Grief; Healing my heart one piece at a time

Written by Amie on October 5, 2013 – 2:09 am -

my heart is on the outside of my body

My sweet doggy died unexpectedly a few days ago. My heart feels like it is broken into a million pieces. There was no warning, no time to plan a good bye. He was too young to go. But yet he did. One day he was a healthy, high energy, happy guy, the next he was gravely ill. How could this be? The grief is deep and it is raw. I grieve for him, and yet I feel I am grieving for all of the sad experiences I’ve ever been through. I feel I am grieving my brother’s death 6 1/2 years ago. I screamed when I found out my dog died, and that scream was so deep and so raw, I know I was grieving for more than my sweet dog. It feels as though my heart is on the outside of my body, as vulnerable as it can be. It doesn’t take much to send me into a heavy bout of crying. He should still be here, yet he isn’t. Wishing for something other than what is makes me suffer. But I continue to wish for things to be different. Accepting what is makes it feel too final. I’m not ready for it to feel so final. (and I ask myself, am I also still wishing for my brother to be here? I know the answer to that)

“what do I really know for certain?”

As each hour passes, I ponder the question, “what do I really know for certain?” And I keep coming back to, “not much, maybe nothing at all.” I do know love, I know it is the one constant. It is always there, even if hidden at times. I know I am breathing in this moment right now. But, in the big picture, what do I really know? Not much, maybe nothing at all. And so I keep pondering. Right when I think I know something for sure, it changes. So maybe I know nothing stays the same, everything changes. I know it is difficult to let go of those I love. It is difficult to let go of someone I thought would be around for as long as I needed. I know I relied on my dog a lot more than I realized. He brought a certain safety to my life. And he brought unconditional love. He loved me no matter how grumpy I was, he loved me even if I didn’t take him for a walk every time he wanted to go, he loved me no matter what I did. He was pure love. He showed me complete presence, he saw me for me. He felt my heart, he knew I loved him even when he stole my shoe or my peanut butter sandwich! He showed me truth. He felt my emotions and didn’t even complain when they were pretty heavy.

1385082_10201634400077021_783564919_n

Grief reminds me that I am alive and I am human

It feels as though each time I allow myself to really be with my grief, to really embody it, to really feel the pain, a piece of my heart comes back together. Each painful piece, one by one comes back to begin the process of repairing the whole. And I know from experience, once those pieces come back together, my heart will be stronger and more willing to be loving and vulnerable than it was before this sad experience. Grief is such a unique emotion. It encompasses so much. So many other emotions wrapped up in a deep energetic feeling in the body. It really opens me up to so many questions. At first it makes me question everything. Did I love my dog enough, did he know how much I loved him, why didn’t I do more, why didn’t I know something was wrong before he showed any symptoms, did I take him to the wrong place, was there something more I could have done….I went on and on. Until I realized that by focusing on this, I was distracting myself from the grief. I was distracting myself from the pain. Grief reminds me that I am alive and that I am human. There is so much emotion coursing through me, there is no question whether or not I am alive. Grief makes love feel bigger than ever, yet scarier than ever at the same time.

We just keep storing away experiences that hurt us

When I went to a grief ritual retreat a few months back, it opened my eyes to see how much we, as humans, have to grieve. We barely allow ourselves the time and space to grieve. There can be layers upon layers of unexpressed grief within one person. Generations of unexpressed grief is passed on to the next generation again and again, until people finally start allowing themselves to feel it and then begin to heal. There are times during this grief process when I feel deep grief, and I am not even sure what it is. It is a feeling deep inside my body I can’t explain, but I know for sure it is grief coming to the surface to be released. So much sadness covered by layers of protective reactions. We just keep storing away experiences that hurt us, too afraid to feel the pain. These experiences continue to store themselves in our bodies, our cells. Until we allow ourselves the time and space to really deeply feel the pain. Then the energy can be released, and our bodies begin to heal. We feel lighter each time we allow ourselves to heal.

I feel loved, nurtured and supported by those in my “tribe”

Losing my dog has been so difficult. But the one blessing shining through is that I have incredible people in my life who love me. People who are there for me and who allow me to grieve exactly as I need to. This makes this painful experience more bearable. The supportive loving people in my life have allowed me to have the process I need to have, they accept me and my feelings. Having loving people reminds me of the wonderful feeling I had at the grief retreat. I feel loved, nurtured and supported by those in my “tribe”.

in our own processes, yet still sharing the experience

In the Dagara tribe in Africa, grief is shared by all. When someone is suffering, the tribe supports them and nurtures them while they grieve. They stop what they are doing and they are present with the grieving person. This is what I loved. We didn’t tell each other, “it will be okay, it will get better, etc”. Instead, I processed my grief while there was always someone right there with me, not saying anything, just being there for me. There was not one doubt that someone was always standing behind me and had my back. We all were grieving together, in our own processes, yet still sharing the experience. There was beautiful singing the entire time, drumming, candles, and just a complete feeling of safety. I truly wish everyone could experience this, and that this would become the norm for all cultures. Grief is a very essential part of our existence.  Being a part of this ritual was one of the most powerful experiences of my life.

 

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Connection, Grief and dying, Healing & personal growth, Nurture yourself, Self-love | 3 Comments »

The journey of looking within and learning to accept the capabilities of others

Written by Amie on May 1, 2012 – 10:33 pm -

Healing from the inside out; severe depression and unhappiness

I often wonder why some people decide to begin the journey of looking within themselves and others do not. I know in my case, my motivation was severe depression and pure unhappiness. Resentment, loneliness, and sadness were mixed in there as well. For me, it was a matter of survival. I knew if I didn’t find a way to change the way I was feeling, I may not make it. That’s the truth. The journey of looking within oneself is not easy. Questioning everything you ever thought to be true can be very scary. It can feel as though your whole life is changing and the world as you know it is no longer there. Both of these statements are true. Your world will change, sometimes drastically, and the world as you knew it will no longer be. I suppose this is the reason so many people never even step foot on the road to looking within. What these people will never know then, is that this journey is incredible! Healing from the inside out is the most rewarding experience and, in my opinion, one of the reasons we are here in these physical bodies. I don’t believe we are here to suffer and to feel miserable and angry. I believe we are here to discover the truth we were born with, and to feel infinite amounts of love. I think I am here and you are here, to discover that we *are* love, pure love, and that we are magnificent beings who are all attached to each other by a thread that connects us all.

it is a spiritual process

I know that at the beginning of my journey, I was unaware of  many possibilities and ideas. I had been repressing my feelings(my truth) for so long, I had no idea I was covering my true self up. I never knew to question who I was. Depression took over my life, and my feelings became unbearable. I knew something was very wrong. The way I felt could not possibly be as good as it gets.  I began looking for help. I signed up for a six week healing group for women. It opened my eyes to so many things about myself. It opened my heart in a way I had never experienced. Being with and learning from other women was a huge leap onto the path I continue on today. From this group I found my therapist, who is incredible. I believe she has been integral in my growth because she did and continues to do her own growth work. I believe a therapist can only take us as far along on our path to healing as they have gone on their own path. I believe this is why I went to several therapists before my current one, and left feeling just as bad as when I started! There is so much more to good therapy than just sitting there talking and listening. So much more. It is a spiritual process.

I made the choice to look at myself and to process the resentment, anger, sadness, loneliness, and most importantly, to learn to *feel* my feelings

I have been on this path for quite a few years now. I can honestly say that my depression has been gone for awhile now. I believe this is because I made the choice to look at myself and to process the resentment, anger, sadness, loneliness, and most importantly, to learn to *feel* my feelings. I processed so many emotions that had been stuck inside me. I acknowledged them, felt them, and then let them leave my body. Sometimes they would resurface, sometimes not. If they resurfaced, it meant I didn’t get it all out the first time, and this is okay! Little by little, my depression began to lift. Sometimes it was three steps forward, two steps back. This is part of the process. The habit of repressing your feelings(your truth), is not always simple to change, especially if you have been doing it most of your life. So, the important thing to remember is to be gentle with yourself throughout the process. Even if the voice inside your head is self-hate, keep telling yourself, “I AM LOVE”. Even if that doesn’t feel true YET, keep saying it.

it is simply impossible for your “world” to be the same as it was before you started your journey

Once I started feeling better, I made the assumption that the relationships in my life would stay the same! I know, right? How could that be possible? Unless everyone in your life is also working on their own inner life, and growing along with you, it is simply impossible for your “world” to be the same as it was before you started your journey. So, this is where I had to learn about the capabilities of others. I couldn’t assume that because I was growing and changing, everyone else in my life would as well. This is very far from the truth. I had to learn to accept the fact that we are all on different growth time lines and paths. Our journeys all look different. Even when we end up in the same place, the journey to get there looks very different. Honestly, acknowledging the truth that some people in my life are not always capable(and I don’t mean this in a bad way, it is just where they are) of accepting where I am on my path was a difficult process for me. It was difficult to accept the fact that they are not capable of being emotionally available in a way I need them to be. For the most part, I have accepted this, and I find other ways to fulfill my needs. There are still times when I wish for things to be different. But things are as they are, and that is the truth in this moment. Accepting this truth has not been easy. If we continue to wish for someone to change, we prolong our own suffering. We are fighting against *what is*. I learned to accept what is true in each moment by allowing myself to feel my feelings about that truth. I had to feel the sadness and the disappointment of the truth that some people in my life are not capable right now to give me what I need. I had to feel the anger and the resentment of the truth that they are not able to see who I really am. I also had to let these people know how I was feeling about this fact. Once I was able to feel my truth, and say my truth I was able to get to the place of accepting what is true in this moment.

This is a short video (1:47)  talking about how we all share the same open secret:

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Connection, Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Self-love | No Comments »
RSS