I was listening to a friend share with me that she just experienced a second miscarriage and that she was feeling sad. I could tell something was off from her usual spirit. Of course she went on quickly to dismiss her feelings. Waving away her feelings and tears. That is when I stopped her. Just a hug, silence and she started to cry. “I feel like I’m being punished” she said. All I said to her was “you know that isn’t true but you have the right too all your feelings”.
The mind is so powerful. We sit with our thoughts and process over and over; start to believe the story or narrative there because we recreated it. Skipping over the fact that the mind is capable of protecting and if we don’t want to see something we won’t. It is important to notice this because we don’t have to dismiss truth. We can learn to admit all of the feelings, experiences and actions.
However it can be scary in todays world. Not only has our legal system made it hard to be honest but now social media gives a new platform that allows everyone to comment. In a safe environment though sometimes just saying things out loud makes us quite aware and of all the feelings. This is why talking to a therapist is so helpful.
Often in our daily life we don’t pay much attention to our feelings or thoughts. We react and keep on going. As I gave my friend some space alone I came back and we sat alone together. She explained that this was her second attempt at pregnancy and wished more women talked about it. I agree. I teach prenatal yoga and work with expecting Moms and there still isn’t much out there that talks about the pain women and families go through when they suffer a miscarriage.
But then she said “Oh it wasn’t so far along though; so it wasn’t so painful”. She added “It wasn’t as if I feel it was a baby I lost. It wasn’t like I was a Mom losing her baby”. But we paused there. I said “you may not have physically felt pain but you were a Mother and now you aren’t”. She started to cry again. See she was trying to rationalize her feelings and justify it because she wasn’t listening to the emotional pain. So as we sat I let her express more and I got her something to eat because even that had been something she was skipping.
Finally I looked at her and said “Everything you are feeling – this is grief”. Let yourself feel grief – this is what it feels like.
Yet it isn’t always easy to identify. In our mind we may imagine what our feelings would look like under a certain condition. Most often we give ourselves permission based on conditions and how that would appear. I know I have done this – not quite sure if this was an emergency or not. I will find myself stopping and asking myself “What did you think it looked like? But now how does it feel? What would be wrong with it being an emergency?”
We also do this culturally and with genders. What we find acceptable with Men Vs Women. If a Man cries we consider him week or wimpy. A woman yells and she is bitchy or moody. Underneath all that though if we can get to the root of the feeling we can stop pretending and be with what is here. It allows us to see the truth and often I find that knowing has the capacity for shift or change.
Anyway when my friend and I parted, she felt a shift just by allowing herself to grieve. I told her that she had so much love within her and that her capacity to love this much is going to make her a wonderful Mother – in whatever image that becomes. Nothing will keep her from that. Only she will have to work on letting go of how she see’s that happening and let it happen. That doesn’t mean she was done feeling her feelings. She may have to live with that grief her entire life.
However I wanted to share this moment because each of us need this reminder. When we can learn to express our thoughts, emotions and reactions with LOVE we can come to a better understanding of our truth. Through this we will find happiness, peace and joy.