I held back..

I held back, not wanting to feel. I held back, protecting my innocence and my purity.

I held back, fearing the wrath of emotion. I held back, forging a defense.

I held back when I was happy and I held back when I was sad.

I held back until you touched me and scattered my being into pieces.

Shredding all the pain, all the grief, I stood beside my broken light.

I hold back no more and have begun to flow uncontrollably.

I hold back no more and allow my heart to feel it all. The pain, the hurt, the joy and the love.

Encircled in your light I stand in all my might.

Thank you and the you that has found its place in me.

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Nature heals

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Five stages of Grief

This video covers a portion of Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s work on grief, death and dying. The video talks about an individual’s response to death & dying.

Five stages of grief include:
1) Denial
2) Anger
3) Bargaining
4) Depression
5) Acceptance

I draw from her work to support my clients through the process of grieving surrounding various life transitions.

Link

Allow yourself to grieve.

Grief is a natural response to any kind of loss. Loss of a loved one, losing your sense of identity, or even a perceived sense of loss. It is hard to lose someone who has lived and now is not around. It is sometimes harder to let go of the losses that occur during a divorce, break up, physical moving to another place etc. No loss is bigger than the other and no one’s pain is lesser than the other. Grieving is necessary to heal. Most cultures have a group ritual/ceremony around a death which brings people together for support and provide a platform to release the pain and hurt.

You can create your own ritual to help you grieve. 5 healthy ways to grieve include:
1) Writing a letter to the person mentioning everything you would have liked to say. You can even read your letter out loud.

2) Collecting pictures and making a collage in memory of the deceased person.

3) Allowing yourself to be angry if that is what you feel.

4) Lighting a candle or incense for a certain number of days in memory of the deceased.

5) Stay in silence for a few days and or scream out your pain.

You can choose to burn the letter/ pictures. You can also do a combination of the above. Just follow your heart. It is also important to understand that grieving the loss of your ‘old’ self is as valid as grieving the loss of a loved one. You know a sense of loss intuitively and do not let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Above all, seeking professional help from a compassionate individual is always an option.

What we hide does find a way out!

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My desk mirror

Don’t ask me why but today while reading the DSM IV-TR (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) I came across a whole spectrum of disorders that originate from not wanting to acknowledge the negative that exists in and around us. This could be negative emotions i.e. fear, jealousy, anger, insecurity, feeling blue etc. or undesired life circumstances i.e. loss of a loved one, loss of a job, physical illnesses etc. When we look around we are taught to always keep smiling, push things under the carpet, ‘sleep it over’ or ‘drink it over’. The sad part of it is that sometimes the people we love cannot see us in pain longer than what they would expect. This subtle expectation stems from a place of love but leads to us choosing unhealthy coping so as to pose perfectly in front of our loved ones.

Using computer parlance, all of this data does not get deleted on its own or leave the system. It exists in there, somewhere. If we continuously keep storing files in the system and never delete cookies or unwanted files, what does it do to our system? Well, we know it, it slows down. Being a human being and not a machine adds several other complexities and in addition to slowing down, we tend to find ‘releases’ or compensate our pain with temporary pleasures like drugs, meaningless sex and series of addictions.

Our culture today does not teach us ‘Emotions 101’ and we find ourselves battling with them day in and out. Emotions have been portrayed as something that needs to be controlled just as man has attempted to conquer Mother Nature. It is not a war unless we make it one. Akin to our physical ailments where we know the ‘symptoms’ and treat them, emotional symptoms are ignored or the person with the symptoms is looked down upon as ‘the problem’. This is where the individual goes to a doctor and gets prescribed some pills to alleviate the symptoms. The negative emotions continue to stay inside and we just don’t realize they exist, similar to pain killers where pain is numbed not cured.

Emotions need to flow just as water flows. When we try to block the flow of water, it only forces itself out through some opening. How do we maintain this flow? Being open to experiencing emotions, acknowledging them and not to judging will help. Expecting not to feel a certain way is counterproductive. Journaling on a regular basis will help increase awareness. Once we have an increased awareness, the shadows of blocked waves from the past cannot take us by surprise. Seeking professional help to manage emotions also works. I personally love using Dialectical Behavior therapy which draws from Buddhist philosophy of acknowledgment and acceptance.

On a side note, more often than not, our emotional symptoms point to greater unresolved issues i.e. unhealthy interactions in family, societal disparities, cultural incongruities etc. Our individual systems are constantly interacting with the environmental influences..let me save that for another blogJ

Let it flow!