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Little grief, big grief, good grief, bad grief: The importance of grief in healing and growth.

Grief is arguably one of the most complicated emotions. When it hits hard, we are powerless to it. It moves through us as if it has a life of its own, taking us through a journey of numbness, pain, anger, depression, confusion, denial, and more, which makes us feel as though we are in a colourful nightmare from which we cannot escape.

Especially in westernized countries, grief is seen as something terrifying - something that should be avoided at all costs. We remain in toxic relationships longer than we should, numb ourselves out of emotional pain, and do whatever we can do avoid abandonment, difficult change, and even radical transformation within ourselves - because this would require us to face grief in some form or another, as we let go of old attachments, and younger versions of ourselves. We tend to condemn grief and deep sadness as "bad" emotions - but our avoidance and fear of feeling them is what keeps us from truly healing. Grief is the other side of love, and it is beautiful.

Allowing ourselves to surrender into the pain of letting go allows us to keep our hearts open, like a candle in the darkness. An open heart is our greatest hope.

In Wild Mercy, Mirabai Starr writes "keeping the heart open, even in hell, makes space for the Beloved. It is in the darkest nights of our souls, when all we know is that we know nothing, that the presence of the sacred may quietly well up, mingling with our pain and connecting us to a love that will never die."

The very act of allowing ourselves to feel our emotions is how we heal from them. Repression is like a stagnant pond, but surrender is like a river, carrying us back home to a greater love. It is the bravest and most compassionate choice to go into our feelings with wildness and depth, as we are not only healing our own hearts, but healing the heart of the world.

Ⓒ Jennifer Helwing Wellness Coaching 2023

I empower women to create better lives for themselves by changing from within. Even when life doesn’t change, we can - and that is true freedom. Visit to find out more.

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