It would be nice if life included only sunny days and happiness, but we all know dark times are inevitable. During painful times, it’s helpful to have teachers, guides, mentors and friends who can hold us, comfort us and help us grow.
I shared my personal experience with losing my hopes and dreams of motherhood in an earlier blog post. Sadly, a few years after my miscarriage, I lost five family members in four months.
During this sorrowful time, I was so grief-stricken, raw and vulnerable; I could literally feel the immense sadness pervade my body every moment. It truly was too much to bear. I knew that I needed help and decided to seek therapy.
In one of my sessions, my therapist, who is a very gifted and wise man, gently shared, “Nancy, you need to add people to your life, specifically five people, not to replace your loved ones but to add new life and meaning to your life.”
As I heard this, I silently asked myself, “Where am I going to find five people?” In another session, he invited me to participate in a women’s retreat to help me move through this mournful time. Initially, I said no to the invitation; however, the next morning I felt an undeniable yes.
In some ways, I felt an invisible hand guiding me along the way, moving me in a direction that was unfamiliar to me. Perhaps it was something larger than myself. The support I received from a community of women was one of the most healing components of this women’s retreat.
It was through my vulnerability and leaning into others that I found my strength.
Here, I met five people who became my trusted allies, those who were willing and capable to help me through my intense grief. These connections have affected my life in immeasurable ways.
I had wanted to find meaning in my life after losing so many beloved family members, to honor their lives and live a happy and fulfilled life myself. I came to see that it is possible to find peace, hope and healing after our devastating losses.
When you say “yes” to new possibilities and to the potent medicine for meaningful connection, things can unfold in ways you couldn’t have imagined. When the veil of intense grief lifts, all that remains is love.
We need to grieve our losses fully. We can also remember that grief is a sign that we have loved greatly, and that our love doesn’t end.
In the poem Zero Circle, the poet and mystic Rumi tells us that when we completely surrender, “Then a stretcher will come from grace/ To gather us up” and “Miraculous beings come running to help.”
This captures the essence of what can happen when we open ourselves to receive support and our friends and allies show up for us in our time of need.
Not only did five miraculous beings come running to help during my crisis but I also have gathered many more allies along the way. To survive your dark days, I encourage you to find a few kind souls who will surround you with love when you grieve. This will enhance your days and help you grow through the pain.
Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
To gather us up.
We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty
If we say we can, we’re lying.
If we say No, we don’t see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.
So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Besides ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.
To read more insights from Nancy Lishack, M.Ed., founder of Calm Waters Holistic Healing visit her blog. You can also sign-up for her new workshop on Preconception Care, which is scheduled for September 29, 2018.