Buried grief poisons, limiting your capacity for joy in life. An essential part of healing from traumatic experiences is to express and share your feelings. When you were young, you could not do this. To fully feel the agony, the terror, the fury, without any support would have been too devastating to bear. You may have suppressed those feelings, without releasing them. To release these painful feelings and to move forward in your life, it is necessary, paradoxically, to go back to those experiences. To grieve, this time with the support of a caring person and with the support of your adult self. What you need to heal is not fancy or esoteric. It is remarkably simple, though for many people it has been hard to find. All you need is the safety and support that enable you to go back to the source of your pain, to relive the feelings you had to repress, to be heard, to be comforted, and learn to comfort yourself.
Along the way, a transformation takes place. Once you have fully felt a feeling and lived it, shared it, acted on it, given it full expression, the feeling begins to transform. The way to move beyond the grief and pain is to experience them fully, to honor them, to express them with someone else, thus assimilating what happened to you in your life.
You may feel foolish crying over events that happened so long ago. But grief waits for expression. When you do not allow yourself to honor grief, it festers. It can limit your vitality, make you sick, decrease your capacity for love.
Grief has its own rhythms. You can't say, "Okay, I'm going to grieve now." Rather you must allow room for those feelings when they arise. Grief needs space. You can only really grieve when you give yourself the time, security, and permission to grieve.
"After I had been in therapy for several months my whole self began to respond to that environment, within which I could allow my feelings. There were weeks I entered the building, went up the stairs, checked in with the receptionist, all with a smile on my face and cheerfulness in my step. Then I'd enter the office, my therapist would close the door, and before she'd even get to her chair, I'd be crying. Deep within me I held those feelings, waiting until I knew there would be time and compassion."
If anyone would like to share with others about problems with grief and some of the ways one can cope with this emotion, feel free to sign my guest book. This is how we can help one another with different coping skills. Do you have any other opinions about this topic? What answers do you have?
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