As I wrote that headline I kinda realized that my hope and expectation was “one cry and ill be done grieving” but that is not quite how it works, is it.

It stays with us as we move through it. It chips away at some things, while it blends in with us in other ways. And we shed. Beliefs and versions of ourselves. It’s not easy. But moving and through it are key words.

And moving means our body. Soft gentle sway and wiggle. That’s what I prefer. In a bathroom at dusk with no lights on. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. Barefoot I stand there slowly swaying with arms stretched up like seaweed floating in the water and my eyes closed. I’m drinking that peace. With each breath. I feel it twirl and sparkle.

Body massage helps too. Both with finding the edges of my existence but it is also the pathway to a life that feels good. The massage. Lingering fingers and gentle pressure helps the muscle remember factory setting. So it relaxes. But that relaxation creates a temporary imbalance, because the tension that was there is no longer stabilizing. So I relearn how to sit and stand and walk.

And as my muscle relaxes the emotions that’s been trapped are released.

Sometimes right away.

Other times it works over time.

Small increments and then big earth slides. Triggered by something small like a sweater snagging in door handle.

Self-portrait: The Grief. A part of a SpoonWarriors Main Character Journey “Feel All the FEEELS”

I really like the light in this photo, I want to draw it with water colour pencils.

Sitting With The Emotions

It’s been hard to find a way to do this. I had always turned them off. Shoved them down. Deep, deep down. All emotions. All of them felt Not SAfE. So I was on alert and ready to shut them down at the slightest indication that one might stir.

It’s quite terrifying when they pop up now. It’s hard to let my guard down and let them roam free. They’re so intense when they’re mine and not the ones of a character in a book. That was always the way I preferred to experience the world. I needed that buffer.

Now I’ve become my own buffer. By acting the emotion and taking a picture. Baby steps towards feeling it. Observing first. Looking at what it might look like. Through drawings.

It helps me step out of the shame of feeling it. That’s usually what scares me more than feeling it. So, stepping out of the shame really helps me later when the tsunami/emotion grabs me, I’ve learn to swim instead of drown. I’m not lost in it for long, I learned how to find which way is up.

I am learning to hold space for myself. I’m proud of myself for this.

It feels like the space is made out of cards for now. That’s more than I had and I will keep at it. I will make it into bricks one day. Solid. Secure. Safe.

But for now. Under this canopy of cards I meet myself. I sit with her. I witness her. Her being. Her moving through emotions. Sometimes that emotion stirs the surface. Sometimes its all there is. It contorts and twists. But its all her. I am learning to love her.

And I am learning to be her.

Question for you

What colour do you associate with grief?

What shape/shapes?

Does it have a taste/smell?

Let me know in the comments.

Until next time, Sparkle On!

-Elin

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