Yesterday I saw a video where a woman mentioned having "two children in spirit."
I tried to process the enormity of what she had just said, let alone lived through, and could not.
Next came to mind the uncountable humans all over the world, who have been physically and emotionally damaged by war. Limbs, lives, and loved ones... lost for unjustifiable reasons.
Gut-wrenching events are part of the human experience... but they are not really part of the social experience.
When we hear a mother speak of two dead children. Or see an amputee who probably carries more internal pain, than visible... we just don't know what to say or do with so much heaviness.
"Polite" society seems poorly equipped to face dark and dreary things. Just like the required shirt and shoes... smiles and cheer are also expected for entrance. For acceptance.
The grief-stricken know to not infringe on the comfort of others. How rude and tasteless would that be!
Social withdrawal and self-isolation becomes a necessary refuge for many who are heavy-hearted. And I'm finally starting to see the exile of it all, as a good thing.
Find grace, by becoming grace.
I have found grief to be a foretaste of death itself. It initiates you into an ungrounded and non-linear season of ___________.
I leave that blank line out of respect for the uniqueness and fluidity of your path. (Also, I never found help or comfort in formulaic "stages" suggesting how I should sequentially feel.)
In your darkest nights (or darkest years, as the case may be), it might be hard to find external methods or resources that can console you as deeply as your hurt goes.
And it's the desperate need for this missing balm that directs you to The One Place you can find it. Which is Deep Inside. The exact same place that the worst-of-the-hurt resides.
There, Deep Inside, you will find all sorts of helpful things that never run out, and never ask you to be anything other than what you are. This is ineffable. It is beyond the word-realm. And it is effective.
(Sometimes messy. As in, "I cried so much, I dehydrated myself!" But effective. Trust yourself to be the one you are seeking.)
I am learning that inconsolable grief can eventually and gently take your hand, and lead you Deep Inside, where you will find the provisions needed for the day. And well beyond.
The question "How are you?" is PROFOUND.
But it has been watered-down to a synonym for "Hello."
Forced or fake auto-responses of obligated okay-ness are expected.
(And if you are going through something tragic, it really doesn't matter! Every social encounter OPENS with this well-established Ritual of Insincerity.)
The question "How are you?" prompts an answer that begins with "I AM _____________."
This means many times each day, you are invited to SPEAK THE MOST POWERFUL STATEMENT that can be spoken of yourself.
And the socially-expected thing to do, is be QUICK + SLICK with your answer.
For a change... TAKE YOUR TIME, and tell your truth. ✍🏾