We live for connection—it is hard wired into us. Thriving in life is reflective of, dependent on, and part of this. Thriving in relationships. We cannot truly say we are doing well in general if we are not able to do well in relationships.
But that puts us at risk. Terrible risk. Because if our relationships are rich and full, they also carry the capacity to rip our insides apart when they are lost.
It is beautiful and terrible both at the same time.
George Eliot says it this way, “What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life--to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?”
In that last moment of parting, our souls are torn apart—and that is grief. Grief is the raw edge of eternity cut in half inside our soul.
Sorrow is how we heal from grief. Sorrow is the torrent of rain, the storm of emotions, the slow drizzle of winter, the ever present running of the salty seas until our heart starts to stabilize. The sadness of being torn apart expressed through a gift of nature—tears. A river of tears that washes through us and takes us to a new place where we can begin to recover our senses. And grow again.
If you have said good-bye to a loved one you know that there is a season that is too hard to put into words. There is a season that needs to be put into tears. And there is a season that slowly takes you forward to a new you—a different, perhaps limping or scarred you. But a new season.
Wherever you are in that process, today I wish you to know that the depth of your pain is a reflection, an inversion, of the richness of what you have enjoyed. That is not supposed to help you "get over it"....please do NOT hear that. It is supposed to give you permission to let the storm of emotions rage, the salty tears pound away at your heart and the river of sadness flow. Not so that you will get better, but so that you will come to a place where you can look back and remember the richness with joy.
Sorrow is actually the pathway to gratitude. But it is usually a long slow walk. Give yourself the gift of patience and be where ever you are today with a space of kindness toward yourself that allows you to reflect and feel and slowly release the sorrow you need for your own well-being.
I write on how humans develop and grow through challenges we face. I've divided this into three categories--Growing Love is about relationships and how we create conditions for growth despite the inevitable challenges. Cloudburst is about grief, specifically—which is a tricky topic. We need to keep growing but pushing is the opposite of helpful. And in Dancing on Hot Sand I talk about personal inner growth in hard places—spiritual growth, without sounding religious, I hope.