Healing Grief, Self Care and Stress
Self care and healing grief and managing stress in healthy ways becomes even more important when we live turbulent, stressful and super challenging times.
A mirror is being held up to us again and again clearly demonstrates the need for a deep honest appraisal of the real underlying fractures in ourselves, and the world instead getting lost in reactive hatred, blame and hostility.
Open, tolerant, courageous hearts VS small, fear filled, closed minds can lead to deep healing, growth, change and transformation for the good of all.
No matter where difficult feelings and stresses originate, we can all contribute to the larger picture, to our shared and connected future by beginning in our own corner of the world. We may not immediately see the ripple effect of caring for our own needs in the midst of chaos, trial and trauma but it truly does have ramifications for the whole and contributes to our ongoing path toward a true understanding and living of the Truth of Unity Consciousness.
Some of the trauma in the world is showing the result of oppression, powerlessness and loss of hope, We can learn to own and use our power positively. We can free ourselves from ties that bind and open our hearts to love and hope.
Other (or even the same) world events speak to our need to recognize our shared humanity, to open to or develop deep compassion not met before and perhaps to embrace a kind of “spiritual activism” in whatever form that may take for each individual.
This and other posts on grief and loss on this blog include suggestions for how we can deal with overwhelming events and feelings in a way that builds and strengthens rather than collapses and weakens.
What to do while waiting for global change! 8 Ways to Deal With Grief and Loss
Grief is not just about death. Grief is something we experience through small and large losses. Having a process for healing grief is a necessary ability on this human journey. Especially at this time in history we would be well served by having a healthy grieving process. This would help us for the big events certainly, but it would also help for the reality of leaving behind a different world and moving into a “new normal”. Clearly our new normal is going to require new tools and capacities for communication, tolerance and problem solving. If we are dragging around old ways of being and doing we will just solidify and enlarge problems.
Healing grief helps us to integrate our experience, our losses, hurts and disappointments allowing us to live more gracefully with all of life, not just the happy parts. Healing grief also creates spaces for our best qualities to rise to the surface.
Healing Grief Enables Wholeness/Authenticity
In order to truly know who we are and embody all our strength, courage and power it is imperative that we own all our experience. Too often the emotional aspects of our lives are left unfinished which leave us feeling dis-empowered, fragmented, disconnected, empty or isolated.
Healthy grieving, as hard as it may be to move through, can be an integrative experience. Healthy grieving helps us to knit together the hurt places and find strength, courage and the way to equanimity.
Grief helps us be aware of where we hurt so we can open to true surrender and release. Grief may also be a catalyst to identify feelings that leads to definition of authentic needs and healthy boundaries. It can also help separate unhealthy reactivity from deeper, truer emotions that show the doorway to our authentic SELVES. In order for this to happen there must be a space made, opened and honored so that all aspects of experience are given form and released.
Giving Grief A Process
1. Honor your experience by speaking or writing it out. Telling your story, honestly stating how it was for you without laundering it into what you think is acceptable, is crucial. Experience needs to be claimed and witnessed in order to be processed and released. The witnessing, whether by yourself or with another, is best if it is nonjudgmental and compassionate!
- Engage in a spiritual practice. Practices that help you connect with aspects larger than your ego self can help you develop the capacity to hold all experience and not be shattered by it. Later you will realize that you can feel it AND let it go; this will give you more ability to feel what is there with courage because you can trust that you do not have to be overwhelmed by it or feel it forever.
Spiritual practice also helps you to not feel so empty or isolated. It can provide an infusion of loving, supportive energy that assists you and holds you up when you cannot do it all alone.
- Seek out others. Share your experience, vulnerabilities and strengths…it is very healing. Both giving and receiving are a part of the natural flow of life. ..a core expression and rhythm of love.
- Take breaks in your process. Especially if your grief is a large one, it is crucial to the process to give it both active and receptive attention. It is okay to let things rest and gestate for a time.
- Provide an outlet for release of all thoughts, emotions and beliefs that have been stored up as a result of this loss for you. Create rituals, use intentions that help you to not only uncover and articulate but also for the letting go part.
- Channel your energy into something positive. One family channeled grief about the loss of a child into a foundation that now raises money for research into childhood illnesses. Another family is honoring the memory of their child by funding a house for families to stay nearby when their sick children are hospitalized. These are two wonderful examples of turning grief into positive action and honor the past while improving the situation for others.
- See a professional grief counselor if you feel that your grieving process has gone on too long or you feel stuck. A professional can help you reclaim your Self. Emotional Freedom Technique used alone or with a counselor is especially helpful for trauma, loss and grief.
- Meditation, deep relaxation and energetic approaches to releasing emotions from deep within are essential to truly moving past grief and integrating our experience, so whatever other tools you use it would be beneficial to incorporate one of these methods with it.
Grieving is healthy. As you experience it, know deep down that you are OK. Allow yourself to feel the sadness, despair and loss, but also reach to feel your inner resources of strength, courage and hope. Find the combination of methods that will enable you to let difficult feelings go and move on. We are meant to grieve, but not forever! Just as a lotus flower blooms with its roots in mud, our grief can be a springboard to bringing new aspects of ourselves to a world that sorely needs all our goodness.