As an intuitive with clairsentience, I often feel the location of emotions in other people. For instance, I see grief around the mouth. It feels like a heaviness weighing down each side of the mouth area. To me, it’s a tell-tale sign someone’s grieving the loss of something. Negative emotions are typically localized somewhere in the body. Fear is often in the upper part of the belly (the stomach). Frustration feels like a clamp on the face and runs around the back of the head and neck. Depending on the intensity, frustration can turn to anger and run down the arms into clenched fists.
On the other hand, exalted emotions like compassion, love, and joy, have a non-local quality. Gratitude, for example, feels like a full body smile. With love, I first notice it emanating from my chest area and then I notice it’s glowing from all of me and expanding out.
Grief is the emotion of loss. It has a familiar pattern like a roller coaster. If you pay attention, you’ll notice the intensity of grief goes up an down throughout the day. Grief shows up often as regret and sounds like, “If only…” and “All that time invested. For what? Now I’ll never know.” Grief is a cry for help. It begs for a rescue from the pain and deep sadness. At times it feels so all-consuming you start to believe you deserve it. At that point, guilt provides another dimension.
In every case, however, grief stems from attachment to something or someone outside of us combined with a refusal to let go. Perhaps it was a lifestyle that never materialized (like the perfect retirement). Or a vision held for a relationship that didn’t work out. There are a multitude of experiences that will trigger feelings of loss. (If you already read the post I wrote on being wronged then you know of the financial loss I worked through.)
What we do know is that for most of us grief will eventually process out of the body. For some, it can seem to take forever. Our culture likes to remind us that, “Time heals all wounds”. Is this our big strategy for grief – time? Are we so full of guilt that we stay in a perpetual state of grief because we deserve to suffer? I don’t want anyone reading this to suffer another minute. How about if together we let go of the grief we carry and then learn to protect ourselves from taking on any more? Sound good?
There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.
In a naive effort to protect ourselves, we learn to resist what feels yucky, creates tension or makes us think nasty thoughts. However, what you resist does persist and instead of it going away you get more. It’s completely counter-intuitive to allow the feelings of loss (they can be so debilitating) but this is the path to becoming free of it. To go into the loss means (from a safe place) to find it in your body and then to allow it by giving it breath. If you ask for more and then allow yourself to feel this, it won’t be long before you feel relief.
Heal Stage Fright:
I once watched Dr Hawkins assist a woman with stage fright. She was very nervous and verbally shared this with him. He enthusiastically asked her to feel afraid and then to feel more afraid and then to allow the complete terror inside her to come out. The outcome appeared miraculous. With his encouragement, she dove into her fear in full view and plowed deeper and deeper. I felt the maniacal craziness of her energy and then bam! the storm was over and she sat smiling in a state of calm and peace. We are not shown how to do this. Let’s do this now.
Exercise to Heal Grief and Loss (Podcast)
Find that lovely space for your body where you won’t be interrupted. Your back is protected, your shoulders can gently fall away from your ears. Your jaw softens and inside your mouth, your tongue floats like a pillow. In this moment give yourself permission to go inside and do some inner work. Also affirm you are worth the time you’re taking. Breathe into your body and into any sensations that arise. Now recall a situation from which you associate loss and possibly grief. Go into the sensations of this story. Quiet your mind and notice where you sense these sensations if you do. It is safe to notice this loss. Now allow yourself to feel an even greater depth of the loss. Ask for more. Breathe into what this brings up inside you. Continue to go deeper into the loss until you reach what feels like the core. Breathe into this and allow it to be. Perhaps this loss has a message for you. Some wisdom to share. If it does just notice the wisdom, continue to breathe. Be still and gentle with yourself. Sit in quiet peacefulness.
As I started to picture the trees in the storm, the answer began to dawn on me. The trees in the storm don’t try to stand up straight and tall and erect. They allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of letting go.
~ Julia Butterfly Hill
How is your Letting Go Practice?
Doree offers lifestyle coaching and spiritual direction.
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Spiritual Directors International