One of the quotes I’ve been pondering this year is…

“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give – but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”  ~  Jamie Anderson

Is this really the truth?

What’s true is that you loved your person, pet, marriage, career, dream, home…

And now the object of your love no longer exists. Your beloved died; either from a long illness or suddenly with no good-bye. Your pet is gone. The marriage failed. You were fired or passed over for promotion. You mourn the loss from a miscarriage. You’ve left a lifetime of friends and memories and moved closer to your children.

This unspent love and longing get trapped in your body. Tears well up in your eyes. You hold tension in your throat and/or gut. Your chest and empty arms ache.

Must this unspent love stay trapped?

No. I think this love can be released to you and through you.

Ask yourself, “What is the kindest and most loving thing I can do for myself right now?”

  • A two-hour nap?
  • A cup of tea or a glass of water with a pinch of sea salt and lemon?
  • A walk outside to feel the sun on my face?
  • One minute of peace and quiet as I turn away from the computer and stretch?
  • Going to the bathroom when I first feel the urge?

[Find more ideas for self-care on pages 110 & 111 of my book, A New Mourning: Discovering the Gifts in Grief]

Let’s take a moment and breathe together

As this year closes, I’ve recorded a breathing exercise just for you. A gift to support you in the New Year. Listen now:

Or, follow along:

Step 1

Take a deep centering breath – in through your nose and out through your nose. Now do it again.

Feel your feet. Can you feel them connected to the ground beneath you? Your world has been turned upside down by loss. You are shattered by grief.

Yet the ground-of-all-being is still there.

Step 2

So, I invite you to ponder… Am I the person, place, moment where Love is to go? By simply tuning into my breath and feeling it filling me from the outside in. Releasing it from the inside out. I am still here. Alive. My precious self is calling for attention.

Scan your body with your eyes closed or cast down. Where do you notice an ache, a pain, a tightness? Simply allow this sensation to be. There is nothing to fix. There is nothing wrong with you.

Now as you continue to breathe, notice if this place in your body has an image, a color, a sound, or a word. Just place your attention here. Breathe. Center.

Now float your hand to contact this place in your body.

Notice with curiosity what happens or does not. Hang out. This is your body. Nothing to fear. Simply a place in your body calling for attention.

Step 3

Now begin to whisper, “I love you, ________ (name the body part).” Say it three, four, nine times. Notice what happens.

I invite you to repeat this simple “Connection” each day before you get out of bed or before you go to sleep each night.

There is a place where love can go…your precious self.

Love all around, above, below, to the left and to the right, before you and behind you,