A difficult week as more tragedy erupts in our world in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad. There are places in the world where violence, conflict and inhuman acts are daily fare but it is largely removed from those of us who live in the west. Distance and a strange kind of expectation keep its true consequence from us until in some way it strikes closer to home. It is then that we are faced with the complexities of grief… shock, revulsion, denial, avoidance, rationalization, rage, anger, sadness, hurt or a collapse into despair and helplessness are all possibilities depending on our own inner make-up.
On one hand we need to notice the deep compassion, heartfelt desire to help and alleviate suffering and the generosity of spirit that follows awareness of tragedy in our human family.On the other hand we are given an opportunity to deepen our connection to our more authentic nature.
Stuck in Defenses or Growth: Our Choice
Our reactions to grief tell us a lot about how we have learned to protect ourselves and survive in our lives. Our responses to situations that trigger grief are founded on our learned defenses, level of emotional intelligence and spiritual development. Consciousness regarding ourselves in these areas provides opportunities for growth into a more free and balanced way of being.
This may seem small in the overall scheme of things but often it is the case that we can only contribute to the world fabric by taking care of our own corner of it. It is not so small when we consider how things really change…through the growing shifts in consciousness by individuals making up groups that then become a groundswell of new worldviews and perspectives.
Grief : The Face or the Underbelly?
Grief has many faces. It is tempting to jump on the bandwagon of the intellect as a way of avoiding painful emotion. Looking for meaning too early can become a form of spiritual bypass that does not contribute to living more honestly for the heart.
Asking questions such as,” What comes up for me in the face of loss? How do I relate to those feelings?” can help us connect more deeply and lovingly with ourselves, process grief appropriately and move on.
Asking “How do I relate to grief and what may lie beneath it?” is a challenging question that may require sitting in a well of silence learning to be present without resistance to discomfort long enough to become informed from the inside out.
The question “What is needed to process this grief and other emotions that may be triggered by it?” connects us more profoundly with ourselves and leads to greater meaning than any to be had through the commonplace platitudes so often offered.
Facing these deeper spaces is difficult but ultimately helps to bring us more in touch with our authentic nature. Within that space resides a depth and breadth of love, compassion and kindness for us that then can ripple out to others.
There have been many beautiful expressions of compassion, support and love for the suffering of people far from our shores this week. In addition, there has been much written about the meaning, the whys, the questions regarding what is happening to our world in general. What I am struck with is the variety of spins put on all of it as if anyone can really know the whole truth. Often interpretations and opinions tell us more about the inner world of the person writing or speaking than about the subject spoken about.
Knowledge is power in some ways, but there is also much we don’t know and perhaps cannot while in a human bio bodysuit. There is a part of us that perhaps believes if we know intellectually then we will be safe, in control, and protected.
To let ourselves sit in not knowing is hard. But it is in that sitting that we come into contact with deeper knowing and truths that really can provide us with what we are looking for. This requires a lot of courage, being the spiritual warrior and facing a lot that we would prefer to avoid.
What we can know is ourselves…turning from explanations and interpretations to our responses. This puts us on a path where we can learn and grow into greater freedom and truth through cultivating our own spirit and soul and live our lives in a more genuinely expanded loving and meaningful way.
See more on managing grief under Categories on the right side bar
For great insight on how our brain responds and reacts to the overwhelm of tragedy here is an insightful article:
Terrorism in Paris: New Neuroscience Tells Us How to Respond
Controlling ourselves is as important as controlling ISIS
Posted Nov 14, 2015 http://bit.ly/1SwtqPC