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Let Me "BE"

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

If you can get past the notion that there are positive emotions and negative emotions, you will become more resilient in your grief. When talking about emotions, good and bad doesn’t exist. Emotions are energy in motion and definitely range from high energy to low energy as well as low pleasantness to high pleasantness. But this is in no way good or bad. Emotions are simply put, emotions. Emotions are universal. They are responses that come about from neurons and hormones. When we are having an emotional experience, we experience it as a conscious feeling. At this point the emotion becomes personal and we feel it.

As you are well aware, grief is a very emotional experience. Grief is experienced at high energy levels as well as a low energy levels. Most of the feelings you feel are very low on the pleasantness scale and occasionally you will have moments of high pleasantness. (Marc Brackett, Ph.D., in his book, Permission to Feel, includes a mood meter chart that is a great tool to use when naming all of the feelings you may experience in grief) Whatever you feel is neither good or bad, positive or negative. You need not hide from or apologize for having your feelings. You are human; therefore, you will have emotions and experience feelings.

In grief, you are allowed to have emotions and to feel them deeply. There will be times when you are so overwhelmed by an emotion that you actually become that emotion. The despair that you are living is being experienced at such a level that you are feeling discouraged, hopeless, alienated and miserable all at the same time. It is understandable that you may conclude that this is who you are. In the moment, you may very well be. This is OKAY. You are grieving.

The thing about emotions is that they are constantly changing. You will not always be despair, even though right now you want to be. Eventually you will move from a “state of being” a specific emotion to an “act of experiencing” that same specific emotion. Let me explain. When my twin boys were stillborn, I was convinced that I had done something that had caused the death. I became guilty. I took on “guilty” as my identity and lived with the shame of guilt. Months later I realized that I did not cause my boys to die in my womb. I did not want “guilty” to define who I was. I became able to experience the feeling of guilt without being defined by the emotion. I shifted my mindset from one of a “state of being” to one of an “act of experiencing” the emotion and feeling of guilt.

When living with great grief in your life it is easy to become defined by the emotions. In so doing you do not allow the energy of the emotion to move through you. Instead, it becomes a part of your identity and your physical body. Some of the common manifestations of this stuck energy include things like headaches, dizziness, tight sore muscles, and stomach pain. When faced with uncomfortable emotions you may have a tendency to ignore them by distractions. Distractions come in all forms, checking emails, scrolling through facebook, watching tv, reading or moving your body. All are ways to occupy your mind and shift your thoughts away from the emotion you are feeling.

Keeping yourself healthy in the midst of grief is a priority. I often say that self-care is your number on priority. Learning to work with your emotions and feelings is a great form of self-care. The first step is to allow yourself permission to feel. Remember, no emotion is right or wrong, bad or good. Emotions are to be felt. Next, sit with your emotion. Being with your emotion will allow you to feel it. You will feel sensations in your body. This is the energy moving through you. You are experiencing your emotion. You are feeling it. Through this experiencing you are able to discern what you need. Then by discovering what you need, you are able to know how you can support yourself or enlist the support of a trusted friend.

Katie Brauer, a life transformation coach, suggest asking yourself these three questions when exploring your emotions and feelings. #1 How am I feeling? #2 What do I need? And #3 How can I support my own needs? By asking yourself these three questions you will know whether you need to wrap yourself in the emotion for a period of time or whether you need to shift the energy and how best to do that. You are the one who is experiencing grief in your life and you have permission to feel it in the best way that will serve you.

Remember, emotions are energy in motion. Your grief is yours to experience. You have earned the right to express those feelings and let them flow. You do you and let the feelings “BE”.


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