Emily Threatt, author of Loving and Living Your Way Through Grief, has written a new blog post on how essential pain is to healing, take a look.
just finished reading Ibram X. Kendi’s book: How to be and Antiracist, such a powerful book helping me to put into perspective what is happening in our country today. The book is filled with humanness and things to think about. And he puts in the perspective of the fragility of life.
Kendi’s wife and Kendi himself both experienced cancer in the early times of their marriage. His was Stage 4 colon cancer. After losing Chadwick Boseman to colon cancer last week, I immediately thought, Oh no! We can’t lose another brilliant mind right now while we are in the middle of this, especially since his writing is helping us to understand and learn what we need to so that we can deal with the issue of racism. I was relieved to read that Kendi was in that very small minority of people who survived Stage 4 colon cancer.
In relating his story in the book, I was struck by his sentence: “Pain is essential to healing.” Those of us who have suffered loss go through the process of learning this lesson. We have felt the depth of despair that follows loss. And for many of us, dragging ourselves up from those depths can be seemingly impossible. Yet ultimately, we find our way to the new people we become. The deeper our pain, the more profound our change becomes.
The way I dealt with that upward journey was to focus on learning what I was to do next. Last week I wrote in my blog about discovering my purpose and how that became my focus in healing. Ironically, just after I published my blog, I saw a clip of the speech that Chadwick Boseman made to the graduating class at his alma mater, Howard University. His message was for the graduates to focus on their purpose. Watching that made me feel like he was giving me a reminder that I am on the right track.
Feeling that our lives have no purpose when we are dealing with loss is a common reaction. Recognizing that this is happening is the first step to dealing with it. When you feel that deep pain, take some time to explore it. What hurts? How does it hurt? Are you clinging to that pain? Are you ready to release it? Try making friends with your pain. Acknowledge your pain, respect it, and ask it what it wants from your experience with it. I encourage you to journal about this and see what you discover.
I found that my pain was all encompassing, affecting every aspect of my life. And I discovered that it had served its purpose ,and that I didn’t need it to hold me down like an anchor, forever impeding me from moving forward. When I recognized this, I thanked the pain for the part it played in the process of my grief, and I released it with love. This process brought a tremendous relief. Although I knew I wasn’t finished with grief, I also knew that I no longer would be held down by it. I could now look at my life and find what I wanted to do next.
I encourage up to deal with your pain and discover its lessons.
A Comprehensive Guide to Reclaiming and Cultivating Joy and Carrying on in the Face of Loss
Rediscover sustained moments of joy as you seek a new way of being in the world. Loving and Living Your Way Through Grief guides and lightens the journey to positivity for those who feel the pain of loss, whether it is the loss of a loved one, a job, a marriage, a house, a pregnancy, a nest egg―anyone or anything that we loved and that is no longer in our lives. In this book, author and fellow griever Emily Thiroux Threatt provides you with strategies to embrace the process of learning how to start living again.