It is mid-September and we are moving into Fall. Many of us, who follow Indigenous Rituals and Ceremonies, are preparing for the change of season, the Fall Equinox. Where the days begin to shorten, and our light hours darken, we honor and acknowledge this change. Time becomes more still as we prepare for Winter in the coming months. Here we are, still living through the misty clouds of this pandemic. Sorting through this new reality we are living. As the air in California, is literally, cloudy with smoke, our lungs continue to be a point of concern. I wake up to the smell of fire burning and ashes all over the yard. My nose burns as I try to breathe fresh air, that is not so fresh at the moment. I think, have I taken all my immunity building medicines today? Are my lungs and respiratory system really okay? Is nose burning a symptom of COVID? Where was I? Did I wash my hands long enough after touching that door handle? I speak out my daily mantra, My Immune System is Healthy and Strong and I go on about my day. Quieting down the questioning of the monkey mind.
I have been working from home for a while, trying to get a business going, just as the pandemic hits the world. Not the best time to start a business. How could I know that the pandemic would hit the world just then? Well, none of us common folks did. People are struck with fear, the unknown and the loss of life as we once knew it. Grieving comes up again as my new husband deals with the impact of parental alienation, the loss of his babies turning into teenagers, struggling with the life of children of divorce, hormones and a rapidly developing and changing brain that is seeking to ground in independence and autonomy. While that is tough, some folks are dealing with loss of life, as we lose people daily to the impact of COVID-19 and its arduous complications. With all this, we wonder why we are feeling sad, anxious, depressed, alienated, isolated, heartbreak and all the things we have been faced with as humans in this time?
Grieving comes in many forms. We may not recognize that we are experiencing grief. We may not notice what is changing in us, we are suddenly irritable and snappy with our loved ones. We may not notice that we are starting to use the pandemic as an excuse to not see anyone--even remotely. We begin to self-isolate and things get worst from there. Perhaps we are eating more or less, maybe more sugar than usual, an extra snack each night or more glasses of wine. Or, we are just not hungry and nothing sounds good, in fact, doing nothing sounds best, because nothing else matters anymore. There is no hope for things getting better, because they just can't get better but they can get worst--our mind tells us. Our mind tricks us.
There are 5 major Stages of Grief, and we can experience each one in any order and for any length of time:
4. Sadness and
The first step to understanding our grief process and how we cope with loss, is to acknowledge that there has been a loss. This acknowledging contends with the Denial portion of our Grieving process. When losses are just too much for our psyche to deal with, our defenses kick in and we can go into a complete denial of the loss that we experienced. So we need to see and acknowledge how our life has changed. I know it's hard and we don't feel that we can but to move forward and live life, for our own health and for the wellness of those around us, we must muster up the courage to see the losses for what they are. One step at a time, we follow the rest.
If you are not familiar with Metta Meditation--Loving Kindness Meditation, now may be the time to search deep within you to offer loving kindness to yourself, and to others. Here is a link to a guided metta meditation by Tara Brach.