Why Do I Hurt?

Grief has been a close companion as of late.

Grief and I have been unashamedly baring our souls to each other.  And it is a lot like buying a Prius. Once you decide to buy that Prius, you start to see Prius' everywhere.  When you open yourself up to grief, it is everywhere. 

Oh, I've been worryin' that my time is a little unclear
I've been worryin' that I'm losing the ones I hold dear

In my recent weeks at the meditation school, I've witnessed grief while working with clients healing back pain and releasing trauma held in physical scars.  For example, I worked on a friend's scar.  She had broken her leg and had been walking with a limp for months.  We worked together, then later I saw her in the lodge.  She saw me and burst into tears.  She had walked to the lodge without a limp and without even thinking about her leg. 

The miracle was not that she walked normally that day.  That felt miraculous, but she still had healing to do.  The amazing and humbling part was the way she had the courage to feel the depth of her emotion.  In the crying, she released the trauma. 

...the fear that she may never walk normally again
...the grief of how the trauma impacted her and its lingering effects on her life.
...the worry of how this injury would continue to haunt her in the future.

The fear and grief had encapsulated themselves in her scar and had been part of what kept her limping after all those months.   Her willingness to feel the emotions was key in releasing the trauma, and in doing so, helped to heal the physical wound.

I've been worryin' that we all live our lives in the confines of fear

Our emotions have to live somewhere.  If we don’t let them out, they bury themselves in our body.  If there is one emotion we try to avoid, it's grief.  We try like hell to bury grief.  Because, frankly, it can be devastating.  We will feel anything else in order not to feel grief. 

I’ve been watching all the ways that I see grief get covered up, hidden within our physical pain and tucked into the deep shadows of our body.  We hide it with anger.  Anxiety.  Control.  We hide it  by numbing ourselves.  Somehow these options feel more palatable.  Anger and control feel powerful.  Numbing and anxiety are distracting.

And yet, the problem is that when we choose a cover-up emotion, the grief remains.  So we keep getting angry over and over, not even sure why, as our body cloaks the grief from arising to the surface.

The beauty in exploring grief is that it has a way of blowing you open.  For me, the more I experience grief the more I know, I am not my pain.  I am not my grief.  It will not destroy me.  It won’t destroy you either.  You might be blown open and raw, but like the aftermath of a storm, the air is cleaner, the land is cleansed, debris is gone and life feels fresh and new again.

Come on love, come on love
Watch me fall apart, watch me fall apart

In speaking with a psychologist recently about work at rehab clinics, he said that in almost every rehab client he had, there was unresolved grief.  That hit me hard.  What if, we opened to grief and even better,  encouraged others to open their grief to us?  What if we could really hold someone in their grief?  What kind of gift could it be for all of us?

Only love, only love
Give me shelter, or show me heart

Why do you hurt?  It is worth asking yourself about your own stories of grief. 

with love,

If you're not sure or want support, there are ways we can work together. 
If you are curious about the healing techniques for yourself, ping me here

Lyrics by Ben Howard, “Only Love” and “The Fear”

The Art of Not Knowing

Photo by  Austin Chan  on  Unsplash

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

I feel raw.

In June, I leave for three weeks. I'll be in training, refining my skills in the healing and regression modality that I use with clients to change the patterns in their life so they can be more fully alive.  It’s deep work. It is therapeutic and healing and accesses depths that talk therapy can't always get to. It brings relief from trauma and drives inspiration.  It means that real change happens for my clients.

So what does three weeks of training look like?  

It means that I'm going to be opened up.

I can't help my clients if I haven't been on the front lines.

It will require vulnerability and rigor. It may be volcanic or a gentle blooming. I know that I will be different on the other side of it. I know I will be able to bring more to my clients. Those are truths.

And, I have no idea what is really going to happen. Sitting with the not knowing is both an art and a challenge.

Knowing answers feels good.  There’s an inherent confidence and ease that comes when we have the answers.  It’s rewarding. It’s the key to good grades, to promotions, to leadership positions and credibility with friends and peers.  When we know the answers, the world is set and we know our place in it and that feels good.

Which is why not knowing can be hard.  Some questions require time and examination. They could upend our positioning of our place in the world.  It requires a surrender, when all we want to do is control. Holding the not knowing requires an uncomfortable grace.

“Do I stay in this job or look for another?”

“What is my purpose in life?”

“Do I send my child to kindergarten early or hold them back?”

“Which direction is the right way?”

“Do I take the short term fix or play the long game?”

When I have to hold a question, like "what is going to change for me during this training" some part of me desperately wants an answer, and right the f*&k now.  Someone please give me direction, give me an answer, because not knowing is SO uncomfortable. There is fear in not knowing and the ‘what if’s’ creep in.  
Fear makes us push for an answer. We want to assert our place in the world and demand the confidence and ease to replace the fear. We will sometimes take or create a decision, just to move forward, even if it isn't the right decision.

Here is what I am learning.  There are truths to live by. There is timing.  There is the art of not knowing, which is really the art of the letting go of the outcome.  

When I hold to truth (I will feel different in three weeks) and I let go of the outcome (better, worse, stronger, weirder), something eases up.  There is no wrong answer if I hold to truth. And in fact, if I let go of the outcome, there is simplicity.  
I don't feel compelled to...

Construct my life around a potential outcome,

Protect myself from an outcome,

Attach myself to a decision as better or worse,

Adhere to a not-yet-happened outcome,

Or even organize around

An answer that has not yet come.

I can stay in the face of not knowing anything but a desire for truth and from there, any outcome will be ok. 

and the truth will set you free.

With all the love of not knowing,