I learned something valuable recently—something that has made the difficult emotions a bit easier to bear.
It’s a tool that came out of the dark shadows of grief and sadness.
I was processing the loss of a dear friend of mine. She was only 39 and had two kids. Her unexpected passing shook me to the core as I rode the waves of shock and grief.
There was a part of me that didn’t want to shake that grief. It provided me some sense of connection to my friend, something I was longing for. But I also knew that I couldn’t stay in that place, or it would overtake everything else going on in my life.
Grief and sadness can do that. They can easily become the only landscape that we see, and anything else—even anything good and beautiful—remains hidden.
Writing has always proved to be a helpful tool for me to process my feelings and emotions, so I did the one thing I knew would help: I started to write about my feelings. All of them.
And I found something within those written words that I had been missing—those pieces of beauty and goodness that grief was masking. For example, the countless moments of joy, dancing, supporting, and enjoying life that I shared with my friend. There was so much to be grateful for, so many things I would have never experienced without her friendship.
I recognized that I was also feeling a sense of deeper gratitude for my life and the people around me. And a strong feeling of contentment and peace—one that seemed to be in stark contrast to the sadness.
So I started to play with a statement that has continued to transform and uplift any moment, any situation. With one sentence, I acknowledge the dominant emotion I’m feeling, but I also recognize what else is present. For example:
I feel sad, but I also feel at peace.
I feel empty, but I also feel fulfilled.
I feel frustrated, but I also feel hopeful.
I feel angry, but I also feel grateful.
The amazing power in using this statement is that it works no matter what we’re feeling. It has the ability to recognize what is true—even the things that might have been hidden—and bring them to light so they elevate the vibration from which we are living. It works when dealing with the heavier emotions, such as grief, sadness, and anger, and also with the lighter emotions, such as joy, peace, and contentment. For example:
I feel happy, and I also feel excited.
I feel optimistic, and I also feel powerful.
I feel content, and I also feel encouraged.
I feel valued, and I also feel loved.
What would happen if we started to play with this powerful statement each day? How could it make room for more of what we’re actually feeling and experiencing? How might it raise the energy in any situation?
Just like there is always more available in any moment—more possibility, peace, joy—this statement makes room for each feeling to rise up and be noticed, giving us the opportunity to live from this more expanded place. Yes, even when dealing with the heavy emotions like grief.
It’s time we take hold of our power to transform and uplift our lives by using this statement each day.
Author: Ruth Schalkhauser Tower
Image: Matheus Ferrero/Unsplash
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Yoli Ramazzina