Grieving the Loss of Yourself

Lately, I have been feeling cranky. I have been extremely irritable and way more introverted and anti-social than I would like to admit. Something was/still is off and I could not put my hands on it. On paper, things are great. I have a place that I call home. I have a job that pays me well. I have a loving partner that is the most beautiful person in the world…..but something was not sitting well with me.

I came across the beauty that is Ashley of @sacredfem while I was looking for future posts for my organization We Heal Too and was instantly drawn to her page. Sure there are plenty of pages with crystals and women of color, but this one felt different. This page spoke to me and I knew I had to interview her for my organizations segment Honoring the Healer: Heal Thyself. Luckily, Ashley was more than open. A few weeks after I sent the interview questions, she sends her answers.

I was not expecting to receive a message, let alone a message in the capacity that it hit me in. Ashley said this in her interview, “Our culture often pushes grieving to the side which then shows up in other ways (anger, hate, fear, resentment, guilt) so it’s important to me to always allow for grieving, even in the most subtle sense. Loss can show up in many ways.” When I tell you that hit me right to my core. I stopped reading and called my lover over. I told him, “Oh my goodness, I am grieving and I didn’t even realize it!”

I know that I am going through a transition period, but never did I consider that it was also a period of grief. Never did I consider that I was losing parts of myself, losing people I thought were close, losing a lifestyle that I once had, losing ideas that I thought my life should be like. The loss of my old self. The loss of my old life. I was/am losing. I was/am grieving. I never thought that I was experiencing loss in the way that I am.

I had never considered that I would feel like this at this point of my spiritual journey, but Ashley was right, we do not give too much thought to the idea of grieving in the process of healing. It is often just “release the old, accept the new.”, but why does no one talk about what happens in the in-between stage? Why does not one really talk about the transition phase? That is the part where most of us feel the worst in. That is where the “stuck” feeling sneaks in. The feeling of “I shouldn’t feel like this because I have everything and I am living in the now, so why is this emotion presenting itself?”

I guess it is much easier to mourn a person or animal that has died and transitioned or it is easier to mourn losing something tangible. We can talk about that. But what is not so easy to talk about, let alone explain, is how we feel when we completely lose ourselves, lose our mind, lose our identity. How we can feel whole while at the same time feeling empty. How we can feel accomplished, yet in the same breath feel like our world is disintegrating.

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I looked up the Five Stages of Grief & I saw many of the emotions that I have been feeling for the past few months listed. Right now I am on an upward trajectory. I am honestly grateful for my spirituality because I would have surely slipped, lost it, and fell into a really deep depression.

Even thought I accept what things are, I cannot deny myself the feeling of loss. I cannot deny myself the right to feel pain or to grieve.

So tonight. I grieve me. I grieve the loss of myself. The loss of what was. The loss of my mind. The loss of life as I expected.

Tonight I grieve. I will cry and bathe myself. I will be loving towards myself. I will allow my lover to love me. I will allow myself to feel how I feel and I will allow myself the right to grieve until it is all out. Then, I will allow myself to heal. I will allow myself to grow.

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