We’ve all experienced sadness and loss in our lives. There isn’t one of us that hasn’t. Unfortunately, the more years we live on this planet, the more losses we experience and to be honest, they don’t get any easier in the actual moments, but almost more difficult as we’ve built walls around our hearts so as to avoid feeling the overwhelming emotions they stir up.
But with time, as we all know, the heaviness does lift, and we do smile again.
I found myself giggle yesterday in the car at a song lyric and immediately heard my inner critic say You’re not aloud to laugh or be happy right now, you’re sad. To which I had to immediately combat with a That’s ridiculous.
But through the pain and the grieving process of any loss, it’s difficult not to judge ourselves for how we are handling it, how we are coping, and when we’re “supposed” to move on.
I read a book recently called The Untethered Soul, as recommended by my life coach, Joy Stone, and it was tremendously helpful then and now. When reading books, I oftentimes underline or jot down key points, sentences, or theories that resonate with me, making it easy to open the book up at any time, at any place, and read the parts that stood out to hopefully gain some insight in a new moment of frailty.
I picked it up this morning, randomly opened it and read this:
Wise beings do not want to remain a slave to the fear of pain. They permit the world to be what it is instead of being afraid of it. They whole-heartedly participate in life, but not for the purpose of using life to avoid themselves.
If life does something that causes a disturbance inside of you, instead of pulling away, let it pass through you like the wind. After all, things happen every day that cause inner disturbance. At any moment you can feel frustrations, anger, fear, sadness… If you watch, you will see that the heart is trying to push it all away. If you want to be free, you have to learn to stop fighting these human feelings.
When you feel pain and suffering, simply view it as energy. Just start seeing these inner experiences as energy passing through your heart and before the eye of consciousness.
Then relax. Relax and release.
Let go and give room for the pain to pass through you. It’s just energy. See it as energy and let go [ instead of closing and clinging to it to protect your heart from future pain, suffering, and sadness. ]
If/when you close around something and cling to it, you will be psychologically sensitive about it for the rest of your life because you stored it inside of you.
Notice it as it bubbles up inside you, acknowledge and accept it and then allow it to pass through you.
I have a hard time letting go. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, because I am human and we are human and we are not perfect. But there’s a part of me that really wants to hold on to certain things. A part of me that wants to be sad forever as if somehow that means I care more or that thing was more special and that I am somehow more important because of my experience with it.
That mentality however, keeps me stuck in the past and in past experiences which ultimately create my present identity and future life story. When I think about it in this way, it’s a little easier to allow things to pass through me instead of holding onto them, forever trying to protect myself from feeling pain. In reality, that just creates more long-term pain rather than freedom to be open and to love anew.
Obviously there is time for grief, mourning, and sadness, but learning how to let it go, let it pass through me, is a bit trickier. How do I know if I am truly letting it go, or just saying I am but secretly holding onto it? I guess if I think about it as stored energy vs pain, I can see just how many pockets of pain my heart is holding onto. I can only now acknowledge them as they arise, release them, and in time, be free of their grip.
There is a point wherein I’d like to think that moving forward, letting it go and pass through me, doesn’t mean forgetting the love or the loss, but that it frees my heart to be able to love more instead of closing to keep the pain away.
I think it was Brene Brown that said when you numb yourself to pain, you also numb yourself to joy. Life is fleeting… Choosing to be happy through all of life’s hardships takes practice, and hard work. And if I know anything about myself, it’s that I’m determined and a hard-worker. As long as I choose happiness as a priority, the practice will soon become a ritual as simple as brushing my teeth and naturally I will adapt and evolve and accept life for all its ups and downs.