We live in a society that allows little space for the grief process, it is often an isolating and lonely feeling reality to be in. Grieving feels like the world is going on and everyone else is living; meanwhile, you watch life happen, but don’t feel as though you exist in the current flow of it all.
Grief is a part of life’s journey. How we recover from grief is very personal. Grieving becomes an individualized chapter in our story as it gets woven into the fabric of what shapes us moving forward. Some days can feel like the grief will never lift, which is why the emotional release is such a necessary expression to allow. Other days we are able to access hope for the future as we use our grief as fertilizer for the blossoming of what has yet to come.
The stages of grief have been identified as:
This is not a linear process and depending on what you are grieving, time has a big influence on how quickly you gain acceptance.
Oftentimes when relationships end, one or both involved have been grieving the loss of intimacy within the space of the relationship. When there is an abrupt ending, the stages of grief can be experienced for a long time as one sifts through the resistance of not having had a say in the matter.
Resistance is the culprit to feeling the not-so-feel-good feelings that accompany grief. This can be a real problem if you are a fixer, a strategist, an enabler, or codependent.
The strategies on how to gain acceptance can sound patronizing to those in depression or anger, particularly if the ending is something that can’t be undone.
There is an aspect of being able to lean-into the pain which allows grief to be your teacher. Trying to do this too quickly can lead to great despair; which is why time is something you give yourself permission to honor and hold space for in your grieving process.
The concept of the hero’s journey as identified by Joseph Campbell* is a mythological guide to help navigate the inner journey that occurs as we grieve. The Hero’s Journey has three distinct steps: separation, initiation, and return. It can be helpful to conceptualize grief as a teacher leading the way to a greater expansion of self on a soul-level as part of your life’s journey.
Learning to navigate the unforeseen twists and turns with a sense of hope is aided by the ability to hold space for deeper, far-reaching understanding that develops as time passes. The other gift that time offers is that memories don’t tend to come into your mental replay as often as they do in the early stages of grief.
Here is a three-step daily mindfulness practice to prompt your awareness to your resistance in your grief recovery:
1. Make a written list of all your resistance statements surrounding your loss Here are some examples:
- I don’t have time
- I have so much “to do”
- I can’t do all these adult responsibility things – it’s too much
- I need a break
- I miss what we used to have
- I want them/him/her back
2. Write next to your resistance statement how the statement makes you feel
- Pain (hurt, pity, sad, lonely)
- Anger (resentment, irritation, frustration)
- Fear (apprehension, overwhelmed, threatened)
- Shame (embarrassment, humble)
- Guilt (regretful, contrite, remorseful)
3. Write a new statement that moves the emotional dial, even if just slightly, to a higher-vibrational state of being
- Joy (happy, elated, hopeful)
- Passion (enthusiasm, desire, zest)
- Love (affection, tenderness, compassion, warmth)
The concept of this exercise is not to stay in denial, it is to expand your awareness surrounding how your self-statements can keep you in a feeling state. This is also an exercise to help alleviate feelings of despair. Oftentimes, we get stuck in ruminating on thoughts that aren’t serving us.
Life’s journey has many lessons, but one of the most powerful is learning the power found in –
Realigning to more positive affirmative statements within your self-talk
Here are some ways to practice realigning:
You have the opportunity in your life to change your state of being or the position you hold when you realign to a new thought or perspective as you challenge your current state of resistance.
You get to choose what you align to. Your life force is the sum total of what you align and anchor to.
The energy in the feeling state of hope, self-love, compassion, and gratitude carries a higher frequency of energy than the feeling state of fear, doubt, anger, and despair. This lower-energy held too long in the body leads to hopelessness, which leads to depression, anxiety, and destructive tactics to self-soothe and potentially disease (dis-ease).
Realigning to energy that is expansive and then affirming what you desire vs. what you don’t want is a powerful law-of-attraction practice. This can seem really woo-woo to a lot of people; but in grief, most of us want to feel better, this is a simple and effective way to do so.
When you claim what it is you desire, and look beyond the limitations of the time-space reality you currently hold and claim the peace you are looking for, you bring it closer to you. There is great peace found in being in the now, but if your now isn’t bringing that sense of peace, try aligning to a thought where you experience the feeling state of peace. If you are in grief over the loss of a loved one — can you create space to be with them on a soul-level in a more meditative space?
Accept Your Imperfection
Part of being human is remembering the spiritual aspects of energy, prayer, the practice of gratitude, the law of attraction and whatever other tools you have to connect to a larger perspective and then — forget — this is the nature of being human.
Each moment you chose, you can be in your creative spiritual power by intentionally realigning and affirming that you have all that you need to make the most of this wonderful life and all the growing pains it brings.
Remember Your Divinity
Life’s struggles offer many lessons and if you are willing to pause long enough to realign to your own inner wisdom, your own knowing, your own divinity — you will find hope, love, faith, and peace dwelling within your innermost being. Each one of us has an intuitive self, tap into that space, invite the divine, and listen to what bubbles up from within as you listen to what your internal directive wants you to hear.
If you have a difficult time accessing the highest self within and you want more knowledge of how to do so and feel the nudge to have a coaching session on how to gain access amidst the inner struggle of grief; I would delight in holding space for you to process and align with a more joyful and hopeful state.
You can contact me here.
*if you want to learn more about The Hero’s Journey my favorite book is by Thomas Moore entitled: Dark Nights of the Soul
*note: feeling grief and allowing your body to release feelings is a necessary component to being able to create space to realign… it must not be skipped or it will leak out in random moments — give yourself permission to feel*