November 24, 2019

Grief is Not the Shadow—Grief Liberates us from the Darkness.


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All emotions are an expression of life force energy, which, at its very essence, is love.

Emotions inform us, guide us, open us, purify us and keep us engaged in an embodied relationship with soul and life. It is the language of the deep body whose songs are sung through the rhythm of feelings and dreams.

Each and every emotion has a purpose that is of the highest value and all are worthy of respect and curiosity.

Even grief, fear, shame, and anger.

In our effort to separate (or integrate as a form of separation) ourselves from the “shadow” of what our culture defines as unacceptable or what a new age spiritual culture defines as “spiritual,” we create a duality when we name certain emotions as negative or low vibration and others as high vibration.

Our mind/ego easily splits us off and creates identities around what is acceptable to experience in order to stay safe and be seen as acceptable and worthy of love.

We re-enact emotional PTSD in our own spirituality.

This creates a deep duality in our soul system. A split that is driven down into our relationship between the body, the inner one who feels—and the mind, the internal parent holding the unconscious attitude toward the deeper soul self.

The only way grief, shame, anger, or fear turn into negative/low experiences are when they are repressed, suppressed, split-off from, and otherwise ignored.

Because this is what turns into depression, anxiety, addiction, hatred, violence, codependency, and isolation. Emotions aren’t the issue, the symptoms of not feeling them are.

Grief and anger, shame and fear are not the same thing as having a labeled constellation of pain symptoms. They are signals from the embodied, soul self that there is something to pay attention to. Something to feel.

Beneath most constellations of stuck pain—which is what addiction, depression, anxiety, and self-hatred is—is a part of the self that we have closed our hearts off to. A place we have not been able to metabolize an experience, or let go, surrender, and open to the flow of emotion that will heal and set us free.

Our society is riddled with pain. Building walls and hiding behind computer screens, and building images and brands only drives our pain and our fear, and the disrespect of the human condition further down.

We fear the shadow, disrespect it, and project it into the people in the most pain. Those people who express themselves, or those who carry the medicine are the ones who can actually help to heal our cultural inflammation. I often think that addicts carry the shadow in our culture and are really the ones who hold the keys for our collective liberation, if only they themselves can get free of their unconscious role.

We are illiterate in grief, in how to navigate pain with love. We are illiterate when it comes to understanding the wisdom of our anger and the shamed, hidden self that needs to be integrated.

Grief is love. It’s present when our heart breaks open. When we allow ourselves to open into the flow of life. Sometimes it pierces the heart so intensely. Sometimes it unfurls the heart so gently. Often, it sways between each, bringing up all the unresolved trauma from the past, which makes it overwhelming to contend with if we are not skilled in her ways.

Cultivating a devotional practice to the soul self is to carve out time every single day to pay attention to the emotional signals, read the dreams, and make space in a sacred container of self for the movement of energy and the whispers of the heart.

Grief is healing. It is love. It is not the shadow, but the thing that liberates us from bearing the weight of what hasn’t been loved. It is the salve that brings relief when we realize there is nothing really to hold on to—so we can finally let go in the current of love waiting to carry us forward.

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