Grieving With An Open Heart: Accepting What Is

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Grieving

Preparing to write this article, I came across the definition of ‘Emotion’ by the Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries Online, which closely relates emotion to love. This made me smile instantly, as it is my truth also.

For the last 20 years, I have learned so much about personal growth, ego, fear, anger, love and many shades in-between, and I experienced all these emotions myself. This won’t stop while I am in my physical body, there will always be emotions running through me.

With all my studying and learning, I have found ways to work WITH my emotions, rather than fighting any of them, which helps me immensely when I feel a wave of ‘something’ surging through me.

Love has been my sidekick for a long time, and I am so grateful for allowing this particular emotion to become my main partner in life.

My dear soulman died in April 2014, and I stood in this unexpected situation with a strong core of love and connection to my man’s soul.

Still, the process of grief with all its different phases was new to me, and I walked my path with very careful steps, breathing through as much as I could, keeping clarity close by my side.

Listening to myself, being as gentle as I could, while continuing to live a ‘normal’ life was the task at hand, for myself and for my two children.

We went through an ocean of emotions, individual phases as well as collective family emotions. We have learned how to swim in this ocean, and by now are confident swimmers with some waves still crashing over us when we’re not aware.

I have strengthened my inner trust, my connection with my soul and my belief in myself and my abilities to deal with this life, and I am hoping my kids can build up on the foundation we have created together over these past two years.

As it is with oceans and waves, they are alive and in motion all the time. Sometimes, the waters are calm, and sometimes a storm ripples through and creates mighty strong waves.

Ebb and flow are continuous, and resistance is futile, as the rhythm of the ocean will never stop.

The currents change, and we might be carried to unknown shores. How we deal with these new shores is up to us, remembering what we have experienced to get us here is very helpful though.

Getting out of the water, shaking ourselves dry and standing strong in our core with clarity and love in our heart is a good starting point in any new situation.

Maybe we have been washed over by some of these waves of emotion, maybe we think we have lost track of where we are going and why, and maybe we are totally ok with where we are now. What’s next then?

Exploring new territory, while we are conscious of all the lessons we have learned so far. Taking care of our body, mind and soul as we take step after step into the uncharted territory.

Feeling the emotions that are alive and kicking, even though we have left the ocean… As within, so without… The ocean is inside us the same way it is outside of our physical body…

Emotions ebb and flow, they create big waves as well as calm surfaces.

Sometimes, the inner weather is constant for a long period, and sometimes it changes very quickly and gives us physical symptoms or disease. When the ocean is upset and the water is agitated, there is poor visibility.

High waves are created by mighty storms, out there in the physical world as well as in our inner system. When there is disturbance in our inner weather system, we cannot feel and see clearly what is going on, and we might just block ourselves from physical and mental health.

Once we calm the inner storm, we get access to what’s happening inside, and maybe even clarity of why we are experiencing certain symptoms and illnesses. Our emotions are helpers on our path through life, if we can accept them as they are.

From my experience, the physical symptoms are messages from our soul, asking us to listen better to our inner weather. An imbalance in our physical body shows us that our inner ocean is in motion, and that our emotions are running high.

There is no good or bad here, no right or wrong, just a matter of perspective, of non-judgmental awareness and of being gentle with ourselves while increasing the dosage of self-love.

Realizing this all happens because we are ALIVE might help seeing things from a different angle, and acknowledging that our emotions are actually treasures might shift something altogether.

While I was in my ‘high grief’ period, there were many waves crashing over me, and I did my best to keep my head above water and to breathe steadily.

I kept swimming, sometimes slow and sometimes fast, accepting the inner storms, the disturbance and the upheaval of the status quo I had lived for 14 years. My life changed in an instant, yet my core stayed calm. I continued to be physically healthy, mentally strong and stable, much to my own surprise.

Accepting all the emotions I was going through, as much as I accept the physical weather, did a good job as my water wings. And I’ll gladly use this swimming aid for future storms, within and without.

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries Online:

‘Emotion: a strong feeling such as love, fear or anger; the part of a person’s character that consists of feelings’

‘See related entries: Love’

Word Origin: mid 16th cent. (Denoting a public disturbance): from French émotion, from émouvoir ‘excite’, based on Latin emovere, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out’ + movere ‘move’. The current sense dates from the early 19th cent.

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Barbara Patterson – Conscious Awareness Teacher

Grieving
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