There is a moment that’s been vivid in my memory recently.
I’d been going through a pretty tumultuous breakup and the grief was pretty intense.
I was sitting outside in the backyard; it was a hot, sunny day.
Taking pause from writing in my journal, I closed my eyes and felt this cool breeze on my skin, caressing my cheeks and tousling my hair. The heat of the sun warmed my shoulders and my feet sank deeper into the coolness of the grass, the earth welcoming me into her body.
I could still taste the tart sweetness of lemon water I’d been drinking; the pen felt so smooth in my hands and my whole body felt alive and filled with an expansive presence.
I looked over at a tree and it was as if the emptiness of the grief was being held by this tree. I could also sense that it wasn’t a void at all. It was being held by this absolute presence of love, the sensuality I felt of life, Eros—love, holding me in that moment.
It didn’t change my grief, but it held it, which was something new to me.
It filled the spaces of the grief with something. With a fullness of emptiness, with a remembrance and an honoring, with prayers for transforming this earthly pain into something beautiful.
I could feel the presence of my ex, the relationship we shared, and its memories swirling in this space where the grief was being held. I could feel the parts of me that grew there, that I could take with me, the parts longing to be reclaimed, and other parts to be let go of.
I could feel God there too. This is Eros, the loving energy of the life force of life itself.
I could feel how it came into my heart, through the same cracks where I felt broken open, to help me repair my relationship with myself, with love, with God, and to digest all that came up with this loss—for it wasn’t just the loss of this person in my life, but the addiction I’d just gotten free of, the shackles of the past I was still wearing but had outgrown.
This moment expanded me in my grief in a way that allowed my body to relax because I realized there was a deep, nourishing and nutritive ground I could find through my senses, through my breath and movement, through loving touch, and seeking nourishment that would help me not only feel held and soft in grieving, but would help me heal my relationship with Eros, with a loving source of life. The Great Mother.
When we grieve, the losses are intense and real; sometimes our separation wound arises and we can feel so separate from life or God or love—even feel mad at the source of life itself.
In fresh grief or old grief, we don’t always know how to access the care and nourishment, the gentleness, or how to tap into a source of well-being that can hold us or carry us through.
We’ve collectively lost grasp of the deeper prayers and spiritual layers that are so deeply present and longing to help us integrate the losses, to allow these deaths in our lives to serve more life.
When grief is stuck in our hearts, we feel more and more disconnected from this place of an erotic life that isn’t about the sexual, but is about the soul life feeling its way through an intimacy with life, senses, body, heart, feeling, soil, sun, salty tears, longing, prayers, fire, waters, and a continuously integrating, revelation of paths in life.
Our grief makes us more holy in a deep revelation of the power of what’s possible in the depths of intimacy with our hearts.
Can you feel the prayer crying out in the current of love that is your grief?
This wants to be lived through you, now, and has the strength to carry you through all the things.
Living into the answer to your deepest prayers honors what has gone away and brings you closer to your Self.
“In the Lakota-Sioux tradition, a person who is grieving is considered most wakan, most holy. There’s a sense that when someone is struck by the sudden lightning of loss, he or she stands on the threshold of the spirit world. The prayers of those who grieve are considered especially strong, and it is proper to ask them for their help.
You might recall what it’s like to be with someone who has grieved deeply. The person has no layer of protection, nothing left to defend. The mystery is looking out through that person’s eyes. For the time being, he or she has accepted the reality of loss and has stopped clinging to the past or grasping at the future. In the groundless openness of sorrow, there is a wholeness of presence and a deep natural wisdom.” ~ Tara Brach