I wasn’t sure what I was going to write this morning, because I have some other thoughts swirling around, but I think they need more time to cook before they come out. Yet here I am. So on to the Pain to Peace section taken from Turning the Corner on Grief Street, by Terri Daniel…
Premise number 3 in the chapter is “We realize that only to the extent to which we expose ourselves to annihilation, can that which is indestructible be found in us.” She goes on:
“The more vulnerable we are, the more we are willing to risk, the more information and guidance we will receive, and the faster change and expansion will manifest.”
If you aren’t open to different perspectives, this is probably way past where you are willing to go if you are upset, angry, grieving, etc. To grab hold of this, you really have to understand that your soul co-created a situation and that you need to learn from it. Here is my personal perspective.
When Erin was in ICU, I was very vulnerable. Honestly I was willing to risk everything I had ever done in this lifetime, and others, to save her. I admit that I am unclear how this state helped me to receive more guidance, etc. If anything it kept me focused on my goal of her living and coming home. But after she died, I had lost everything of value. None of this material BS means anything to me. Paying the bills, my job – all meaningless. These are all things that can be replaced. I can get new things, a new job, a new house or car, but I cannot get a new child. So I am completely vulnerable in one sense, because I am in new territory. This landscape is foreign to me, and I have no idea where to go, where I am, or even who I am at this point. I DO know that if I do this wrong, like if I become bitter or treat others badly or something, I will be building a future that I am not going to like. So I am willing to risk whatever it takes to get through this, in the best possible manner, and to not have to do it again. And I have asked for a lot of guidance, and a fast track through it. Hey, I jump in with both feet on everything. Let’s get this crap over with.
Premise number 4 is “We learn that bad news, pain, fear, loss and tragedy are actually very clear moments that teach us to lean in and feel rather than to back away from feeling and experiencing. And in that sense, tragedy can be seen as good news, not bad.” In all honesty I disagree with this in how it is written, but let her explain:
“Lean in! What a beautiful expression. To lean in to pain rather than pull away from it looks something like this… you’re diagnosed with cancer, your 14 year-old daughter is pregnant, you’ve lost all your money in the stock market and you lose your job. You’ve tried everything you can to change these circumstances, but it isn’t working. Do you kick and scream and resist and fight and rage and vent and blame? Sure you do… for a while. And then you wake up and deal with it. You lean into it and ask it to engulf you. You receive it in its entirety. And you find that it leads you to a whole set of astonishing new possibilities that you might not have ever imagined. You lean in to even the worst imaginable scenario, and you ultimately are led to that place of fearlessness and egolessness, because the worst imaginable thing has already happened. Where else is there to go? The alternative is helplessness, powerlessness and victimhood.”
Ah, there it is. The worst imaginable thing has already happened. Speaking from this experience, that is where I am. It has happened. I did try to control it. I then shut myself down. But as of yesterday, I realized that I have to DO THIS THING. I know I can’t grieve unless I grieve. I don’t want to stop, I don’t want to put it off. I want to get it the F over with and move on. That doesn’t mean I will ever forget, or lose my emotional connection to my daughter, but cannot live here on Grief Street. It’s miserable.
Right now, I am still experiencing victimhood, helplessness, and powerlessness. I go between “I can do this” and those other things. In the book she goes on to discuss lamentations, such as those in many of the Psalms, and their tremendous value. I suppose that I am also practicing my own brand of lamentations, right here and right now. Who hears me? Is anyone out there? Even if no one is, it’s being “heard aloud” on the web by its very presence. I may not be speaking to someone, but I am definitely lamenting.
I just realized, too, that I never would have wanted Erin to be a victim, powerless, or helpless. I spoke to her a lot about growing up to be a strong young woman. It irritated the hell out of her, and really, she was not strong in the same way that I ever was and clearly didn’t want to be. But she would not have wanted me to be those things either. I feel as if I need for the fires of grief to go ahead and engulf me, and burn me down to ashes so that I can be reborn again, like a Phoenix. I thought I already had been, but I see now that I have been holding back a little. I’m ready now. In typical “me” fashion, I’m ready to jump in with both feet and work this process. I have to. I cannot live here, where I am now, on Grief Street.
Thank you Terri Daniel for writing that book.