Certain things in life are guaranteed.
There are things that I am pretty sure when we are born, we must sign on the dotted line and accept. One of these things certainly is that people will leave us.
People we loved deeply, people we wanted to hold onto forever, people who lit up our skies, our souls and our hearts, will leave us.
It relates back to the old Buddhist principle that eventually we will need to let go of everything and everything will eventually let go of us.
There’s something about this time of year. Is it the extra-long nights, the coldness in the air or the chill in our bones? Or is it all this rain out here on the West coast? Everything left outside this season gets a little soggy and wet.
This time of year it would appear that the weather is going through its own special kind of grieving and there’s something about this solitary process that makes me want to join in so it doesn’t feel so alone.
This time of year when the skies open up and let out deep sobs that last for days, I think about my own grief and how it can still sit in my body and affect my life. This is especially hard, because this time of year we are all feeling just a little more pressure to be extra festive and bright.
But if we have lived past our teen years, it can be guaranteed that we have lost friendships, lovers, family members, pets, neighbours, gurus and even simple things, like our favourite pair of jeans.
These big and small losses can build up inside of us just like one of those giant winter cumulonimbus clouds. Those clouds that sit low in the sky and can cause great and noisy releases of thunder, lightning and tornadoes.
This is what our losses can do when we don’t fully let them go, they can accumulate inside of us and have the potential to transform into powerful and unexpected storms.
We know we are holding onto our losses when we have reoccurring dreams that we can’t seem to shake, when we wake up suddenly in the middle of the night in a puddle of our own sweat and when we have more frequent moments in conversations where we pause because our eyes have spontaneously begun to well up over their edges. All these signs are surely grief tapping at our subconscious door saying, “Hello, I am still here.”
On these days when we just want to cry, because like the stormy weather outside our window, we need a good release, we can be sure it is our losses begging to be relinquished.
Not all losses or people are meant to be released quickly or easily. Some are deep griefs that take years and maybe lifetimes to say goodbye to. But for the losses that are ready, that are knocking at our subconscious to be set free, I’ve developed some homemade rituals to let them go. I encourage you to create your own too.
First, find a mirror somewhere private and lock the door.
Ritual One—For Re-loving the Self:
I look directly in my eyes and begin to repeat that even though I have experienced great loss, even though I have been left by a certain someone (recently or maybe long ago), I still love and accept myself completely.
I say this until my voice goes from shaky to strong.
Ritual Two—For Empowerment:
I take a moment and I look deeply into my eyes. I try to notice the beauty of vulnerability that is there. I then repeat (and interchange the words depending on the situation):
“I choose to let go of the past now. I choose and deserve this day to be free.”
I repeat this until my voice is strong, clear and I feel certain of my statement.
Ritual Three—Cutting the Old Loss Free:
I imagine my finger is a pointer of healing light and I draw a circle from the top of my head, down to the bottom of my feet and then up my backside again. I repeat these circles three times and I imagine that with my finger I am cutting all the old energy ties to the people and stories that are no longer serving me.
The very nature of our human hearts and lives are that we are affected by the world around us and the very act of this affection causes us to feel love and also to lose it. Ritual can help us accept what has left us and love ourselves still.
By releasing our old ties we choose to be unlike our heavy friend the cumulonimbus cloud, letting grief accumulate, but more like a little cirrus cluster, slightly transparent and highly floatable.
People will leave us, this is certain. And I think, it is also universally certain that even though we have been left—perhaps many times—we still deserve to live happily and free.
Author: Sarah Norrad
Editor: Nicole Cameron