Life will give to us and take from us things and experiences we didn’t ask for. I believe that by fully allowing ourselves to respond to these unwanted gifts we receive so much more than we could have imagined.
When my husband first died my response was primal. I didn’t think about it. The grief swept over me and swallowed me up like an ocean wave. I floated in the ethereal current for months, maybe even the first year before I began to feel myself consciously interacting with the larger world again. Slowly I did begin interacting with the world, but it was different than before.
They say that when you experience the Dark Night of a the Soul something happens that makes you realize that you simply cannot go on living the way you have been living.
My Dark Night of the Soul came after I lost the life I loved.
Everything in my life was entertwined with Jhonathan. We willingly and happily made plans and dreams that intimately required the other and we shared everything. So when he died every single part of my life changed. Like when a building collapses and it takes a while for the dust and debris to settle, it took a while for what was left of my life to settle enough for me to see it. Eventually I emerged from the ethereal grief period and I realized, on a deeper level than I had ever known before, that everything I want in my life moving forward is 100% dependent on me. Of course I can ask for help and I will definitely receive help from family and friends. That is the nature of living a human life. But if I am to live the life my soul needs, not just wants but needs to live, then it will require my 100% devotion and commitment.
I have begun making plans, building foundations, creating connections, putting myself out there, as I slowly start to bring all the aspects of my life into alignment. I feel everything has to be put under scrutiny: the food I eat, the shows I watch, the people I spend time with, the music I listen to, the way my house is set up, the hours I sleep... not everything has to change, but everything has to be reviewed. It was after I had been going about this process day in and day out that I realized:
I am living an experiment.
All the things listed above are variables in which I am acutely aware of their immediate effect. But what is the question? As I begin to come back to life I have noticed that while the bouts of grief are less frequent, they still come up. And when they do I have a choice: a choice to surrender or a choice to push through. The world may not outright say this, but I believe we are encouraged from the outside to just push through. So I guess my question is "What happens when we surrender to the grief?" What if whenever I feel sad I just allow myself to feel ALL the sadness?
I became interested to explore this more. What I have found so far is that sometimes I am able to continue doing exactly what I am doing as the sadness washes through me. And while it washes through me it simply colors the lens in which I view the world with a different shade. Other times I have to pause and take a few deep breaths, feeling as though I have to vomit. While other times the sadness may come on when I am feeling pretty productive and energetic then out of nowhere there is a wave of grief that requires me to stop everything and curl up in a blanket for a few hours or even the rest of the day.
But the one common thing is that each time I have made it through. And I don't feel any worse off than I was before. In fact, maybe I feel a little bit better. I realize that I am in the process of experimentation. I don’t have all the answers for myself let alone anyone else.
I do agree there may be moments that I probably just need to have some grit, but to me that does not feel like an honest and healthy first response. Especially with where I am coming from. Everything is under scrutiny and the way I engage with my grief likely will play a big role in how I transmute the pain. Also, through Qoya I have been taught and I teach how important it is to feel, and pushing through it all doesn’t feel right or supportive to me. So instead of pushing through, pushing away, or avoiding, I will let the sadness wash over me and see what it has to say.
I don’t know if my method of surrendering is the best response. I don’t know if it is for my highest good. I have not read about this method anywhere. I could ask healers, psychics, and therapists what they think, feel, or know on the subject. But ultimately I know that nobody can actually tell me what is best for me. Only I can discover this and it is through my honest, lived experience that this discovery can be made.
So here I am, in the middle of the experiment. An experiment that has inspired within me creative expression; given me moments of clarity and understanding; made me feel more compassion for all living things on earth; shown me my own selfishness; and made me see my path of service.
It is a journey led by grief and spirit. It's an experiment of emotional surrender.
And down the road I go...
If this is a journey that you would like to hear about or even join me on, I would love to hear from you. I believe there is power in sharing our stories and our truth. It's almost like when we write them down we can release them from our bodies, no longer needing to carry them around reliving and feeding the drama. Instead we can look at them on the page objectively and maybe even learn from them. Maybe.