For those of us who are grieving the death of a loved one, this season of merriment and celebration can be a difficult time. This month I’m sharing with you some ways that I’ve found to cope with grief during the holiday season. In this excerpt from Walking in Grace with Grief Meditations for Healing After Loss, I talk about being mindful of how the feelings of other people can affect your ability to grieve your own way.
Keeping Pity Energy at Bay
There are no “shoulds” about how to behave during times of loss. If you feel like laughing, then laugh. If you feel like crying, then cry. Forget what “they” say. You are in charge of your feelings. Use the Golden Sun Meditation (see chapter 3) to fill you with peace and comfort. If that means that you fill your golden sun with happiness, then do so. Do what is best for you. Be mindful of how you want this period of sorrow to unfold.
In addition, be mindful of when well-meaning friends and family inadvertently try to dump their grief in your lap. Yes, unfortunately it happens. As two people relate, they unconsciously exchange energy with one another. Underneath your friend’s encouraging words of love and support may be some suppressed feelings of guilt, abandonment, or pity. Of course your friend is not consciously aware of sending you these mixed messages—in fact, she or he would be horrified to discover they had! But it does happen. Part of being a conscious griever is understanding how to prevent these twinges of unresolved grief from encompassing you.
One of the most effective ways of doing this is to visualize your body surrounded by a protective coating of glass, Teflon, or some other impervious material. The purpose of this covering is to deflect these unintentionally distressing thoughts before they affect your ability to grieve your own way.
Healing Meditation: Keeping Pity Energy at Bay
- Sit in meditation with your eyes closed and your feet flat on the floor. Feel your grounding cord connect you to the earth and your surrounding space fill with the energies of peace and stillness.
- Breathe in and center, bringing all of your awareness into your body. Be in the center of your head, your peaceful meditative space. Breathe out and ground, releasing all tensions from your body as you allow them to move down the grounding cord to the center of the earth. Breathe in and center; breathe out and ground.
- Now let’s design the protective coating for the energy space surrounding your body. You can change the coating every day during your daily meditation, so don’t worry that it has to be perfect. Experiment; that’s the joy. See what works for you.
- Think about how you would like to prevent stray thoughts and feelings from affecting your ability to grieve your way. Sometimes I see a fine wire mesh surrounding my body. This permeable membrane allows my own scattered energies to come in but keeps out others. Other times I envision a platinum coating sealing my energy body from all outside influences. You might try out a bubble of glass or a protective coating of Teflon today, and pick something different tomorrow. You get to choose.
- Now imagine this protective coating extending all the way around your body, above your head, and below your feet. Visualize it out in front of your closed eyes and allow yourself to feel safe and nurtured while encased in this protective coating. When someone thinks of you, his or her energy is coming your way, even from a long distance. Notice what happens to your protection bubble as it encounters outside energy. It may change color as it absorbs this energy, or the energy might just slide off the surface. Notice what you notice.
- Set the intention that the protective coating will work for you all day, deflecting any well-meaning but unconsciously transferred pity, guilt, or grief from friends and family. Acknowledge that we all have issues that we are dealing with and that the only person you can heal is yourself. When you have the protection bubble set in place, open your eyes and come out of meditation.
Every day as part of your morning meditation, put a new protection bubble around your body. Know that it will work for you all day long by deflecting unwanted energy before it enters your space.
There are many more tools and meditations that I talk about in Walking in Grace with Grief Meditations for Healing After Loss. If you have a friend that is going through a tough time right now, you might consider sharing this blog post with them.