This is a tricky season.
For those who have lost someone or someones, or whose family has changed shape in some way, the holidays can be filled with grief. For those whose family dynamics are painful, and who deserve so much more unconditional love than you get, yes. This holiday can bring up grief. And I deeply feel that gratitude and grief are no so very far apart.
Lately, in the grief and sometimes of despair, of my current health challenges, I have been turning towards the abundance inside of me. The richness of what lives inside my body, the liquid gold life force that infuses every cell within me. When I am aligned with that, I am bathed in gratitude. When gratitude pours down her blessings, the grief (of loss, of my suffering, of the suffering of all beings) has a safe space to express.
And the grief is held, so I don’t drown in it, but can feel it in the container of gratitude and abundance. I’ve been visualizing these three things as a braid. When we braid the strands of abundance, gratitude, and grief, they interweave to create a tapestry that is actually what’s happening (as in not bypassing) but relating to reality with a cushion, with built in support.
Gratitude is amazing because “when we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and the make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside.
By consciously practicing gratitude everyday, we can help these neural pathways to strengthen themselves and ultimately create a permanent grateful and positive nature within ourselves.”
Gratitude is better than any Rx we can get.
And it’s a simple atunement, a conscious shift that gets us there.
Abundance is similar.
I’m not saying there are not times where the immensity of the situation does not allow for this. I honor the challenges of life and the times to get down and dirty with grief/anger/rage/heartbreak, etc.
However, through the waves and ups and downs of every day life, our viewpoint can shift. Is the glass half full or half empty? In longing for the next fix, can we instead shift to the abundance of what we have and how fortunate we are? When we are feeling disappointed, when things don’t work out the way we had hoped, what did happen that we can feel an iota or a waterfall of gratitude for?
It’s a view shift and we can do it!
And when it comes to grief, allowing is the best medicine, I swear. Burying grief transforms it into a scary, ginormous monster we are terrified to go near. And that monster becomes anxiety, rage, irritability, etc. So grief is asking to be felt, and when we are bathed in abundance and gratitude, it’s not so big, not so overwhelming. Dance your grief, let your tears fall on your feet, while your body does the work of riding the wave of emotion.
If possible, grieve with others. Grieve when your waves of tears and loss can be held, or shared. Call a friend or family member, counselor, coach, snuggle with a pet, join a grief group (they are often free) and do it together. Just as happiness is best shared, so is grief.
So this winter holiday season, I wish you a lustrous braid of abundance, gratitude and grief. I wish you space to feel your feelings and the courage, and inspiration to shift views when you feel stuck or overwhelmed. I wish you grace as you navigate the three, and I give you my wholehearted knowing, that you can, we all can, do this.