to feel grief is to experience love...
My home is quiet. Empty. I mean, all the furniture is still there. And my decorations too. But there’s an element missing. A piece of the puzzle that made my house a home, that made me dive deep into the concept of belonging last year, that made me feel grounded for a while, is gone.
I had to say goodbye to my cat Nala last weekend. Due to parts of her behaviour worsening, I had to choose to rehome her. This decision did not come out of the blue, and it did not come lightly either. I had made the decision at the end of last year and had been in waiting mode ever since (listen to podcast episode #86 to hear the story).
This means I had about three whole months to sit with grief, to let in the sadness of what was to be, whilst I was also still able to hold her, love her and cuddle her.
And now, my home is quiet and my house feels empty. My heart feels raw and my body feels tired.
The annoying thing about making these type of decisions is that your mind KNOWS that, in the end, this choice is best for both parties, but your heart and body resist it deeply because they don’t understand why you would inflict such pain on yourself and the other.
I think this is why my grief and my sadness come and go in waves.
My mind aims to rationalise the current situation to protect me from heaviness.
But my body and soul know that letting it in bit by bit, now that I have made the decision and had to follow through with it, is exactly what is necessary.
Feeling it all means healing it all.
Feeling it all means storing much less.
Feeling it all means showing your system she’s safe, worthy and incredibly & fully human.
To feel is to heal. Especially on an energetic level, when we suppress grief or sadness, we store it and carry it with us in our nervous system until we dare to touch it again. We’re often not even aware of it until we start to work on an aspect of our lives and don’t understand why we feel blocked, unworthy or fearful.
So, as my body is holding me through the waves of emotions, and as my soul is whispering words of comfort, and as my mind is sending me reminders of the ‘why’ of my choice, I lie down on my bed, close my eyes, and allow myself to surrender.
Grief is unexpressed love, someone once said. So as my emotions come and go in strong waves, I remind myself that even the heaviness is a sign of love. Sadness isn’t the absence of love, at least not in this case. It’s the presence of a love once had, and a coping with the everchanging world around and within us.
What is incredibly important when in such a phase of heightened and deepened emotion is to create a safe space for yourself to feel it all. Sitting with grief, sadness, frustration or anger isn’t easy, and unfortunately the majority of us weren’t taught how to deal with those emotions in a healthy and supportive way. So let this be your reminder that you get to take up that space with what you’re feeling, even if that’s just within the four walls of your own room or home.
And how do you then feel it all?
Blasting some music, do a yoga class, have a good cry – it’s worked well for me to let it out. But to constructively support myself moving forward, I’m also leaning into my journaling practice. A dear friend of mine suggested writing a letter to Nala, and naturally what that means is indirectly writing it to yourself. Telling yourself what you need to hear. Soothing your raw heart and your vulnerable soul in times of trial. An incredibly powerful practice if you ask me.
Let the physical act of writing and the pages of paper inbetween a cover provide safety for you. Thoughts can be unpredictable and to put them on paper can feel scary, but there’s no reason you should be carrying that heavy load all in your head. Release it on the paper, and let that carry your burden.
Personally, I’m also going to dedicate a small space on my altar to my connection with Nala and the love we’ve been able to give each other this past year. She’s shown me laughter, affection and my way home and I will be expressing my gratitude to her by placing some items on my altar that remind me of her and her energy and burning a candle next to it when I want to.
Everything is energy.
Allowing yourself to feel it is healing.
Allowing yourself to work together with it is powerful.
Allowing yourself to surrender to the coming and going of it is a lifelong lesson to us all.
I am grateful I’m feeling grief. It shows me there’s love.
And I’m allowing myself to move through it with compassion, patience and understanding for myself. As much as I can, anyways!
How do you move through grief? How do you allow your emotions in?
Let me know in a comment below.
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