THE BLOG

Kissing Frogs: A Case for Conscious Grieving

Once post-breakup, I made a conscious effort to grieve. I allotted time to it, actively journaled and worked on deconstructing and exorcising the relationship. Why? The relationship had been a powerful one for me: I had gone into it with a full and open heart, which was the first time I'd done so since I was a young girl. Emotions-wise, I had dived right in, no net.

We tried more than once and I was clear at the end that our very intense connection did not equal a sustainable relationship. Still, it was very, very painful to part with him and I was on my face. I was sad, mad at him, lost... you name it.

However, I decided to consciously grieve it, because the emotions were so raw for so long. I read books on grieving, opted for some therapist-guided grief work*, and did a ton of yoga... and bawled like a baby every time I was on the mat.

In the midst of my grieving, oddly, a couple of other past grief-wounds came roaring back: the loss of my previous partner to a heart attack and the subsequent aftermath, plus, most strangely, the long ago divorce from my daughter's dad. I was grieving the trifecta, all at once -- how lovely.

I decided to tackle the process like I tackle other demanding things: with a plan. I'm a recovering type A -- we like plans, we like to beat things, and I was going to beat grief, kick its butt.

I had a long "talk" with each person (i.e., an inner dialogue) and wrote them letters. I expect my partner in the ethers heard me, and the point was, I had a few choice words for all of them. They had all, in some way, "left" me, and I was mad as hell.

And I was sad, I cried, I was pissed, I was depressed, I slept, I didn't sleep... I did my best to "be with" what I was feeling, to not discount or try to kill or run from what I was experiencing.
Throughout this period, I also meditated, which helped me clear out the stress and stay as "connected" as possible. And I decided to be trained to teach yoga, which was an amazing journey into the spirit and a beautiful path to healing

Let's see... Anything else that helped me get through the grief? Yes, I watched TV, worked like a Trojan, hung out with my daughter and her family, played with my precious little grandkids, hiked with friends, filled four journals, prayed on my knees, took cooking lessons, and listened to lots of music. (I realized Taylor Swift and I might be dating the same guys!)

The results? Well, I cried every single day for months. Once, I cried so hard in yoga class, the teacher came over with tissues and whispered, "It happens to all of us." After years of all kinds of healing arts training, I now really understood the phrase: "issues in your tissues."

During this time, I knew better than to date, because I believe everything you've heard about energetic resonance is true. Simply put, we draw to us the elements to help us with what we need to learn, including those resonant with where we are. And since I wanted to meet someone someday who identified, felt and was beyond their own grief -- someone who, when the time was right, would be truly available (as in really "present") and ready to meet me -- I considered this painful, arduous, grieving process a sacrifice to "him." I took a willing, conscious break from dating.

Was I lonely? Yes. Was it painful? Yes, very. But each day, I felt lighter. And eventually, I woke one morning and the light was back on in my heart again. Yes, the light came back for me. As it can for you, given you're open and willing to take a few moments every day to invest in "you."

How does "no dating" relate to your Kissing Frogs experience? As the late Dr. Elaine Childs-Gowell, a clinical transactional analyst, suggested in her book, Good Grief Rituals, we will revisit this wounding and grief in some way if we don't face it and feel it. We can jump into dating with a bottle of wine to stop the pain, but the pattern stays in the psyche and body, waiting for the "new" person to trigger it.

Stop, drop and roll. Release the pain, sadness and disappointment, so you're not carrying it forward. You and the man you are meant for deserve for your heart to have a clean slate. Remove any trace of bitterness in your heart, so you are free to love fully again.

Grieve fully through any loss you have experienced, Intrepid One. You never know who might show up!

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. The goal of EMDR is to reduce the long-lasting effects of these experiences, as well as any distressing memories, by developing more adaptive coping mechanisms. See: http://www.emdr.com/.