The journey to joy after a significant loss can seem impossible when we’re in the midst of our grief. We often think we’ll never be happy again because of what happened and we’re also told over and over that we’ll be grieving forever.
There may be some element of truth in the idea that there will always be some grief but it’s also true that we can experience both grief and joy when we embrace whatever we are feeling in the moment.
So what does it mean to embrace our feelings? It means that we acknowledge the painful feelings when they arise be they of sadness, anger, resentment, guilt, numbness, emptiness, loneliness, despair, hopelessness, helplessness, etc. We also acknowledge the happy feelings whenever they show up as well. We say hello to them, we create space for them within the greater context of our being with compassion and understanding instead of resistance. We let them keep moving through us rather than trying to stop them and getting angry at them. We look at the thoughts associated with the feelings and we question their validity and their veracity. It is often what we think about what is going on that is creating the pain, far more than what is actually happening. We don’t have to keep giving our energy to our false and limited assumptions and beliefs, we can gently say no and look to a better, more supportive way of seeing.
We are so much more than our thoughts and feelings and when we learn to observe them instead of thinking that’s who we are, we open the door to the possibility of allowing joy to bubble up from deep within, beyond the pain.