I have had my share of losses in my lifetime…two romantic partners whom I walked beside as they left this world , all my uncles and aunts except one, all grandparents, both my parents, several devoted cats and dogs, friendships, jobs, homes, and the list is endless.
No one in my educational settings or in my family of origin taught me anything about how to cope with grieving losses or how to resolve any of them. I have , at times, gone to professional practitioners who helped me find workable techniques when I acknowledged specific losses. There are so many types of losses I never considered until I began extensive traveling. Making connections with strangers, lands I have not previously known, other cultures helped me to understand further about the losses most do not even begin to fathom!
In the past month I have listened as four people I knew intimately shared they were coping well with various losses as I observed they were only stuffing their feelings deep within only to begin acting out of their pain and unresolved grief at inappropriate moments. Each of these people , by the way, also as long as I have known them have demonstrated great efforts to be “in control” of their lives (and often the lives of others!).
Before you jump to the conclusion I am standing in judgment of these people, let me tell you I am fully aware no one can affect me by their actions unless it comes to teach me something about myself! I hold a belief that there is a Spiritual Mirror that exaggerates the actions of others so that I cannot miss it! When I am in Spiritual Alignment with the Divine, I can be grateful for the projections others show me, and take the opportunity of the lesson presented to my Sponge Within who wishes to learn and integrate as much as I can in this lifetime.
The Spiritual Mirror works like this: If someone exaggerates the wonderful qualities I love such as kindness, service to humanity, and compassion and I immediately feel a kindred connection with that person…it is because I have those same qualities within me. When a person demonstrates in a most exaggerated manner things I detest: the illusion of control, unresolved grief, anger, frustration, judgement, pointing the finger at my/other’s behaviors, etc. it is only because I have now or did have those same qualities or defects of character within me that I am not accepting and honoring in myself. To honor my shadow is a wonderful act of courage! Either way….that person comes to teach me more about myself, and I can either thank them in my head or I can find them objectionable.
The unresolved grief I witness in my travels and in my community life show me there is a prevalence in our society of it. In my short 66 years of living I have come to believe that I can either acknowledge my own grief when it comes up in the present moment or I can attempt to practice the illusion of controlling it, stuffing it as deeply within my body as possible . Sooner or later it will come up in a few ways: one is I will pay the consequences of unresolved grief in the creation of physical and/or emotional sickness within my body and spirit ; Two I will vent and act out hurting people I trust and those I do not trust because I am in pain; or three, I will be uncomfortable in my own skin and will ultimately have given up my choice to be at peaceful freedom.
Fortunately, I have FINALLY become willing to develop a daily practice in which I look at my day with as much fine tooth combing as I possibly can before I enter my dreamtime. Secondly I have FINALLY become willing to get real by becoming vulnerable with myself and with all meaningful relationships acknowledging my feelings and actions as they each emerge. Knowing I do not do this perfectly , but knowing I do carry the daily intention to surrender my old ways of thinking and doing, I believe I have a clearer sense on how to co-exist with my own grief on so many levels.
Losses of all types will continue in our worlds and grief will continue to emerge in a spiral on its own terms . Our opportunity is to work with both aspects and co exist by becoming more vulnerable regardless of any fears that live within. I have hope that this old world and its inhabitants has a BIG chance to heal. I walk my journey with that belief.