Grief has been part of my life for the past twenty years.
I must admit, the last three years has been the most intense grieving times to which I willingly opened myself up to. I was spent from all the psychological analysis over the years, resentful that nothing could inspire in me a peaceful relationship with my grief.
I had to stop.
I needed to feel.
And forge a path.
Towards life or death? This time, it did not matter.
There was no choice in the face of my inner demons (loneliness, isolation, fear, anxiety, depression and disconnection), growing in strength with each passing year as I cleverly tried every trick, to suppress.
With the unknown the only certainty, as frightening as that was to feel, I blindly committed to trusting my demons, and dived in with complete surrender allowing them to lead the way.
Sitting still in the isolating darkness of my pain night after night, the inner demons dancing around, I started to become acutely aware that these demons were not separate to me, they were an extension of me.
As a self-love advocate, I thought this must surely mean loving all parts of me, including these demonic atrocities. But how do I love these parts of me that hurt me the most?
Which is when I heard a little voice from within whisper:
“Anything understood through the mind is limited
Everything experienced through the body is limitless.
A rainbow of emotions has been gifted to each life
Each life gifted with the ability to feel every emotion.
Ultimately the choice is yours – to feel or not to feel
But the hurtable human nature is the only way towards liberation.”
And feel I did, every day, for much of the last three years.
Every painful feeling, accompanied by a cascade of tears, holding a story of death – love lost, dreams crushed and hopes shattered.
Time and space took on a whole different meaning.
Deep breath in. Deep breath out.
I never stopped believing.
With patience and each passing moment, emerged a new feeling.
Below I share with you my own inspiration, 10 ways in which grief opened my heart.
I hope this is of help to us all to remember the wisdom in grief, an inevitable experience in our journey together, through life.
Respect for human emotions
It’s presence, intensity, varying colours and its reason for existing. This meant learning to let go of the need to control, manipulate and play power games with my own emotions and that of another.
Maintaining emotional integrity
With the many emotional highs and lows while grieving, I had to learn to effectively communicate my feelings. If I was sad or I needed a hug, to find the courage to share, without making excuses or looking for explanations for the way I felt.
Safety to feel all emotions
There is no greater pain in this human life than the pain of not feeling. So, it meant learning to build trust even with my dark emotions. The more trust I cultivated in them, the safer they made me feel about all aspects of my being.
Never too old, never too wise, to experience the intimacy for giving another permission to hold sacred space for all that needs to be seen, heard and felt. This came to me, through complete strangers as a blessing to remind me of the connected power of our human hearts.
Commitment to self
There is nothing more confronting than recognising that everyone I interact with, is a mirror of the duality that exists within me. This strengthened my commitment to never give up on myself- to continue to grow, nurture, nourish and mould into the vision of who I choose to become.
Loving my presence
grief revealing that the only thing that gets to define my worth is the energy that fuels my breath. Whatever flowed through my breath at any given moment (anger, joy, sadness etc), I learnt to breathe through it with acceptance and care.
Trusting my intuition
A heightened level of sensitivity of the depth present within and around each one of us, gently revealing itself with clarity, the unspoken language of the sixth sense and beyond.
Caring my grieving heart
I discovered that my heart is a two-year-old and that meant I had to feed it with love like I would any other two-year-old. Knowing how to care for myself, I observed, brought a deeper sense of connection when in the presence of another.
Boundaries without control
Over the years my grief had turned into control of my emotions, people, places and things – a way to stop myself from feeling. To learn to maintain healthy inner boundaries without the need to control out of fear brought with it a level of challenge of having to let go of old ways of being. Let go while grieving? Another one of life’s mysterious paradox.
Courageous warrior of the dark
I had put down my swords of fear and begin to trust, for there never existed a war with the dark. The more love for the dark, the more light it is willing to shine on me. And the only way I could embrace this was to stay nonjudgemental to the dark shadow aspects in me.
To me, life is much like a woman in labour – a series of contractions and expansions birthing/revealing the soul that wishes to be fully seen in this physical reality.
And thus, my heart-opening remains an ongoing process.
With this acknowledgement, I feel a sense of emotional freedom.
Building a relationship with grief in recent years has left me not only feeling humbled but also having great reverence for this core emotional process of our human existence that has defined much of my adult life.
I take a deep breath of release.
How does this feel for you?
What’s calling you to find new and empowering ways to relate to your grief?
My wish for you
May your journey with grief open your heart to the endless possibilities of experiencing unconditional love.