Let’s be honest: nothing makes death easier for the ones left behind. Yet what breaks your heart connects you to others in new ways. Through that common thread, you grow the courage to bloom from your wounds. To grow, to give, to live again.
Let me just say this:
Living in the shadow of your loved one's death is tricky NOT to do.
I'm not all that good at it half the time. But I find making new meaning, friends, and beauty through words helps me focus on the radiance of their life -- the ones I love, who’ve gone before me.
But making something new out of your pain isn’t the only way to bloom from your wounds.
Here are some ideas to support your post-traumatic growth, the steps you take now that you're here, after all you’ve gone through.
How to Bloom from Your Wounds and Give Your Grief New Meaning
Four years, four minutes, four decades. Grief is hard, no matter how long it’s been, no matter how many times you’ve lost.
What can get better is how much love and support you give yourself when you’re grieving.
You have to honor the wound before you ever bloom.
That’s the first part of “blooming from your wounds,” tending to what hurts. Listen to it, sit with it, breathe through it.
Before you heal, you have to acknowledge the heartbreak. You have to treat, and sometimes glean insight from your own woundedness and despair.
Before you ever move forward, you need to move inward.
The places that hurt the most need the most love; the people who hurt, too.
You can’t reach toward the light until you take root. So when your pain is too great, too fresh, too dark, it’s time to go deeper. Time to honor where you are.
Strength lives in the depths.
Dare to look below the surface and go deeper… into the unknown, the grief, the fear… into vulnerability. Stop pushing yourself to be where you're not ready to be.
Stop forcing yourself to move through the “stages of grief” fast or perfectly.
Stay and till the soil. Go deeper right here.
Feel your heart beating in your chest. Feel your breath in your lungs. Feel the breadth of your experience. Touch the stillness that’s underneath everything.
Feel the boundlessness of your own soul, how much your heart can hold.
Water the seeds with your own tears. Don’t think you’re weak for being vulnerable, open to this deep searing pain, letting it break you open even more. That’s exactly what strength is.
What if your pain is a sacred expression of the truth of this moment, and an important part of what connects you (to people, to purpose, to life)?
What if your wound has a story to tell, the kind of story that turns into healing, not only for yourself but others you tell it to?
To make room for something new, you have to first leave room for all the pain, fear, darkness, sorrow, and tough emotions that can’t help but exist.
You can do something with and through your woundedness, if you listen to the story it’s trying to tell you. Then you can integrate that story into your life now, after what happened, and rewrite the rest of it.
The story isn’t over: it’s yours to finish writing.
Stay until you’re ready to feel differently, which takes however much time you need.
Stay for the miracle.
And you’ll find, that when you nourish yourself and respect ALL of your feelings, even aches and wounds can be opportunities to love better. To live differently. To start new.
Accepting yourself as you are right now, as damaged and uncertain as you are, before trying to feel better, is the seed of self-love and self-trust that blooms later on.
“Anger can be creative. Sorry can bring us closer to Spirit.” -- Danielle LaPorte
Blooming is: growing, giving, or making something new from the place that’s healing.
You’re allowed to bloom from your wounds, to give and make a difference through the wisdom the experience embedded in you.
So now, when you get to a place where you can do something different with your grief, you’ll find what works for you. You’ll find new ways to express yourself, or rediscover old hobbies you can bring new life to.
You can take a “deathiversary” and mark it as a celebration of the LIFE that person was, the love you still share. You can let their spirit flow into how you live: what you do and make and choose.
Blooming from your wounds means letting them become a part of your life HERE and NOW. In new ways, in old ways, in helpful ways.
Doing that turns their death into a sacred passage for you both, brings new meaning into your life, gives everyone around you a new story of hope.
You’ll recognize your empathy, your story, and your help as some of the greatest gifts you can give.
You could make actual things, offerings, and share them with other people who get it.
You could feel bright some days and feel like the death happened all over again on others. But each time, your wounds become chances to better honor who you are, what you feel, and what you can do from here.
When grief is part of your life, you learn how to start all over again -- over and over again. And that builds courage like nothing else will.
"Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” — Leo Tolstoy
You don’t need to bloom in every season.
I pray the words I share can help you (or the people you care about) find/make the courage to bloom again. You can do it, in small doses. You can find it, in small things.
You can bloom from your wounds -- maybe not all year long but in your own way and time, in new ways, and no matter how long it’s been since your hurt began.
I hope this newest season brings you more to smile about, more strength wherever you need it, and the sun on your face.
Please remember, that you were never meant to be perfect. Never meant to shine 24 hours a day. Never meant to bloom all year long. Trust your seasons, be patient with your moods. Listen to your heart. It’ll take you home, every time.
“I’m proud of the scars in my soul. They remind me that I have an intense life.” – The Alchemist
. . .
Which of these thoughts did you most need to read today?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I’d love to know. Plus, what you share here helps me help other people better. So we can all heal better, together.
P.S. If you haven’t yet, get my Healing Brave Manifesto. It’s free. It might be everything you need to hear today.