As many of you know, I had to say a very hard goodbye to my furry best friend, Killian, recently. I am tearing up even typing these words. We grieve because we have loved. And to love, to genuinely love, is achingly precious and so very real…and sometimes that love is so overwhelming, it leaks out of our eyes.
I’m so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from my friends and family. When asked how I was doing, I responded to one friend by saying:
“I don’t mean this to sound as dire as it’s going to come out…but the upside of going through a lot of heartbreak is I’ve learned how to navigate it in a healthy way.”
…how very true.
I’m grateful for my experiences because they’ve shown me how to move through pain in a healthy way.
It starts with allowing yourself to feel what you feel. Feelings cannot be controlled. They are what they are…your choice in the matter is to either feel them or (try to) suppress them (hint: this does not work and will 100% lead to problems and probably a heart attack). The harder you try to fight against them, the longer you will stay stuck where you are.
I’ve been allowing myself to truly feel and to grieve. I have been riding the waves, the ups and downs, allowing it to be what it is. Anger comes with grief, and I had a day where I was SO angry, I could have spit nails…I could have broken everything I own, I had so much hurt in me. I accepted it was part of my grieving process…and so instead of taking action that would necessitate some major insurance claims, I made a cup of tea, and journaled about my rage. It was angry, violent journaling and my keyboard probably hasn’t recovered yet…but I moved that energy and I felt better.
I’m also aware that my grief makes me vulnerable…I’m more sensitive right now to old emotional triggers. I have less space and capacity for others than I normally do. My patience was much thinner than normal last week (which is a euphemism for “I was fucking irritable as hell”), and I ended up snapping at a good friend when I got triggered by something she said. It was out of my mouth before I could catch it…and I’m keenly aware I can have a *very* sharp tongue.
Now. I would have rather caught myself before it happened…but I didn’t. (See also: “Humans make mistakes”.)
This was one of the times where it was 100% appropriate for me to genuinely, and humbly, apologize. I apologized for being reactive, for how it must have impacted her. And then I did the responsible thing and kept myself FAR away from other humans for a few hours until I felt safe to reenter the population….an excellent example of how your self care can truly be a gift to others.
We all grieve.
We all experience pain.
It’s part of life. Each of our circumstances are different, but the process is the same at its core. Fighting against our feelings only prolongs the pain…and there’s a word for that: “suffering”.
(The internet will argue all day long on whom to attribute this, but the meaning stands regardless)
“Pain is inevitable; Suffering is optional”
Honor your pain, your grief, your feelings, and your process. Don’t try to dictate how long it can stay, or when it should leave. Allow it to be what it is, because it’s SO normal and healthy to grieve. Honor it, feel it…and you will move through the pain, rather than stay locked in suffering.
(And if that means plugging in your XBox and blowing the heads off some aliens for a few hours…well that’s just peachy, too.)
Sparkle on, friends…💖