Metaphysical Therapy

Apologies, I have not posted in several months. I have changed my routine to allow a much needed serious focus on physical fitness, yet another of a life long series of rebirths of my too often ignored aerobic capacity. That rebirth has been wonderful and welcome; the human body’s capacity to rebuild physically is quite unbelievable. But, my call to writing got pushed to the side. It was emotionally a much needed break; writing about grief can be intense and consuming. I have missed writing, and so will seek a better balance of my time and energy.

Metaphysical Therapy

We come to grief frightened and expecting to suffer. We’ve been taught that by generations before us, and by our own observations of those grieving.  

Grief is a highly evolved and automatic emotional human response, a process that we seem to have little control over. That which humans can’t control usually triggers a response of anger or fear. Anger over the pain and inconvenience of the changes we can’t deny or avoid, and fear that grief will somehow change us for the worse. In early grief, these are intended and rational responses that we should not fear. When we have little experience with grief, or the specifics of the grief we must process, fear is a natural and necessary trigger to the actions that incorporate loss of a loved one into our ingoing lives.

I watch people’s social media posts on grief and see many who openly struggle with apparent pain and anger for a very long time. Naturally, we will each resent the changes that the death of a loved one brings to our life, but I believe that while the fiery anger of early grief is a natural as an evolved and purposeful call to action for our souls, that resulting anger and pain is not meant to be a lasting of our life after loss.

Today, I would you to consider grief as Metaphysical Therapy. To make that more relatable, I will draw some simplistic parallels to Physical Therapy that we use to heal our body after injury or surgery. I have done some significant physical therapy in my life for injuries sustained in the passionate and sometimes immature seeking of physical fun. Physical therapy usually requires the intentional acceptance of inflicted pain with the end objective to heal and reduce future pain or to minimize ongoing disability. Physical Therapy also requires work, exercises and stretches that we do on our own that may cause discomfort and pain, always with the objective of healing. If we don’t force ourselves do the work of physical therapy, the consequences to our life will be less function and more pain for the rest of our lives.

And so it is with grief, if we don’t grieve with the purpose of minimizing the disability that it causes, we will emotionally limp through the rest of our lives.

I believe that our soul is a metaphysical part of humans that processes the energy of love. We can’t see it, we can’t image it. Our soul is a library of experiences, emotions, and responses to life. When injured our soul calls out to us with that great emotional pain of grief as well as a sense of panic. The loss of a loved one is a traumatic metaphysical injury to our soul, and grief is logically a traumatic and painful metaphysical injury.

Our bodies, within limits know how to heal themselves back to function, often well enough to forget the pain of the original injury. If the injury is severe enough we may be limited for life with reduced function, a limp, loss of range of motion, or ongoing daily pain.

The same way, your soul knows how to heal itself fairly well. In fact grief is a regular part of normal daily life, often we heal small losses so easily that we don’t notice or connect is as the grief of, for example, an accident or loss of a job.

A common point I make when discussing grief is that choosing to allow ourselves to heal it important. It confirms a healthy desire to return to a more normal, pain free life that has comfortably incorporated the loss of a loved one. However, the path through grief is confusing and there is no singular map or solution, because each person who grieves a loss will grieve differently, because each has loved differently.

A common fear of healing is forgetting. Some feel that if we eliminate the pain of the memory, we will eliminate the memory. The reality is that if we don’t eliminate the pain, we can only see and remember the painful part of the death, effectively blocking our view of the life and love we shared. We remain focused on the end of the life, not the totality of the love.

Pain causes anger to linger. Anger is a cancer of the human soul that consumes the love collected there, hollowing out life out and returning us to an empty existence. It’s natural to lose love in early grief, sometimes we empty our soul completely. If we allow pain and anger to linger, we might lose all of the love we gather in daily life and remain empty of love and in angry pain for a long time.

Grief can become a habit as it redefines us. As our soul consumes love from anger and pain, we feel empty of love and crave the sympathy and attention that others compassionately grant to those who are grieving. People circulating in their daily lives grant that attention and compassion in hope of helping those who have lost to begin healing.

Grief is meant to force us to redefine ourselves incorporating the love we shared and the lessons from that love into the rest of our lives. To redefine ourselves we need a goal, or a statement of purpose that gives us a direction and purpose. Failing that direction and purpose, we wander aimlessly within the loss, rather than exploring purposely within the love we have valued. Here’s a link to my grief, a process that took me many years of wandering to define:

If grief becomes a habit, you may have become defined by your grief, defined by your loss, and then perhaps you have accepted to become your loss and to emotionally limp through life. People around you, people who love you will see the pain and have a sense of missing of emotional parts of you, perhaps with pity as some might see an amputee in a wheelchair.

If your grief has become a circular painful habitual way of life that you wish to change, you must work to make those changes. Perhaps you might need some professional help, perhaps you need to begin to eliminate the anger around the loss in hopes of reducing the loss of love from your soul. If all of the love you acquire in daily life is consumed by the anger of loss, you will remain hollowed out by this loss and be less able to love your life.

To heal from loss, you must look grief in the eye and confront it until you no longer fear it. If you run from grief, know that grief is a skilled stalker, a hunter waiting to pounce at your weakest point emotionally. It’s much better to seek ways to learn from grief, to walk alongside of the inevitable griefs that love and a good life will make necessary.

Find your destination, make a goal, and plot a path in that direction, then start taking small steps away from the pain and damage of the loss towards a metaphysical garden filled soul with memories of love you have shared.

Love is life, loss is the inevitable loss of a physical life we have loved, not of the love we have shared in life.

Be well and peaceful, extinguish anger, grow around loss.