Monday 3 May 2010

Is it better to have loved and lost?

I read the story of Marcia and Seneca today. During the time of Caligula in Rome, Marcia lost her son just before he turned 25 in a war. Three years after he was killed, Marcia was still as grief-stricken as she was the day she found out. Seneca was a philosopher who sent Marcia a letter saying "The question at issue is whether grief ought to be deep or neverending".

Feeling grief deeply is allowed and should be more commonly recognised as a need in life. But we have to give ourselves permission to grieve. All too many times this is not the case, and people carry the weight of bereavement around for years not really knowing or understanding what it is that keeps dragging them down. Feeling a deep grief for a short amount of time is healthy, and after an appropriate amount of time (but it is dififcult to define appropriate), we pick ourselves back up and continue our journey of life. Feeling grief forever is not what we are supposed to do.

One of the side effects of feeling grief in our bodies is a feeling of being alive. We block everything else out and just are our feelings, and this can be addictive as it is nice to shut the outside world off for a while. When grief is prolonged, it seeps into our bones and becomes our identity. We form new habits around it, it is like a warm, familiar blanket, maybe not too comfortable, but safe, in a strange kind of way. When prolonged grief has occured, having the ability to lift the blanket of grief aside when the time comes, can be incredibly difficult.

This is where shamanic work is so powerful. In a graceful way, shamanism helps you shed the heaviness, embrace new light and move on with your life. It does not mean that you never felt the grief, no, instead it means that you are somehow different, changed, because of it. You can leave the heaviness behind and live your life in a transformed way, all the better for having met, loved and lost.

You can find out more about Shamanism on my website, http://www.abby-wynne.com

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post. I've heard stuff about Shaamanism (usually as a joke for that paper towel commercial....don't squeeze the shaaman..sorry about that). Anywho, you're right about the whole issue of grief. It's a lousy deal and most of us, myself included, tend to avoid it whenever possible, knowing that we'll have enough times when we WILL have to face it. Then again, if you don't let yourself love, for fear of grieving, you'll miss out. Agreed. Would it help to admit that I'm a craven coward?! :)

    See you on Facebook!

    Joanna (AKA OREILLY DAVIS)

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