There is an Asian pottery technique called kintsugi which means “golden repair.” When a ceramic gets broken, it is glued together and afterward, the broken pieces are highlighted rather than hidden in order to see the art of seeing beauty in the imperfections. This adds to the aesthetic beauty, instead of taking away from it. Rumi said that “there is a crack in everything, that is where the light comes in.”
Similar to this Asian technique, we are all broken or wounded in some way. The scars make us unique, strengthen our resolve, and give us the lessons which shape our lives.
What is Grief?
Grief is a great sorrow and/or loss. Grief can take many forms including a loved ones death, going through a divorce or breakup, or even grieving parts of our lives that were shaped by living with shame and abandonment. This can bring a great loss and void into your life if left unhealed.
The grieving process consists of:
- Denial and isolation
Grief and Shame
Brené Brown said, “Shame is real pain. The importance of social acceptance and connection is reinforced by our brain chemistry, and the pain that results from social rejection and disconnection is real pain. In a 2011 study, researchers found that, as far as the brain is concerned, physical pain and intense experiences of social rejection hurt in the same way. when I define shame as an intensely ‘painful experience,’ I’m not kidding. Neuroscience advances confirm what we’ve known all along: emotions can hurt and cause pain.” These feelings of shame and emotional pain can cause deep grief and emotional pain if unhealed.
Try to accept parts of yourself that are grieving and try to understand that these feelings represent the experiences you have had, not who you are. You can heal from them.
How do you move through Grief?
Research has shown that expressive writing can heal shame.
By writing in a journal to explore your inner turmoil, you are shedding light on your internal wounds which can invoke heal ing. I recommend writing after a meditation session to help you heal from the shame and process the emotions that have surfaced through the meditation.
Some recommended writing prompts are:
- Writing about your feelings/thoughts
- Free writing (writing about anything you desire)
- Writing About Your Past
- Writing from a different perspective about your situation
- Writing from your stream of consciousness (whatever comes to mind)
As you meditate, memories might arise that may cause you to feel emotions such as sadness, anger, and fear, to name a few. Feel them completely. Grieve them completely. Cry over them if you need to. Then release them.
Meditation can also encourage you to release grief.
Start meditating for five minutes each day. After you are comfortable with this level, continue to increase the minutes by five until you are meditating for half an hour every day. As you grow in your meditation practice, your mind will become increasingly quiet as you learn to ignore intrusive, ruminating thoughts. You will also notice other benefits such as more awareness and better sleep.
Steps to Meditate
- Sit or lie down.
- Put your hand on your solar plexus (above you navel) or heart to connect to your body.
- Focus on your breath. Inhale through your nose, exhale out of the mouth.
- When a thought comes in, focus on your breath. Think of your thoughts as clouds billowing through the sky.
- Continue to focus on your breath.
- Do this as many times as needed.
By allowing yourself to feel and process the emotions from the past, you are beginning the process of accepting what has happened to you. Not only will acceptance be the last stage of the grieving process, but you will also feel a great deal of peace once you have truly accepted your circumstances. This can be extremely difficult so move at your own pace and be gentle with yourself.
Emotions are feelings in movement and emotions must have movement in order to be processed and released. That means you have to process the emotions to let them go.
It is human nature to want to push away what causes deep suffering because it reminds us of mortality. Even so, by embracing our suffering we are connecting to the crucified Jesus. Indeed, joy and suffering are not separate but are united to bring us closer to Jesus Christ.
By living mindfully and building a strong meditation practice, you are making a powerful decision to live from a place of authenticity and empowerment. Only by diving into yourself will you fully understand yourself, accept yourself, and love yourself deeply.
Lastly, reach out for support.
If you are truly struggling with grief, reach out for help. Therapists can help and so can coaches who specialize in healing grief, such as a grief coach.
Grief is an extremely difficult emotion, but healing and hope is on the other side.
If you need support with grief, I will be hosting a FREE Virtual Relationship Workshop with Grief Coach, Pat Sheveland on October 10th at 7pm central. This workshop is intended to help you release grief as you move toward your next chapter.
Click here to register.
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