2022 continues to produce change and create loss in many ways and on so many levels in our daily lives. For most of us, this change and loss is often unwanted, sometimes mandatory, and definitely unfamiliar.
What is ours to do? My favorite question as a minister is, “Are you willing?” Are you willing to be vulnerable? Are you willing to get comfortable with your feelings of discomfort – sitting in the sacred discomfort that is calling us to know that something deep within us is needing our attention.
Each time we intentionally move from our head to our heart we allow for the embracing of this sacred discomfort. I encourage us all to honor the process of “accepting change, acknowledging loss, allowing grief.”
As I say on Sundays, “Breathe!”
Yes, I said allow grief. Up until now, for most of us, grief has been associated only with a physical death. However, as we pay attention to the small nudges within us and as we get real with what we are feeling, we recognize how loss and change cause grief, too. Our sacred discomfort can be related to a tangible loss – such as a death of a person or pet, the removal of a body part or a foreclosed home – as well as intangible losses such as moving, job loss, divorce, a health diagnosis, faith, trust, and many, many more.
I invite you to walk alongside your grief as you breathe. Embrace change and loss that is part of everyday living while we are alive.
I love the anonymous quote, “God doesn’t give us what we can handle. God helps us with what we are given.” It reminds me I am not “done unto” and I get to stay prayed-up to accept, acknowledge and allow.
There are various ways to walk this grief journey and we will each uniquely navigate all the feelings as we honor the sacred discomfort. We get to remember that even when we are sad, we still are not alone. Scripture tells us this multiple times in both the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament.
The best definition I have experienced thus far in my own journey of loss and change says, “Grief is the normal and natural emotional reaction to loss of any kind, as well as the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.” (The Grief Recovery Institute)
Stay prayed-up, talk with God, and watch yourself reengage in life as you transform your sacred discomfort by being honest with yourself and honoring and accepting your feelings when and as they show up. Live while you are alive.
Rev. Therese Donlan Lee is the senior minister at Unity Spiritual Center Hilton Head, and a certified Grief Recovery Method Specialist. unityofhiltonhead.org