shared.
    This time I coped much better with the loss. Some people told me it was because I was older, but I really believe its because instead of letting the loss we had gone though define that time in life, we celebrated the person we had had the pleasure of knowing.
    Many times I still find myself feeling sad when I think of those we have lost, weather it is the recent loss, or the ones who have left before, but I agree 100%. The sadness you feel, is just a reminder of how much you loved someone, and respected them.
    Haha, before I typed this, I knew exactly what I was talking about in my head, but now I am not sure if even I understand my point.
    Anyway, thanks for the uplifting as always words Jesse. x

  2. Loved your text. Death is always a difficult theme and you were brillant with the words. Nice pics! xo
    Munique Duarte- Brazil

  3. I think every loss can be different - there is a saying in Turkey that losses should come in line, meaning that there are people who's time on earth has come to an end - mostly because of the age, and then those who do not die "when the time is right". It is hard to accept the death of a person when for us his time has not come yet. When that person should have experienced so much more in life before he lived it all to a certain age. When the elder ones go you are still so sad and do not want that person to go but to be with you until eternity - however there is a comfort - you know that it was his (or hers) time to pass, you eventually knew it was coming. But what gets us are the sudden passes.. Either way we have no saying in this, it is to accept and to live with it. Those people's time has come as well, even if we do not think so ourselves.

    For your one bullet point: The negative impacts in life are always the strongest. You can do a 1000 good things for a person and still be remembered with the one bad thing you did to him/her. So is death.. the mournning of death will always feel more heavier that the celebration of life. But what I could understand from your life and your friendship with Paul is that you celebrated life just as strong..

    “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.” - Schindler

    Eda from Germany/Turkey

  4. Wow what profound thoughts. Thank you so much for your words. The same weekend of Paul's death my ex husband passed. I had no way to put into words what I felt. Your minefield explaination was the best. The numb feelings to a tee. Thanks again for words to inspire.

  5. Jesse I first have to say thank you for sharing yourself with us..I can not explain what I have been feeling and readingyour post it the nail on the head but what is really and I mean really freaking me out is this has been so hard for me to get over exspecially with the fact that I never met the man ( so wish I could have) I think I may have seen a few movies he was in always thought his voice was to deep for his appearance at times but from the moment I heard the news I have been like u said walking in a field Iddon't understand it he was not my friend or family memeber and in no way am I comparing your loss and pain to me it just the example u wrote about that was like yes that's it .I have no idea why this is happening why I feel this way but I have to be honest here it is making me feel like I am nuts.I don't know I can only say thank you

  6. These past few weeks have been very dificult For me. So when ever I feel down and unable to comprehend certain things, I read your posts and look at all the beautiful pics you post. Thank you for this post...
    Sylvia -

  7. The celebration of life is everyday, and death it will always come and go, death is permanent, and the hurt feelings will come and go, it's part of life, it's a loss, and yet it's not a permanent state. We grieve the loss, we move on. Loss and grief has stages as you said. Life is a celebration each, and everyday, every breath we take. So, I don't feel like you can have the same intensity, when one raises you up, love, life, and the latter is the completely opposite..loss sadness, grieving..Yin and yang. good and bad, how can the intensity ever be same. I don't and can't celebrate life with the same intensity, as a loss. Life is a celebration and death is a loss. Maybe it should be the opposite. Life is a celebration of that persons life, in that sense, and not so much focus on the death..I hear that more and more. Why can't we celebrate life with the same intensity. It's not meant to be the same. We most definitely all have choices. I normally celebrate life, with a smile each and everyday, through giving, through love, through hug, and those people who can't let go, of the pain and grief, are the one's who learn to live with same old familiar patterns, and feel the same all the time, feelings thoughts, thoughts feelings, hence becomes a pattern then the body takes over, then it becomes habit.Those people who do the same things each, and everyday, and don't understand what it takes to break the cycle or habit of the poor me, or what ever it may be.. Breaking old habits and creating new nuero- network connections that help to change old patterns. I have had many losses in my life, my sister killed in triple homicide, we lost my sisters first son tragic car accident. Mourning is strong because it's a loss of a loved one, When your done mourning and going through that process, you work back to moving on without them in your life, as in Paul Walker, I cried and cried, and I did read what you said in attending the services, at getting the chance to speak to the family and friends..It was horrific and I could not get the image out of my head. I am so upbeat and I am happy person, I got caught off guard and really felt it, I take things to heart, and loved him for all the good he did as many did..I got depressed and was like I never get this way. Blew me away how much it affected me. So I told myself cry all you want for now, then I have to let it go, so as not to be consumed by it. I have a saying when it comes to anything that happens in life, If what you do or feel controls who you are, then you are not in control of yourself. This is what has taught me to always remember I am in control of myself, my feelings, but we don't control the Lords will...I even wrote on Ray Doctors page how I was really having a hard time dealing with this accident. He did not even leave a reply for me, Maybe he thought I should pay for reply? My art is in the video for Paul Walker tribute it is the mermaid you see..on Vin Diesl Group video.l I wanted to get my art copied for his daughter Meadow for her wall, but have not heard anything from Vin Diesl Group. I love giving to help to heal, raise the spirit, the heart, the soul, with my art. .I know that it helps the healing process to know how many folks out there truly, care, and loved him, I wanted to get my art on her walls all because of love nothing more, good positive energy, good positive, love her way. That's why I sent copies to the hospital as I am getting ready to send another. I belong to healingwithharmony Foundation and have donated some of my art to ST. Jude Children's Hospital. I have up most respect those who serve and live life in the giving..I love what you wrote and I love reading them and love your posts I repost quite a few as I love them too..But just don't think it can ever be the same intensity...that's just me...thanks love ps. hormones play key roles in how our bodies react to both ...

  8. Jesse, your blogs are also your way to relieve stress and built up feelings. You are so genuine and open with your thoughts. I write in a journal when my feelings and thoughts are in tormoil, and this is my way of getting things in perspective. Death takes the longest to heal and the hardest for us to carry on without our loved one. But, we go on as our loved ones would want us to. Please continue to write your blog and heal in your own time. Carpe Diem! :)

  9. Hi Jesse,

    I've been looking forward to this post. So much of what you have reflected on here really hit home for me. Especially in the point you made about allowing yourself to work through the emotions; even the sadness while it may not be something we want to face. In the first few days of losing Paul I almost reached out to you for heartbreak-advising...I felt lost, I wasn't sure what I was looking for but I needed something. But then I thought better of it. I thought to myself...if I hurt like this for Paul, imagine how Jesse is doing. And my friend, even though I know you hurt heaps more than I do - you're dealing with his loss in an amazing way. You are an inspiration. You speak to my heart, my mind, and my soul. Mahalo nui loa.

  10. Hi Jesse, thanks for this blog! How strange it sounds for me but it helps to go on with the thins that stopped a few weeks ago. I lost my love of my life, mine husband. Married for 2 months and I'm now a widow, life is weird isn't it? We had a whole life in front of us and it ended so tragic. His life stopped, my life as well. I'm still in the field that you subscribe and I last track, I can't find the way back. Sorry for your lost Jesse, I'm one of few that do not know the man of movies, but I know for sure that he was one of a kind. I know his organisation because of my work. Jesse how hard it is, and how though this period is we will be stronger then ever before, even I don't believe or see it. Thanks for you blog again, they are inpirational and I hop they help me a bit through this nightmare! Good luck with everything Jesse!

  11. Hi Jesse,

    Some years ago, my brother killed himself, I always think about the beautiful human being he was and the great smile he had.

    I love this sentence of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry says it all:

    "Those who pass us by, do not go alone, do not leave us alone. Leave a bit of yourself, take a little of us.".

    Much love

  12. Jesse, I think I'll remember this for a long time and will remember it when I need to. I feel the loss of Paul too, although I never met him. I think he was just such a great person and regular guy and did so much to help others. The best way to celebrate him is to help with what he started and to be humble in the process, just like he was. I can't explain how I feel, but your words are helping and very comforting. I can't imagine how hard this has been for you, but you should know that you are very inspiring through all of this. Thanks Jesse...

  13. Have you ever read "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch? That book changed my life. Not everyone gets that chance in life to say a formal goodbye, and Randy made the best one ever. I don't want to come across as a cold person, but ever since reading his book I have been able to deal with death better. If everyone can enjoy the life each and every day then the fear of death and loss disappears. I hate it when people tell me that life on earth is just a passage and that there is a better place for when we die. People should not live like there is a better life awaiting us - instead live that better life today and tomorrow if we are lucky enough to have more tomorrows.

  14. Oh, Jesse, first, let me say that you are awesome. Your insight and passion for life are incredible. Second, I want to admit that this is the first time I have seen your page. It popped up on the side of my fb feed tonight and I said, 'oh, that's the 1,000 things guy that is Paul Walker's friend, I have to check it out.’ See, I've seen you on YouTube a bit in the past month, while watching VagrantTV and F&F clips and whatever else I could find. I feel a little crazy. I don't know if this is the appropriate place to be going on like this, but since recently I have given less and less weight to what is 'appropriate' and more to what feels right, well, here goes. I've been reading your blogs tonight, they are wonderful, I will probably eventually read them all because they are so good! I will also be sharing, sharing, sharing all this good stuff. I read what you wrote about your feelings the day after Paul died and I remembered something that I read recently that said that it is healthy to be jealous and protective of what you value and love because, yes, it can be taken away. So, your anger at people who don't even know your friend, who are exploiting his death and perhaps tarnishing his memory, is justified. You probably already know that, you certainly have a good handle on psych, but I wanted to share that with you anyway. I felt similar anger at work on the Monday after the accident. I overheard some coworkers talking and basically they were saying, 'you die as you lived' and I became sooo angry. Honestly, I was confused by my own feelings, because I didn't know him either! My emotions were running so high, but I was conscious of the fact that it was over the top (perhaps "inappropriate"?) and kept trying to talk myself down, which made me seem even crazier, probably! Actually, only my dog saw me talking to myself, telling myself to stop acting like a dramatic teenager (I'm 48). Yes, I am a F&F fan. My daughter was 16 when the first movie came out and for a while there it felt like those guys were living with us. If you ever lived in the same house with a teenage girl, you understand. Don't get me wrong, I was having just as much fun as the girls, and I think maybe that is partly why I took the loss of Paul so hard. I truly felt like I lost another brother. Coincidentally, my brother, who committed suicide with a gun, was a big 'motor head' and raced his muscle cars (sometimes illegally on the street). I didn't realize at first, but now I think all of that, subconsciously, played a part in why I am so terribly heartsick. It's funny how I feel like I have to rationalize my feelings. I can tell that people think I’m not right. But somebody said, your emotions are your own and you should never let anyone demean them, so I'm standing my ground. I've been telling everyone to read the article "The Sides of Paul Walker You May Have Missed" by Grady Smith. It's good, it's positive, and if they think I'm weird for caring what everyone thinks of him, fine. So, what I needed to tell you that is relevant to your page and purpose is that Paul's passing has changed me forever. I have been actively reaching out and being present, and reconnected with dear old friends on Christmas, which felt so wonderful. I really appreciated my family, even with all our quirks and flaws. I've been re-evaluating my work life and setting new goals to make a difference in the world....and then I see your page pop up on my page and it's like you've been inside my head, and I see all these other good people who are crying and hurting and so many feeling the exact same things I am feeling, and probably doing the same things I am doing; maybe millions of's fantastic. It's something good. Love to you, Jesse. We're all broken-hearted for you as well.

  15. Yes it's important like you explained to celebrate a persons life while they still have breath. Make time with friends. From what I have seen Paul and his buddies took trips together spent time hanging out having fun. We need to do this with our love ones. Plan a trip go to the beach enjoy each other company. Thanks for the post.

  16. Reading your post made me realise a thing or two... I've been walking through a field of those bombs for quite some time now, and they've been really close since I learned about Pauls accident.... Wich made no sence at all....I'm over here in Norway, didn't know him other than from his movies, like most of us, but found myself crying at all times, just by looking at a picture of him. It ALSO made me read more about him and his work, about the REAL Paul Walker, that's how I found you.... so see, NOW it DOES make sence..Cause THIS particular post, was my "lightbub moment" I'm gonna change my path... I choose to leave the field of bombs (cause I'v chosen to keep walking in it) and find a new route, that leads to hapiness and fulfillment for my little family! For that I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and also on behalf of my 2 beautiful daughters for making their mum learn so much in such a short amount of time, and for what I will continue to learn that they will benefit from. Light and love all the way from northern Norway.

  17. Really appreciate all the comments and feedback. I find a great deal of value in all of them.

    1. Wow just wow! Thank you for sharing this brilliant perspective. Everyone of us has different struggles emotionally. That moment when you cant see good things, loss hope and everything seem too dark.. circumstances that happened in your life from bad/negative situation after negative situation, were such really disappointing and just like what you said its like a bomb inside you that anytime it will explode.. in my situation, i try to deny these negative emotions (pains, sadness, etc) i live as if i dont feel it and be okay, but at the end of the day i am still that fragile and vulnerable person(blaming all myself, self pity, etc), how much i ever wanted to express my inner feelings to positive things and that its okay to cry and that its okay to fall sometimes... but i find it difficult most of the times to release and find the outlet to release it!

      I'm glad to read your blog, so timely, so inspiring, for me its like to know how to deal these unexpected circumstances in your life and its effect, its all about controlling your emotions as well as your mind ... and I thank PW for that because of him it leads me to find you on Instagram and this blog.. I was wondering how his friends deal with his loss that even a stranger like me was sad of his tragic death, but looking on the brighter side I read and saw people who love Paul continue to do things in some ways or another to keep and live the legacy he left... I miss Paul esp of not seeing him on the big screen in the future...

      God bless you Jesse and continue to inspire and transpire your beautiful mind to other people.

    2. I am glad you were able to connect with this blog @jasmine

  18. Thank you for all your beautiful word and the pictures really compliment this blog

  19. Isn't life funny..... In my sadness over the loss of Paul Walker, life leads me to your words. They truly are inspirational. I will strive to live through the emotion bombs with grace and love of life. Thank you!

  20. Thanks Jesse for your words of inspiration and motivation, I can always look forward to them as I go on my journeys it's so important for me to love and live with my whole heart. You remind me that life is what you want it to be, if you want change be the change , you have dreams don't be afraid to go after them when your heart is set on living your dreams, just go forward with hope. And always let the love of loved ones that are our angels, shine thru the things that we do. They are watching.

  21. Thanks Jesse to have share your feelings with us. The words: "choose to let the loss define you or choose to define the loss" really mean something to me!

  22. Hi Jesse, I totally relate to the comments posted by Chris Capps ^^. I want to say Thank YOU, for finding the strength to continue doing what you are doing - reaching out and touching lives. Even though I never met Paul, it is evident that he surrounded himself with good people, positive people, you are a perfect reflection of that. Sending love and prayers for continued healing to his family, to you, and to ALL that love him (fans included). As we nourish ourselves with your wisdom and strength, do remember that we are all here for you as well! I hope that we/this community can help uplift your spirits any time your (emotional) tank is running low :) Kindly - Maria

  23. I am a true believer that everyone & everything here on Earth has a purpose. We don't always recognize these traits in one's character until a profound moment defines it. I think this is extremely true in Paul's case. While most of us were merely fans of his, we can somehow clearly interpret the purpose of his life here on Earth, albeit a short one. Since his passing, I see so many people honoring him and his legacy through good deeds, life fulfilled dreams, charitable acts & donations. These are the very things that make me believe his purpose was fulfilled. I can bet that nothing would make him more proud than knowing people are doing these things to honor him, because I believe this was the type of person he lived to be.

    I'm definitely among one of the people who are walking in the open field, feeling numb. I do step on the "emotion bombs" from time to time, but I have come to realize the easiest way for me to let them dissolve are the fact that I, like so many, are installing new characteristics to a better way of life and making sure that he lives on the way he wanted for ALL of is to live! I know he has got to be proud that he fulfilled his purpose here and is watching it unfold. We should all be so lucky to make that kind of impact once we leave this Earth. So awesome!

    Thank you Jesse, for your light & amazing outlook on life & it's ups and downs. I am now a forever fan of yours! I so look forward to your daily inspiration. I found your site through Paul, so I guess essentially he's paying it forward to you and all of us as well. There's something to be said for the people he surrounded himself with. I'd say we have a mighty fine alternative! :)

  24. Well what do yah know I go from reading your most recent blog "When Shit Literally Happens" and crying because I am laughing so hard to reading this one and just crying. You are such a beautiful person. My heart really goes out to you. These bombs have also payed a visit to me after Paul Died and I didn't even know him. These last couple months have been a roller coaster of emotions honestly feeling like I am going crazy. The impact Paul has had on me and so many others is a little unbelievable.(not sure if that's the right word) I also found you through Paul at a time when I really needed someone to lift me up.You were very lucky to have Paul in your life but after reading this I now know how lucky Paul was to have you and now so am I. I look forward to reading more of your post and maybe someday having the honor to meet you. Thanks so much Jesse Much Love Jeannie