Ingredients to Create a Blissful Life #22: Grieve

This week, I’m going to change the tone of my message. As I was thinking about writing this week’s post, I realized that most of the things I write about in this series are “happy” things. But the fact is, difficult things happen all the time and if we don’t deal with them, we really can’t hope to create a blissful life.

So on that note, your ingredient for this week is: Grieve

Did you know that grief is cumulative? I didn’t until we lost my sister. I found myself reeling and unable to stop and eventually, a friend stepped up and offered to help me with some grief counselling. That was when I learned that unresolved grief piles up and piles up until we are left with no other option but to deal with it.

So what does grief have to do with creating a blissful life? I feel like that question has so many potential answers. The most obvious is that at some point we all experience painful losses. This can be a person, a job, a pet, a dream. We associate grief with death, so it was surprising to me when I heard that it doesn’t need to even involve a person, let alone a death. Then, funny enough, it was so obvious! I have lost relationships, lost jobs, lost sentimental objects… and each one of those things have had a major impact and caused deep pain, despite the fact that there wasn’t a death. And the fact is that I hadn’t acknowledged a lot of them let alone dealt with my feelings about them. I coped and got on with life – until I just couldn’t anymore.

I’m happy to tell you that I found my way through and made my peace with at least a lot of what I carried. The process involved releasing people, forgiving others and myself, and making my peace with whatever had happened. Probably hardest of all, it required me to feel the deep feelings I hadn’t allowed to surface before in order to allow my body the release it needed. There were tears, there was yelling at the top of my lungs… and I’ll tell you something that surprised me. I used to sing beautifully. Friends told me that I sounded like an angel, but at some point in time my voice had stopped working. My throat was completely locked up and I stopped enjoying singing at all. As my body released the pent up tension caused by carrying around so many years of unexpressed pain, the most unexpected thing happened. I began to sing again, and if I say so myself, I think I sound better than I ever have!

Funny, now I cry all the time. I held back tears for many, many years because I was afraid what would happen if I let them out. The truth is that life is not all rainbows and butterflies and there are very few people (if any) who have no serious issues in their lives at any given moment. And although I choose for the most part to be a positive person who focuses on being thankful for who and what I have in my life and who I am, there are days when I’m just sad. And that’s ok! There are days when tears are close to the surface and that’s also ok.

What do we do on those days that will actually help us create a blissful life? We let ourselves grieve. I know, sounds simple. But if it’s so simple, why are so many of us walking around with unresolved emotional pain that eventually causes physical manifestations like heart attack, stroke, and disease? I suppose it’s like everything else I share. It’s really just a choice. Allow yourself to feel what you feel so you can move on and out of the darkness, or push it down and pretend it isn’t there until you can’t anymore. I guess you know where I stand.

What do you choose?



One thought on “Ingredients to Create a Blissful Life #22: Grieve

  • June 6, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Beautifully written Jackie, and thanks for the gentle reminder to acknowledge our grief! One day at a time, we heal and are able to live the life that we were meant live. Xoxo

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