As the days get shorter and darker, I am reminded of this time five years ago, when I was grieving my former boyfriend’s death. The darkness of the season led me into the darkness that I was feeling.
I embraced the darkness fully. I spent many nights sitting in front of the flickering fire, with darkness surrounding me. I cried, I wailed, I screamed in pain. I felt like a crazy wild woman. But I knew to keep going, to embrace it fully. Because when I did, I would eventually pop through into a sublime state of ecstasy. I would feel merged with the light, empty, calm, peaceful.
It would be great to be able to just go straight there, to the ecstatic light. But I found for myself, and for many I have supported, that the gateway to the light is to drop the resistance to feeling the pain. It’s hard to do. It can feel so big that it threatens to overwhelm you. But the rewards are great.
A time of grieving is a window of opportunity. When your heart is cracked open, you can use that crack to pour out all the pain of a lifetime. To release far more than the current grief (which is plenty by itself). You can emerge from the time of grief reborn, healed, and whole.
It takes courage, the courage of a spiritual warrior. And it helps to have support. I often see myself as a kind of a lifeguard for my clients. They are jumping into the deep end of the pool, and I am sitting on the side, ready to throw in the plastic doughnut life preserver if it is needed. It creates a feeling of safety to have me there, a sense that it might be ok to dive into the deep feelings and release them fully, without resistance.
The holidays can be a particularly hard time if you’re grieving. You may be missing your loved one more intensely. You may not want to go to holiday gatherings where people are laughing and having fun. This is completely understandable.
I would like to offer you support to go into the dark. It’s not really a scary place, once you get to know it, just a very powerful one. I know it well, and I’m not afraid. I can hold you and help you find your way.
Many blessings to you!