HOLDING GRIEF PROHIBITS JOY FROM EMERGING

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I have worked through various degrees and stages of grief and loss over the last couple of years, and I felt like I had completely made it through to the other side. Well, at least that’s what my denial would have had me believe. I was done, not dealing with any more grief, and it was time to move on. Yet, there was still a niggling of something tugging at me under the surface, like an elastic band pulling me back every time I tried to run forward. Denial…. I was not in grief nor did I have anything more I needed to look at. Yes, I could just keep convincing myself into true joy, not that I do not feel joy, but that I had to try sometimes way too hard to cover the sadness and loneliness that would creep in. I both felt joy, and it seemed like a foreign emotion to me at the same time. This grief that I was stuffing deep down and avoiding was prohibiting joy from emerging and the embodiment of it.
This old grief which I had already once visited was held by a small frail part of me that did not and could not understand why, why this was happening to her. She held a grief and sense of loss of a childhood like all the happy kids were having. She thought she was alone, different than everyone else, and was being punished but didn’t know why. She lived in fear and was always looking for places to hide, where she could be safe. She felt so much shame and disgust with herself.
I sat down with her and the grief again, but this time I was able to listen. The last time we spoke all I could do for her was place her in a safe place free from hiding and living in fear. But, I also left her alone in this place with the responsibility of holding all the grief. She was burdened by a weighted sac upon her tiny shoulders of should of, could haves, if only, and would haves. The one holding the sac together read “I should have been allowed to be a child.” I had been angry and resentful and there was no understanding, no clarity for the whys.
If only I would have told, I should have made someone understand me, I should have said no, I should have ran away, I could have yelled and screamed and fought back, I would have not felt different than all the other kids, I wouldn’t have had to endure all this pain throughout my life, I could have been successful instead of hiding from the world, if only I wouldn’t have let this effect me……. If only… I should have….why….
I grieved the loss of innocence, childlike curiosity, of joy, and passion as I believed for so long that it was taken away from me. But this time as I sat down face to face with this grief, we both held a new perspective and transformation was ready to take place. I looked into this child’s pleading eyes and allowed this grief to wash over me. She was ready to let this pain go, she did not want to carry the weight anymore, and just wanted to run and play in this meadow with the other children now waiting for her. I understood also that I never lost anything; nothing was ever taken from me. I have experienced the innocence, childlike curiosity, joy, and passion being sparked inside of me lately, and recognize now that it has always been there. I understand and remember who I have always been. The experience is a memory and I can now look past that, deeper into the essence of me. I don’t just see, I feel my beauty. It doesn’t matter if we are dressed in our fanciest clothes, or rolling around in the mud covered from head to toe, underneath we are still the same person. All I used to see when I looked in the mirror was the filth.
I felt this pain and then we let it go. Together on the soft grassy earth we opened the dusty old sac and blue butterflies emerged. The should haves transformed and took flight and is opening me into a newer sensation of joy with a childlike curiosity exploring this fragrant meadow with new eyes.
As this process unfolded my body has also been expressing this release. I sat down by a waterfall and let my tears be washed away. It started with a burning in my lungs and I found it hard to breathe deeply, (this lasted close to a week). Within hours of giving the grief permission to leave, my body began to ache as the energy of the grief stored in my tissues released. It was an evening of almost unbearable but necessary cleansing. I felt incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin, and it was almost too much to even drink water. The next day the headache started and a heavy pressure and fog in the middle of my brain set it. My mood and thought pattern changed and a deep dark depression settled in. I dove head first into the depths of it and by the 3rd day I pulled the covers over my head and spent most of the day in bed. Then I began to pull myself together again, and I recognize the pattern of how I have dealt with grief. I shut down and pulled the sensations deeper into my body, I hid from the world. I also understand that when I start feeling unlike myself, along with the pain in my head that my sphenoid had shifted. Within an hour of having someone work on it, I felt the shift back to myself and the fog lift.
Now I’m not really sure how the grief and releasing of it connects in with my sphenoid, but I am reminded once again of the effects and impact on the body of holding and denying emotions. Perhaps releasing the grief allowed next for the depression to be set free. I have become less concerned with figuring out with my brain why something is happening to me, and instead listen more closely to what my body has to tell me. My process has become much less traumatic and I flow quicker and easier through whatever arises. When I feel the resistance, the hesitation, my mind racing with fear, the knot in my stomach, I know it is time to stop, get really quiet and listen.

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