Grief: The only way out is through
Grief, burn out, too much on my plate. It doesn't matter what you call it. "It" brought to my knees once again this summer. I thought I could bypass all the experiences of being human because I knew so much, I have helped others do this, I have so many tools in my tools box, I have walked the path before and it is familiar. Alas, I am now keenly aware that while the name of the path may seem the same the experience of walking it is unique each time. The landscape is different and the time it takes you to travel it is altogether unpredictable.
Heartache and loss are not unique to humans.
I have seen my dog grieve this loss too. In fact we have been companions holding space for each other, forcing each other to walk, to eat, to have fun, to cuddle, and to reach out when it seems impossible or horrible to do so.
I have worked my healing using heartbreak strategies and it has been a lighthouse.
The feelings and thoughts are still intense: anger, sadness, blame, depression, bargaining, ruminating, numbness, rage, pain (physical and emotional)...but the landmarks I have set up to help me have marked my way.
I asked friends to call and for dinners to remind me I am lovable, not alone, and cared for. I have very close friends who I had told my mindful health strategies to (green smoothies, walks, runs, talking, connecting with friends, meditation, Abraham, Bryon Katie, etc.), and asked them if they would remind me if I forgot...I have to say this is a little annoying when you are knee deep in pain and the sadness of a relationship ending, but the tiny part of me that was really ok listened and took small steps to do the strategy that seemed most doable. Slow and steady is key. All at once can create chaos.
The part of my mind that meditates watched the whole thing. I remember feeling numb to the beauty of a sunset and my children laughing and sharing with my friend that I knew I should be feeling something...she breathed with me. It lasted two days. My friend reminded me that deep rest and gentleness where needed and you know what -they were.
Having my heartbreak friends/doula's was and is key to riding the roller coaster of grief.
Daily the pain is less and less. I am feeling more alive. I am noticing that there are interesting people in the world and exciting things going on. I am getting curious about dipping my toe in the ocean of love and risk. Slowly and with great compassion I move forward. Trusting my inner timing.
Do you have any lighthouse strategies that work well for you? I would love to add more to my tool box, please leave a comment below.
If you have feelings of numbness, hopelessness or pain please consult a practitioner you trust. I checked in several times with my medical professionals, healers, and coaches to make sure grief hadn't flipped to Depression.