The voice { + wisdom } of grief | Part II

Most mornings, I sit with a notebook and pen and I write. What I write is whatever most needs to be seen and heard by me at the time. Sometimes I am inspired with my words and other times I am emptied out of what was burdening me, but each time I become more centered, more focused, and more clear. One recent morning, grief was again very much on my mind and what came through my pen was very loving, guiding, nurturing and reassuring for me. This evening as I walked through the forest, more insight came through again. I realize this is wisdom that everyone can find truth in and it might not be meant me alone, and so I share it with you...

August 30, 2019 8am

"The only way out of grief is right through it. Walk straight in, eyes open, and grief, along with life, will heal you. We fear that the opposite will happen; that we will be torn to bits, combust internally, or be shattered forever. But, that is only fear, and fear is not truth. The truth is you will heal. 

With your eyes and heart open watch for bits of medicine along your way. Be it a heartfelt and open conversation with a stranger (or a friend:), coincidental (rather, synchronistic) events that bring deep wonder to the moment. One step in front of the other, unsure of where you are going, you trust your inner guidance system to steer you where you most need to go/do/be/feel. Don't expect it to make sense. Ditch the logic altogether. Allow it, be open to receiving your unique journey and it will unfold. And in hindsight it will all be the most exquisite, painful, heart wrenching, wonder-ful re-mebering of the you before the loss, and the you after the loss. The place of hindsight will be a relief to reach, but you must do the journey to get there. 

Grief is the experience of being asked to adjust to that which you do not want to. It is the stripping away of the life you had before. It is the empty hole left that threatens to consume you. It is the shock of loosing that which you loved and that you welcomed in your days. Grief asks what feels like the impossible of us, life does that too. In a sense it is like you are asked to have surgery awake and with no pain relief. But, it is so important to stay awake for it, because if you numb the pain/get the general anesthetic, you miss the whole thing, and the "thing" is what you are supposed to experience. That is the whole point. You will see that you will re-member. You will not be ripped apart. You will come back to yourself. 

Be brave, have courage. Both walk alongside fear - it is not absent. Courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway. You were designed to live through this. trust your natural design and its wisdom to carry you through. You don't need to think, just trust. The pain won't kill you. It is simply, but  enormously, a tremendous restructuring so that you can live in a world that has dramatically changed for you. You will be ok - more than ok.  You will smile and laugh again, you will find joy. That is the result of the grief journey taken with an open heart. But it is you who must continually remember to open your heart, even when you want to keep it closed. Nothing can flow through a closed heart, and flow is what is needed now. As in all of life, you have a choice. Whether we consciously walk through life with intention or we shut down and stumble in the dark. The end result is different depending on the choice you make, but either way you walk the path."   

Afterthoughts from this evening:

Sometimes we get stuck in the idea that joy and grief are mutually exclusive, but right now I find myself feeling both. I didn't think I was capable of that. In some ways I've felt that joy is a traitor to grief. That by allowing ourselves to feel joy were are disrespecting grief, but I see now that the truth is we are made to feel it all, and sometimes it's all at the same time. 

Grief reminds me much of the journey a mother birthing a child must make. The only way out is through the pain. There is no other way. Grief is the midwife that arrives to coach you through, encourages you when you don't feel you have any more in you, believes in you when you don't, and catches you on the other side in joy again. It wouldn't show up if it didn't believe you could do it. In a sense you are re-birthing yourself through this experience. You won't be the same, and you know it. You aren't supposed to be. 

Life is a constant exchange of gains and losses; joy and grief. We are in a never ending system of exchange - we trade youth for wisdom, day for night, winter for summer, happy for sad, and eventually our lives here as we know them for another plane of existence. 

When we say hello we do not think of the inevitable good bye. The more frequent loss and grief comes into our life the more we are awakened to the realization that we must, at some unknown point, say good bye to what we love. This is a sad thought for sure, but it is also liberating because when you can conceive of your eventual parting you can more fully live in the moment together. And THAT is a gift. So in this way our griefs are our wise counsel, urging us to be more deeply aware of the present moment. When you are more acutely aware of the temporariness of now, you can saver it in ways, though bittersweet for sure, that you could not have before. 

So soak it up, because this... this is life, and we are blessed to have it. In all its wonderful, painful, beautiful, ugly, hard, glory. You were made for this journey, as impossible as it may feel, and in the end it will be ok. And if it's not ok? Then it's not the end yet :)  


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