It seems like grief sneaks up on us during times when we least expect it. The overwhelming array of feelings attached can seem unbearable so what do we do? We avoid it altogether.
Take a moment, if you will, and ask yourself this: “Do I ever really make time to grieve over ANYTHING?” In American culture especially, we are encouraged to always appear as though our lives are perfect so much so that we have created a generation who is addicted to taking a dozen selfies of themselves every five minutes.While I poke fun at millennials, in all seriousness, they are simply mirroring our reality. Most of us hate dealing with grief. I know I do…
I would rather eat my grief with a big bowl of something unhealthy, while others would prefer to watch porn, or shop until they are broke, or play video games, or stare at Facebook, or fill in the blank. The reality is that we grieve all the time. We grieve when a friendship ends, when our children face challenges or experience a loss of some kind, or when we feel at war with the world. We also grieve over the obvious: Death, which includes the literal ending of one’s life, as well as the death of a marriage, one’s career, one’s identity as they knew it in their addiction, and we grieve over losing our addiction. This is true. Starting recovery is really hard; it is ok to grieve your addiction. That is a normal part of reality. We grieve when we realize our parents weren’t all we thought they were (even if we know they did the best they could), we grieve if our parents become ill or start to change as a result of say, dementia. We grieve if a pet dies. We grieve when we realize that we aren’t getting any younger. We grieve when our kids grow up and leave the house. We grieve at the end of the year when we realize goals and dreams were left unfulfilled. Indeed, we grieve for all kinds of reasons…But there is something really powerful when we actually take time to schedule an appointment with grief.
We heal from it.
Here is the question: Can we overcome the fear and let ourselves actually grieve, and, what is the fear anyway? The fear attached to grieving is that we are often terrified of actually feeling the sadness. For so many of us, actually feeling the pain can be extremely daunting (hence why so many of us are in recovery from an addiction(s). But you won’t die from feeling your pain or sadness or anxiety. It may feel incredibly intense and overwhelming for a bit, but I promise you, you won’t die. And, I also promise you, you are not alone in your feelings. That is another fear, being alone in our grief, which can feel like such a terrifying place. But you are never alone. We all can relate to the feeling.So, how do you schedule time to grieve, whatever it is that you are grieving?
- Put it on your calendar. That’s right. Literally, schedule time. Start with 5 minutes of reflection or journalling. Increase it to 10, 15, and so on.
- Have a conversation with the person or thing that you are grieving, even if they have passed. You can do this in your head, in your journal, type it in your phone
- Share your grief with a safe person: a therapist, group, friend, family member. You will be amazed who else is grieving.
- Self care. Grieving is hard and as we have already established, no one likes to do it. So be gentle on yourself.
- Let yourself cry. Ball your eyes out if you need to. You won’t die from doing this (even if it feels like you will). Get it out.
- Don’t schedule one time; make it a ritual. With letting go comes letting in. So practice this often.
Learning how to allow ourselves the time we deserve to grieve is daunting at first. However, in time it becomes more manageable. By doing so we open ourselves up to the richness that life has to offer….by feeling our grief we allow the joy and sunshine in tenfold.
Please remember what beautiful souls you are. You are not alone and you are loved.
Free Meditation every Friday 5:30-6:15p.m. with Candice or Cari. Call 801-272-3500 for more info.Starting the last Tues in January and monthly for 2017, “Intimate Connections” Class with Candice and Cari! Offered to anyone(single, divorce, married) in recovery as well as those who simply want to learn how to have a positive sexual experience! RSVP: email@example.com
New Years Eve Manifestation Mediation with Candice! Come share her annual ritual of letting go of the old and bringing in the new with meditation and a manifestation ritual. Noon-1:30 p.m. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
photo by sciencefly.com