Grieving Change: Soften, Don’t Push

Soften

Many of us are grieving the sudden changes in our lives, which means we are feeling extra emotional and tender right now. Instead of pushing hard to forge ahead, we can take this opportunity to soften. We can relax a little and make space for our tender selves. 

Grief is complex. It has five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and acceptance. We want these to be linear, where we move from one to the other in an orderly process and clear timeline, but feelings don’t work that way. Instead, these stages give us a scaffold to understand how so many different feelings are really all part of one emotional process. 

Soften into your grief and allow yourself to feel your feelings. It can be tempting to try to push it aside and keep forging ahead. Instead, make space for it. Invite it in to tell you stories about what is most important to you, what you care about, and what you are ambitious for. 

Emotions are events in the whole body, not just the mind. When we pay attention and let them flow through us like water, we create health and resiliency. When we try to ignore them and keep pushing past them, they can end up stored in our physical body as stuck stress. Our emotional pain can become physical pain. 

In this time of change and discomfort, allow yourself to soften. Lay on the floor and melt down into it. Let your mind rest as you focus on the steady rhythm of your breath. Gift yourself with room to grieve, allowing your heart to feel all its tenderness. It helps.