Writing without the deeply personal is not the whole story of grief. To give the whole story, to give as many handholds as possible in the steep climb of grief, we need to hear personal stories – honest, raw, authentic stories that help us feel a little less alone, and maybe even a little less crazy.
Do you trust yourself, even in your grief?
Trusting yourself can feel impossible in early grief. Heck, even in later grief. This week’s personal post comes from year three of my own early grief. While I’m in a far different place now, the message of this week’s post is the same: no matter what happens, I trust myself.
Instead, I hold council with myself.
There’s a lot I need to say, a lot I need to talk about, and I can’t do that out loud. Not here, not with really anyone.
That’s not an awful thing, I just need to acknowledge that I am holding a lot, on a lot of different fronts. Grief rearranged my life. There are a lot of decisions to make now.
And I know myself well enough to recognize my own process. Whatever process I’m in, whatever thing I’m wrestling with or wondering about will go exactly like this:
Excitement, followed swiftly by alarm, then refusal, then eventually: assurance, clarity, calm.
Rinse. Repeat. For everything. Not that outcomes are always good, not at all. But I do have a process.
I know this because it’s happened over and over, all my life. In almost every instance, my own inner alignment and calm returns. Not quickly, not gracefully, but I do trust in my own process. The thing I take from recognizing this, inside these large grand current movements going on in so many different realms, is that I trust me.
I trust me to know what I want, and to know what I need. I trust me to say what I see, to state what I know, with kindness and clarity. I may not feel it while it’s happening, but I see it afterwards.
No matter how chaotic, I have abiding deep trust in myself. As I always have.
What’s fascinating to me is that I can write – “as I always have.” After all I’ve lived through, the core of me has not changed, though it was lost for quite some time. I can still, instinctively and truthfully, say I trust myself. I wasn’t sure that would ever come back. I’m becoming something, and I trust myself in that.
I began reading a book this morning – Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.* I’d been searching for words, a way to describe what is me these days, what is happening, what it is – see I can’t do it even now, find words for any of this. But I open this book, and I read these words: