Grief is a funny thing. Although they say time heals all wounds, rarely do we ever heal in a linear fashion. Much like the nature of the ocean, grief flows in waves. Sometimes you can predict the impact or even see the wave coming from a distance. Other times it can blindside you, knocking you clean off your feet.
From my own personal experience I’ve found that grief surfaces and presents itself in layers.
I can feel as though I’ve moved through all that needs to be healed and experienced only to find some unforeseen factor awaiting me; the unexpected hit of the next wave.
For some the pain of grief can be unbearable, a searing iron that melts the heart in two. You feel as though you couldn’t fathom the thought of continuing to live beyond your grief. Sometimes it can feel like there’s no end to the grief that continues to surface.
To grieve is to be human.
The process of grieving is as natural to us as the air we breath. We don’t have to think or will it to happen, it just is.
Often we try to resist or control it’s presence in our lives, we believe that to feel emotion and to grieve displays signs of weakness and fragility. Honestly I believe there is nothing stronger than a person who is able to accept the change that life presents them with, completely letting go when necessary.
To resist grief is to resist change, the only constant in our lives, an act that is both destructive and futile.
Dealing with grief can be difficult at the best of times, especially if you are resistant to change.
The more I experience and encounter grief, the more deeply I learn about the process of grieving and of letting go. I am constantly learning and will continue to learn through every new experience. What I've found so far are that certain practice allow me to move though my grief in a much gentler way, helping to ease the overall pain and length of the experience.
Below are my top 5 personal practices for moving through grief. These tips don't just limit themselves to the grieving process though. You can draw upon them at any time, especially when faced with life's challenges and periods of change.
5 TIPS FOR MOVING THROUGH YOUR GRIEF
1. Feel and move through your emotions You’re going to hear me say this a lot, but I am super passionate about spreading this message. You can’t expect to truly free yourself from emotion and grief until you have allowed it to surface and be released. The only way to release emotion is to feel and move through it. What is resisted does not leave, it remains buried deep within you and continues to play out in other areas of your life until it's released. The grieving process helps to purify and cleanse ourselves from the pain and emotion that surrounds our grief, allowing us to let go and move forward with our lives.
2. Take a shower This might seem like a weird inclusion, but for me this is one of my go-to practices for dealing with grief. When my father passed I spent a solid 2 hours in the shower, weeping under the water. Just as the water cleansed my body, so too did my tears cleanse the pain that I felt deeply within. Showering in this situation was not only comforting but it also symbolised a purification process, releasing the emotion and letting the pain of the event wash out of me.
3. Talk to someone Please don't ever feel that you have to contain your grief. We are all perfectly human, and chances are your best friend, partner, parent or sibling have also experienced grief in some form or another. They may not have lived through your exact circumstance, but they have likely lived through their own pain and grief on a similar level. Allow them to support you and to hold a safe space for you to open up and fall apart in if you need to. Just talking to someone by sharing your struggle and pain with another being can help greatly in healing and releasing emotion that has built up around the experience.
4. Give it time Don’t expect your wounds to heal instantly and your grief to disappear overnight. As I have said previously, healing is not linear and although your grief will heal in time it is very common for it to heal in stages. Each stage represents a different layer or belief around the situation, until finally all that is left is acceptance. You may deal with many of the stages early on in the process, however more healing can occur long after you feel that your grieving process has finished.
5. Be gentle and don’t judge yourself We are always so quick to judge and criticize ourselves. This is especially true when we feel that we've moved on from a situation and are shocked to find that our grief continues to surface in new ways. This is not the time to be hard on yourself. Judging the situation and your perceived lack of control over your emotions will only make matters worse. Be gentle and show yourself the love you deserve and most definitely need to move though the situation with greater ease.
I really hope you've found the above tips helpful. If you feel that you need added support with your own grief, please leave a comment below or jump on over to the Magic Makers Sisterhood Facebook group and share your story with our sisters. We are a loving and deeply nurturing community and you are completely free to open up within our safe space without fear of judgement.
In love, light and magic,
[Image Source: Giulia Bersani Flickr]