First 30 Days Blog

01 aug

Grieving Is the First Step to Healing

Glad DoggettUnexpressed grief is like glue. It keeps us stuck and immobile.

Grief, like a beach ball held under the water, will fight to pop to the surface. The longer you try to hold it under, the harder it is to keep it down.

I used to expend a lot of my energy trying to drown my grief. On the outside, I had a nice life with all the trimmings, but inside I felt as thin and brittle as burnt paper.

I needed to lean into the pain that disappointment and loss brought me. I needed to sob over things from my childhood that made me feel unloved; I needed to wail and say goodbye to my old life; I needed to fall to my knees weep over dreams that didn’t come true, friendships that ended, goals I never accomplished. I needed to allow myself to feel bad.

Honoring loss is the only way to move through the pain. That’s when healing begins.

I didn’t know it at the time, but my refusal to grieve was the thing that kept me stuck. In limbo. In purgatory. Frozen under a sheet of ice.

It took a lot of soul searching and hard, heavy work, but I finally figured out that the only way to change is to face my unexpressed grief. You’ve got to let it swallow you whole, consume you. You have to relinquish control, put down your shield and sword. You have to walk into Grief’s lair and surrender. It’s not easy. In fact, it sucks. When you clean a wound with antiseptic, it hurts. But the burn of medicine is brief, temporary, and healing.

If you feel stuck, or unhappy or numb inside, it’s time to stop avoiding grief. Submit to it. Take a few minutes every day to honor the losses, disappointments and heart breaks in your life.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying you should walk around in misery day after day. What I am suggesting is that you take a little private time to cry or sulk or be pissed off. Shine a light in the dark places. Feel the pain, be with it. Then let it go.

Here’s the kicker: the feelings you are so afraid will chew you to pieces are what help you heal. The act of surrendering is the first step across the threshold.

Healing will take time and effort, but it will change your life.

My name is Glad Doggett. I help people lean into change by helping them reconnect with their inner brilliance. Check out my online e-course re: Turn to You. You can find me on my blog Best Laid Scheme and on Facebook.

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Posted by Glad Doggett on August 1st, 2011 in Family, New Directions, Personal Stories | 0 comments

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