Grief, Happiness, and Puppies
Yesterday was really hard day. The morning started with pure joy and contentment. A cup of coffee, warm sunshine kissing the roses and passion flowers in my garden, birds serenading me during my morning meditation and journaling bliss.
Somewhere in between that and lunch with a friend sadness, self-doubt, and self-recrimination came knocking at my door uninvited. Over a year ago my 26 year marriage ended. I spent the better part of a year reclaiming myself, exploring, and rebuilding. I’ve found and embraced my happy and I still have days like these.
As layers get peeled back and I move forward I still have these episodes of grief. I’ve learned that if I push them aside they only fester growing more potent so when they pop up next time they take me more time and effort to work through. Looking at them and feeling them, while not the most pleasant to experience, is a necessary part of growth. Over time I’ve come to see them as a sign post for forward movement.
Here’s the thing growth, change, and expansion is not always sunshine and puppy dogs even when it’s positive overall. We have the misperception that once we choose a course of action it should be easy, pleasant, certain, and if it isn’t we have somehow done something wrong.
The truth is that big change can be really great putting you in a happier, more fulfilling, space AND there will be intense moments of fear, sadness and doubt. You don’t have one without the other. There is nothing wrong. Its a normal, healthy , expected part of the process even if it’s not particularly welcome. By acknowledging the shadow aspect you diffuse its power and lessen the impact it has on you.
It is not an excuse to stay put in an unhappy, unsatisfying, or stagnant situation settling for mediocre instead of great. Knowing that the ups and downs are normal and part of the process helps with the uncertainty, helps you to move forward anyway.
So I cried on my friends shoulder, walked on the beach, did some energy work, cried some more, talked to another friend (thank god for good friends) and I worked through it, relieved for now but also knowing that down the road it will come knocking again and I will work through another layer.
Share your process for working through the shadow emotions below.