May is a full month for me, and I say that in a good way. My body is now able to handle more time at events, more conversations, more people, more small talk. I get to celebrate some endings with friends and family. I get to experience and celebrate finishing my first year in spiritual direction. Yet I’m realizing that even in the richness of spring, I need to make time to grieve.
Grief is surprising, and new with each experience. You can’t handle grief or put it in a category. It’s an emotion that needs to be experienced. In our culture, too, we feel the pressure to “get over it” quickly. It is still difficult to be sad in public. It’s an uncomfortable emotion for all involved.
One morning this week, I alternated between eating, writing, crying, reading. I have some experiences buried in my past that I need to cry about. I’m glad I made the time to enter into this experience. What I really needed to do was cry, not distract myself with a movie or a conversation. I needed to be alone and I needed to cry.
For the past few months, I’ve relished in noticing small movements of healing. They are to be seen, celebrated, and spoken. Yet I feel like I need to take a turn, and to feel the harder emotions more poignantly. As I grieve, I allow myself to be changed. I allow myself to acknowledge that I am darkness and light. I allow myself to acknowledge that I am human and brave.
In his recent On Being Interview, David Whyte stated,
“The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability. How we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance. Our choice is to inhabit vulnerability as generous citizens of loss, robustly and fully. Or conversely as misers and complainers, reluctant and fearful always at the gates of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter, never wanting to risk ourselves, never walking fully through the door.”
I want to inhabit my vulnerability and my grief, even if it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient.
What do you need right now?