By Raianna Shai
Grief is a much bigger part of our lives and our emotional bodies than I think we realize. We don’t just grieve passed loved ones or the end of relationships. We grieve old versions of ourselves, nostalgic places, past habits, other lifetimes, the state of the world – really anything that is coming to an end. It’s also one of the most complicated and pushed away emotions we can have as humans.
It’s deep, existential, nonlinear and shows up when we least expect it. Everyone I know who has experienced the deepest versions of grief have described it as coming in waves. It crashes over you and suddenly you feel like you’re drowning. One day you’re the happiest you’ve been in a long time and the next you’re weighed down with an intense heaviness.
I know that grief is not exactly easy to feel but I also know what happens when it’s left unfelt. It harms us in our physically bodies through different aches and illnesses, it causes us to push down any emotion that comes up in fear that it will uncap all of the unfelt grief we’ve left bottled up and it can keep us from connecting to the deeper parts of ourselves that are beyond the grief.
Grief is deep but it does have another side. It is tender, real and honest. It shows us what we really care about and where our deepest fears and desires lie. It shows us so much truth and if truly allowed to come to the surface when it needs to – it can help us love deeper, trust more easily and stay current with every new emotion.
This has been the biggest emotion that I’ve felt this last month and though it’s been painful, it’s also taught me so much about myself and all the varied and important parts of me. It’s shown me that I can feel 50 emotions in one breath, 100 thoughts in each tear that falls from my eyes, a depth so vast it feels like I’ll never feel anything else.
And then I do. I keep moving, keep feeling, keep letting myself dive into this well of despair and come back out feeling even closer to these parts inside of me. Letting go of every hope and dream I’ve had and making way for new ones. In allowing these feelings to surface, I’m telling these parts of me that they are valid, real and loved. And that is where the healing really happens.
Pictured is me feeling real grief during a recent group circle with SoulFullHeart. The community support and love was huge for allowing myself to go to these depths
Raianna Shai is a SoulFullHeart facilitant and website designer of the SoulFullHeart Way of Life. Visit https://www.soulfullheart.org for more information about space holding sessions and free 45-min intro calls, group calls, videos, community, etc.