I recently joined an online forum/support group for people who are grieving. I am blown away by the support offered by strangers from around the world. I suppose, grief and bereavement create this sort of sub-culture or club, that no one really wants to be a part of. Yet, here we are.
As I read posts from people who are struggling with their changed lives, I am brought back to how grief has touched my life, and how hard it was in the intensity of loss, to believe in my experience. Believe in my experience…believe that whatever I was feeling was OK – after 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years or 30.
I suppose it’s hindsight that has given me the strength to believe in my experience. Looking back, and even reading back (I kept meticulous journals during those early years), I see that my experience had an underlying core of “Sandy truths,” and much of my suffering was brought on by beliefs that were put in my head about how I was “doing it wrong,” or “should be____” or “could be ____.” All of this created dissonance within myself about what I was experiencing.
Shouldn’t my own experience be my own truth? No one knows my life, or my loss the way I do – it is full of intimate details that only I will ever know or appreciate.
Our own lives are the instrument with which
we experiment with truth. – Thich Nhat Hanh
This post reminds me of the one I wrote previously on Authenticity. I suppose, part of authenticity comes from experimenting with what we believe is our truths: What fits with our experience? what brings us a sense of peace? what creates more suffering? We will find things that resonate positively and negatively, and from this searching we develop our tried, tested, and true truths.
Our lives, and our losses change us. Despite this huge change in life as we know it, is it possible to trust in our experience – even if our experience is misery? And trust that we can be suffering and that is Ok – in fact, that is something we can believe in? Can we find guidance in our suffering?
I believe the answer is yes -because I believe there is wisdom in suffering, and even more wisdom in our own life experiences. In this way, we accept all parts of ourselves – without judgement.