If this pandemic has taught me anything (so far), it’s that we are sharing an experience and a unique reminder of connection. And we are most certainly, most definitely, not alone.
But when we are isolated, what we carry can be louder in the silence, heavier in the distance.
Bigger than we think we can hold.
We’re in This Together
It seems like so long ago when I was co-teaching a workshop on how to call up our power to fuel our activism. In those three days, we began with grief. We began in the place of loss and discontent, the truth about how there are pains that cause us to hesitate, to turn away, and to feel disempowered.
The griefs are very real. They are not to be dismissed, stuffed down, or ignored. They are real. I am very convinced we are in a period of grief right now. We are grieving the things we have lost. We are grieving the way we thought today was going to look very different.
For myself, I am grieving the loss of physical contact and connection with my beloveds. I am missing the hugs, the kisses, the snuggles, and the cuddles. I am missing the holding of hands and dancing around in the delight of connection.
In that workshop, we began with an exercise to witness the grief that exists. In other classes, I work with the idea of an ally circle. A place in which we can call up something that is true for us and then see who else resonates with that experience. It builds connection and it builds intimacy. We realize that even if we think we’re the weirdest person ever for thinking _________, there is, more often that not, at least one person who gets it.
But instead of witnessing how we relate, we focused on how we are not alone in working with our grief. When a person went into the middle of the circle and named their grief, cried their grief, admitted they were sad and lonely and worried and overwhelmed, instead of walking in with them to nod our heads, knowingly, instead, when a person was called, they would come to the person in the middle and say:
“I will hold your grief for you.”
We can’t escape this business of feeling, this experience of loss and separation from others/ourselves. But we are not the only ones who know what it’s like to crumble to our knees in desperation. We’re not the only ones to say (likely silently), “I am tired. I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think I can hold this.”
And it’s hard to reach out and admit that we just don’t have it together. We don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to hold it all.
In this time of physical distancing, it might even seem harder.
I could suggest getting on a video call and doing some sort of circle like this. And that might be amazing.
But I also would encourage you to try this work on your own, with your godds, with the trees, with the wind, with the flowers.
You are Allowed to Rest
Invite in the beings that support you and let them hold your grief (or any feeling that is just too heavy right now).
This will not fix and it will not erase. But ease is a powerful spell.
Perhaps you can sit with yourself, at an altar or in a special place away from others. Perhaps you can sit there and let all of your grief come tumbling out. In words, in writing, in song, in a tone, in a wail, or in a drum beat. Let it flow out and become tangible. True. Fully present.
Then let it be silent. Let it be still. Let it just be.
Maybe it helps to visualize it as a ball of light or mist or smoke. Maybe it helps to move your body away from it so it is there vs. in your lap. Maybe you need to exhale for longer than you normally would, until every bit is released. Away.
And then allow it to be held. I have asked Aphrodite to hold my quivering heart. I have asked the moon to cradle my unknowing. I have reached out to my mom to carry my grief. I find connection in reaching out.
Just for the moment. Or for minutes. Or for an hour.
You do not have to hold it all in every moment. You can let it go. You can breathe.
I wish this would heal something. Fix something.
But sometimes ease is the only gift we can offer to ourselves. And then to others.
Fostering connection by the way that we reach out and know someone else is reaching out too.