Come sit with me…
I will tell you about the two dolphins I saw playing in the ocean today. I went for a walk on the beach and brought my paints and sketch pad. I always carry my swimsuit with me just in case the ocean calls me in.
Watching two dolphins jumping and playing in front of me for about 20 minutes brought me such joy and lightness. It was quite a delight for me. I was writing and drawing about the grieving process so it was nice to have the company.
Inside myself I was noticing some avoidance of feeling my grief, ha! I like noticing this because then I can begin to slow down, let myself deepen my breathing and notice the feelings and sensations in my body to bring me back.
We all do things to distract ourselves from feeling our emotions. This is a very common and natural process to go through, we just do not want to stay in avoidance for too long.
This is the first stage of grief – the denial stage.
So then I asked myself a question:
What am I avoiding? What am I not wanting to feel?
As I felt the warmth of the sun on my back and the sand between my toes, I looked out at my two dolphin friends and wondered what they do with their grief? The first question that came up is, “What support do they need to feel and release their grief? What support do I need to feel my grief?”
Yes, we all need to feel supported when we go through a transition or loss.
The life lesson here is all about learning how to renew yourself and live more fully by accepting and letting go of loss and endings – creating openness to everything that is new.
In Five Element understanding, this time of year represents “Metal” or the Air element.
The organs related to metal are the Lungs and Large intestines. One is for inspiration of breath and ideas and the other one is to release from the body what is not wanted, also representing the process of “letting go” of thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and sorrows.
In Chinese medicine, when the lungs are healthy the person is open to positive sorrow and grief with the ability to accept and let go when needed.
Being unable to accept and let go, as we step into the first stage of grieving, may lead to drowning of sorrow and grief by:
Avoidance and pretense – denial, keeping busy so not to feel the shock of grief
Distraction – escapism, fantasy, food, drugs, addictions of all types
This is the first Stage of Grief – the Denial stage.
We all do these behaviors. We just do not want them to be a dominant part of our lives.
I believe the accurate words to describe this stage are shock, surprise, adjustments and possible heartache.
How do the dolphins feel supported?
I think the dolphins have each other, their pod and the element of balance in their lives, surrounded by nature, beauty and love.
We have all of this, we just have to ask for support sometimes.
Grief seems to hide in small crevices in our hearts, so it makes sense that it needs to be held with great care.
For me personally, I lost my dog last week (of 15 years). I miss her.
My support is my friends and family and taking good care of myself, plus slowing down. I have an Honoring Alter for her where I light a candle every evening. I also feel her spirit near me and sense her at peace.
Feeling the empty space in my heart brings me to tears. As my heart empties, it then begins to fill up and expand, filling with love and warmth along with my memories of her and the feeling of the deep love that we shared. Having beauty all around me also brings me the support that I need.
As I ride through the stages of grief, I notice a difference in myself.
I begin to notice more expansion in my chest, in my heart.
Along with this expansion, I also feel a stronger momentum towards my daily goals and towards my life purpose. Yes I call this the Gift! I believe that it is one of the stages of grief. As we come into acceptance then we have a chance for transformation.
Through transformation comes this gift. Through the transformation of grief comes this increased potency of spirit – it gives us the insight of our next step towards our full freedom.
I do believe that each person gets a unique gift, just for them.
So then our goal is to release our grief, move through all of the stages of release, then we get the gift of spirit.