I read a quote the other day that said,
"I don't know where I'm going from here but I'm moving forward with grit, anchored in grace."
Isn't that wonderful?
Doesn't that make you feel strong and your heart feel warm?
What is grace?
simple elegance or refinement of movement.
And what is grit?
courage and resolve; strength of character.
I am moving forward in my life with grit and grace. With love and determination. With courage and empathy. With bravery and acceptance.
After my late husband died, I liked the quote, "If you want to heal a wound, you need to stop touching it."
I don't know if I resonate with that quote anymore.
Time has passed. I have piles of books about grief at my bedside, classes under my belt, and hundreds of people who have a wound that I have talked to privately.
Did they heal their wound by not touching it? By pretending it's not there? By just waking up one day and deciding to let it go?
Our wounds need love.
Our wounds need compassion.
Our wounds need empathy.
Our wounds need attention.
I tried over and over to wrap up my wound and pretend it wasn't there.
I imagine my wound is on my upper arm. Right there for everyone to see.
Yes, I tried to bandage it up and cover it with long sleeves.
But it was still there.
It was still bleeding.
What do I believe that our wounds need? They need to us to not forget about them, stuff them away, or pretend they don't exist. They need us to lovingly unwrap them every once-in-awhile. Gut out the hard stuff. Clean out the emotions that we haven't dealt with. Fill that hole with self-love and wrap it back up. Wear short sleeves and let the world see your wound. Wounds are healed by sharing our stories and letting others empathy and compassion fall over us.
No, I don't think it's healthy to sit around your house for years only thinking about your wound. We have to find ways to re-enter life. We need to step out of our house of pain and let the sun hit our faces. We need to find our path and not let our suffering pull us down so far that we aren't fully living.
Yes, you can let go of the suffering but keep the love and memories in your heart.
Yes, you can tend to that wound, wrap it up, and then just let it be. Somethings we can't just let go of. It's not that simple. They stay with us. They became apart of us. You don't have to let it go to be able to move forward, you just need to let it be. We cannot change the past. We cannot change the tragedy that happened to give us that wound.
We can learn to untie the binds of suffering. My suffering ran so deep after my husband died that it was like there was an invisible string that no one could see, but me. That string was tied so tightly to my wrists and it reached all the way down into my husbands grave. The more I held onto that suffering, the more those strings pulled me closer to his grave. Those strings almost pulled me right into the dirt. How do we let go of suffering? With self-love and acceptance. I don't like my tragedy but I have come to acceptance because I know that no amount of overthinking, screaming, or crying is going to change what happened. I need to show our beautiful children that it's ok to live again after loss so one day I got out my kitchen scissors and I cut those strings. I still hurt. I still grieve. But I'm no longer being pulled into the ground.
Share your story with someone you trust. Attend a support group online or in your local community. Talk about your grief with your family and friends. Don't bottle up your emotions inside of your wound. Unwrap that wound and cover it with the healing balm of self-love and others compassion.
We can learn in time that our wound will always be present but we can lovingly tend to it and move forward in our lives with grit and grace.