Friday, August 23, 2013

The Healing Power of Grief

So often we don't want to deal with our emotions. Maybe we think it's weak, or perhaps we're busy with our lives so our heavy emotions are never processed, but rather, tucked away and hidden in the crevices of our hearts. We hope such anger, resentment, bitterness, pain and sorrow never shows up again. We place so much emphasis on always feeling good, that we hide, deny and repress negative feelings, much to our detriment. In order to experience freedom, joy and contentment in our lives, we must learn to face our emotions, even the uncomfortable ones. Every part of our experience has something to teach us.

One emotion that is in ample supply when you are lacking self-love is grief. What is grief? Grief is the sorrow felt from the loss of love. If you are experiencing feelings of low worth or low self esteem, then you can bet that you have unresolved grief locked up in your heart. That's because somewhere along the way you needed unconditional love, but instead you were denied, rejected or cast away for whatever reason. Today you may be repeating that pattern within your own psyche, injuring yourself repeatedly with negative self-talk, some of which you may not even be conscious...

The reasons are not as important as understanding that any wounds you've ever experienced in your life must be healed or else you'll walk around reacting to it in your present day-to-day environment. Your old emotional wounds can be triggered from seemingly benign instances. You may overreact and then blame yourself for your own ineptitude. This is why it's important to face the pain in your heart that is blocking your vision of your true self--the only part of you that can give and receive true love to you and others. And stop blaming yourself while you're at it. Practice self compassion.

Back to grief. Grief is the by-product of the loss of love. When we love someone and we lose that person--this includes ourselves--grief is what remains. If we've had that grief our whole lives, we may not even know that the pain we feel is grief, and we may not know why we're grieving. People who suffer from depression are often bundles of unresolved grief, but they can't access it because they hate themselves too much to go inside and dig around.

Grieving has a distinct feeling in your heart. You need to learn yourself to the extent that you can tell when you're grieving, when your angry, sad, mad, happy, content. You must know yourself if you are to love yourself. See if you can learn what grieving feels like in your heart... be mindful. Think about how you feel inside when you are grieved, your muscle tightness, breathing patterns, thought patterns--you may find the feeling in interesting places... This may bring insight that helps you find pockets of grief that need releasing.

Grieving is the key to healing... very similar to tears. Tears are a chemical compound that actually wash your eyes, and flushes toxins out of your body. Likewise grief. Grief, that is, the emotional processing of loss, is cathartic and restorative. If you can discover that which needs to be resolved, and what losses from your childhood (or past) need to be processed, you can experience a monumental healing experience and awaken parts of you that you never knew existed.

You want to lean into the pain and face it rather than run away and hide. Only when you go through the pain can you learn what it has to teach and heal from life's hurts. If you want to grow and expand your awareness and experience fulness and freedom, then you will need to move beyond the pain. You must grieve your losses and face your shadows. Only when you're brave enough to delve into your pain will you be given the gift of insight and emotional maturity.

Unresolved grief is painful. This means you've never faced the loss and the pain never goes away. Unresolved grief stands in the way of your self-perception, blocking you from seeing and understanding what's really happening inside. Unresolved grief keeps you from loving yourself because it blocks you from yourself so you can't see the beauty that you are. This is why it's so important to dig deep and face whatever hurts us--beneath the pain of grief is the beauty that is you. Go ahead and release yourself to grieve... it's like a good cry for the injustice of life. Ahhhhhhh...


  1. Love it... About 4 and a half years ago, I experienced the loss of love from a woman that I was married to for nearly 20 years. 3 years ago my son and his best friend got run over by a teen driving a pickup truck. His friend died and he is still recovering. 2 years ago, lost my inspiration for life, my dad who died of cancer. Grief is something I know all too well... Love what you wrote. Enjoyed it greatly

  2. I'm sorry to hear that, David. That is very sad. :( Life always makes up for it, so long as we keep looking up. Keep trusting. Keep having faith for a better tomorrow.