Saturday, May 11, 2019

On grief

Sometimes I wonder if all therapy isn’t grief therapy when all is said and done.

The original Greek therapeia referred to a tending to, caring for, or sending breath into, not “curing,” “fixing” or even “healing,” per se, these more heavy clinical words. But by way of our own embodied tenderness, to infuse with life. To be a midwife for the birth of a new heart, one which will inevitably ache and long and break and shatter and open and crumble in the face of it all.

Things tend to not turn out the way we thought they would, for they are too alive, too creative, too magical, too vast, too mysterious, too majestic. This “not turning out the way we thought” is not evidence of mistake or that we’ve failed, fallen short, or done life wrong... but of the beloved and her activity here. And her care for form.

To fall to the ground, to stand back up again, to allow ourselves to be crafted, weaved as a vessel for love to come here, to somehow find its way in this miracle world of time and space. Only to fall again, to fail, to be lost, to be found. To grieve the crumbling and ending of one world, the death of a dream that has finished its time here. To allow the old dream safe passage now into the other world.

The grief of knowing on some deep level that all form must reorganize, must shift shapes - the people in our lives, who we have come to think we are, what has previously provided meaning, our own bodies, our own worlds of experience.

To grieve this consciously, to honor the uncertainty, to dare to finally see the dissolution not as error but as holy, painfully and preciously whole, and to stand in awe as the pieces reassemble. 

Photo by Ina Hoekstra

Befriending Yourself - you are invited to join me and my friend Jeff Foster at our new online membership site at the intersection of spirituality, meditation, and depth psychology. Dialogues, teachings, practices, live meditations, and a moderated support community. 

The next retreat - The Deep Rest Retreat: Slowing Down and Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times - September 4-9 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado - registration to open soon

My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is available in both paperback and Kindle editions.