Oof, this last couple of weeks were hard.
In the wake of my friend and teacher Carmen passing, last week was literally like being a passenger on a ship, traveling through a tumultuous yet magnificent ocean…
I remember hearing the phrase, “good grief” as a child and never understanding what it meant until I got the profound honor of participating in a grief ritual in 2019. That experience was life-changing, and shifted my understanding of grief in profound ways.
Because this is such a hugely important issue (and also hugely misunderstood in our culture), I want to share with you some gems I’ve mined from my own relationship with Grief.
Here’s some things I’ve learned about grief over the last few years:
🔸 It must be expressed, in order to allow the heart (which has been broken open) to heal and integrate the learnings only available during these times of sorrow and tenderness.
🔸 If it’s not expressed, it’s being suppressed, which can then lead to numerous forms of dis-ease in the body, mind and heart.
🔸 Grief is an initiation, both incredibly painful and also unbelievably rich. If we allow it to transform us, it will lead us deeper into our heart and our ability to live in presence and gratitude for every moment we have in this body, on this planet.
🔸 Our culture sucks at grief. Most of us were never taught any of this and encouraged instead to suppress, deny, hide our grief away from the eyes of others and “deal with it” on our own.
🔸 Grief is a portal to belonging. If we look to indigenous tribes, traditions and ways of being, we see that when expressed and honored in community, grief will lead the people back into their hearts, where their fullest life can be lived.
🔸 Someone does not need to die in order for grief to emerge. If you’re feeling grief, you need not question it or feel shame. There are ALWAYS PLENTY of reasons to grieve.
🔸 These are known as the “gates of grief” and include
– grief for what we love
– grief for what we’d rather not acknowledge
– grief for the world’s sorrows
– grief for what we expected and did not receive
– ancestral grief
If all or any of this is resonating for you beloved, please hit reply and let me know.
A book I can recommend should you want to dive deeper is The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Frances Weller.
I choose to give T H A N K S for my grief. It lets me know I’m alive, how much I care, and right now, it’s waking me up to new ways of seeing, feeling and experiencing the world.
If you’re grieving these days, thank you.
May it heal us all, from the inside out.
With you in your joy and your grief,