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January 17, 2021

How to Keep Going when Grief & Heartbreak are Consuming You.

 

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Mindfulness and surrendering to the unknown.

It’s not to say that it wasn’t arduous and gruelling, this process of letting go.

To say it was anything but would be a vast understatement and discredit all the healing I have done (and I am still doing) to get to where I am now.

I would not be standing on my own had I not fallen—again and again. Breaking, only to learn how to put me back together.

The loss of a seemingly perfect job, the undoing of my marriage, leaving my home and little loves (my furbabies)—parts of me that I have surrendered to the unknown. 

How could I ever recover?

Anyone who has experienced any kind of loss knows the pain and heartbreak can be all-consuming; it feels as though the grief will never end. You question the what-ifs and the somehows. But you also know this only deepens the sorrow.

Grieving is a process of letting go. It’s the passing of time that heals. It’s the effort to acknowledge the joy. It’s the remembrance of past moments rather than falling into the despair of what you couldn’t have. It’s offering gratitude for what you did have.

Holding on to what was and what could have been will only prolong your suffering. You must look to where you are, the here and now. And as cliché as that may seem, it is the only way to set yourself free from the confines of the past—the entrapment of the possible future you had planned in your mind. Finding solace in the unknown and surrendering to the tides gives birth to this freedom.

You have the capacity to master control over your thoughts, reactions, and the lens through which you see the world. If you consciously make an effort to do so. 

The practice of mindfulness has never been more relevant than it is right now. In addition to everything the world is experiencing and dealing with, this past year has added an exorbitant amount of stress, chaos, and insecurity to your inner world. Learning to navigate this, on top of everything else, probably feels like an insurmountable task. (I feel that too.) 

To come to a place of surrender is really about living each moment as it is. To not dwell on what was or worry about what is to come, but to truly embody presence on a cellular level. It seems like such a simple solution to an otherwise exhausting way of being.

But it does not come without conscious and, yes, mindful participation. It involves showing up for yourself, actively making an effort to take part in creating your thoughts rather than your thoughts having control over you.

This is where the work starts.

Once you become aware of the confines of the mind and begin to acknowledge the patterns that emerge, we can free yourself. The rest will follow. Heart rate slows. Breath deepens. Muscles soften. Consciously becoming one with the totality of all that you are in the present moment.

I can tell you that it’s a constant process, one that involves doing the work. You must give yourself little nudges each time your mind veers into deep despair or negativity. Psst…come back. Come back to yourself.

Like a muscle that requires exercise to strengthen, you also need to condition your mind in a similar way. 

Know that the pain you feel from loss, whatever that may be, doesn’t last forever. Nothing ever does.

All you and I can do is venture into the great unknown that is life with a grateful heart.

(I’ll see you there.)

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