The Value of Grief


We live in a culture where we are all in ‘pursuit of happiness’. The subtle and powerful beliefs we hold is that if we’re not happy, then something is wrong. It is acceptable in our culture to have moments of grief or sadness, however these feelings are expected to shift relatively quickly and to return to ‘normal’.

What does happen when we experience grief as a natural flow in our lives? One that we don’t put a timeline on or try to reason with or rationalize? Our tears flow their sweet flow. The experience of grief often tenderizes and softens us in a way that no other emotion can lead us to. Our hearts melt as we drop from our minds into our feeling state. Essentially, we’re opening ourselves up to this moment and all the gifts it has to bring.

In moments of grief over the loss of a deceased one, we can connect with the presence of that soul. Or, we learn to bow our heads down and surrender to the flow of our emotions. The mind becomes less powerful and we can find ourselves entering into the mystery and the unknown. At times. we can get to experience the fullness of ourselves as we let go of control and compartmentalizing parts of our inner experience. We may even experience the depths and actual strength of our heart. In fact, some may even say that allowing our feelings of grief actually strengthens our hearts.

What are the gifts you experience when you allow yourself to experience your sadness and/or grief?

There are myriad reasons that bring up feelings of grief. In fact, grief can be an experience even when we are transitioning in some part of our lives that is actually exciting and for the better. This is because we’re often letting go of something that is familiar or habitual, and possibly even something that no longer serves us. We can feel like we’re letting go of a part of ourselves.

Living in a culture where there isn’t space for grief can feel very isolating. If we acknowledge our grief with others who have somehow suppressed their own feelings of grief, we can feel unheard or doubt can creep up that there is something wrong with what we are feeling. In that very isolation, we can sometimes feel like our grief is stuck. We can miss the presence and connection of another in our experience that deepens our own sense of feeling and which can be healing.

We may end up beating ourselves up for being stuck in feelings of grief and sadness. Those of us who are familiar with the law of attraction may further rationalize that we are in a ‘low’ vibration and again make ourselves wrong for feeling what we are feeling.

If you are experiencing grief in any part of your life, I invite you to hold in your palms this precious feeling that is arising for you. Allow yourself to open to and recognize your precious self, as it is, in this moment. Ask yourself the question ‘what if the timing of my grief is as it should be?’ What do you notice happens as you do this?

May we all recognize the preciousness of who we are and all that we experience. May we allow ourselves to receive the gifts, treasures, softening, heart opening that is available when we allow ourselves to experience this moment as it is. May we allow our fullness of experience and become a presence of healing for others in allowing others to have the fullness of their experience.

The Well of Grief by David Whyte

Those who will not slip beneath
the still surface on the well of grief

turning downward through its black water
to the place we cannot breathe

will never know the source from which we drink,
the secret water, cold and clear,

nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else.

Please share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. I would love to hear from you!




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