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Rays of Hope: Seeking Nourishment and Healing in Times of Loss

One truth binds us all together—the experience of loss. We all lose someone or something at least once in our lifetime. It is a universal journey that touches each one of us. The pain and weight of constant losses can indeed feel like an unending erosion, battering away at our hope and leaving us constantly on edge, waiting for the next shoe to drop.

In these moments, when everyday life feels unbearable, and it seems impossible to imagine anything different, it’s crucial to remember that we were not created to grieve twenty-four hours a day for the rest of our lives. Our bodies and psyches have limits and can only bear so much stress before reaching a breaking point. What does your breaking point look like? Are you almost there?

There was a time when I, too, felt trapped in the never-ending cycle of grief, as if there was no way out. Every day was clouded by sorrow; imagining a future without pain seemed impossible. The weight of grief became my constant companion, preventing me from experiencing any semblance of joy or happiness. I became consumed by my sadness, believing it was my duty to carry this burden.

However, it took a physical and emotional breaking point for me to realize the importance of pausing and honoring our well-being. Our bodies and minds have limits; constantly carrying the weight of sorrow can harm our healing journey. It’s crucial to recognize that taking breaks from grief is not a sign of weakness but rather an act of self-compassion and self-care. I was giving from a very empty cup to those who depended on me.

Just for today, I encourage you to reflect on your own breaking point and the toll it may be taking on you, both emotionally and physically. Acknowledge that we all have our limits, and allow yourself the space and permission to pause and nourish your spirit.

Let’s pause and see how our bodies and our minds try to heal themselves through short breaks.

What distracted you today from your sadness?

Did something or someone make you smile today?

Could you list five things that you are grateful for?

Is there one thing that you could look forward to doing tomorrow?

What we are doing here is allowing the other dimensions of us to come alive- for just a moment.

My mentor, David Kessler, calls these “indicators of life.”

Have you noticed that pausing to allow the other parts of you to live may also bring up feelings of guilt? False guilt that you are not constantly mourning, guilt that you are allowing yourself to feel pleasure. This guilt feeling may be overwhelming if you are new to this practice. Consider that you need a physical, psychological, and spiritual connection to live genuinely. This looks different for everyone.

What is the feeling that you would want to have if you could? Name it.

What is something that you can do intentionally to feel that feeling today?

For example, I am walking outside for 10 minutes today to hear myself breathing and feel alive.

Today, I will listen to a 15-minute waterfall video on YouTube so that I can feel at peace.

Or, today, I will allow my neighbor to bring me soup so that I can feel comforted.

Today I will make a meal for myself or take a shower so that I can feel cared for.

Today I will look through pictures so that I can feel close to the one who is no longer here.

Today I will challenge myself to do one thing that I can still do so that I can feel independent, even if it takes me all day.

Today I am searching for stories of others who have felt this pain for this long so that I can feel normal and sane.

Finding nourishment for your spirit in the depths of grief is crucial for your healing journey. While the pain of loss may feel all-consuming, it is possible to find moments of solace and sustenance amidst the storm.

Here are a few suggestions that others have tried and passed on to me. You will find your own menu in time. Today, we acknowledge that it is perfectly normal to need and accept breaks in grief.

One way to find nourishment in grief is through the practice of self-compassion. Offering yourself the same kindness and understanding you would give to a dear friend can be a powerful source of comfort. Allow yourself to feel the full range of emotions that grief brings without judgment, knowing that it is a natural part of the healing process.

Turning to your faith and spiritual beliefs can also provide deep nourishment during grief. Seek solace in prayer, meditation, or sacred texts that resonate with your soul. Allow the wisdom of your faith to guide you through the darkness, offering you strength and hope in moments of despair as you search for the answers to “WHY?”.

Connecting with a supportive faith community can also be a source of nourishment. Surround yourself with others who understand your journey and can offer guidance, empathy, and love. Sharing your grief with a compassionate community can lighten the burden and remind you that you are not alone in your pain.

Nature can also offer profound nourishment for the grieving soul. Immersing yourself in the beauty of creation can provide peace and connection to something greater than yourself. Any green space, outdoors or indoors, even virtually, may allow the healing power of nature to soothe your heart and mind as you navigate through the complexities of grief.

Finally, nourish your body with healthy foods, gentle movement, and restful sleep. Physical well-being is essential during times of emotional upheaval, as it can support your overall resilience and ability to cope with grief.

Remember that finding nourishment in grief is not a sign of weakness but a testament to your strength and commitment to healing. As you journey through the valleys of sorrow, may you find moments of light, love, and grace that sustain you.

 

Note: The information provided here is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. If you are struggling with intense or prolonged feelings or difficult emotions during grief, it is recommended to seek support from a licensed mental health professional in your area.

 US 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat. 988lifeline.org

 

 

 

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