Road Map for Life Seminars:
Grieving Life's Losses: Developing The Courage To Mourn (Part 2)
"You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms to full to embrace the present."
~ Jan Glidewell
In the beginning, grief stops us in our tracks, leaving us numb and unable to feel or care about anything. As time passes, we hope the next day or the day after that will bring some relief. But the pain does not start to fade, not even a little bit. We fear life will never be as it once was, before a loss hammered us to the ground. We stay stuck, frozen by a loss we cannot begin to fully understand.
When grief hangs on, when we remain numb or in such excruciating misery that we find it hard to get through each day, it may be time to look at our grief in a new way. The normal grieving process has turned into something more. It's become unhealthy.
What we have failed to truly grieve has turned into a grievance. We have abandoned ourselves and in the process triggered even more pain. If we are to recover, we must have the courage to mourn our losses. We must feel the feelings we have tried to hard to numb out. We must face what we have loss head-on. Why should we put ourselves through such a painful process? We must because the wound to our heart simply will not heal on its own. There's no Band-Aid large enough to cover it; no medicine strong enough to cure it.
Try to ignore grief and it will tag along anyway. Try as we might to shake it away, grief returns again and again. It sneaks into our relationships. We may unconsciously fear that we will lose the next love of our life just as we did the first. Or we may find it impossible to ever consider loving again. We can try to numb it away, but the loss will burn a hole in our souls.
We may try so hard to avoid pain, that we never move on to the next step of the grieving process. Over time a loss never mourned can turn into complicated grief. Maybe our father was an alcoholic and we tell ourselves we are better off without him. Or we see no reason to grieve the grandmother who beat us.
In our zest to move on without mourning, we drive ourselves further into despair. This can cause confusion that stretches out for decades. Psychodrama, or experiential psychotherapy, is one way to help us move the grieving process along. It gives us a safe place to experience the loss and break through the emotional barriers that keep us stuck. We are able to speak the words that were never said. Finally we are able to heal. At last we are able to recover from our loss.
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