Transforming Grief

The light cannot exist without the dark, but light casts no shadow. The heart is the light. Dealing with our demons and being honest with, but not cruel to, ourselves is tough for many of us. What do we tell ourselves? What do we ask our higher power to help us with (or therapists or philosophers or good friends)? What do we say after the words “I am”? Do we punish ourselves or pressure ourselves for what we do or don’t do or mistakes and failures? Do we blame others to avoid responsibility for ourselves?

I’ve written about this before, but it’s worth revisiting.  A long time ago, I was advised to pray for the removal of what I don’t want instead of asking for character traits that I wanted i.e. patience. I often found myself in situations that required patience when I didn’t have the skills to practice it. I prayed for removal of my impatience and strength to follow through and things changed. I found myself being more patient and I started learning tools, like meditation, that helped me practice it.

Now, with intentional living, I still pray for the removal of (insert issue)… but I also thank my higher power for the tools and lessons and desired outcomes from the go; knowing that they are already there waiting for me to pick them up at the right time, and that time is up to divine timing as well as my own willingness to create my circumstances rather than passively waiting.

Life is conspiring in our favor, even when things hurt. Trust me. Pain is a great motivator and is sometimes inevitable, but we can turn it into a tool and even transcend the experience of pain with our intention and subsequent action. Suffering really is optional (and the first one of you that reminds me of this next time I complain gets a cup of coffee or tea on me).  I say this because this time of year is a painful one for me; a time of year that presents grief as my own source of suffering.  The most influential person in my life became sick on Christmas and passed away on New Years day, and each year, I experience a resurgence of grief surrounding this, along with other childhood memories.

Over the years, I have at times I have fallen apart under the pressure of my own suffering and loss, and at other times, transformed my grief as a reflection of the seeds that were sown in my experience with the souls that are gone, and those seeds have been germinating, and will sprout below the surface, seeking the light like a flower growing through cracks.  Grief sometimes operates in a cycle; it will pass and return with new lessons.  We get to witness the cycle of rebirth in our own souls when the veil is lifted and we know that those seeds were sown with all of the love of the universe working to help us move forward in life.

I have found that one answer to grief is gratitude.  My main spiritual practices center on gratitude, as it is the key that unlocks the door to what we want, not an afterthought of something that we receive.  Gratitude requires action to keep the blessings flowing and to recognize the blessings in disguise as problems.  Regardless of whether we subscribe to faith or reason or seek the balance between both, we can’t argue with this.  We can use gratitude as a tool to re-write our experience and transform grief by recognizing the tools and the love and all other blessings from those things and people for which we grieve.

Today I invite the universe to flow in conscious and spontaneous choices through gratitude in the form of intention to remove all forms of duality that do not serve my highest purpose, and I invite silence and observation to lead my inspiration as I continue to take action only seen through myself and Spirit so that I can come to truth in my assessments of the choices and consequences or karma involved as I continue to improve my experience of life.  I invite you to join me in using gratitude to transform your own experience as life is preparing us for some of the largest challenges we will face in order to become that which we seek.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. vanitalott says:

    Hi Soulcialist Butterfly,
    I read this post. Thanks for connecting. I resonate with much of what you share and appreciate it.

    This process of grief I have been in personally and nationally has been deep and informative. My mentor says it brought me down to the foundation of this world which is grief. (See Strange Gratitudes post). That post is very aligned with what you write about which is being grateful for the difficult things we experience also. Embrace it all yes?

    I haven’t been feeling much joy lately and lots of grief but this morning joy returned! Posting about my grief for our nation I am sure helped it transform a bit.

    I picked up the Course in Miracles this morning (which has come and gone in my world since the late 80s). At first I didn’t understand much of it at all. I understand it more and more over time.

    Anyway, this morning I took the Course in Miracles off the shelf. I have carried around the same hardcover 3 book set with me for about 30 yrs! The Course in Miracles (CIM) states very clearly and uniquely, in my experience, that ego created this world. That once in eternity our Christ selves had the “tiny mad idea” that we could be separate from God and that it freaked us out so much and intense guilt overtook us. (Us being the “One Son of God”, we were all one thing) though I don’t relate to oneness as just masculine but I forgive the Course for this faux pas. So we created a world to hide in from God since we feared we hurt God somehow and feared God would strike us down.

    Death/illness/suffering/loss/pain came into being with the formation of the physical universe that all came from the “tiny mad idea” of illusory separation. The idea that God did not create the world is exciting to me and makes sense. How could a loving God create a place where we suffer so much?

    In the CIM Christ says we are all one, one Christ being, God’s only begotten Son (and Daughters). Our true identity is Christ not these bodies. We can remember we don’t really live here, we are not these bodies, that we actually never left true Oneness! We only had a nightmare of separation but we can chose to wake up…realize death is not true since we can’t be separate.

    My remembering this today, that I am not separate from God, not alone here has made me feel joy again and my body is healing from this cold I have been laid up with. I am grateful for the cold that slowed me down yesterday and lead to being quiet. Seems life intermittently needs to use illness or injury to get me to listen! I wanted to share this with you in this Season of Christ in the hopes that it might ease your grief SB.
    Let me know what you think of what I have shared.
    Warmly, Vanita


    1. Hi Vanita,
      ACIM is one of my foundation stones… It takes time for the lessons to sink in. I started with it 15 years ago and find myself coming full circle into deeper understandings again. What I’ve learned is that everything is an illusion. The only reality is the intangible oneness that we often call the soul, or spirit, or Christ within. Though intangible, it finds ways to express itself in the illusion that we call reality through love, beauty, and intention. The person that I grieve is the first person with whom I studied ACIM (and many other paths)… and I always end up knowing that it is not the physical form of the person that I am grieving, but how I expressed myself through the Christ within when that person was alive and in my life. When they passed, I slowly went into a shell, and have been emerging from it for the past 5 years. I mostly subscribe to Tantric Buddhist practices these days, because they challenge the thinking that leads to my own suffering. When I abide by these teachings, I find that the emotions pass and that I am no longer suffering from them but experiencing them as tools to create what I am hear to create. I too experience injury and illness as a way to not only get me to listen, but to purge the physical experience of the grief and trauma I’ve experienced in my life, with my ultimate lessons being compassion for others and love for self… and when I choose to see the oneness, that is, the lack of separation between us, I find a quiet joy that doesn’t end. It is always there, and it drives my will to overcome and move forward, and I am the one who covers it up with my own illusions from time to time.
      Stay Blessed!


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