As you know these past few months have been challenging for me personally as my husband and I experienced the miscarriage of our first baby in the summer time. Along with the challenges this process has also given me so many nuggets of wisdom; way more than reading about grief in a therapy textbook! So I'm here to reflect to you what I'm continuing to learn in hopes that it will help you if you're navigating any grief, especially over the holiday season which can bring up a lot for us all.
1. The biggest experience for me has been understanding even more deeply that my grieving is not a logical process. There's no plan or steps that my grief wants to follow. There's no space to try and reason with it when I'm sensing deep sadness or other big emotions.
So for those of us who have a stronger tendency to focus on our logical thoughts and meet life this way, then grieving can be a stretch for us.
2. The next piece is that grief doesn't have a time line, end point, or moment of completion. Grief is an evolution and an unfolding.
Again, this is a reminder to our beautiful logical mind that time and space are required when we're processing and moving through the grief that may arise during a loss.
3. Next, grief has many sister and brother emotions that can arise. Grief can look and feel like anger and rage. It's face may turn and seem like disconnection or apathy. And the next moment grief might include a twinkle of joy and hope.
So for me, I've given myself big permission to allow all of the different aspects of my grieving to unfold and to understand that there are different layers to this whole experience.
With the holidays upon us, we might feel that everything in our life is heightened right now. Maybe there's a sensory overload with the lights, music, and food. Maybe there's an increased mental pressure with the lists of to-do's. Maybe there's an emotional high as we anticipate the joys of spending time with loved ones.
And maybe, our losses are even more apparent.
**Remember loss can include no longer having a loved one close to us, either through death, illness, separation/divorce, the ending of a romantic relationship or friendship. And loss can also look like: the loss of hopes and dreams, changes in our financial or work situation which can feel like a loss, or even a change in our abilities (for example our energy levels or ability to be present might be different this holiday season than last).**
So there can be many different ways that we might be experiencing grief. There can be many different ways that we each sense a loss.
This is the invitation to give yourself permission to be gentle while you hold many different thoughts and emotions. And the permission to also ask your body and heart what they need over the holidays. AND the permission to check in with your inner child too (remember that blog post on reparenting!)
I hope that this helps you soften into self-compassion if you're navigating an experience of loss and grief. And perhaps it will help you offer compassion to others when we might not understand what they're experiencing, but perhaps it might include a loss.
One accountability disclaimer...this is not an invitation to forget about our beautiful logical mind, or daily activities. This is an invitation to offer a rhythm to our emotions, thoughts, body sensations, and day by moving through and staying with the many different parts of ourselves and our story!
I wish you the holiday season and New Year that you need most. I pray blessings of hope, love, acceptance, and harmony for you and your loved ones. And I also share the deepest appreciation for you - for whatever way you support me and my business - I'm so grateful that you're here with me. Thank you for trusting me and thank you for being open to what I'm offering you.
Blessings and thanks,