In times of intense loss, the most important space is the one you create for yourself. An intimate, peaceful, caring, genuine space for yourself. A space that you can return upon needed.
After Life suddenly pushes us a new direction, we can become our own healers, our own alchemists and that begins with befriending yourself. Helping yourself re-scaffold your internal world so that you will increase in personal power through that painful descent.
What is the anatomy of your friendship with yourself?
Professor and counselor Suzanne Degges-White delineated 13 elements that are essential to a friendship:
I am trustworthy.
I am honest with others.
I am generally very dependable.
I am loyal to the people I care about.
I am easily able to trust others.
I experience and express empathy for others.
I am able to be non-judgmental.
I am a good listener.
I am supportive of others in their good times.
I am supportive of others in their bad times.
I am self-confident.
I am usually able to see the humor in life.
I am fun to be around.
Do you find yourself cultivating any of these traits with yourself? We need them, especially in need of great sadness and loneliness.
Do not allow anyone to minimize or rationalize your pain and the situation that originated it. The voice telling you that you shouldn’t be hurting or that the situation wasn’t that bad will poison your healing process and throw you into a bypassing tunnel, repressing the pain further into your psyche. A friend listens, offers presence, and doesn’t try to rush your healing process (unless you’ve been mourning for your high school sweetheart for twenty-five years!). A true friend invites you to sit on her couch and talk for as long you need to.
Befriend your body and the hurdles it is moving through right now. It is ok to be in pain for longer than you had anticipated. Pain moves along with acceptance, resistance cements it. Allow your body to cry, to be in the fetal position and weep for the illusion you wanted to hold onto but the pain it inflicted on your soul was too much to bear.
Imagine being a woman who is fully available to herself, to her feelings, to her pain. Imagine allowing your feelings and emotions flow freely through your body, honoring the course they are running for you know they will turn into drops of strength, confidence, and wisdom as you process them.
Imagine the most joyful place in the world. Find yourself sitting there for a while. Then name your emotions, one-by-one. Name them and meet them head on. Talk to them. Let them move around your body as well: the immune system is strengthened when we let our emotions circulate. These emotions are here to teach you something. What is their lesson? Ask them. The answers will come later. Trust that they will.
When I move through intense periods of despair and heartbreak, I take my power back right away by looking at my responsibility right away. Even in the course of my one and only abusive relationship, I could see how I was responsible for ignoring the multiple warning signs I ignored. For staying even after a spurt of abuse. Right there and then, I took my power back and that choice was the first step in my reconstruction. When you see where your lost your personal power, the map to take it back unfolds right in front of you.
Imagine letting this darkness be the activator you need to find yourself again, except that it will turn you into the elevated version of your current self. This darkness will blow fuses of old beliefs and relationships that were holding you back, inviting you to participate in your truth ever more deeply than before.
There is nothing you need to cure right now. Just tend to yourself. Dive into your passion. Dive into your feelings. Dive into the stillness that is calling you. You will be reborn stronger. I promise.