The Space Between Grieving and Healing

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“If you cannot change a situation change your attitude towards the situation.”
-Viktor Frankl

Some of the world’s greatest writers, artists, and musicians the world has ever known created their masterpiece in the space between and grieving a major life tragedy. Many of them have taken the sanguine pleasure of sharing their greatest life challenges in such a way that we, as the active observer become fully immersed in the experience of their art and that (for many of us) has transformed the way we see the world forever.

It is in this very unique, albeit painful space when one is struggling to come up for air in the water strewn hermetical abyss of grief when the opportune moment to impale oneself on the proverbial dagger of pain is in many ways the totality of event horizons that we can use as the rocket fuel to fucking over the sanguinary default mode of internalizing the sadness and the pain and instead catalyzing the toxic goop of unrelenting pain through by externalizing the grief through creative (or hyper-focused) and self enriching endeavors the event becomes the palate in to which we create our masterpiece and next step. This externalization of our pain becomes this proverbial cozy feather-bed where one truly understands the lesson from the loss and the nonsense of the chaos and negative chatter within our perfectly imperfect mind. It is this very moment of that event horizon of grief and foreboding loneliness that if given opportunity to externalize the tremulousness of the chaos the endgame of our internal peril and self defeat can be given the manifest as a creative amalgam to which the catalyst of ones’ creative genius has, for the first time been truly realized. The end result: a profitable new work opportunity, an expressive painting, or perhaps the next great American novel. Who knows? But you have to try. Despite the excruciating of pain.

When you are the most blue, the most anxious, the most depressed, the most browbeaten by the lethargy of trauma that ironically becomes the opportune moment for someone closest to you to give you a proverbial drop kick in the ass (preferably from a coach like me) or a family member to jump start your creative work or job opportunity. I know this sounds completely insane and counter intuitive to all of you especially if this is the first time you are going through a major life trauma. You have nothing to lose but try it for yourself. It is this intense deliberate hyper-focus of externalizing the pain and chaos within you by picking up a pen, interviewing for that job, or painting that masterpiece which as difficult as it may be is the ultimate paradoxical counter-intuitive short circuiting of the chaos of your current life mess . This deprives the monkey mind of most of its limbic system life support (which the terror of your depression needs to keep you stuck in the pain of the trauma of loss). It is this moment when you are in the catharsis of flow of your own creative efforts that the noise of heartbreak and loss begins to quiet down.

Ethan Hawk once said that a great movie begins when you leave the theater. You start reflecting on the movie after leaving the theater. The film than takes on a greater significance in relation to other films, and most importantly many aspects of your life. The same is true when experiencing the trauma of loss. The movie of your life restarts painfully and abrasively after tragically losing someone or something you love. Instead of internalizing the trauma by swimming in the toxic septic tank of our formidable life drama we swim to safety by shifting our focus of attention outwards through an expression of forward movement via the creative act. It is this very externalization of pain through the righteous exercise of writing, art, or a new business venture that is the autonomic mechanism to releasing the trauma and moving on with your life.

Think about it…

LifestyleJeanne Verger