In grief there is movement as we move fluidly between the emotions that arise moment by moment.
In grief there is stillness … there is a depth to our emotions that pulls us in … we find a deeper place within the wellspring of our self, a place to rest … to be nourished.
What heals us is the sense of presence that is cultivated through the trials and tribulations of winding our way through this maze of an experience that is grief. Presence heals. What is presence, where does it come from, and how do we cultivate it? Mindful presence is cultivated through paying attention to where our awareness goes, gathering our awareness up again when it wanders away to unintended places, and patiently, lovingly, learning to shine that spotlight of our awareness where it will be most useful for us.
Where does awareness typically go when we’re going through deep pain? Typically, elsewhere. Someone said to me recently as we were talking about grief being a healing process, “I don’t think I ever heal, I think I just experience loss and there is no healing.” This is entirely possible, in fact, it happens all the time. An experience of loss is not, in itself, healing. The healing comes through the process of grieving.
We all experience loss, it comes with being human. But we don’t all grieve. Grieving is natural, but we are living in a culture that has in many ways cleansed and anesthetized itself from what is natural. Very often we might, instead of feeling our feelings, find ingenious ways to numb our pain. In fact, we may be so good and so well trained at not feeling our feelings on a regular basis, that we may not even realize we are numbing out rather than feeling.
Therefore it is wholly possible to lose someone or something and not pay attention to our emotions … and therefore not grieve … and inevitably, not heal.
Grieving is the process of mindfully tending our emotions. This awareness is cultivated by allowing oneself to be curious and open to the internal and / or external experience as it arises. Grieving is, quite naturally, painful at first. It’s excruciating even in the early stages of grief — to feel one’s emotions … to sit with them, honor them, make room for them, and breathe with them. As we do so, we begin to find the pain more bearable. Ever so slowly, breathing becomes easier, our bodies soften, and our hearts steady.
Eventually, one emotion gives way to the next … As we tend to our emotions, the depth and breadth of our sense of self grows … grieving is one way we cultivate this sense of presence.
It is with this expanded presence of self, that we are able to
feel our emotions
while observing our self in the experience of emotion.
This is a key to healing and spiritual growth.
The path to healing requires FEELING … feeling whatever you are experiencing in the midst of difficulty. And feeling requires slowing your processes down … releasing the focus on thinking, and embracing all aspects of the present moment! Allow yourself to grieve, allow yourself to feel, allow yourself to BE! This is a path of heart … a path of tremendous courage … and a path of faith. Trust … the more you open your heart to feeling, the more you’ll feel the support of your Soul guiding you, lighting your way, and lightening your burden.
Pause, breathe, and feel your way…
Much Love and Many Blessings!
Lynn & Cheryl