Posted in building the new world, End of the World Prophecies, grief, world changes

It’s Really Ok to Grieve

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we are currently traveling through the death of the world as we have known it.  I also know that death, in this case, is not an ending.  Instead, as the old world is imploding upon itself, a new world is beginning to be born.  While we may have hope in the new that is coming forth out of this dying, it is also important to grieve.

Grief is the miraculous process that we have been given to move through that which is ceasing to be.  Grief creates the pathway through which we can release the old while making way for the new.  Grief, when engaged in fully, also helps to heal us from the loss so that we might be open to receiving the new life that is promised on the other side of the death.

The process of grief has been said to present itself to us in the following faces:

  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Sorrow
  • Acceptance

As it relates to the death our world is currently facing as brought forth through Covid-19, humanity is wavering somewhere between the stages of shock, denial, and bargaining.

Shock is the feeling we are all having as our lives have suddenly experienced a dramatic change.  Holy crap – this sh*t is real!  For many, (myself included), our lives have simply stopped.  With shock, all we can do is acknowledge the dramatic change while attempting to find our way into and through it.  As wave upon wave of new (and sometimes false) information comes our way, we may find our shock retriggered.  Again, acknowledge the trauma of the shock while trying to find a “new normal” for yourself.

Denial is when we don’t believe it’s real.  This is the state the U.S. was in for weeks/ maybe months as the virus was devastating other parts of the world, but hadn’t yet impacted us.  Many continue to be in denial over the potentially critical nature of the virus and the fear that many are experiencing as a result.

Bargaining is the stage that seems to be most apparent right now.  Bargaining is often characterized in a literal sense as in bargaining with God over the fate of a loved one.  Bargaining is also recognized in:

  • Desire for information: If we could only find enough information and the right information around this virus we will all be ok.
  • Attempts at control: Trying to find ways we can control the virus and the life we are living in the face of a pandemic. Some recent examples include:
  • Arguing over the perceived loss of civil liberties.
  • Protesting the stay at home orders.
  • Arguing for stricter stay at home orders.
  • Wearing masks/not wearing masks
  • Creating theories around what is true or not so that we can feel better (or in control)
  • Needing to be right.
  • Pointing the Finger of Blame: All the ways in which we criticize and condemn others for their response to the virus and our judgments around their response. This includes all the ways we shame others by telling them they are wrong.
  • If/Then scenarios: This somewhat falls into the control category. “If I wear my mask everywhere I won’t get it.”  “If I’m only with those who I know haven’t been exposed, then I’ll be fine.”  “If I think the right thoughts, take the right supplements, eat the right foods, then I will be fine.” 

 

All of these are natural human responses to grief.  There is no judgment of these reactions and none of them are wrong.  This is what we do when the world that we have known is suddenly yanked out from beneath us and we are left floating in the void of the unknown.  We are looking for something to hang on to, something that is concrete.  We grasp after the illusion of control when the world around us is completely outside of our realm of control.  We cannot delay the inevitable.  Neither can we stop it.

But there is one thing we can do to ease our fear and heal our pain:

LET GO

When we peel our grasping fingers off the throat of the dying world and allow ourselves to surrender to the unknown – this is where we find peace.  When we cease grasping after control, we will find that there is no risk of sinking into despair because instead, we will find ourselves being gently carried to whatever the new world might be for us.  When we let go we are able to grieve the loss of the old, find healing for our loss and be made ready for the new life that is silently calling to us from out of the depths of the void.

Where are you finding yourself in the grieving process?  What aspects of the dying world are your grieving?  What might you begin to let go of as you move through your own grieving process?

 

Posted in Death, Initiation, self-actualization, shadow work, Spiritual Development

The Danger of Stopping at Ascension

Hint:  Ascension is NOT the path to our Wholeness! 

For the past number of years, we have been experiencing the great awakening of human consciousness.  This awakening has been given many names and equally as many faces.  Some call it the “New Age Movement” (for the record, there is nothing “New” about New Age. It is simply a rediscovery and reclaiming of what Mystics and Prophets have known all along).  Others call it Ascension.  Still others call it enlightenment. I’m sure there are other names, but we’ll leave it at that.  While there have been many positive aspects to this awakening, there is one ENORMOUS DANGER and pitfall which very few acknowledge and even more fall into:

The Danger of getting stuck at Ascension.

Below is an excerpt from my Authentic Freedom Weekly Lesson.  To subscribe and receive the full lesson click HERE. 

Ascension is NOT the path to our wholeness.  Ascension is not the goal.  Ascension is not the final outcome.  In fact, our human journey toward wholeness – where we are one with our Divine and Human selves – is not complete until we have moved past ascension and are willing to descend into the depths of our own, as well as the world’s darkness.  Descending is the profoundly challenging (and yet deeply liberating and rewarding) part of our journey toward wholeness where we come face to face with:

After we ascend and discover the ecstasy of our Union with the Divine (our higher and truest self), we have to bring that Union into embodiment.  The only way to embody our true and Divine Self is to let it come through us, bringing us face to face with all of who and what we are that is not in alignment with Love.  This is the work of the Shadow Worker and where our true gifts come to light.

For support with your shadow work, read my book, Authentic Freedom.  Available HERE. 

The truth about Descending is that we cannot “LaLa” the darkness away.  Neither can we avoid it by escaping into reverie.  We don’t change things by thinking the right thoughts, raising our vibration, eating “more highly vibrational foods,” or through thoughts and prayers. We have to do the messy, dirty, sometimes terrifying work of turning away from the light and toward the darkness.  This is the DEEP DIVE that has nothing to do with “Dark Night of the Soul” and everything to do with the BIRTH of our Soul.  Here, the fragmented and broken parts of our humanness are acknowledged, transformed, and then released so that only Love remains.  I will make no bones about this part:  the LOVE that we are is not some glittery, flowy, rainbow filled unicorn of light.  This is the LOVE that can withstand all that we are, all the world is, and everything life will hand us, without turning tail and running away.  This is the Love made up of fierce courage.  It is the Love of Mother Kali who cuts away all that is not supportive of our mission and purpose on this plane.  On a collective level, it is the Love of the Destroyer that burns down whatever stands in the way of our human evolution – even the Brazilian Rainforest if that is what it takes to

WAKE US UP

But again, here is the trick:  We do not arrive at our wholeness through “love and light.”  We get there by burning the f’cker down.  And the work starts and ends with ourselves!

If we are not willing to do the challenging work of facing and being with our darkness and our greatest fears, then we cannot be a source of Love and support for our dying world.  If we do not do this critically important work, choosing instead to escape into Ascension, then we will suffer the consequences.

While Ascending past the illusion of separation and finding our Union with Self is an important first step, avoiding the Descent will paralyze us with this one critical truth:

What we resist will persist!

As a friend of mine once observed, “God is a nag!”  I would translate that by saying that our True Self, our Soul is a heartless bitch!  She will hound us until our work is done.  The harder we work against Her, the more vicious She becomes. Choosing only Ascension, imprisons us in our darkness which then comes out sideways in:

  • Blaming.
  • Shaming.
  • Manipulating.
  • Passive Aggressive and .Bullying Behaviors.
  • And the king of all demons:  DENIAL.

When we are stuck in ascension, we are blind to our darkness (oh, we might see it, but we will do everything we can to “La La” it away).  We pretend it isn’t there.  We avoid anything that might have to do with death, disappointment, failure or inner conflict.  We pretend we know ourselves, when we really do not.  Our unhealed wounds come out sideways as we spin round and round in the drain of our inability to be completely and wholly accountable to and  responsible for ourselves.

The journey if descent is excruciating, but staying in ascension is even worse!  How would you like to spend an eternity in the game of pretend?  Pretty soon you can no longer remember the lies you have told yourself to stay in the light as your darkness overtakes you.

Sigh.

Here’s the really funny thing about this truth……Jesus knew it, and so did the Kabbalists who were likely his teachers.

Above is an excerpt from my Authentic Freedom Weekly Lesson.  To subscribe and receive the full lesson click HERE. 

 To learn more about the Kabbalistic roots of the Jesus movement, check out our Order of Melchizedek Alchemist Training.  

 

Posted in Lessons, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

The Dangers of Spiritual Bypass

Spiritual bypass can best be described as: “the tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks”(Welwood, J. (2000) [1984]. “Between heaven and earth: principles of inner work”. Toward a psychology of awakening: Buddhism, psychotherapy, and the path of personal and spiritual transformation. Boston: Shambhala Publications. pp. 11–21.).

In spiritual bypass, we avoid, ignore, deny, suppress and repress the challenges, difficulties, disappointments, and suffering that are inherent within the human condition. Spiritual bypass also includes avoidance and denial of the shadow.  The shadow is made up of our unhealed wounds, unacknowledged fears and includes all the aspects of ourselves that we have rejected because we have deemed them unacceptable.

spiritual bypass, shadow work, denying the shadow, lightworkers, denial, darkness,

Spiritual bypass takes many forms, but in essence the action is the same – hoping, believing, acting as if we can simply meditate, pray, chant, or positively affirmation our struggles away. The universal outcome of spiritual bypass is always the same and is best articulated in the Buddhist saying, “What we resist will persist.”  Through spiritual bypass, we are not dealing with, confronting, healing or transforming anything; we are simply sweeping it under the rug. As is true of everything we avoid, deny, ignore, the rug can only hold so much.  The rug will eventually explode and everything we have shoved under it will come out to haunt us.  Even if we are successful in keeping it all under the rug, what we have resisted and ignored will find its way out sideways – usually in non-loving behaviors toward ourselves or others. Often these behaviors become compulsive (ie: addictions), are disproportionate or uncharacteristic of our true nature.

Some very clear examples of spiritual bypass and the negative consequence of this pattern of behavior includes: the clergy sex abuse crisis, narcissistic behaviors, abuse, co-dependency, homophobia, racism, sexism, violence against children, school shootings and other forms of terrorism. What we resist will persist and what we suppress will find its way out whether we want it to or not.  I would further suggest that we are currently living in a world seriously caught up in its own bypass – ignoring, denying, projecting away the darkness and pretending that it is all ok when in fact it is not!  Societal bypass is exhibited in our divisive culture where many refuse to see the truth that is staring them in the face because it makes them feel uncomfortable (triggering their own unacknowledged anxiety or unhealed fears), or who instead of acknowledging their role in the darkness that exists in our society, either ignore it or project the blame onto someone else.  The bottom line is that we cannot meditate, mantra, pray,“beam love,” think good thoughts, repeat positive affirmations, “La La Lightworker” the darkness away. Until we learn to face our darkness (individually and collectively) we are guilty of bypass and the darkness will not only persist, it will become worse.

I will wholeheartedly admit that I am not innocent as it relates to spiritual bypass.   I too have ventured down its path.  I will admit that it felt good there – for awhile – but eventually it kicked my ass! I have since learned that the only way out is through. If we want to be free of our inner fears, unhealed wounds, and perceived imperfections, we have to go deep into them, feel them, wallow in them, and THEN through our spiritual practices, find our way through them.  In this, we are not covering the darkness with the light; neither are we turning the darkness into the light.  Instead, we are finding the light that is already present within the darkness – if only we have the courage to go there.

The work of dealing with our shadow and confronting all that is broken within us is hard! It requires personal accountability, self-knowledge, courageous honesty, humility, vulnerability, and discipline.  It also requires the understanding and belief that in the overall scheme of things, what we are tempted to call “darkness” is in fact our light.  Within the struggle, suffering, struggles, challenges and all the things we want to deny or reject about our human experience is there to serve the light.  It is within these perceived challenges where we find our greatest gifts.

Authentic Freedom is a powerful transformational tool for identifying and moving through our unacknowledged fears and unhealed wounds. Learn more HERE.

Posted in Death, Jesus

Denying Death – Jesus’ and our own

Denying death seems to be the primary preoccupation of Western culture. Our religions reflect (or maybe inspired) this in their wholesale denial of Jesus’ death.  How can we stop denying death so that for once we might live?

As I was moderating and reflecting on the student discussions in my online Magdalene Priest and Priestess Training this morning, I began to wonder:

Have we ever really dealt with and appropriately acknowledged Jesus’ death?

Theologically, socially, collectively, I believe we have not. Very much in the same way that Western Culture collectively denies (or tries to deny) the very real truth that each and every one of us are on a slow (and in some cases hasty) march toward our inevitable death.

death, denying death, Jesus' death, God's will, death and dying, death

Jesus was whipped, tortured, and hung on a cross to die the slow and painful death of crucifixion – the most painful and torturously slow deaths reserved by the Romans for only the worst criminals. Jesus suffered and died while Mary Magdalene, his mother Mary, a few other female companions and (perhaps) John watched. While the aforementioned accompanied and did their best to offer prayer and words of support for their beloved Jesus, the rest of the disciples were hiding in the Upper Room – afraid that by their presence they too might suffer Jesus’ fate.

Jesus died because 1) death is the inevitable outcome of the human experience. And 2) because some human beings are jerks.

But nowhere in our Christian theology are the aforementioned given as reasons for Jesus’ death. Instead, we are given platitudes like:

It was God’s will.

Jesus died to atone for our sin.

Jesus was the sacrificial lamb.

Jesus died to save us.

He’s in a better place.

At least he’s no longer suffering.

Blah Blah Blah.

What kind of God kills his own son so that we might be free??????? A jerk of a God, that’s what I think.  My God (as Jesus said) is a God of “mercy not sacrifice.”  My God is the prodigal Father/Mother who is standing with open arms waiting for his/her children to come home to the love that they are – never judging or condemning her/his children for BEING HUMAN – making mistakes so they might grow, exploring the world so they might learn, venturing away so they may return.  The God of love that I have come to know in my relationship with Jesus wasn’t the cause of Jesus’ death, human beings were.

As such, it was NOT God’s will that Jesus would die. There was no atonement or sacrifice needed for the “sin” of being human.  Jesus died for one simple reason – because some human beings are jerks.  They were afraid of who he was and what he tried to teach….so they killed him.  Period.  Death, as we all know, is the natural consequence of the human journey – some just get there earlier than others.

BUT…in Western culture, we live in a constant refusal of death…and I sometimes wonder if the source of this denial is a projection of the male disciples’ guilt for not having the courage to be a source of support for their teacher and friend when he was dying. We demonize and try to delay aging.  We plasticize and paint the bodies of our dead to make it appear as if they are still living.  We separate ourselves from the process of decay and death.  We avoid those who are ill or dying.  Then we do everything we possibly can to numb ourselves so that we don’t have to face the inevitable outcome of our human experience – which is death.

When we can no longer deny death, but still need to hold it at arm’s length, we come up with platitudes to make ourselves feel better – the very same platitudes our religion has offered us in response to Jesus’ death: It was God’s will, he’s in a better place, at least she’s no longer suffering.  If we believe it was God’s will, etc. then we don’t truly have to acknowledge the very real pain of death and the loss we experience because of it, or the guilt of having (for now) survived it.  Denying death by holding it at arm’s length allows us to deny the very real fear we all experience in the face of our ultimate demise.

We live…..so that we might die.

I don’t believe there is anything morbid or defeatist in acknowledging this truth. The journey of life is the same as the journey toward death….and we make of it what we will.

Jesus made the most of the life he was given. Then human beings took it from him.

We are given the very same choice. We can make the most of the life we are given until human beings, disease, an accident, etc. take it from us. God knows when we will die, but God isn’t the one doing the killing.  It is a natural and inevitable consequence of the human experience and the quicker we embrace this truth, the more free we are to enjoy what life has to offer. In accepting death, the fear of it no longer has power over us.  Herein lies the path to our true freedom…the same path that Jesus discovered when he overcame his own bargaining, denial, anger, fear and sorrow over death…and in this we can truly say that Jesus died so that we too might live.

spiritual counseling, Lauri Ann Lumby, transformational counseling, empowerment, healing and transforming fears and unhealed woundsAs a trained Spiritual Director and Transformational Educator, Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS, provides support for those moving through the grieving process – whether it be the loss of a loved one or brought on by one of life’s many transitions.  Email Lauri today at lauri@authenticfreedom.love to learn more.

 

 

Posted in Virtual Church

Virtual Church Service – Holy Week Retreat

This coming Sunday, April 13, 2014, marks the beginning of Holy Week with Passion Sunday.  During this week, we recall the final days of Jesus’ life, leading up to the observance of his death by crucifixion on Good Friday.  In preparation for the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday, we pause to remember the very human Jesus who faced the pain of betrayal, the temptation of doubt and the very real human fear of suffering and death. We also have an opportunity to witness the tools that Jesus used to help him continue through the worst of human experiences, and to learn through his example. Holy Week is a terrific time to remember Jesus as an example of what it means to be fully human so that we can grow in our ability and comfort with our own humanness. 

Maryanointsjesus

In the spirit of Holy Week, instead of offering a traditional service, I have created a Holy Week Retreat experience.  I am inviting you to set aside 1-2 hours this week to enter into your own Holy Week Retreat using the resources provided on the Weekly Service page. Please go to the “Weekly Service” page HERE for your video instructions and appropriate links in support of your retreat.  You may wish to divide the experience into two or three parts:

1) scripture reading

2) music meditation activity

3) processing the above meditation through journaling, etc.

I hope you find this retreat experience rewarding and an appropriate way to prepare for the celebration of Easter.

Remember, if you find these services helpful and supportive of your spiritual journey and inner growth, consider supporting Authentic Freedom Ministries through a financial donation. 

Posted in grief, Uncategorized

Surrendering to Grief

Today’s blog explores the process of grief as it relates to the losses and disappointments of our lives.

Wisdom from a Friend

A wise friend once shared with me regarding grief, “When you are grieving, your emotions are not your own.”  How true I have found that to be, both in the process of grieving my divorce and now grieving the loss of a significant relationship.  As a Spiritual Director, I know all about the grieving process and have been a source of witness and support for many of my clients as they have moved through the losses, disappointments, changes and deaths in their lives.  I should have this all figured out and grief should be easier for me because of my knowledge and experience in this area, right?  WRONG!  The good news is that I know that I am grieving (which is a far cry from what most people seem to know about their emotions related to grief) and that I have had enough experience in this area to know that instead of resisting the grieving process (as most of us do), I can simply SURRENDER and in surrendering to the process and letting it have its way with me, I will find quicker healing and will be more prepared to find the new life that is promised on the other side of this loss.

Pinball Wizard

The emotions that come with grief are kind of like being the ball on the inside of a pinball machine – getting battered about the walls, getting hit by the paddles of sadness, pummeled against the buzzers of rage, flipped about by the hammer of denial and wishing and hoping you could just sink to the bottom of the machine and that this is really just a dream and none of it has really happened or that you will get that magic email or phone call that says, “I’m sorry, I was wrong, can we start over?”  (that is called bargaining…..also a face of grief.)  Like the ball inside the machine, we really have no control over where we are getting hit or in what direction we are being thrown.  We simply get tossed about in our emotions as the Spirit within us works at healing our pain.

The Mummy

The good news is that while we are getting haphazardly battered about, with every punch of rage, collapse into depression, flood of tears, negotiations in bargaining and denial, strands of what has been fall away from us, like a mummy being unwrapped from its death dressings. Some of these strands are the illusions we might have created around the situation.  The things that we may have made up in our heads or the way we wanted to hear or see things fall away so that deeper truths can be revealed.  Some of the strands are those of deep pain – rejection, fear, loneliness, rage, anger, confusion.  Other strands are the hopes and dreams we had created around the relationship and as we peel away the strands of these dreams, we are prepared for the new dreams in our life to begin to take root.  Many of the strands are memories – all the things that made up the relationship – the good and the bad, the joy and the sorrow, the gift and the challenge.  All of this unraveling is happening so that we can be cleared of what was, examine it for “what is mine in this” and “what is theirs” and so that we can be made ready for the new life that is promised on the other side of the loss.

It

It describes the hardest part of this journey for me….and probably for anyone that has been through the loss of relationship – the evil clown demon that seeks to torture us in self-loathing, self-flagellation, relentlessly coming at us with our own unhealed inner wounds.  This is the evil clown that taunts us with all the negative self-talk it knows we are expert at inflicting upon ourselves.  I will spare you the gory details, just know it is as scary, disturbing and disgusting as Pennywise – the evil clown demon of Stephen King fame.  And to me, there is NOTHING more scary than clowns in general, let alone this demon clown!

I Can See Clearly Now

Ok, not yet…..but I know that in addition to the promise of new life, lies the promise of clarity and beyond clarity – compassion.  I know that all this grieving will bring healing (and much has already taken place).  I also know that it will be greater clarity and understanding  – what really happened and why?  And even more than this, is the promise of compassion – that moment when the finger of blame that hangs in midair pointing toward “them” and then back at “me” will finally fall to rest at my side.  In that moment, I know that I will love myself for all I brought to this relationship, that I will love them for all that they brought, that I will look upon it as a happy and gifted time in my life and that I will be able to bless both of us as we move forward in our own respective truths.  And for the record, this is my highest intention in this loss and the ultimate goal that keeps me going even in the face of grief.

Brought Together

In closing, I share a poem that I still believe to be true – if not for a lifetime, at least for a reason and a season….and for this I will always be grateful!

Brought Together

Copyright 2012  Lauri Lumby

They asked them, “How did you meet?”

“We were brought together,” he replied

She stood in stunned agreement, with the truth hanging in the air like

an overfilled raincloud anxiously wanting to quench the earth of its thirst.

Brought together?

How true this feels.

The silent, invisible workings of a benevolent Universe

Answering the deepest longings of their hearts

Across time and space

Through dreams and imaginings

And the supposed haphazard circumstances of life.

More than luck, beyond Karma,

Something meant to be

And in this their deepest thirst was quenched.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Being Human, Healing

The Fine Line between aVoidance, Vulnerability and Victim

Today we explore the tenderness of our human emotions and how we choose to respond to them.  Do we avoid, fall into the role of victim or are we able to be open to our vulnerability?


Exploring Defense Mechanisms

I had breakfast with a friend/colleague yesterday morning and she shared how much she enjoyed Wednesday’s blog on the Warrior.  We discussed the various defense mechanisms that we have at our disposal – the warrior, the perfectionist, the performer, the glutton, the miser, the suffering servant and the victim (just to name a few).  The victim became the point of conversation as we explored the ways that we as human beings deal with our tender emotions.

The energy of emotions

There are times in each and every one of our lives where we are struck by the tender human emotions of sadness, loneliness, rejection and loss.  These are the emotions that make us feel weak, vulnerable and sometimes afraid.  When these emotions arise within us, there is an energy to them that is palpable – we can feel it.  This is natural, healthy and a normal part of life.  Emotions are neither good nor bad…they simply are.  The problem is that for most of us, we were not given permission to feel these emotions, neither were we given effective tools for dealing with these soft and tender feelings.

Responding to our emotions

For those who were given permission and a safe place to feel these emotions, along with healthy tools for dealing with them, these tender emotions are just a part of life.  They are not threatening, dangerous or scary.  The ideal way to move through these tender emotions is exactly this  – to allow ourselves to acknowledge these feelings, give ourselves the time and space to be present to them and in doing so, this allows the emotion to move through us, finding healing and release.  This is how we can allow ourselves to be present to our inherent vulnerability as human beings.   Unfortunately, this healthy path is often the road less traveled.  Instead, we choose between one of two responses to this inherent vulnerability – either we avoid the emotion or we fall into victim.

Avoidance

Avoidance is when we ignore, repress, stuff the vulnerable feelings as they arise.  Typically, this is done by seeking out distractions that will keep us from having to pay attention to the feelings arising within us.  We find activities that will keep us from recognizing our deeper feelings – we watch tv, go to the bar, take on a video game, call a friend to gossip, go shopping etc.  While avoidance in the form of denial is a natural part of the grieving process, it only serves to delay the inevitable.  Eventually, we will need to acknowledge and deal with those tender emotions.  Unfortunately, the longer we avoid our sadness, our loneliness, rejection, etc, the bigger it gets.  So when we finally give ourselves permission or are forced into to doing so (because now we are depressed or suffering with anxiety attacks, panic or physical symptoms such as fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, etc.), those vulnerable emotions are bigger than they need to be.

Victim

Falling into victim could be considered the dark side of dealing with our human emotions.  Instead of acknowledging our tender emotions and allowing them to move through us, we grab onto them, draw us into ourselves and feed on them like a vampire on its victims.  Falling into the victim allows us to gather all the badness we are feeling to our selves, nurture the bad feelings and watch them grow.   Embracing the victim allows us to remain stuck and stranded in our pain and prevents from healing and moving forward.  Being the victim also allows us to avoid taking responsibility for the growth that could have occurred through the loss or to recognize and heal our own behaviors that may have contributed to the sadness, etc.  The victim is the one that says, “WOE IS ME…I AM DOOMED…Nobody loves me, everybody hates me …I’m gonna eat some worms.”  We all know this victim and quite frankly he/she is not very attractive.  But lest we be tempted to judge the victim, again we are invited to simply recognize her for who she is and hold her in her own vulnerability so that she can gain the courage she needs to let go of the emotions that are feeding her victimhood.

Moving is the answer

So I guess the fine line between aVoidance, Vulnerability and Victim lies in movement.  Avoidance and Victim allow us to stay stuck and prevent our healing from taking place.  Being open to our vulnerability, staying present to it and allowing it to move through us is how real healing can take place.

Who do you want to respond to your vulnerability?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in grief, Healing

The Healing Balm of Grief

Grief is the medicine that helps us to heal from the wounds of change and loss. When grief surfaces, whether it be sadness, anger, bargaining, depression or denial, surrender to its healing balm. It is only in surrendering to grief that we are able to find the new life waiting to be revealed.

Today my thoughts turn to grief.  Grief is the healing process given to us by the Divine to help us recover from the loss and change that are all part of the human condition, and helps to prepare us for the new life waiting to be revealed.  While the process of grief is never pleasant, it is only in surrendering to this process that we can find healing, release and the freedom to step into the new.  Grief is a journey unique to each individual, yet we all share the same faces of grief, in varying degrees and manifestations.

Rage or Anger as part of the grieving process allows us to purge those parts of the dying situation, relationship or experience that were not and are no longer life-giving.  Anger allows us to tap into those pieces within ourselves that need to be transformed into something new.  For example, if co-dependency was part of my role in a dying relationship, anger may surface related to situations where I indulged my own co-dependency.  This surfacing of anger allows me to examine the parts of co-dependency that need to be released from within me so that I can be open to something new.  Anger can also serve as a sort of defense mechanism, protecting us from the hurts of the loss that we are not yet ready to face.

Denial – Denial serves as a form of deep protection.  If we do not face the loss or the death, then we do not have to be affected by the pain of that loss.  Denial is our companion until we are ready to be touched by the pain of loss and enter into the process of release and transformation.

Bargaining is a close friend to denial.  Bargaining allows us to cling to the hope of avoiding the loss.  In bargaining we rationalize, justify and make exchanges for what we know on some level really needs to end.  Bargaining  can surface in the form of these kinds of phrases, “He really is a good provider.”  “What if we try this next medication?”  “I promise I will try harder.”  Bargaining allows us to hold the pending death or loss at bay until we are ready to face the hard and difficult truth.

Depression – Depression in the process of grief (not to be confused with clinical depression which is something else all together)serves two functions.  It is frequently said that depression is anger turned inward.  This is especially true in the process of grief.  When we are afraid of our anger, or have been told that it is not ok to be angry, instead of embracing the anger as it surfaces, we repress and suppress it.  Denying the healing properties of anger does not help us, but harms us as the anger is contained within.  Suppression of anger eventually turns into depression.  We find ourselves paralyzed, trapped and unable to move forward through the grieving process.  Depression in this form stalls the grieving process.  Depression when it is part of the grieving process can also serve to give us the necessary time we need to really integrate the loss.  Depression is like pressing pause on a cassette player.  It gives us the opportunity to retreat to a place of silent solitude.  It is in this place of guarded silence that the deep inner work of healing can take place.  It is in this place of dark mystery that the miracles of the healing process can take root and begin to grow.  When we start to feel anger again, that is a sure sign that the depression stage is ready to let go so that active healing can resume.

Sadness Sadness, tears, active grieving, mourning and wailing are all part of the sadness of grief.  We need to shed the tears of loss in order to be healed.  We need to grieve the pain of loss.  We need to join with our brothers and sisters who have or are also experiencing loss give movement to the deep sadness within.  Crying, wailing and weeping are all active and beneficial tools of healing. 

The invitation as we face the deaths, losses and changes in our lives is to be open to the process of grief – with all its mysterious faces and manifestations.  It is only in surrendering to and engaging in the process of grief that we can find the healing that we need to embrace the new life that is waiting to be revealed.  While death and loss are never pleasant, we are reminded of the Divine promise that out of every death comes new life.  Can we be open to the new life that is waiting to be revealed? 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://www.authenticfreedom.net