verb (used with object): to undo, take apart, or separate.
Loss, grief, change- it can shatter our reality. It undoes what we believed to be true. It separates us from something we cherish, someone we love.
And so we wrap ourselves in the cocoon of grief. The place we remain to protect ourselves from reality. The cave we sit in as rage, sorrow, defeat, hopelessness and despair fill all spaces of our being. The place of numb consciousness holds us as the rawness of loss permeates our body, mind and heart.
To fully allow the experience of grief to run its fingers through our soul….to be held by the cocoon and sit in the cave. This is real. The despair of loss is natural. We are human, we have emotions. Our hearts yearn to love-and be loved. To love is the human experience. Death is a human experience.
When we love, we will grieve….
So let’s talk about grieving. Let’s make it normal to talk about grieving. Let’s make it a normal conversation about honoring the sacred journey of grief and the continuation of life for those still living.
verb: come together and form one whole.
Just as it is vital to be held by the cocoon during grief, there will also come a time to break free from the cocoon. A time to slowly push our way out. It is uncomfortable. It takes effort.
Did you know? – A butterfly is able to break out of the cocoon by breathing in oxygen. As the oxygen enters, the body expands and no longer fits inside the cocoon. As we take the breath of a new reality….
The caterpillar actually has specific parts of itself pre-designed to be a butterfly. Yet these parts only become active after the caterpillar wraps itself in the cocoon. It is only then that the pre-determined butterfly cells take over and create the full grown butterfly. So, within the caterpillar there was always parts of the butterfly AND the butterfly is only made during the metamorphosis and of the caterpillar.
When the time comes, you will take that breath as you step out of the cocoon of grief. It is a very different world now. You are no longer the caterpillar. What was once the life of the caterpillar is now experienced through the form of a butterfly. The origin is the same – made of the same “ingredients” – yet now a very different being having gone through a life altering experience. Experiencing the death of a loved one reminds us of the reality of life, impermanence and love. An intimate experience we would rather not have…
It takes time to navigate life after loss. Support, counseling, community, tenderness, validation, expression…..it is all so important. Yet, life after loss also has the potential to expose our deepest growth opportunities. We travel to our deepest fears without much choice. There will be a time for the pain to express itself through wisdom. We can tap into this wisdom and learn to trust our “wise guide”, our “observer”, our “watcher” our “higher self”. The whole experience of love and grief brings such heartache AND can push us to new levels of understanding ourselves and life.
It is exhausting to step into new life, new patterns and new environments. We often expect our bodies and brains to “just do it”. Which we can. We will do it. The journey of stepping back into life is vital for our well-being, survival and evolution. When we choose to, we will do it with conscious intention, action, self-compassion, continued resilience and our hard earned heart wisdom………..
And then…we must remember we are multidimensional beings. We are heart, mind and brain. We must share our heart wisdom with our body and mind. Any change, whether through painful loss or choosing change, causes stress on the whole being. Change requires energy, which can leave us feeling exhausted. So how can we replenish, rejuvenate and re-ignite while we step out of the cocoon of grief? How do we put the pieces together from the painful experience and create wholeness? It is a different process for each of us….
Here are some self-inquiry questions to prompt the activation of coalesce discovery….
What brings you JOY? Find it!
When do you laugh? Do it!
Who do you spend time with that fills your cup? Be with them!
Where do you feel nourished? Go there!
How do you connect with your higher self? Feel it!
Do you need to rest, sleep, move, write, cry, express or create? Listen!
What food elevates your energy? Savor it! Fuel with it!
There is something unique to each of us that allows our body to replenish or an experience that restores the connection to our wholeness. A person, place or thing that rejuvenates our heart. Trust your wisdom and make this a part of your daily routine. Especially when you are going through any type of change. There is wisdom in knowing when to replenish and then DOING IT!
Where ever you are on your journey through life, remember to make coalescence a part of your life. Just as the butterfly rests on the flower and pauses to savor the sweet nectar, you too must make the time to replenish.