Learn to Grieve is a series of excerpts from the book Let That Shit Go: Learn To Process Loss and Be Happy (available on Amazon).
Grief is a byproduct of sorrow and loss. To grieve is a function of the soul more than the mind, although the mind provides an important layer of required analysis to help you understand the reasons for your sorrow or loss.
Your many reasons for grief have left you somewhat bankrupt of feeling because you have not known how to process your sorrow and loss, that is, learning to grieve. In fact, you have barely recognized some sorrow and loss because you have not been taught to do so. You have been taught to only win.
Haven’t the reasons for winning been tied to perfection as well? The perfect self thinks there’s not any reason to lose or to admit defeat. This is perhaps the most damaging belief there is, for in not identifying loss, you have realized significant sorrow, but internalized and sublimated it.
This is why so very many of you are depressed.
Most people living in the so-called civilized parts of the world are so cut off from their sorrow they don’t know what to do except to medicate themselves.
This is making things worse in every way, because it is piling up sorrow upon sorrow without an opportunity to release it.
Therefore, the first step in learning to grieve is simply to acknowledge your loss.
Step 1: Acknowledge your loss
One, you realize that something is changed. It may not be anything big. Perhaps someone has stolen your pencil. Let’s say you are a small child, and this would cause you a lot of pain, given how much you feel out of control of things already.
The person who has stolen your pencil may not even be aware of the pain he or she has caused you. However, the pain is there for you.
“That is the exact shit that makes flowers grow. In your grief, then, are the flowers of your potential outcomes, which are attainable by fully embracing the process to get to where you need to be.”
You believe that the pencil is supposed to be a good thing to have. Now, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. Perhaps the pencil doesn’t have any special qualities, but it was your pencil, dammit. The pencil was yours and it is wrong to steal. You have a sense the pencil has trusted you with it, perhaps, and do not want to feel that you have done something wrong. All these things that come to mind are welling in your throat as you realize that you have lost your glorious pencil.
Now, we are not suggesting that it is wrong that the loss of the pencil would make you feel this way. You have many things that you hold dear, like the pencil you had as a child that may have been stolen.
This is not just a pencil: it is a representation of everything that you think of as good.
Pay attention to your shadow
Now, in adoring what you love, you sometimes let yourself move into areas of shadow. The shadow is your self who helps you realize things that you need to understand.
When you attach reasons for feeling good about yourself to
things you love, that’s the shadow at work.
The shadow will point out the things that are truly in need of realizing. For example, the pencil represents that you are good, trustworthy, and capable of writing things.
Do you follow? The shadow will help you realize that you are not the pie-making. You are not the pencil. Your value is not in what you have or how you do things. Your value is in who you are.The same goes for anything that you find dear. Perhaps it is how you bake a pie. If someone were to come along and say your pie tastes terrible, you would feel totally despairing. That’s because you have put your self-worth into the pie-making, not into yourself.
Back to the pencil scenario. When you think about what the pencil represents to you, you get a feeling that you need to really let that shit go. We mean shit, too, because your ideas about you having to be better is the point.
That is the exact shit that makes flowers grow.
In your grief, then, are the flowers of your potential outcomes, which are attainable
by fully embracing the process to get to where you need to be.
Stay tuned for the next part of this series, Step 2: Use Your Fears to Take Action.