Grief is the experience of deep sorrow and longing. Many times we think of grief only from the perspective of the loss of a loved one, but the truth is that in experiences of trauma, and on our healing journey, grief shows up in many ways. You can grieve things you never received, the pain of experiences you've had, the loss of dreams.
I discovered a longing for a previous version of myself.
At the beginning of May I decided to be more intentional about embarking on a deeper level of healing. I discovered a longing for a previous version of myself. I wanted to be freer, more open in my search for partnered love and actually wanted to regain some of the naïveté/innocence that I had when I was younger.
As I went on this journey with a new helper I discovered that there was so much I had to grieve before I could find what I was looking for. The psyche is amazing! I had suppressed details of experiences that lived in my body and as I asked to heal from them, I was faced with experiences that would MAKE SURE I remembered. The the death of a dear friend, challenges in close relationships, challenges with my health and planning for my daughter’s spiritual elevation brought intense emotions, periods of separation and introspection while I sat with the feeling of immense sorrow over and over again.
There is a version of me that certainly would have curled up, laid in a corner and wallowed in the pain of it all.
You see, the easy route when these things happen is to get stuck in them. There is a version of me that certainly would have curled up, laid in a corner and wallowed in the pain of it all. Another version of me would have ignored what I was feeling by either projecting it onto someone else or just not engaging with them, completely diverting my attention elsewhere. THIS version of me, with the support of helpers, was called to compartmentalize what I was feeling, sit in those feelings and pick them apart one by one until there was resolution. For sure that process is not as “quick” or “easy” as the other ways of functioning seemed. But in all honesty those other ways didn’t work or else I wouldn’t be here…again.
The interesting thing is just like my spirit longing for certain experiences created opportunities to face the pain, facing the pain of these new experiences created the circumstances I needed to heal those wounds. Taking my time observing the experiences I was having, seeing them as opportunities to heal the wounds, dissecting my role, owning it, grieving the losses (perceptions and people) and allowing myself to feel every layer gave me the time to see what I wanted, have needed conversations, and even see the beauty in all of it at the same time. None of it was easy, but all of it was necessary.
In the end, I found that I needed to grieve the innocence that I longed to call back to me. It is gone. I am no longer oblivious to what could happen. I no longer have the privilege of not seeing the possibilities for pain. However, that innocence is not required for the freedom that I seek. The naïveté is no longer what makes room for my freedom. MY CHOICE, and the wisdom that comes from past experiences, makes room for my ability to be free. My understanding of the ways I feel pain, the ways I care for myself through the pain, the ways that I choose to love myself and others are all evidence of freedom. It is the choosing HOW inspite of the possibility of pain, not the denial of the possibility of pain, that IS the freedom.
Many of us avoid grief or any feeling that we label as negative.
Many of us avoid grief or any feeling that we label as negative. We suppress it, we try and control the behaviors of others so we don’t experience it. We deny the experiences of others when we don’t know how to show up and help them cope with their sadness. We put on a mask to not “burden” others with our pains. Grief, like all other feelings, is simply information. There is an experience that we are missing and grief reminds us of what is important. When we take the time to listen to that information, we can be guided to the ways that we need to be supported and cared for and, ultimately, we are granted the opportunities to see what we need to do so that we can heal.
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