In the process of recovering and grieving after the suicide of my life partner, I discovered sweetness in the sadness. I wish to share my experience here. Maybe it inspires some of you who are going through a difficult life phase too. As difficult as life sometimes may be, going through a process in a conscious way and making choices along the way is powerful. Part of this process is being your own observer, being gentle on yourself and waiting till you are ready for the shift. Another part of this process is reaching out to a professional to guide you. Because after a shock or in dealing with severe distress, even if we have all the wisdom and the knowledge, we don’t always have access to it.
So here’s my personal story from anger to sadness, to finding the sweetness in the sadness.
During the first weeks after the shock, my primary emotion was anger. I felt much more comfortable with anger too. As soon as a little bit of sadness would come up, I would automatically direct my thoughts to what made me angry and stay with that.
For the PCM-ers, I am a thinker base in a rebel phase (5th floor). The shock I experienced is severe distress, which means it is no longer about phase distress but I am back to base and my base issue is triggered. In my thinker base, my issue is allowing myself to grief and feel the sadness.
Being my own observer, I was aware of covering up my sadness with feeling angry. Being aware is so immensely valuable because I can be with it all in a conscious way and be open and receptive for the moment that I’m ready to feel the sadness. The danger of unconsciously going through the process would be suppression. This would lead to a much longer period of distress which is not what I choose to go for.
I chose to deal with my anger in healthy ways. I created space to be with it, acknowledge it, honor it. Anger had good reasons to be there. Upon the recommendation of a wonderful PCM-friend, I wrote down everything I was angry about and then burnt it and let it go. It was really about creating the space for what anger needs, but not feeding it and not hanging on to it. (Without awareness, I would have acted out my anger through my 2nd degree attacker mask of overcontrol on other people)
Being open and receptive for when the moment of sadness wants to come, I was given “a bridge” to go there. My teenage son was playing music and one of the songs touched me so deeply to the point that it would bring tears to my eyes and make me feel sad. It was “All of me loves all of you” from John Legend. Interestingly, I observed myself wanting to be with the song – even if it would make me sad. I would let it play till the end and be with the sadness all along the way. And play it again. The tears running over my face felt so good and so liberating. This song was singing about what my heart had longed for in this relationship and what did not work out. – my loss -. Sometimes, there are no coincidences in life. Every time, I would get into the car during that week and turn on the radio, they would play this song. It almost felt as a conspiration from the universe. It is also what happens when we choose to be open and receptive.
There is nothing to be afraid of in feeling the sadness because there’s a hidden gift in there! In exploring this with my coach, I discovered the sweetness:
The fact, that I didn’t turn the song down, shows that I am not giving up on my heart’s longing. I am not turning down on love.
Wow, this resonated and felt huge. What a gift! Discovering this, I found joy in the sadness. Being conscious about this changes the taste of sadness. There truly is sweetness in the sadness.
Whatever happens in life – private or professional – choose to be open, resourceful and persistent. This is the leadership equation, I have been coaching my clients on. In going through this life experience right now and consciously integrating openness, resourcefulness and persistence into the choices I make, I am reminded how truly powerful this is.
Nicole Heimann is an experienced and passionate Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), Certified Neuro-Transformation Coach (CNTC), Certified Process Communication Model Coach, specialized in Conscious Leadership and Impactful Communication. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture credit: Clinging Lily drops from Anita Nowack – available at http://www.dreamstime.com