Friday, March 11, 2016

Feel—& then heal

Our Western culture seems uncomfortable with the grieving process. We praise and admire people for holding up, for staying strong, for re-engaging life so quickly after a loss. It's as though we can't move on quickly enough.

Since I've spent a good deal of my life as a strong, leap-tall-buildings-single-bound person, I understand why grieving can seem like weakness and too much vulnerability. However, it's not healthy to be strong all the time. It's actually a sign of strength to be vulnerable—to acknowledge loss and spend time grieving it. By being open and real about those losses we suffer and spending time grieving them, we allow ourselves to be cleaned out and to heal. And we can move on far more quickly.

I've heard this comment, "You can't heal what you don't feel;" and it makes complete sense to me. If we have no sense of the impact of a loss we suffer, and we can't even feel that loss, how would we hope to heal from it?

When I say this to you, I'm saying it to myself, too. I really need to hear this: Real strength means being whole—experiencing and expressing both joy and sadness.

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