We have such a strong attachment to feeling bad

Or maybe it’s just me, but I suspect otherwise. We have such a strong attachment to feeling bad, as if it somehow gives us something that without it, we’d be …… I don’t even know. I don’t know what it is we are afraid we’d be if we weren’t feeling bad about many things.

For example, grief. Having just said good-bye to the physical presence of my mom, I have caught myself almost reprimanding myself for occasionally wanting to feel happy in spite of this loss. It’s as if, if I felt good, I wouldn’t be honouring my mom with my grief. Why do we believe that sort of thing? Why do we think that the sadder we are, the more they meant to us? I love my mom deeply and it is incredibly strange to believe the only way to prove that is to be devastated now. Yet that is our social signal that tells one another how important a person was to us, making it feel almost disrespectful to seek joy too soon after their departure.

When I dissect these beliefs, what I discover, not surprisingly, is good, old fashioned fear. Fear that I’m not a good person, fear that others will think badly of me, fear that my mom will be disappointed in me, fear that maybe I’m heartless, selfish, and cold. Wow. Fear is not my friend. Not in this capacity. In this instance it’s simply wrecking havoc in my mind, my body and my life.

What if I released these fears, because really, I know better? I know I’m not a bad person. I know I’m not selfish or heartless or disrespectful. I know I love my mom. I know that living a life of joy is a far better tribute than living a life in fear’s shadows. Yet I’m not fully certain I believe all of it. And that’s how fear slips in, takes hold, and attaches itself to grief convincing us our grief is our friend and to not let go.

And yet, another bolder, brighter part of me, notices my mom got her wish. She wanted to be well. It may not have been in that body but I absolutely believe that as she released her body, she released much of the pain, the fears, and the beliefs that made her so unwell. Ultimately, I believe she left all that behind her finally and emerged fully into wellness. That seems something worth celebrating.

Am I still sad that she didn’t have more time in physical form to experience wellness in this lifetime? Yes, definitely. Do I still have pangs of disappointment when I realize I won’t see her in form pulling up to the house in the car she adored, knocking on my door, delighted by the dogs wagging their bodies at her appearance, placing her water bottle on my kitchen island and chatting up the kids? Oh my, yes. It’s a physical ache I feel. But would she want me to cling to grief like a rock submersing myself in the low vibration energy where my body can’t absorb enough life force to get through the day or maintain its own state of wellness? I just cannot imagine she’d be holding such a wish. She had too much sparkle and enthusiasm for the happiness she wanted for us, the fun she saw us create, and the joy she so wanted to be a part of with us. I can only imagine she wouldn’t want us to give that up because if we do, how can she share it with us? We can’t possibly keep her memory locked in sadness. It’d be like tying a heavy weight to her soul. Why on earth, would we believe that would be a good idea or a way to respect her memory? She isn’t dead. Not in the way that matters. And for her to flourish we too must flourish. To soar with her, we must soar ourselves. To feel her joy, we must be joyful. To experience her love, we must be love in all its stunning expressions.

Grief isn’t love. It’s the belief that love is lost, but it can never be lost. So when we attach ourselves to grief, we are blinding ourselves with a belief. We are focusing fully on an illusion made from fear which is simply a refusal to look at the light that is all around us. Our loved ones live on in the light. To keep them with us, we simply need to stand in the light with them.