HOW TO NURTURE YOURSELF THROUGH GRIEF

Grief is something quite familiar to me as I have experienced the loss of my husband, my father, and numerous life/identity changes. Grief is a natural response to any loss of attachment (i.e. death, divorce, moving, changing jobs, any life or identity change, etc.), which is an ending to a former way of life. The following are suggestions of skills I find beneficial in gracefully riding the waves of grief.

LOVE YOURSELF

A way to love yourself, is to give yourself permission to rest in your Divinity. Too often we are busy doing for others or distracting ourselves with endless stimuli to include self-defeating and limiting thoughts/beliefs. All the while your inner guidance is inviting you for a retreat within. This doesn’t have to be a lengthy activity, but a short respite lasting even a minute is helpful.

Centering or grounding yourself with breath, meditation, and/or prayer are ways of offering yourself a retreat. I enjoy utilizing intentions with diaphragmatic breathing. If you are not familiar with diaphragmatic breathing, then do a little research on the internet. There are numerous resources explaining the benefits of diaphragmatic breathing and how to apply the skill.

As I practice this deep breathing, I say intentions on the in-breath and on the out-breath. The following is an example of how this may work: with a deep inhale, say in your mind “I Am” and as you exhale say “Safe”; repeating on the in-breath: “I Am” and on the out-breath: “Calm”; breathing in “I Am” and breathing out “Peace”; and finally, breathing in “I Am” and breathing out “Love”.

The intentions are any words that lift your vibration. Once you are centered, imagine being embraced by complete love, warmth, and compassion. This imagery may include feelings, words, symbols, people living or deceased, yourself, spiritual beings, pets, light, or whatever resonates with you most.

ACKNOWLEDGE AND ACCEPT YOUR EMOTIONS

Acknowledging and accepting your emotions is key for allowing the emotion to naturally rise, flow through your body, and dissipate. It is helpful to use simple statements to identify the feelings such as: “I feel sad”, “Sad”, “Angry”, “Afraid”, or “I’m grieving”. By making these statements you are allowing the feeling to be present thus accepting its existence.

Simplifying the statements prevents the addition of negative storylines that may keep you stuck in a cycle of suffering. Negative storylines are additional thoughts or beliefs attached to the emotion; typically self-defeating or limiting in nature (i.e. “no one loves me”; “bad things always happen to me”; I’m not good enough”; “I’m always alone”; “I don’t deserve love” etc.). It is most likely if you investigate these beliefs you will find they are not 100% true, but tend to frequently lead the way. I will include another blog topic at a later date on how to challenge these storylines.

When we allow the emotion to be present without attachment of storylines, it passes naturally and without resistance. Imagine your emotions as water flowing with ease through a conduit (like your body). If a block is placed in the conduit, then the water will back up and stop flowing eventually causing stagnation. Stagnation can harbor dis-ease. By releasing the blocks with love, Divine energy may once again flow with ease.

Unraveling our minds does take practice so be patient and kind with yourself. It is detrimental to “hate” the self-defeating thoughts/beliefs because it perpetuates the cycle of suffering. As you become aware of negative storylines, gently and compassionately return to the practice described above as if you are guiding a child or someone/something you adore. Remind yourself they are just thoughts NOT you.

REACH OUT

Grief at times has a tendency to make you feel quite isolated. By reaching out you remind yourself although you feel lonely you are never alone. Spirit is always with us and manifests both in the seen and unseen worlds.

Ask someone you trust to send you positive energy or prayers, to listen, and to validate your feelings. This someone or multiple beings can be living, transitioned (deceased), angels, spirit guides, ascended masters, pets, or whomever resonates with you and has the ability to provide positive support.

By reaching out, you share the burden of your grief and offer another being an opportunity of giving and you an opportunity of receiving. It is a reciprocal exchange of love and a way of helping you feel deserving of love. In addition, you are offering yourself another opportunity to acknowledge/accept your feelings by bringing difficult emotions from the darkness to the light with the help of another. Other effective ways of reaching out in addition to or instead of verbal means include: journaling, automatic writing, poetry, or writing a letter.

Finally, express gratitude for their and your own support. Gratitude is an excellent way to raise your vibrational frequency and elevate your energy.

MY EXPERIENCE USING THE COPING SKILLS

I woke feeling depleted and irritable. Immediately the thought, “what is this now?”, was present in my mind as I noticed the tone of my internal voice was a bit edgy and quite annoyed. I got up to start the morning routine while closely monitoring and observing my internal state. I knew based on my own inner work when I felt fatigued it was cuing me of an attachment to limiting thoughts/beliefs.

I experimented by using gratitude to raise my vibration and began repeating, “I adore my life”, as I was making my daughter’s breakfast and lunch for school. Yes, it was beginning to shift the negative energy, but the block was deeper. Something was emerging from the darkness wanting to see the light. I noticed under the feeling of irritation there was sadness. And then it hit me, my daughter is turning 15 years old this month, will be starting driver’s education to obtain her learner’s permit, and once again my late husband is not here the way we want for yet another huge milestone.

“I’m doing this ALL alone, AGAIN” was the thought cycling in my mind. And then the old storylines came rushing up as if an internal dam broke (i.e. “I always have to be strong for everyone else”; “I always have to do it alone”). I found myself plummeting into the darkness as these storylines attached themselves to my emotions like heavy concrete blocks. I noticed my breathing changed and was quite shallow. I dropped numerous items in the kitchen because my mind was spinning with self-defeating thoughts.

Taking a deep breath, I slowed it enough to interrupt the cyclic energy. I said out loud, “I will nurture myself”, noticing my tone was loving, but strong. I centered with breath and imagined a beautiful warm, golden light surrounding and holding me. Upon this imagery, I noticed two hands coming towards mine and gently embraced them. I sensed it was him, my late husband, supporting me. I stated, “I’m grieving”, with no other thoughts or beliefs attached to the statement. I literally felt as though the bondages of the storylines unraveled and fell to the floor. My mind was clear, my breathing was deeper, and I could feel my vibration lifting, opening my heart.

After I dropped my daughter off at school, I decided to reach out to my best friend and my mother requesting positive energy and prayers. For me, allowing others to share my experience is a working progress. They both lovingly validated my feelings.

My best friend offered a different perspective of my experience and reminded me the excitement of this rite of passage (learning to drive). She also reminded me to recall our experience at that age allowing me to awaken my inner child; remembering the many laughs we shared. My mother and I discussed the trap of staying stuck in negativity and the importance of honoring your feelings; allowing them to flow and pass without unnecessary blocks.

The results from this practice was movement out of the cycle of suffering and movement towards a higher vibration of love and compassion for my experience. The sadness passed with ease without hindrance and actual excitement arose.

At times during the day, my old negative storylines were tempting me back, but I gently interrupted the pattern with shorter/briefer versions of the practice above. Rather than projecting negativity towards my daughter, I was able to reverberate excitement and happiness in order to aid her anxiety and fear of this rite of passage (Learning to Drive!!!).

Thank you Spirit for providing an opportunity for healing.

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The purpose of this blog is to share with you how I integrate my professional mental health experience, personal experience, and spiritual awareness in the form of coping skills. By sharing my experience, it is my hope it will provide a practical example how to interrupt and eventually resolve the cyclic energy of suffering and to elevate your energy! Please visit my Facebook page: Divine Healing: Poetry and Coping Skills (https://www.facebook.com/DivineHealing.Poetry.Coping) or my website: http://divinehealingmastery.com to learn more about me and to read my poetry.

PLEASE BE ADVISED

The coping skills provided in this blog are meant as a tool to aid in healing and not for psychotherapy or social work practice requiring a contractual, professional relationship. If you need consistent therapeutic care and/or crisis intervention due to being at risk of harming yourself or others, then seek professional and/or emergency services immediately.

These skills work best when you are ready to heal. It is OK if you are not quite ready. Please be gentle and patient with yourself. You will heal when you are ready. Sending you so much love, warmth, and compassion.

Kindly,

Stacy

© Stacy L. Pintor 2016. All Rights Reserved.

(No part of this blog may be reproduced without written permission from the author.)