Sunday, February 9, 2020

Grief and the passageways in the landscape of soul

Grief is not something we “get over” by following pre-prescribed stages, but a partner that we dance, play, honor, argue, and weep with as the cycles unfold. Its appearance and the ways it longs to be tended are unique for each psyche, heart, and nervous system.

The timeline for this voyage is not knowable by the psychiatric community, nor by insurance panels or teachers of spirituality, but is birthed in the heavens. To rush, force, or pathologize the experience of grief is to work against nature.

The grieving process may not have an endpoint or state of completion in which we come to some final resolution, where we “finish” and land in some untouchable place, free from our embodied vulnerability, somatic aliveness, and from falling apart and breaking open yet again.

While some may hold this fantasied end state as a goal which comes about as we “master” life, the heart is not interested in mastery. But in entering the mystery in more subtle and sensitive ways.

The heart itself is endless, and the visitors of grief may companion us in their various forms for a lifetime. Not come to harm, but to reveal a portal into depth. Shifting shapes, circulating, and rotating, as they open and close passageways in the landscape of soul.

Grief is not so much a process that we “make it through,” but a non-linear, unfolding shepherd and emissary of the unknown. It moves not by way of straight line, but by that of circle and spiral.

Art by Myeongae Lim

Falling in Love with Where You Are: Embracing the Joy and Heartbreak of Spiritual Awakening - our annual spring, five-day retreat - will take place April 22-27, 2020 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with myself and Jeff Foster. More information here

My online community, co-facilitated with Jeff Foster - Befriending Yourself: Discovering the Beauty in the Wounded and Broken Places - will be opening to new members later this month. Learn more here

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

My next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Ourselves in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in 2020.