Day 32: Where does my grief belong?
With the current horrors and terror in Afghanistan, I have been asking myself a question that I hear clients ask so often. What makes my grief worthy when others are suffering so immensely in such extreme ways?
When we ask this kind of question, many things may be happening:
· Perspective taking: Being able to see our situation from a larger vantage point provides us some distance from ourselves in order to gain further insight. This is adaptive to an extent.
· Acknowledging that we can never exactly know or understand an other's experience or pain.
· Distancing: Without even knowing it, perspective taking and acknowledging how different our experience is can become a form of distancing from the pain and suffering of others. This distancing is more normal than not as us humans are wired to turn away from and avoid pain. This kind of distancing places a barrier between the experience of others and ourselves, and that barrier can come in many forms, such as the shut-down of our empathy and compassion centers in order to protect our sense of safety and security.
· Diminishing: This is when perspective-taking prevents us from feeling the depth of our own emotions, as well as connecting to the experience of others’ pain.
So when you notice yourself questioning if your grief is worthy, what should you consider? I believe that our connection to and grace for our own suffering and pain bolsters our ability to connect to others, see others in theirs, and make a choice about how to show up when others are struggling. Compassion and grace for ourselves in our own experiences paves the way for more compassion and grace for others.
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Welcome to my #100dayproject. I am providing a daily offering on #grief, in honor of each person who has trusted me with their story and wisdom during their #griefjourney. I hope that others may benefit from simple and straightforward talk about a topic that can be difficult. Thanks for following and/or sharing.