Meditation 8: Processing Grief
Hello, and welcome back to the meditation for depression series.
Today, we’re going to continue to focus on mindfulness, noting any thoughts that show up, and we’re also going to focus on processing the emotion of grief. Grief, as you may know, is a universal emotion that is felt upon the loss of someone or something. It can be the death of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, job, and so on.
Grief is normal in the event of a loss. It allows you to feel the truth of the pain in your life. Now, there are stages of grief that people go through in order to process and integrate such painful feelings. Sometimes, though, grief can linger…. Or, people may not know how to process grief, so painful feelings of loss, which oftentimes cause feelings of depression, can get stuck in the energy body and stick around.
Fortunately, through meditation, you’re able to little by little begin to process the grief and begin to heal. Just like a physical injury requires time to heal, a broken heart filled with grief requires time to heal and recover too. Sometimes we don’t heal fully, allowing this wound to travel with us causing harm.
Now, let’s get into today’s meditation. And when you’re ready, settle into the space around you, getting comfortable.
Shift your attention to your body, watching your body, beginning from the head all the way down to the feet. Allowing every part of your body to fully relax.
Just being right now…at peace, with a sense of ease and flow.
Now, I want you to intentionally think about a situation that has caused you grief or pain. This could be something from your childhood, like your parents divorcing, an experience as an adult, such as a divorce, or the passing of a loved one. Simply focus on one painful situation for the time being. Take a few moments and begin remembering the situation. Let your feelings come, as you allow your natural breathing to continue.
Now, normally you may be inclined to ignore or repress feelings of grief, but not right now. You’re going to pull the grief up from where it is lodged and feel it. Let it arise and wash through you. Rest assured you’re not going to feel it forever; but just for a few moments during this meditation time. Trust that your grief wants to felt, but it also wants to be processed and let go.
Are you feeling it? Allow it to come as best as you can. If feelings of anger arise, let them come. Fear? Confusion? Let them come. Just let them come full force right now..if tears come, let them flow. If sobs come, let them come. This heartache, this sense of loss, it may feel overwhelming and you may want to resist it and try to block it. But just let it come. You’re in a safe space to just be you feeling heartbroken.
You may be feeling very alone right now, but know that you are loved. You are not alone. You are unique, and valued.
Now, begin to bring your awareness back to your breath. Gently. Slowly.
Take a deep breath in to the count of 4, holding for a second and now exhaling to the count of 5.
Good. You’re doing good.
Now, you’re going to begin thinking about the situation that caused you grief again, except this time you’re going to be an observer of the situation. You’re going to watch the emotions flood your mind and body as an observer, much like a scientist.
Now, ask questions about the emotions or pain. Where do you see them flooding in the body? In the heart area or all throughout the body? Is there a color associated with the emotions? Do they engulf the body or do they radiate outward? Take a few moments and note anything you observe about the emotions.
Now, observe the painful emotions integrating, or disappearing into your energy body. See them merging with your normal rhythm, watching yourself completely relax and perhaps even smile.
You are beginning to understand how you are an observer of painful thoughts and feelings. A thought is just a thought and a feeling is just a feeling. You are not your thoughts or feelings. You are not your past. You are not your grief. You have the power to feel feelings, and then let them go.
Now, bring your full attention back to your natural breath. Just observing your normal inhale and exhale.
Your heart is open. You feel calm. You’re safe.
Congratulations. You’ve allowed courage to rise so that you can grieve pain that you’ve been carrying. Remember, you can grieve in a healthy way should you experience loss, whether that’s in a meditation, counseling, journaling, or in prayer.
Now, gently bring your attention to your body and the space around you.
Great job. You’ve taken some time in silent meditation to heal some pain you’ve been carrying. In life, painful things may happen, and grief may come, but know that you can learn to process and integrate those feelings over time, ultimately letting them go.
Please know that coming to terms with grief in meditation is helpful, and it’s also wise to accept help from others if need be. If you feel you need extra support, feel free to reach out.
Now, as you go about your day, continue to keep your focus on your breath, noting thoughts that come, and returning to the present moment. Through these meditations, you may notice that you’re feeling more at peace during the day, and experiencing less feelings of sadness.
And this, feels pretty damn good.
Until next time….
”People may not know how to process grief, so painful feelings of loss, which oftentimes cause feelings of depression, can get stuck in the energy body and stick around.