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Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

This time of year it seems as if Everything is Happening Everywhere All at Once.

This morning I found myself wanting to keep to my agenda to share another theme with you today, but what is happening right now is massive overwhelm and its byproduct: grief.

The overwhelm I am feeling is the kind that happens at pivotal inflection points in life when we are about to experience big change.

Spring is a season of renewal, yes.

But it also a time when children graduate high school. It is a time when homes are sold. It is a time when we contemplate our own liberation from the darkness of winter. It is a time when things come to an end.

What happens when things end?

We grieve.

Just as we do when we experience run-of-the-mill overwhelm because we’ve overbooked ourselves and over accommodated others at the expense of our own needs, we usually RESIST feeling all the feelings the underlying pain that wants to be expressed. When we do feel something, it is likely a defensive irritation, anger or blame. Those are thin veils for the grief in our hearts that is trying to find a way out.

I am experiencing two major endings right now.

My daughter will be graduating high school in a few weeks and I am selling the home my kids were born and raised in.

But those are just facts: Graduation, a house for sale.

What is really happening is enormous overwhelm fueled by fear that these endings will create catastrophe in our lives; fear that this change is proof of some major failure of mine. But those are just stories.

What is underneath my fear is a deep heart-breaking grief that has its roots in my husband’s death and in a further breakdown of my identity, the one that came before Eric died, and the pieces that still remain.

When I resist feeling the magnitude of my sadness, it is so hard to separate the STORY my fear is feeding me from what is TRUE for me now.

In my fear I default to habits I grew myself up with.

I try to make sure that NOBODY feels sad. I want to make this period of change be a HURT-FREE and POSITIVE experience for my family. A much smaller me believes that if no-one feels sad, than nothing will change.

That is magical thinking, friends.

We NEED to allow the change to unfold in order to process what we REALLY feel so that we can grow.

It SUCKS to feel the pain of grief. Even as I write that very sentence, I am suppressing a rising searing pain that wants to weep these endings - the one that happened eight years ago when Eric died, and the one that is happening now with the sale of this house and my daughter's graduation. I don’t want to let go. And I also need to let go.

I have worked hard enough to know that another level of liberation will come when I surrender even more deeply to the truth that something has ended.

The only way out is through.

And that means, I have to stop trying to control the pain I feel, and when I feel it. The pain my children feel and when they feel it.

When everything happens everywhere, all at once - it’s terrifying.

My head hurts this morning. I still want to weep. The portal is open to this change, and I can’t close it by biding for more time in this house or more time with my child. It’s time to let go and make space for the grief that is waiting in the inconsolable places in my heart

to be expressed so I can grow bigger than my fear of letting go. Have you felt that everything is happening everywhere all at once too? What is ending in your life this season? Can you make space to grieve the letting go?

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