Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Find Your Rose
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed, that with the suns love
In the spring becomes the rose
Janis Joplin, The Rose
I have had enough of winter, literally and figuratively. Grief definitely feels like the winter of your life. Endless, joyless, dreary days with little or nothing to look forward to.
I am feeling, lately, like not doing much. I know it is related to needing to reach deep down within myself to renew the spark of forgiveness for those involved in the death of my son. In times of stress, things have a way of re-surfacing even when you have worked hard on dealing with them. The inclement weather, with its forced isolation of being housebound, has not been good.
I am in an angry mood, but when I acknowledge it, I eat less. I need to start punching pillows again and pray for healing. Recently my priest at mass spoke about forgiveness. He mentioned a quote he found on Facebook about holding onto anger and grudges. The quote likened this to, Drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die. So who gets hurt with anger and other negative emotions?
True, you and I can feel justified for being angry at the factors and individuals involved with the deaths of our children. So it becomes a question of which seed to feed, anger or forgiveness. At some point you and I have to make this choice. And probably more than once or even daily.
I know I am not dead inside. Neither are you because you are reading this. You are seeking a way to bring some peace and healing into your life. You and I do have the spark of life that can light the way to the seed of personal growth, our roses. The rose may be covered with the tears of the bitter snows of loss, but it can bloom again. A new spring is possible.
I am proposing an exercise to deal with anger and negative emotions. If you have no physical limitations to doing so, find something you can punch--- a pillow, sofa, or punching bag, or something you will not injure yourself on. Now, name your emotion and all the factors or persons you feel negatively about and punch them one by one. When you feel tired or spent, stop. Take some deep breaths, cry, laugh, whatever.
Now, stand and take three deep breaths. Hold your hands up, palms out. Start making counter-clock wise motions with your hands. Each time your hands move away from your body, exhale and blow out all negativity. Do that five times. Next, make clock-wise motions with your hands. Each time you bring your hands close to your body, breathe in and bring peace and healing to your body. Repeat five times. Then hold your hands over your head and stretch and deep breathe. Try to hold onto that feeling of peace.
Final step, do something to nurture yourself. It can be a cup of tea, a bath, reading a favorite passage from the bible, listening to music, prayer or meditation or get a massage. You need this to get through this journey. It is necessity, not a reason for a guilt trip.
Practice feeding the seed of hope and love, not negativity. That seed, with care and love, can bloom into your rose of renewed life.